If you’re visiting Chicago and are looking for more conscious alternatives to eating, there are 8 healthy restaurants in Chicago that you must not miss! Chicago is growing to become a hub of healthy dining, thanks to the abundance of vegan, gluten-free and veggie-centered cuisines that have been popping up during the last 10 years. Whether you’re all vegan, moderately vegetarian or not at all, these restaurants will surely give you the healthy fix of nutrition you are looking for.
1. The Chicago Diner
Lovingly known as “The Veggie Diner”, the Chicago Diner is a family-owned business that has successfully mixed classic American dining with vegan and gluten-free cooking. Serving comfort food “meat free since 83’” and now with two locations in Halsted and Logan Square, the Chicago Diner uses local, seasonal produce and ingredients, eco-friendly cleaning products and biodegradable to-go containers. The Radical Reuben, their flagship sandwich, is one of their most popular choices, as well as their delicious vegan milkshakes.
2. Handlebar Chicago
Located in Wicker Park since 2003, Handlebar Chicago specializes in serving mostly vegetarian comfort food as well as some seafood dishes. With locally sourced produce, fair-trade coffee and microbrew-centric beer list, Handlebar has become one of the local’s favorite spots for having great “food, booze, good times”. During the summer, their beer garden becomes Handlebar’s main attraction, where friends can dine, wine and hang out while enjoying the lovely weather.
3. Fancy Plants Catering
Fancy Plants Catering is an exquisite vegan catering business by chef Kevin Schuder, which specializes in creating delicious vegan/vegetarian dishes. Fancy Plants uses only the very best combination of grains, fruits, vegetables and spices, with both modern and ancient techniques of fermentation and preservation. Schuder’s brand new venture, Fancy Plants Cafe, opened its Chicago doors in January 2019 and serves healthy options of grab’n’go food like vegan sandwiches, baked goods, catering options and event planning, as well as Rishi tea and Dark Matter Coffee.
Beatrix is an American restaurant and coffeehouse that serves healthy comfort food and vegetarian dishes in an eclectic atmosphere. With four locations in Streeterville, River North, Oak Brook and Fulton Market, this restaurant brand run by Lettuce Entertain You serves inventive and delicious breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner, and their coffee and juice bars offer local Chicago roasters, daily-made pastries and freshly squeezed juices. Its West Loop location also features a lovely outdoor patio, and a grab-and-go area.
5. True Food Kitchen
True to its name, True Food Kitchen Chicago combines mindful nutrition and exquisite dining in a laid back, eco-conscious atmosphere. Located in the River North neighborhood, True Food has a flavorful seasonal menu of entrees, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, grain bowls and gluten-free options that are prepared with high quality ingredients and lean towards an anti-inflammatory diet. It also features a bar where fresh juices and cocktails are prepared with the finest ingredients, plus a great selection of beer and wine. Its brown, green and white color palette provide a breath of fresh air and its natural lighting makes the experience so much more pleasant and enjoyable.
6. Clever Rabbit
With a snazzy name like Clever Rabbit, you can be sure to find an equally attractive atmosphere in this stylish, veggie-focused restaurant, in the heart of Wicker Park. Veggie and meat lovers alike will find savory options prepared with carefully selected ingredients, and enjoy creative cocktails and wine list with an eclectic selection. Its huge outdoor patio is not to be missed, especially during the warmer weather in the summer!
7. The Little Beet Table
Take a trip to the Gold Coast and enjoy Little Beet Table, a vegetable-centered restaurant which offers a cozy and relaxed dining experience. Their menu of tasty, fresh and carefully picked whole food choices include beef and chicken, but in such a way that it promotes wholesome nutrition. Grab a table and enjoy the naturally lit atmosphere while eating delicious and healthy meals prepared with the utmost care and love.
8. Bad Hunter
Bad Hunter is a veggie-forward bar and restaurant, located in the West Loop, and is one of the most famous places for healthy eating in Chicago. Through their “sessionable” approach, you can enjoy their delicious high quality food and drink; whether it’s a casual gathering with your family, friends or significant other, you can sit and enjoy a nice afternoon glass of wine or accentuate your dinner with a creatively crafted cocktail. The area in which it is located recently suffered a fire and the restaurant is temporarily closed, but they are expected to reopen their doors very soon!