Native Foods Cafe - The Loop

Overall rating: 4.5 stars 32 Reviews
Part of the Native Foods brand that originated in Southern California, this one opened Jan 2012. Offers a creative original menu that features salads, veggie burgers, rice and noodle bowls, vegan desserts, chai with soymilk, organic coffee, and more. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan, American, Fusion, Fast food, Catering, Take-out
reviews

Reviews

First Review by SynthVegan
njhassinger945
njhassinger945
  • vegan
Contributions
+52

A great lunch or weekend spot!

4 Posted on 07 / 17 / 2014

The food is always really good and consistent, which is important when it comes to vegan food. The chipotle sauce is the best thing they have and I have and will slather it on just about anything!

Pros: consistency, good quality
Tom8315
Tom8315
  • vegan
Contributions
+28

Great Standby

4 Posted on 05 / 30 / 2014

Reliable vegan place. I like the Thai bowl and tortilla soup. My non-vegan (but willing to come along for the ride) friend really liked the chicken wrap. And all of the desserts were good (brownie, oatmeal cookie pie, sticky toffee cake). Good location when I visit Chicago and stay on Michigan.

Pros: Reliable, Desserts
Cons: Not Super Delicious
tauberl
tauberl
  • vegan
Contributions
+158

Delicious, quick and friendly service!

5 Posted on 05 / 23 / 2014

I was so looking forward to coming here and was not disappointed at all- the food was great, and since we were in from out of town we had to try a bunch of different things! We had the tortilla soup, polenta bites, Moroccan bowl with tofu, and tempeh tacos, with a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting for dessert- all delicious! The tortilla soup had a really tasty "cream" drizzle, and the Moroccan bowl was super flavorful with the veggies and tofu cooked just right. The tempeh in the tacos was also delicious, flavorful and great consistency/texture. I will definitely seek out Native Foods in any city I'm visiting where they have a restaurant!!

Pros: friendly staff, reasonable prices, fast service!

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Vegan Vagabond
Vegan Vagabond
  • vegan
Contributions
+339

Newly renovated and enlarged

4 Posted on 05 / 04 / 2014

Native Foods is a great place for vegan eats. I've never had a bad meal. This is their loop location, which is very convenient if you are in or around downtown. The place would get absolutely jammed during lunch time, which is great to see so many business people eating vegan, but frustrating if you only have limited time and want to sit down and enjoy a meal. They have now expanded this location into the space next door and are now able to seat many more people and better accommodate a higher volume of customers.

Pros: Great Food, Large Menu, In the Loop!
XVeganSxeX
XVeganSxeX
  • vegan
Contributions
+149

great!

5 Posted on 01 / 24 / 2014

I don't get up to Chicago often but last time I was up there, I tried Native Foods. I had the nachos and the soul bowl. I have to say both were incredibly delicious.


AmiP
AmiP
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+23

My favorite lunch spot!

5 Posted on 01 / 03 / 2014

In my opinion, lunch is the "hardest" meal when you're vegetarian. I miss sandwiches! So I couldn't have been more excited to try Native Foods, and it quickly became my absolute favorite lunch spot. The chicken run ranch burger is my go-to, and I generally love any soup of the day. The lavender lemonade is great, too. It is packed at lunch, so prepare to fight for a table!

Happy side note: their summer patio is pet friendly!

Pros: Huge menu, Excellent food, Friendly service
Cons: So, so busy at lunch!
Tigony
Tigony
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

Great discovery

5 Posted on 12 / 08 / 2013

I live two hours away from Chicago and had heard of Native Foods Cafe a few months ago. Two days ago I went there for the first time. What a great discovery! The food was delicious, so satisfying, and healthy--I ordered a wrap with blackened grilled "chicken," lettuce, avocado, chipotle... I also purchased brownies to bring back home. Staff at this location were amazingly attentive and welcoming. I will defintely go there again to taste other dishes. I wish my area (Michiana: South Bend, Mishawaka, Niles...) featured such a vegan eatery, any vegan eatery!

Pros: delicious food, welcoming staff
Cons: on the cooler side when cold winds blow
Rosa and Joe
Rosa and Joe
  • vegan
Contributions
+45

Who's writing all these 5 star reviews?

2 Posted on 12 / 01 / 2013

I know tastes differ, but the number of 5 star reviews here is surprising. Native Foods is fine. It is a chain place, and convenient if you need some vegan food in a hurry. However, there are SO many amazing vegan places in Chicago run as small and ethical businesses that it seems a shame to waste a meal on this one. It's fine - just nothing special. Mostly does lumps of not-particularly-subtle seitan in sloppy sauces. The peanut butter dessert was nice and good value.

Pros: reasonable price, central
Cons: chain restaurant, bland, too much salt and sugar in sauces
KatePruiett
KatePruiett
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

loved it!

