The Chicago Diner

We wanted to get together with some of our friends who are vegetarian so we decided on The Chicago Diner, which is rated as one of the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Chicago by a number of magazines.  And after going, this place changed my mind about meatless food (don’t get me wrong though, I’d still go for a rack of lamb any day).P1100257  Vanilla chai shake

According to past reviews, you should not pass up the shakes, and I’m glad I didn’t.  The vanilla chai shake was a refreshingly rich but fluffy drink that allows room for the actual dinner (Note: you’ll want the large).

Poutine - Canadian style waffle fries topped with melted Teese Vegan Cheese, country gravy, green onions, bacun, sour craem and jalapeno

Poutine – Canadian style waffle fries topped with melted Teese Vegan Cheese, country gravy, green onions, “bacun”, “sour craem” and jalapeno

To share, the poutine is the perfect appetizer.  And boy was I surprised!  I love my poutines and was very skeptical about this vegetarian version at first, but after my first bite, I changed my mind.  All the savory flavors were there with an added kick from the jalapenos, and above all, it’s healthier than any other poutine I’ve had before!

Dagwood Classic - house recipe corned beef, sliced turkey, bacun seitan, melted cheeze, lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and vegan thousand island on marbled rye

Dagwood Classic – house recipe corned beef, sliced turkey, bacun seitan, melted cheeze, lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber and vegan thousand island on marbled rye; side of sweet potato fries

I’ve had veat (apparently the word for vegetarian/imitation meat) before and was definitely NOT a fan.  Yet, this Dagwood Classic sandwich is stufed with veat that imitates corned beef, turkey and bacon in color, texture and taste!  If I hadn’t known that it was vegetarian, I probably would have thought it was real meat!  Meat lovers on a low fat, low cholesterol diet, this is why you should go to the Chicago Diner!

Cajun black bean burger - spicy black bean veggie patty topped with sauteed onion, mushroom, spinach, tomato, fried jalapeno, cheddar sauce and creole mustard

Cajun black bean burger – spicy black bean veggie patty topped with sauteed onion, mushroom, spinach, tomato, fried jalapeno, cheddar sauce and creole mustard; side of mac n cheese

Buddha's Karma Burger - curried sweet potato tofu patty, grilled pineapple, lettuce, onion and chimichurri sauce

Buddha’s Karma Burger – curried sweet potato tofu patty, grilled pineapple, lettuce, onion and chimichurri sauce; side of sweet potatoes

The burgers here are superb, although the selection isn’t very large.  Everyone agreed that the Buddha’s Karma burger was the tastiest, and I think the grilled pineapples really did the trick.

The Soul Bowl - seasoned quinoa, spicy blackened tofu, chimichurri sauce, charred balsamic brussels, mashed sweet potatoes and fat free black beans

The Soul Bowl – seasoned quinoa, spicy blackened tofu, chimichurri sauce, charred balsamic brussels, mashed sweet potatoes and fat free black beans

Finally, we also ordered a soul bowl, which was filled with vegetarian goodies.  All mixed up, the combination was a dense delight, but I wasn’t exactly a fan of the firm, blackened tofu, which was flavorless and definitely not spicy.

Overall, I am impressed with this diner, and I would love to go again for some healthy vegetarian cuisine!

Tips:

  1. There is probably a wait if you go during normal meal times, but there are some interesting shops on Halsted (mostly sex shops, head shops, and a cool toy store) along with bars so go check those out!
  2. Even if you are not vegan or vegetarian, this is a delectable place to go!
  3. Parking is difficult during busy hours so take the CTA to Belmont or use sidecar/lyft.

Rating: 

5.0 Rating

The Chicago Diner on Urbanspoon

2 thoughts on “The Chicago Diner

  1. This is one of my all-time favorite restaurants!! They just opened a second location in Logan Square as well – on Milwaukee and Fullerton just off the Blue line. That one isn’t quite as busy or difficult to park near, and they have cafeteria style seating. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself!

    Try going for breakfast sometime – that’s when the really good stuff comes out. :D

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