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“A great vegetarian place for carnivores, too!”
Review of Chicago Diner

Chicago Diner
Ranked #129 of 9,882 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Diner
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Outdoor Seating
Reviewed January 21, 2013

I visited the Logan Square location on a recent trip to Chicago along with two non-vegetarians and we all left satisfied and with several other options from the menu we wanted to try next time. The location is just off the street, with easy pedestrian access and street only parking. The inside features a lot of dark wood, some beautiful local art (an abstract of the Chicago skyline was particularly striking) and long wooden booths through the center of the restaurant. On either side of these are smaller booths that seat 2 each. The kitchen is at the back, with a long wood-paneled bar to the right when you walk in. We arrived at 11:00 on a Saturday and had no problem getting a table. By the time we left, a line was forming in the lobby, where you could also buy T-shirts.

The menu is not only extensive, but informative, explaining the history of the restaurant, why it’s meat free, and what various options mean (ex: definitions of seitan, tempah and tofu, explanations of vegan cheese and rBST-free dairy). The options fit any type of eater, from the carnivore looking for a passable substitute (plenty of faux-meat options like a seitan BBQ bacon burger and country fried steak with seitan patty) to vegetarians or veggie lovers (quinoa chili, Cajun black bean burger) to vegans or others on a strict diet (gluten-free soup bowl, vegan potato skins). They serve an extensive brunch menu until 3:00pm daily and have options that include building your own brunch. Their sides menu is long enough to build a meal out of on its own, with choices like mac & cheese, black bean & corn salad and pesto sautéed vegetables. Our table went with a grilled cheese, gyro and BBQ bacon burger, all served with sweet potato fries and no one had leftovers, though the portions were sizeable. The food was just that good and my fiancé, who ordered the gyro, remarked that it tasted better than a few actual-meat gyros he’s had, with perfectly seasoned seitan and a great tzatziki. The prices are reasonable bordering on cheap-nothing on the menu was over $13. They also serve a variety of desserts, but we were too full to try them, though we kept hearing raves about the shakes and a chocolate cake whenever we told anyone where we ate for lunch.

Service was fast and friendly. We never had to ask for refills and our food came about 10 minutes after we ordered. Also, though this is a vegan/vegetarian place, it’s not holier-than-thou, as some vegan/vegetarian places can be. Sure, they use vegan cheese, but they’ll gladly sub in the real thing (organic) and state so clearly on the menu. They serve Blue Sky Cola, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I have been to places that clearly thought my fiancé an unhealthy, junk-food swilling dolt because he wanted a soda. One look at their menu and its clear they try to please the carnivores, too. We had a great meal at a great price with great service-doesn’t get much better in the busy, big city for this vegetarian!

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1  Thank Melindalou7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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273 - 277 of 400 reviews

Reviewed January 15, 2013

By far the best vegan reuben ever...maybe the best reuben ever. My daughter had the mock chicken wings which were also divine, as was the sweet potato fries. We took half of each home and still did not have room for dessert. The reason there is only 4 stars is the margarita. I love margaritas and was in such a mood for one but I usually will not drink them in restaurants as they have chemical garbage and as this one was so pure I thought, good place.
I like my margaritas without ice...It should have tipped me off that the waiter looked at me funny, but he brought me a half filled warm margarita.
ALSO, that night I had, hmm, how to say this politely, quite a few violent bathroom visits which I think were from the margarita, as it was also quite sour.
I also, in my 50s probably brought up the average age by 20 years.

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Thank debralynn108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Went there with my kids and we had a wonderful time. Great vibe, casual neighborhood feel. Lots of variety on the menu. We had nachos (omg), taquitos, potato skins, a bean burger that was amazing (really, really amazing) and black bean salad, plus a divine slice of cake and a cookie. It was so freaking good. The place is predominately vegan, so you can go wild. Really, we can't wait to go back.

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1  Thank CrystalEats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

My brother introduced me to Chicago Diner some years ago and I love the place. The food is so good, healthy and the pricing is affordable. They just opened up a 2nd location and I can't wait to go. They have the best desserts which can be purchased at some local grocery stores. Good eating and a great atmosphere.

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1  Thank Nina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

We had brunch for the first time. It was amazing. We had the Big Bang plate and the Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo might just tied for best plate I have had here. Just delicious! Staff efficient and kind, as always. Definately looking forward to future brunches and also trying the new location next time! A must-do for any vegan visiting Chicago. What a treat!

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1  Thank busheyacht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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