The Best Restaurants with Healthy Menus in Chicago



Chicago's reputation of a heart-attack-on-a-plate town is as dead as Al Capone. The steak and lobster dinner has become more of a special occasion option and Chicagoans are choosing more organic, wholesome, plant-based fare in their daily lives. That doesn't mean the tired pasta primavera or watery garden salad of old, either. Locals flock to the new crop of fast casual spots like FARE, Veggie Grill and Protein Bar. We're embracing bold vegetable forward food from the Middle East, Asia and the local farmer's market. 

Many on our list are new but healthy dining hotspots such as Heartland Café  and Amitabul have been nourishing locals for decades. Several eateries offer raw, vegan or vegetarian dishes and there are plenty that include meat options, too, albeit grass-fed and pasture raised. 

Vegan diners head to Amitabul  on the city’s far northwest side because Chef Bill creates magic with his family's Korean dishes. Try RAW to see if your skin begins to look like a million. Found's flexitarian menu and lovely environs are a call to be good to ourselves and the planet. The cash-only family run Sultan's Market serves inexpensive, home made Middle Eastern fare with plenty for vegetarians. Even the bar program at Clever Rabbit  includes doses of veggies and teas in cocktails and even in some of the beers. The fact is, there are plenty of greener pastures in Chicago. 


10
Downtown


Open in June, 2018, FARE offers flavorful dishes created from clean, seasonally focused ingredients. Items sound like the stuff Superman and Wonder Woman order: Ancient Grain Porridge; Labneh toast; bone broth with dried mushrooms, juniper, and...  Read More


9
Lake View


Fast casual vegetarian/vegan places are sprouting and raking in the other kind of green while sit-down eateries assume a beet salad and avocado toast is dynamic thinking. You needn't adhere to a strict plant-based diet to enjoy the verdant...  Read More


8
The Loop


RAW offers 100% plant based, vegan food items and every dish is promised to be extremely healthy. Nothing is cooked and every item is considered "raw." The raw food movement promotes the idea that since nutrients are not exposed to heat, you're...  Read More




It seems as though those hippies were right about a lot of things: love is better than war; herbs, yoga and meditation are good for you; know where your food comes from; eat plants. Heartland Café, a staple in Chicago's organic and progressive...  Read More


6
Downtown


Protein Bar & Kitchen was a leader in the high protein/low carb trend by offering filling, protein-rich and flavorful food in a fast-casual setting long before others. Today, there are 13 in Chicago, four in and around Denver and two in...  Read More




True Food Kitchen offers a varied menu that satisfies but does not stray from excellent nutrition and deep flavor. There's something tasty for all diets with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options developed by chefs and each of the signature...  Read More


4
Norwood Park


Chef Bill Choi has been recreating homemade specialties from Grandma Choi's Seoul, Korea cookbook for 20 years. The plant-based, organic vegan restaurant on the far northwest side, Amitabul, attracts a fanatic following from all over the city...  Read More




Many think Sultan's Market owns the title of best falafel in the city. The warm pita is painted with silky home made hummus and stuffed with crisp falafel, tomatoes and Jerusalem Salad. Other budget-friendly Middle Eastern food items, much of it...  Read More


2
West Town


When the owners found a space that appealed to them, they realized it was surrounded by purveyors of burgers, pizza, pasta and sushi. So, a lighter and fresher menu was the approach. Veggie forward dishes are not bathing in butter and cheese but...  Read More




Oh, Evanstonians are a lucky bunch situated by the lake and a Big Ten university insuring a spigot of culture. Let's add the perfectly comfortable, astonishingly delicious and entirely affordable Found Kitchen and Social House that features a...  Read More


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Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky

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