5 Posted on 09 / 03 / 2013

Can't wait to go again- I was expecting a chain restaurant feel to it, so I didn't go out of my way to try Native Foods for a while, but it didn't have a chain or fast-food feel at all. I had the portabella sausage sandwich which was incredible! My boyfriend had a jackfruit bbq type sandwich which in my opinion was much too spicy. We had peanut butter parfait and apple pie for dessert, which were both fabulous. The menu is original and creative which I love- can't wait to try out more.

Pros: great menu, friendly service, great food
kclements08
kclements08
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Amazing

5 Posted on 09 / 01 / 2013

I had the meatball sub with sweet potato fries and it was the best sandwich I have ever eaten. I also got the brownie for dessert. It was by far the best brownie, vegan or otherwise, in the entire world. This is by far my favorite restaurant, and I would recommend it to anyone! I was actually introduced to this restaurant by a non-vegan and it is her favorite restaurant as well! The macaroni and cheese is also very delicious. It does not taste like macaroni and cheese, but it is still worth trying! I would eat at this restaurant every day if I could because it is just that good. If anyone is looking for a fantastic vegan restaurant with fast service and delicious food, Native Foods is the place to go.

Pros: Fast, Delicious, A lot of variety
Cons: Not very many locations
PurpleSocialist
PurpleSocialist
  • vegan
Contributions
+22

I felt like a rock star

5 Posted on 08 / 30 / 2013

I'm new to the Chicago area, and I was excited about moving to a city with a Native Foods. I've read so many great things about it.

If you're on the fence about coming to Native Foods, hop off that fence and make your way to Native Foods. You won't regret it.

I ordered the Bangkok curry Bowl along with fries. In retrospect, the Bangkok Curry would have been sufficient. In spite of feeling pretty satisfied with my bowl and fries, I decided to try a chocolate cupcake. The cupcake was awesome. It was a bit heavy with the frosting (as a kid, I never would have imagined I would ever say this), but it was an awesome cupcake nonetheless.

Pros: friendly staff, generous portions, Takeout
HealthyRoadWarrior
HealthyRoadWarrior
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+17

Healthy eats in the Loop

5 Posted on 07 / 15 / 2013

Stuck in the Loop for an extra night, I wanted something healthy (to crowd out a deep dish pizza). Thanks to Happy Cow, I found Native Foods' location downtown. They apparently have locations in Cali and CO as well.

Hours are later than indicated on Happy Cow, think they're open til 9pm. Helpful staff in navigating the menu which offers different proteins (ie, seitan, tofu, etc), on top of quinoa and hummus which can be found in certain dishes. I chose a creamy onion bisque...creamy due to cashews and very tasty. Also, I selected the Moroccan Bowl, quinoa, veggies, fake chicken...also good. Finally, I had to go for the carrot cake cupcake. Yummy, but holy cow, just too much food.

For under $17 in total, I ate like a vegan king and was able to avoid another deep dish pizza. So yes, it is possible to eat healthy in the Loop!

Pros: Fresh real food in the Loop, Helpful service, Great relaxed vibe
Cons: Water fountain too far away
Elodie
Elodie
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+17

Healthy and hearty!

5 Posted on 06 / 19 / 2013

Native Foods is definitely my favorite address in town. The plates and bowls are packed with goodness (generous portions): an explosion of flavors and colors, a nice balance of spices and exotism to tease and please your taste buds. Freshness and quality of the produces served give you a feel-good sensation. Prices are very reasonable and you can save some money thanks to the fidelity card. Friendly and layback atmosphere. Yes, I love the place!

My favorite: the Sesame Kale Macro Bowl, side of sweet potatoes with chipotle sauce.
Many delicious desserts: make sure you try the Peanut Butter Parfait: to die for!!! (and gluten free)

Pros: variety, very tasty dishes, great desserts
sglcklch
sglcklch
  • vegan
Contributions
+760

Great place for casual eats

4 Posted on 06 / 06 / 2013

So nice to have an all vegan restaurant right in the Loop. My partner and I shared the fritters, the Azteca salad, and the Moroccan bowl with tofu. Everything was good. Portions were generous, service was fast, and prices were very reasonable. The staff was a team of really nice people that was just lovely. At the end of our meal, we couldn't help but get a slice of homemade apple pie for dessert, which was unfortunately not that good and a bit disappointing. However, it was still by and large a great spot that I would definitely recommend.

Pros: great food, nice staff, good value
amaroque
amaroque
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Meh.

2 Posted on 06 / 02 / 2013

I've eaten there twice. First time I had what was essentially a French dip type sandwich (not on the menu anymore) and the second time a had the Greek Gyro Earth Bowl. Both were wholly forgettable. I will say that the service is both fast and friendly but, ultimately, that's not what I'm there for. I won't be back but make your own judgment.

