Skip to main content

Chicago Vegan, Vegetarian, and Raw Food Diner Meals and a Recipe

Patty collects recipes and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in early American history and all Indigenous Peoples.


Karyn's Raw Bistro

Karyn's Raw Bistro is the oldest raw food restaurant not only in Chicago, but also in the Unites States. It has specialized in delicious raw food offerings since 1995 and has expanded to several restaurants serving vegan and vegetarian foods, and primarily 100% raw dishes.

In addition to good food, the establishment offers a fresh food market called the Fresh Corner, and a popular day spa that includes holistic treatments. Karyn Calabrese operates two locations in the city, with several others around the Chicagoland area.

Reviews sites list customer and professional reviews of four or more stars out of five, including Tripadvisor, Indulgery, The Veracious Vegan, Chritiques, Kourganic, and others.

Restaurant review sites list customer and professional reviews of four or more stars out of five, including Tripadvisor, Indulgery, The Veracious Vegan, Chritiques, Kourganic, and others.

Karyn has her own YouTube channel on which she offers videos for raw food information, detoxification tips and plans, health tips, and related topics.

The following places introduce you to Chicago City and Chicagoland vegetarian diners. They consistently rate high in review scores provided by customers and journalists.

Many of these vegetarian diners are actually vegan. Some of these diners deliver their meals and others offer additional services, such as classes of different varieties (food preparation, meditation, yoga), banquets, catering, delver, and other specialized offerings. All offer excellent meals.

  • Alice N Friends Vegetarian Café. Location: 5812 N Broadway Street in Chicago, IL 60660. It is between Rosedale Ave & Ardmore Ave in Edgewater. Online recommendations agree that the Almond Unchicken is a favorite dish with customers.
  • Amitabul Korean. 100% vegan. 6207 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646
  • Arya Bhavan. 2508 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60659
  • Blind Faith Café. 525 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60659
  • Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat
  • Chicago Diner, since 1983. 3411 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60657. Their cakes are sold at Whole Foods stores around the American Midwest and Ontario Province, Canada. The owners also publish a cookbook full of the great recipes prepared here.
  • Chowpatti
  • Karyn's Raw Bistro, Fresh Corner and Inner Beauty Center. 1901 N Halsted St.
    Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)
  • Shree Vegetarian Restaurant. 655 N Cass Ave, Westmont, IL 60559
  • Soul Vegetarian East
  • The Heartland Café. 7000 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
  • Udupi Palace. 2543 W Devon Ave, Chicago, IL 60659
  • Vegetarian Fun Foods Supreme
  • Victory's Banner offers a "Neatloaf" as well as burgers and other items. 2100 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618

Vegetarian Fun Foods Supreme


Recipe for Chicago Vegetarian Diner Gravy

This recipe is for a popular gravy served in several Chicago area diners that specialize in vegetarian foods. The gravy is all vegetarian and can be used with many dishes, both vegetarian and meat-containing.

Start with the Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups yeast
  • 1/3 cup dried parsley flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 3 tablespoons celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix. ingredients well. Make an extra batch and store in a covered, clean glass jar for the future.

Now Make a Good Roux

(A roux is equal parts fat and flour.)

Scroll to Continue
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or whatever you like best)
  • 1/2 cup flour, your choice but not self rising!

Using a medium sized saucepan, heat the EVOO over moderately high heat. Next, whisk in the flour and remember to whisk to blend the flour and oil. Continue whisking until the roux is a light brown and has a nutty-like smell. Take it off the heat now before it burns.

Next Ingredients

  • 4 cups water or light vegetable stock (non vegetarians can use chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium spy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of the special mixture you made out of the Dry Ingredients above.

In a large pot, combine all of these base ingredients and heat slowly to a point just above simmering over moderate heat. Next, take the roux that is waiting to the side and slowly and thoroughly whisk it into the mixture in the pot a little at a time. Don't add more until the first batch is completely bended in. Now, continue to heat the entire mixture until it is as thick as you want it to be.

Taste the gravy and re-season as necessary. You can even add a little heat (a pinch of fine ground red pepper) if you wish, depending what you will pour this gravy onto. Don't overdo it, though. You can always add hot sauce at the table.

Freshtopia Show - Chicago Vegetarian


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on September 30, 2014:

I hope you enjoy the recipes!

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 29, 2014:

This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing it.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 22, 2008:

Some of the veggie-burgeres were pretty bad, especiaily those in the clearance case at the local market - must have been old as well. I must look at vegitarian places in Dallas. Thanks.

Jason Stanley on February 21, 2008:

My how vegitarian has changed! Today there are many wonderful and tasty meals. I grew up a long time ago when the first vegiburgers were introduced - gag horrible! But today, when a friend wants vegitarian it is not a sacrafice to eat their way. Just like your article says about Chicago, there are even good vegi spots here in Dallas - where steak is almost a religion.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 20, 2008:

I hope they can help!

Best wishes.

cgull8m from North Carolina on February 20, 2008:

Thanks Patty I will call them. I found this online it seems they are available in local stores also. I will definitely try this. Thanks.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 19, 2008:

From different sorts of vegetable protein. We have a local productionplant in Ohio - Worthington Foods. 900 Proprietors Road, Worthington Ohio 43085, U.S.A.(614) 885-9511. They do a lot of Soy products, though.

cgull8m from North Carolina on February 19, 2008:

One of my friend made excellent vegetarian meal with special soy food that tasted exactly like the meats. It was wonderful, but I was unable to get the original source for it. Are these vegetarian items made from soy meats also or they do use different vegetables?

Related Articles