The Chicago Diner

2333 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago

Chicago Scene
Written By Chicago Scene

“The Insider's Guide” Of Where To Go And What To Do In Chicago

For over 35 years, the Chicago Diner has been breaking down the myth that just because a food is vegan or vegetarian doesn’t mean it will taste bad.

With bold, bright lightbulbs across the back wall, Chicago Diner proudly boasts their meat-free menu since 1983. That year, "Chef Jo" Kaucher and her husband Mickey Hornick opened up one of the city’s first completely vegetarian restaurants. They designed the diner to look as vintage American as can be with vintage ads and neon lights

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Today, their vegetarian menu offers animal-free twists on classic American diner food. You will find their award-winning vegan milkshakes, veggie burgers, homemade seitan to replace the meat in sandwiches, and much more. Everything is made with local, seasonal ingredients and produce so you know you are getting a well-made meal. Notice their biodegradable to-go containers when you take your leftovers with you. Because of the menu’s familiarity, Chicago Diner does not feel intimidating to a non-vegetarian. “We don't clobber you over the head with veg propaganda,” said Chicago Diner Business Development Specialist, Kat Barry to Eater Chicago. Chicago Diner aims to be the restaurant for everyone to enjoy by serving good food that just happens to be meat-free. They also have a gluten-free menu if that is your diet and you may be surprised by how many options you have. Kaucher and Hornick have even created a Chicago Diner recipe book if you want to try to make some of your favorite dishes at home. If you aren't hungry, you can also grab a wine, beer, or fun cocktail at their bar.

Due to the increased demand, Kaucher and Hornick opened their second location in Logan Square with their first location being in Boystown. The Chicago Diner can get crowded at times but Monday through Thursday before 3 PM is usually the best time to go. The Chicago Diner has received many kudos from the press including being recommended by the Michelin Guide and Zagat, being named Best Vegetarian restaurant by Chicago Reader and Time Out, and many more.

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