This long-established vegetarian turned vegan restaurant in 2014. Daily specials. Laid back, college atmosphere in the basement of a moldering old church building on campus. Hosts live music and open mic. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan, American, International, Organic, Take-out
1209 W Oregon St (basement)
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Mon-Fri 9:00am-2:30pm, Wed 5:00pm-8:00pm, Thu 8:00pm-11:00pm

  • Accepts credit cards


First Review by RonCann
  • vegan

Love the new menu!

Posted on 12 / 05 / 2014

I've lived in the CU area for 7 years and have seen the Red Herring go through a few rounds of management. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of my meals and visits under the newest leadership.

As someone who eats a vegan diet, I sincerely appreciate their innovative dishes and commitment to variety. There are a few staples I always look forward to ordering, like the falafel or BBQ seitan, but I almost always end up getting one of their specials, which are always delicious.

Red Herring and the Channing Murray Foundation also provide a vegan-style atmosphere committed to community and social justice -- the location and vibe of the Red Herring really embodies what they are doing with their food.

The only areas of criticism I have are that music performances aren't always appropriate for the lunch hour because people are trying to meet over lunch, or study between classes. I understand music is a big part of their venue, but perhaps save it for dinner events. Also, some portion sizes are pretty small for the price, but I'm usually okay with it because staff seem to be paid a living wage, and put a lot of time and love into their food. I'd rather spend a few extra dollars for what Red Herring serves than get a cheap, basic meal somewhere else.

Keep up the great work, Red Herring -- you are an asset to campus and our community!

Pros: Campus location great for vegan lunch!, Fantastic variety of delicious dishes, Community-supportive atmosphere
Cons: Some portions small for price, Live music during lunch too loud
  • mostly-vegetarian

Funky but chic

Posted on 09 / 19 / 2012

The Red Herring has been serving vegetarian food since 1976. The building it is housed in is a 100+ year old Unitarian church arts & crafts building on the national registry of historic buildings. It is a non-profit organization.

The food is lacto-ovo with many vegan options. Expertly prepared by hand every day from as many local ingredients as are seasonally available. They are now serving dinner on Friday and Saturday from 6-9PM as well as lunches from 11Am-3PM. The second Saturday of every month is a special chef's table dinner utilizing ingredients purchased that day from the local farmer's market almost entirely.

Pros: made from scratch , local food, very affordable
Cons: service can be slow at peak lunch time


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Last updated: 2015/08/02


Added: 2007/08/01


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