restaurants, reviews, snacks, travel

The All American Vegan Diner

As we drove into Chicago the other day one of my travel buddies commented it was “the most American of American cities.” I’m still not entirely sure why that would be but I imagine for many its because of the city’s All-American baseball team, industrialization and industry or its towering skyline…

For me? I think the real test is the food. Thus began my search for delicious, healthy hipster approved All-American grub.

First stop on the Chicago food tour:

The Chicago Diner is an all vegetarian restaurant but don’t let that throw you. This ain’t no hippie health food restaurant. Sure you might find some epic salad bowls and kombucha tea on the menu…but you’ll also find a healthy hefty dose of for reals diner food like wings, fries, burgers & shakes.

We started off with the Veggie Wings which were doused in a deliciously smoky, spicy sauce but would have easily stood up on their own. They had that elusive mix of crispy outside and soft chewy inside that is hard to achieve even with actual chicken!

Next up were the heavy hitters (baseball metaphor…i’m in the spirit):

  • Seriously meaty seitan & tofu bacon burger
  • Blackened tofu Mexican quinoa bowl
  • And the piece de resistance…the vegan reuben sandwich
Did you just die a little? 
While I loved every bite of my burger and my sister demolished her tofu before anyone could try it (I’m still bitter) the dish I am most excited about recreating is this final sandwich. It looks the least appetizing but its smokey sour savoury deliciousness was beyond.
What is one classic diner dish you’d love to see veganized/healthified?
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  • Reply Faith August 7, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I’m afraid that if I walked in there, I’d ordered everything on the menu – especially those wings! Wow do those look amazing!

  • Reply Kelsey August 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    WOW! i remember hearing and seeing this place when i read a lot of VegNews magazine but to see the food close up like this- amazing!! <3

  • Reply vegansunshine August 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    I LOVE their cheesecake. I get it by the slice at Whole Foods. I might have to drive 5 hours To chicago to go to this amazing place. 😀


  • Reply Nicole @Sugar Coated Sisters August 21, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I ate at the Chicago Diner two weeks ago!!! ( I had the BBQ Seitan Wingz and Vegan Ranch Salad, Vegan Nachos, and a Vegan PB Cookie Dough Milkshake…
    I basically died a little and went to heaven 😉

    – Nicole

    • Reply the healthy hipster August 24, 2011 at 1:06 am

      YES! I have half a mind to fly back to Chicago just for that delicious sounding shake!

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