How vegan friendly is Arizona

Eat vegan in Chicago

Chicago is my first time. Not my first time in the Windy City, I've been there several times over the past 3 decades. Chicago is my first city trip for which I have a plan where I can eat vegan.

Everyone who knows me will surely be amazed, I haven't been a vegan since yesterday. The special thing is that I am prepared and so I can enjoy visiting restaurants for the first time that are exclusively dedicated to vegetarian and vegan cuisine.

Somehow that fits in very well with Chicago, as it is the culinary melting pot of the American Midwest. Incidentally, Chicago is my start and end point for my four-week trip through small-town America. This is exactly why it is particularly important that the city also makes a good impression on me as a vegan.

The Bean in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois

When I arrived at Chicago O'Hare Airport in the late afternoon, I took the most reliable means of transport to downtown for that time: the CTA train. In less than an hour and for just $ 5 a ticket, the Chicago Metro brings me almost right to the front door of my accommodation.

Take a quick shower, wash my hair, put on make-up, change and soon after my arrival in downtown Chicago I'm in the taxi to the Green Zebra. The restaurant is outside downtown with its skyscrapers. In a “multi-cultural” neighborhood that, like my Berlin neighborhood, attracts more and more young people and is also becoming more and more hip. The houses are flat here and as darkness sets in, I notice many small individual shops, restaurants and independent coffee shops.

Vegan Chicago

Green zebra

When I step into the Green Zebra, I'm really happy to have put on something fancier to wear. I like the ambience straight away, and for me, the eye not only eats when it comes to eating. I am seated at a table right by the window, which allows me to see both city life and the restaurant. That I am finally going back to the USA after 4 years, I finally have to sit down first. So I eagerly soak up all the impressions while studying the menu.

Let's start with a non-alcoholic drink Thyme syrup With roasted pepper berries and a stalk of thyme. Super tasty and tastier than apple spritzer, cola and Co.

Thyme syrup with roasted pepper berries

The menu says nothing but vegan and vegetarian dishes Prepared with regional ingredients and a lot of sophistication. Already after the starter, one green asparagus salad, I'm pretty happy not to have disappeared into bed at the hotel after the long flight. Go on with one Artichoke soup (I love artichokes !!!) For the main course I choose Tofu with morning glory and spicy soy sauce on wild riceAfter dessert at the latestPeanut Butter Panna Cotta I'm in seventh heaven

Tofu with morning glory and spicy soy sauce on wild rice

Before I am drawn back to my accommodation, tired but happy, I have a chat with the personable manager Marc. At first I thought he was the owner. He takes the time to tell me a little more about the neighborhood and of course I also ask him a little more about vegan food in Chicago. Apparently it is a much bigger movement than in Germany, where so far only a few star chefs have devoted themselves to this topic.

Without exaggeration, I can say my dinner at Green Zebra, that was it delicious vegan food I have enjoyed so far.

Native Foods Cafe - The Loop

After visiting the Wills Tower, I found this purely vegan café with the Happy Cow app just around the corner. Mountain air makes you hungry. This vegan chain originally comes from California and has several branches in Chicago. My non-vegan friend from also didn't realize for a while that we were sitting with a vegan.

The play on words with "chicken" and "ground beef" in some dishes was a bit misleading. If, like me in the USA, even as a vegan, you don't want to do without the Mexican-American food culture with tacos, buritos and nachos baked with cheese, you've come to the right place!

Hmmm ... tacos!
Native Foods Café
American-Mexican: a must for every trip to the USA.


Argo tea

Unlike most people, I need a coffee in the morning instead of a coffee green teato get going. I found what I was looking for the next morning at Argo Teawhose selection of various types of green and white tea almost overwhelmed me. In addition, there are at least as many types of black and rooibos tea on offer. I am enthusiastic about the expert service behind the counter, who gives me super friendly advice early in the morning.

A little later I go to the rental car station and off to my small-town road trip through Illinois

Chicago Diner

A few days later, back in Chicago, we're going to have a burger in the evening Chicago Diner. It's Sunday evening, but the Americans celebrate Memorial Day on Monday and so there is a lot of party people in the bars, restaurants and cafes I stop by in the hip district of Logan Square. Only a few metro stops away from my hotel in downtown, I feel that I have arrived in the “real” Chicago.

The first glance at the menu leaves no doubt that I'm right at the Chicago Diner: "Meat free since 1983" is right at the top. I choose one Reuben sandwich. All Americans who visited me during my first job in New York raved about it. So that should be something very special.

I would never have guessed that I would be able to enjoy a not only meatless but also vegan version of this American sandwich with sauerkraut. It was also my first time trying seitan. Conclusion extremely tasty and a big mess when the sauce runs over your fingers and hands. But that's part of the experience!

Vegan breakfast in the Meli Café

The next morning by 10 a.m., thanks to jet lag, I already had a four-hour tour of Chicago behind me. Just in time when my stomach is slowly asking for breakfast, the sudden onset of rain puts an end to my early mornings Sightseeing tour through a relatively empty Chicago.

I dismissed the three cafes with vegan breakfast on my list unceremoniously when I first went to the best restaurant MeliCoffee shop in the chicago Printers Row quite a comprehensive one vegan breakfast menu discover.

Carrot and coconut pancakes

I tend to eat heartily, but after all I'm visiting the USA, so it really has to bePancakes be. Easy right? Not really, because I have the choice between polenta pancakes, normal vegan pancakes and vegan carrot-coconut pancakes.

I choose the latter with what Peacan nuts and Organic agarve syrup is served on top. All vegan dishes in Meli Cafe are by the way too Gluten free. In addition one freshly squeezed juice out Carrot, apple, green celery, spinach, ginger and lime.

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Eating vegan in Chicago: restaurant guide

My Vegan in Chicago List again summarized with all restaurant recommendations that were on my list. (including those that I couldn't try for lack of time)

Green zebra

1460 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Chicago Diner

Vegetarian and vegan American classics such as burgers, sandwiches and much more.

3411 N. Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Native Food Café

Loop: 218 South Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60604

Lakeview: 1023 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657

Wicker Park: 1484 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Meli Café

Not purely vegan, but with a vegan and gluten-free menu. Above all, extensive vegan breakfast options.

500 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60605 (Printer Row, where I had breakfast)

301 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60661

540 N. Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654


Purely vegetarian and vegan menu.

2311 W. North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Lula Cafe

No purely vegetarian / vegan restaurants, but with individual vegan menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The focus is on farm-to-table. It means that only regional ingredients are used.

2537 N. Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Chicago Raw (raw food)

131 N. Clinton St # 7, CHICAGO, IL 0661

Argo tea

Paradise for all tea drinkers like me. Is a chain and exists several times in Chicago as well as in the USA.

16 W. Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Vegan hot dogs

Did you know Chicago is famous for hot dogs? I ate my first real hot dog in Chicago in 1999. With a little more time on my next visit, I'll definitely be one too vegan hot dog try.

Millenium Park in Chicago

I usually travel very spontaneously and rely on finding something vegan in every restaurant or veganizing a dish. Based on my experiences in Chicago and the steadily increasing range of purely vegan restaurants worldwide, this will change in the future. Promised!

Do you have any more vegan Chicago tips or questions? I look forward to reading from you in the comments!


Many thanks to "Enjoy Illinois" who partially supported my stay in Chicago. All views are my own.