Pros: Friendliness of staff, Speed of service
Cons: Mediocre food, Price
jbglidd
jbglidd
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+52

Quick and all vegetarian!

4 Posted on 11 / 03 / 2012

This is vegetarian/vegan fast food and delicious. A bit pricey but the right dish can offset the hole in your pocket. I love that everything on the menu I can eat (vegetarian)!

Pros: Fast, Many delicious options
Cons: Pricey
BanjoGirl
BanjoGirl
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+45

Wonderful comfort food!

5 Posted on 10 / 19 / 2012

I LOVE this place. I actually crave it sometimes. Excellent comfort food. It is great to get a quick but relaxed bite with a glass of wine after work. I have loved everything that I have tried, from the Soul Bowl (my husband's go-to dish), the twister wrap, the Oklahoma burger (start hungry!), and a few of the salads. This is a great addition to the loop!

Pros: casual atmosphere, great comfort food, good value
fondducoeur
fondducoeur
  • vegan
Contributions
+206

Tasty Food

4 Posted on 09 / 12 / 2012

I tried Native Foods- Loop Location today and was pleased. I have eaten at veg restaurant's with more flavorful food, but it was still quite tasty. I also think their menu is quite creative, the staff was really friendly, and the watermelon fresca was delicious.
I tried the Soul Bowl made with Native Chicken, and it was filling and tasted pretty good. I also had a cardamom rose cupcake loaded with icing that was good as well. It's really nice that there are 3 locations in Chicago as well. I hope this chain continues to expand to other cities!

Make sure you mention it's your first time in the store, because you get a free house made drink if you open up a rewards card (watermelon fresca, lavender lemonade, iced tea), with free refills.

Pros: Creative Menu, All Vegan (with lots of desserts), Friendly Staff
Cons: Slighly bland, but still good
ashleyrust
ashleyrust
  • vegan
Contributions
+33

All the vegan travellers out there

5 Posted on 08 / 30 / 2012

SO happy a vegan place existed so close to the Amtrak station. Food was quick, filling, and really yummy, too. Try the Lavender Lemonade!

Pros: so yummy, friendly, available to go
VeganLin
VeganLin
  • vegan
Contributions
+46

Great Place for Lunch

5 Posted on 07 / 29 / 2012

I ate lunch at Native Foods while I was on vacation. It's walking distance from the Art Institute of Chicago which I was visiting that day. We went at 11:30 a.m. and there was no line and the food came quickly. There was a long line of customers waiting to order when we left an hour later so if you are short on time I would recommend arriving early if possible. I ordered the seitan reuben sandwich and they accomodated my request to leave off the vegan cheese with no problem. The sandwich was very good, but could have had more Russian dressing which was supposed to be included. It didn't seem like there was much dressing, if any on my sandwich. The sandwich was good anyway. I signed up for their rewards card and got a free beverage. They gave me a glass that I could use to taste all 3 of their offerings. I liked the lavendar lemonade the best. I would definitely return to Native Foods when I return to Chicago or if I am in the area of any of their other locations

Pros: Vegan, Good Food, Friendly service
Cons: Pricey
gr8vegan
gr8vegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+1633

Way better than in California!!! Great lunch spot

5 Posted on 07 / 19 / 2012

I was a little skeptical of Native Foods expansion to the mid west. It started as a Southern California restaurant focusing on the So Cal Mex healthy food and blossomed into the #1 Vegan Chain in the USA. They were so lovely there, even with it being packed we felt like we were being waited on like a 5 star restaurant! Our drinks were refilled constantly, our order came out quickly and were asked if we needed any condiments, etc. I wish I had a watermelon lemonade right now and someone to refill it for me!!! The one thing that set this Native Foods out above and beyond SoCal was the way they handled our healthy vegan requests. We get the tacos minus everything with fat, which includes the fried shells. They cut their tortillas into tortilla shells for us, when they came out we were just BLOWN away! It was so inventive and wonderful and we constantly get friction from the SoCal locations for the tortilla substitution and they went and knocked it out of the ball park! Presentation @ Native Foods is never shabby and this was just beyond cool and tasty. I couldn't compliment their staff enough, Chicagoians know how to do it right!

Pros: healthy taco sub, refills, best staff ever!
veggietwin
veggietwin
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+29

good food, big portions

4 Posted on 07 / 08 / 2012

The food was good, especially the desserts. The hamburger was more like shaved ham, but overall, I was pleased. The staff was nice, and it was counter service. The fries were excellent, and the peanut butter parfait was to die for (I bought three!), but I was not wowed by the chili fries. Overall I would go back again. I would give it 4 1/2 stars.

Pros: great desserts, decent prices, clean
Cons: a bit far from main area of loop
mariec1
mariec1
  • vegan
Contributions
+41

Good Vegan Options

5 Posted on 06 / 17 / 2012

Nice to have vegan options in the downtown area. Love the variety and always fast and friendly service.


