Chicago has a number of mouthwatering, meat-serving restaurants with surprisingly veg friendly menus. Now your boyfriend can get his bacon-slathered cow butt fix, or whatever, while you eat something other than French fries!
Whether you like it or not, vegetarian havens like the Chicago Diner (Meat Free since 83!) have, however unfairly, not been included in this list.
For Date Night
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Do you fondue? That question is rhetorical. Everyone should absolutely fondue, this place is darling. A live flamenco guitarist serenades you at your tiny table for two while you skewer small bites of assorted veggies, breads and fruits to dip in melted cheeses and chocolates. It’s heaven.
Neighborhood: East Lakeview
I can’t say enough good things about 2 Sparrows. From their coffee to their goat cheese iced cinnamon rolls to the service and the emphasis on locally farmed ingredients, it’s top-notch. With reasonable prices and tons of veggie options for breakfast and lunch, you will not leave here hungry. It’s worth the wait on weekend mornings, or do like me and play hooky from work for weekday brunch! (If my boss is reading this, I’m just making jokes HAHAHA.)
For Happs & Apps
Neighborhood: Lincoln Square
It looks like an average Irish Pub, like a place vegetarians go purely to knock back a few pints, but then the menu knocks your beet-loving socks off! A handcrafted, homemade veggie burger, grilled cheese, hummus, salads AND a seitan sandwich fill out the choices – all of which are well above par for pub food. Plus, performers from the nearby Old Town School of Folk Music frequently tote their banjos and harmonicas down to the Grafton to serenade lucky patrons. You show me a vegetarian who can resist a beer and a bearded folk singer! I tell you, they don’t exist.
For Carrying Out
Yummy Yummy Asian
I’d say the title about sums this place up. It’s yummy (x2) and it’s Asian food. But seriously, it also has the greatest assortment of vegetarian options I’ve ever seen at an Asian place. If you’re tired of the same old wiggly Kung Pao Tofu from down the street, branch out to Yummy Yummy and thank me later. Oh yes, and they also have smoothies.
For Thinking Outside the
Marion Street Cheese Market
Neighborhood: Oak Park
After completing a strenuous walking tour of Frank Lloyd Wright Homes, you’re bound to crave a nosh. Marion Cheese Market is located right next to the green line stop at Harlem so it’s an easily accessed gluttonous haven of wine and cheese. Pick some of each to take home or sit down for a bite at their Michelin Bib Gourmand rated bistro restaurant. Veggie and gluten free items are conveniently called out on the menu.