Chicago, known for its vibrant food scene, is a haven for seafood lovers. But what about those of us who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle?
Thankfully, the Windy City has plenty of options to satisfy our cravings for delicious plant-based seafood dishes.
Whether you’re a solo traveler exploring the city or a dedicated foodie in search of the best meat-free eats, this guide will help you navigate through the best seafood restaurants in Chicago that cater to vegetarians and vegans.
Best Restaurants in Chicago for Vegetarians and Vegans
1. No Bones Beach Club
No Bones Beach Club brings the beach vibes to the heart of Chicago with their tropical-inspired decor and mouthwatering plant-based seafood offerings.
From “crab” cakes made with jackfruit to “fish” tacos filled with marinated tempeh, every dish at No Bones Beach Club is a flavorful adventure.
Their commitment to sustainability extends beyond their menu by using eco-friendly packaging and supporting local farmers.
2. Ground Control
Ground Control takes vegetarian and vegan dining to new heights with their innovative approach to plant-based cuisine.
While not exclusively a seafood restaurant, they offer an array of creative dishes featuring plant-based alternatives like tofu, seitan, and tempeh.
Don’t miss their vegan sushi rolls made with marinated mushrooms or their crispy “calamari” made from hearts of palm.
3. The Purple Pig
The Purple Pig is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique dining experience that combines Mediterranean flavors with vegetarian and vegan options.
While predominantly known for their meat-centric dishes, they also offer some delightful plant-based seafood alternatives like grilled octopus made from King Trumpet mushrooms or pan-seared tofu served with seaweed salad.
Portillo’s may be famous for its classic Chicago hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, but it also caters to vegetarians and vegans with a surprising seafood option.
Their vegan-friendly “fish” sandwich is made with breaded, deep-fried tofu and topped with all the traditional fixings.
It’s a tasty alternative that will satisfy your seafood cravings while enjoying this Chicago staple.
5. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
While not a seafood restaurant per se, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria deserves a mention for their vegetarian deep-dish pizza options.
Their “Malnati Chicago Classic” pizza can be customized to include plant-based alternatives like vegan sausage or vegan pepperoni, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a quintessential Chicago dish without compromising your dietary preferences.
These are just a few of the fantastic seafood restaurants in Chicago that offer vegetarian and vegan options.
When dining out, keep these tips in mind:
- Call ahead to inquire about their plant-based offerings and any accommodations they can make for dietary restrictions.
- Ask if they have separate vegan menus or if they can modify existing dishes to be vegan-friendly.
- Don’t hesitate to request substitutions or ask about ingredient details if you have specific allergies or dietary concerns.
Remember to indulge in the flavors of the city while keeping your values intact.
Whether you’re exploring the beaches of No Bones Beach Club or savoring innovative dishes at Ground Control, these seafood restaurants are sure to leave you satisfied and eager for more plant-based culinary adventures in Chicago!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Are all these restaurants vegan-friendly?
While all the restaurants listed offer vegan options, not all their dishes are vegan. It’s always a good idea to double-check with the restaurant beforehand.
Q2: How can I ensure the food I order is vegan?
Consider asking the staff about their vegan alternatives and whether they have a separate vegan menu. Don’t hesitate to inquire about how food is prepared and what ingredients are used.
Q3: What if I have other dietary restrictions?
Chicago is a city that prides itself on its diverse cuisine. Many restaurants are accustomed to catering to various dietary needs. If you have specific restrictions or allergies, let the restaurant know when you call to book a table or when you order your food.
Q4: Can I find vegan options in other types of cuisine in Chicago?
Absolutely! Many restaurants in Chicago offer vegan or vegetarian alternatives. You can often find plant-based dishes in Mexican, Italian, Thai, and even traditional American eateries.
Q5: Is it necessary to book a table in advance?
While it may not always be necessary, booking a table ensures that you have a spot, especially during peak dining hours. Some restaurants also prepare their vegan dishes upon request, so calling ahead can be beneficial.