Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian and Meat Options Aplenty on Chicago's Healthy Menus

Chicago’s reputation of a steak and potatoes town is quickly dissipating as more people choose healthier options on the menu. That’s not to say steak isn’t still popular (it is); it simply means organic, wholesome fare is becoming more the norm rather than the exception.

It’s hard to pare down our list to just 10 best places for healthy food menus because so many restaurants in town now offer healthy options. With exception of two on our list, all of our healthy dining hotspots have been feeding locals for years and, in some cases, decades. Several offer raw, vegan or vegetarian dishes but several include meat options, too.

Vegan diners head to Amitabul on the city’s far northwest side because Chef Bill does amazing things with his Korean dishes. Raw food fans love Karyn’s Raw and RAW.

Meat lovers can have their meat and be healthy, too. Oasis Café is, quite literally, a gem among gems. It’s been serving its Middle Eastern cuisine to legions of Loop employees for years in its tiny restaurant nestled in the back of a string of jewelry shops.

Heartland Café is located in the heart of Rogers Park and its wholesale food has been a staple of 37 years in that community.

Newbie Fig and Olive has already garnered a following since it opened just a few months ago. Chef Pascal Lorange focuses on healthy and light Mediterranean fare, choosing from a collection of more than 20 heart-healthy olive oils to complement each dish.

The Loop

It's easy for detractors to claim they hate raw food without even trying it which is a shame because places like RAW. are trying hard to break the stereotype that raw isn't tasty. It's making headway because this popular outpost is located...  Read More

Gold Coast

At FIG & OLIVE, Chef Pascal Lorange focuses on healthy and light Mediterranean fare, choosing from a collection of more than 20 heart-healthy olive oils to complement each dish. Most dishes on the menu use olive oil in some way. Lorange...  Read More

Heartland Café has been around for what seems like ages in this city. Or what totals to be 37 years and counting. Known to many as The Heart of Rogers Park, Heartland Cafe and General Store is a staple in Chicago's organic and progressive...  Read More

The Loop

It's easy to miss Oasis Café considering the retail storefront is a jewelry shop. Located on Jewelers Row in Chicago's Loop, most people find this gem because someone told them about it or literally brought them along because at first glance...  Read More

Lincoln Park

A vegan restaurant specializing in raw dishes, Karyn's Fresh Corner receives rave reviews from vegan and raw food aficionados and for good reason. Even though Karyn's Raw is a restaurant, it bills itself as more of a health living store and one...  Read More

The Loop

Those who work in the Loop area know Sopraffina is a gem. It now has five locations serving breakfast and lunch including hot breakfast buffets, salads, antipasti, pizza and boxed lunches. For those who need catering options, the Mediterranean...  Read More

Green Zebra

Back in 2004, before the phrase "farm to table" was on every diner's lips, chef Shawn McClain planted the flag for veggies on a rarely trafficked stretch of West Chicago. Now the area, known as Noble Square, is the up-and-coming spot to dine....  Read More

Non-gluten-free folks wax poetic about Rose and her bakery and café as much as their gluten-free brethren. For those who complain that gluten-free bread tastes like cardboard, try the bread at Rose's and you'll quickly realize why this place...  Read More

A combination of cozy coffee shop and gourmet restaurant, Uncommon Ground prides itself as "The Greenest Restaurant in America." It serves delicious food made with locally grown and organic ingredients and its two locations have on-site gardens...  Read More

Norwood Park

Walk into Amitabul and a sense of calm drapes over you immediately. It's not exactly a library but there is a sense of peace from the soft, meditative music in the background to the sparse decor. Chef Bill is the mastermind of this vegan...  Read More


Meet Megy Karydes

Megy Karydes has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and most of her life in Chicago. While she’s traveled extensively internationally, visiting each of the 50 states is on her...  More About Megy