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What I love about being a vegetarian in Chicago

Thank you Chicago!
Thank you Chicago!
Stephanie Herzog

Dear followers and friends. It is with bittersweet feelings that I would like to announce my resignation as the Chicago Vegetarian Examiner. Since’s inception I have felt honored to hold such a great title and be able to share my experiences, ideas, and opinions as a vegetarian living in Chicago. I will be moving to a different state and therefore will no longer be able to enjoy and report about food, events, and news in Chicago. Because this is my final article, I would like to share with you my favorite things about being a vegetarian in Chicago:

Favorite Lunch spot in the Loop: Roly Poly
This soup, sandwich and salad shop offers up very fresh, super healthy lunch with a vegetarian friendly menu. When I want to eat light but stay full I always opt for the “spa salad,” which is bursting with fresh greens and crisp vegetables, and is topped with avocado slices, giant walnut pieces and dried cranberries. On a chilly day go for spring asparagus or vegetarian vegetable soup, and if you have a hankering for a fresh sandwich, try the veggie fajita, spinach popper, monster veggie, California hummer, nut & honey sandwich, or the nutty avocado.

29 S. La Salle Street
Chicago, IL 60603

312-920-9800 (phone)
312-920-0880 (fax)
Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
Sat & Sun Closed

2235 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (773) 687-9755
Fax: (773) 687-8618
Mon-Fri 10am-9pm
Sat & Sun 11am-9pm

Website: (order lunch online!)

Favorite Fine Dining Spot: Green Zebra
Vegetarian dining in Chicago does not get more glam or more unique than that of the fare at Green Zebra. Inspired by fresh vegetables and worldly flavors, Green Zebra has a seasonally rotating menu that will always provide a delicious gastronomic experience. Green Zebra’s current menu is offering selections such as Bubble Gum Pear Salad with watercress, grapefruit, and Szechuan peppercorn vinaigrette; Sunchoke Ravioli with grilled leeks, medjool dates, preserved lemon, and a quail egg; Warm Braised Artichoke and Bread Salad with olives, and preserved lemon; and Rye Spätzle served with kraut, smoked caramelized onion, caraway, and topped with stout foam.

Green Zebra
1460 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642

Brunch?Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner?Monday – Thursday 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Sunday 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Phone: (312) 243 7100 Fax: (312) 226 3360
Reservations and walk-ins accepted

Favorite Meat-Free Pig-out Place: Chicago Diner
Vegetarian food for those with an American-diner sized appetite. Featuring brunch, lunch, and dinner that is vegan friendly (think burgers and milkshakes). Select from menu items such as a “meatball sub,” “chicken” fajitas, roasted garlic gnocchi, taco salad, a California Rueben, “pork” tacos, or “sausage” and egg biscuits. Chicago Diner also features a vegan bakery, which can even produce fabulous vegan wedding cakes.

Chicago Diner
3411 N Halsted
Chicago IL 60657-2412

Phone: (773) 935-6696
HOURS: M-Th 11-10, F 11-10:30, Sa 10-10:30, Su 10-10

Favorite Chicago (veggie) Hotdog: Hot Doug's
When it comes to enjoying a Chicago staple sans meat, look no further then Hot Doug’s, located on Chicago’s Northwest side. Although this hot dog stand is bursting with meaty options, skirting near the danger-zone is worth it for one of their “Pete Shelley’s” (veggie dog). Cooked to perfection and bursting with meat-free goodness, be sure to order it “dragged through the garden” (mustard, onion, sweet relish, a dill pickle spear, tomatoes, sport peppers, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun). Please note Hot Doug’s accepts cash only.

Hot Doug’s
3324 North California
Chicago, IL 60618

Phone: (773) 279-9550
Fax: (773) 279-9553
Monday - Saturday, 10:30 am - 4:00 pm, closed on Sundays

Favorite Event with Vegetarian Food: The Taste of Chicago
Chicago may be known for meaty specialties such as polish sausage, the famous hotdog, Italian beef, and deep dish pizza with sausage incased inside, but those who live here know that a multicultural, thriving city means that great vegetarian food is never far away. Every year I have attended the Taste of Chicago I have never gone home hungry and usually am forced to crawl home groaning and holding my stomach before I even get a chance to sample all of the dishes I want. This year, expect to see Chicago culinary delights like cheese empanadas, fresh guacamole with chips, spinach-stuffed pizza, sweet potato chips, roasted veggie tacos, sweet potato cheesecake, garlic fries, five-cheese pizza, fresh gazpacho, grilled pear salad with walnuts and blue cheese, vegetable tempura, sweet potato hash browns, potato and sauerkraut pierogies, potato pancakes, garlic mozzarella cheese bread, fresh bruschetta, breaded eggplant sandwich, spinach and mushrooms crepes, and much more.

The Taste of Chicago 2010
June 25 – July 4 in Grant Park
Main Entrance
Michigan Ave. & Congress Dr.
Chicago IL 60604

Phone: (312) 744-3315
11 am - 9 pm Daily Except Saturday, July 3: 11 am - 7 pm; Sunday, July 4: 11 am - 6 pm Ticket sales end 30 minutes before the Taste of Chicago closes.
Admission is free. A set of 12 tickets cost $8 a piece - Don't miss it this year!


  • Marguerite - Chicago Holistic Examiner 5 years ago

    Aaaaaw, going to miss your articles! Best wishes with your move.

  • Dustin Alexander, Milwaukee Top News Examiner 5 years ago

    Hi Stephanie,

    I just wanted to let you know that while I'm not a vegetarian, I really enjoyed your articles. Your moving on will be our loss, but may you prosper wherever you go. Best of luck to you.


  • Sarah 5 years ago

    I am sad to see you go. I've really enjoyed reading about the many wonderful dining options in Chicago. Your articles have made my mouth water so many times! So glad you will still at least have a Trader Joes!! :0)

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