PeteBull5
PeteBull5
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

nice variety of great food

4 Posted on 06 / 16 / 2012

good array of choices offered, but I usually tend to order the healthier choices (ones I can't easily make at home). a lot of their stuff isn't that healthy, so this is more of a rare reward (about once, to every other month). I enjoyed the non-healthy food too; sampling from friends' orders. this place will satisfy even non-vegans. I've been to all 3 in the chicago area. this review is consistent with each of them. their beverages taste great, and they have beer and wine, but no cider

Pros: decent, friendly service, good menu options, monthly promotions
Cons: a lot of high-caloric food, prices are slightly higher than average
vegannomad2
vegannomad2
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+23

The Best

5 Posted on 06 / 07 / 2012

Consistently excellent food to suit all pallets, always fresh good food, Great cheese cake, Wonderful, friendly service. Mostly organic. Daily soups are great. Native Nachos are the best. Too many great menu items to mention all. Try anything and you will like it. Staff is efficient and can serve very quickly.

Pros: Great food, healthy, Friendly staff
  • vegannomad2 vegannomad2

    My only complaint is they may add sugar to some of the foods for taste. I prefer my sugar in a dessert when I choose to have it. Leave it out of the main dishes. Pizzas are not the best - but good.

    more-less
abbybarker
abbybarker
  • vegan
Contributions
+38

Lots of choice

4 Posted on 05 / 08 / 2012

The food here was really good, nice to have some healthy choices (Moroccan stew / Bangkok curry) as well as the usual burgers. Large portions, good value for money. Lavender lemonade was refreshing. Wish I had tried a cupcake, they looked YUM!

Pros: Lots of choice, Quick service, Lavender lemonade
Petesternz
Petesternz
  • vegan
Contributions
+658

YUM!!!!!

5 Posted on 04 / 23 / 2012

What can I say? This place was ridiculously good. The Mushroom/Seitan burger was one of the very best vegan dishes I've ever eaten, with smoky mushroom flavour mixing with impeccably cooked tofu. I loved my kale side dish, and my wife's burger was also yummy. The free refills of watermelon juice and lemonade washed it all down. THe only non-perfect dish was the brownie, which was still above average. One of my new favourites....


CatherineM
CatherineM
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+57

Excellent!

5 Posted on 04 / 14 / 2012

I went here for the first time today; the service was quick and the food tasty. If you're looking for a healthy meal this probably isn't the place for you. But the chips and burgers were good, and it was great to find a vegan place. Good value too.

Pros: Great staff, Cheap, Nice atmosphere
Cons: A bit junk-foody
mollypitcher
mollypitcher
  • vegan
Contributions
+49

Very dissapointing

2 Posted on 04 / 10 / 2012

I was so excited for a new vegan option in downtown Chicago; unfortunately the food did not live up to my expectations. It was very artificial tasting and a little too junk-foodie for my tastes. And to top all that some friends and I went here for lunch and had a horrible experience, the costumer service was almost non-existent. So I wrote their headquarters to complain and received zero response. This tells you a little something about how they run their business. The food tastes like fast food and their complete disregard for the costumer's experience mimics the fast food industry. I'm sorry I don't have anything good to say about this place.


Cons: Customer Service, over-priced , noisy
vivavegan23
vivavegan23
  • vegan
Contributions
+39

Amazing Comfort Food

5 Posted on 03 / 31 / 2012

This was my first Native Foods that I had ever been to. They have good comfort foods. I tried the chili cheese fries and the Native Chicken Wings. Both were really good, however, the Native Chicken Wings did freak me out a bit. Your first time at Native Foods, you can sign up for their card and you get a free drink. Their drinks also have free refills. They have three to choose from, Lavender Lemonade, Watermelon Fresca, and Native Iced Tea. I thought the Lavender Lemonade and the Native Iced Tea were the best! The best thing about Native Foods is that it is a vegan restaurant, so I could order anything on the menu!!!

Pros: Vegan Restaurant, Friendly Staff, Good Food
SynthVegan
SynthVegan
  • vegan
Contributions
+2506

Native Foods - The Loop

5 Posted on 01 / 07 / 2012

FINALLY open, hooray! Now I can stuff my face with vegan goodness during my lunch break.

I'll keep this short and sweet. I've had nearly everything on the menu, if you're looking for a burger, go with the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger (my absolute favorite) or the Chicken Run Ranch Burger. I also love the Chicago Dip Au Jus and the Italian Meatball sub. For a healthier option, go with the Yo Amigo Taco Salad or even the appetizer salad. My bf loves the chicken wings too...



 

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Last updated: 2014/01/03

 

Added: 2011/09/18

 

Added by: SynthVegan

 

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