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Kramer's Health Foods Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 14 reviews )
Contact 312-922-0077

230 S Wabash Ave Ste 2, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60603

Serves meat, vegan options available. Veg-friendly cafe and juice bar upstairs from the health food store and closed 1 hour before the store does. Takeout and quick-grab fridge is downstairs at the store. Not wheelchair accessible. Originally reported as vegetarian but 2014 menu shows now has meat. Open Mon-Sat 8:30am-6:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Juice bar, Take-out, Non-veg

Reviews (14)

First Review by Absolutroyalt

Downtown hidden vegan gem - Edit

This place is pretty fantastic for cheap and delicious vegan lunch. They have a permanent menu and seasonal specials. They prepare everything for you when you order but also offer prepackaged food from external vendors downstairs. If you're hungry, get their daily special combo which includes soup, entree and juice for just $10. Can't beat that price in the loop!

They also have juices, smoothies, elixirs (shots), salads, paninis, burger, burrito, ratatouille, tabbuleh, lentil dal. For $2.50 you can add soup AND juice to any of these.

Order and eat upstairs, pay downstairs. Relatively short wait, even during peak hours. Staff are friendly.

Pros: fresh, price, variety

Cons: they close kitchen earlier than store, they run out of daily special

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Fully Veg - Edit

It states that Kramer's serves meat, but they went fully veg last year. They offer a daily special Mon-Fri. When I worked at the Chicago Symphony I would always try to go on Friday for tofu taco day, which is their best item by far! Otherwise all the sandwiches can be made vegan. They are not the best I've ever had, but for a small veg deli it certainly hit the spot. If you get the combo you get a juice, which is great for a mid-day pick me up. The Farmer's salad with tempeh bacon and vegan dressing is a fantastic. If you're in the loop Mon-Fri I highly recommend.

Pros: Friendly staff, Fresh juice with meal, Mostly vegan

Cons: Small seating, Moderately expensive, Line forms at lunch time

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Look up or you'll miss it! - Edit

This great little health food cafe is in the back of Kramer's Health Food Store up a flight of stairs and I bet a lot of regular shoppers don't even know its there! It would be a shame to miss because it has a great group of workers who really went out of their way to not only feed me, but ask my questions about my healthy vegan diet! I am happy to share my weight-loss and health success and it isn't often that I'm asked why I request oil-free and low fat vegan food. I had a nice conversation as they made me an amazing burrito!!! Beans/Rice and all the fresh veggies they had! I've never had a hot burrito with fresh veggies and it was amazingly good. It feels like cheating it only costing $5, in LA I'd have to pay 14$ and it wouldn't be half as good! Kramer's Cafe is a STEAL for downtown Chicago and healthy vegan food! You pay at the register on the way out and its a great little HFS, too!

Pros: burrito!, caring staff, burrito!

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Impressive and Homey - Edit

In context this place is fantastic. It does not purport to be a first class dining experience, but it is not pretentious and serves it role as a good, wholesome,affordable and convenient vegetairan cafe. I was only here once but was quite pleased with the food and service. The Cafe has about 15 tables and is the in the back of the heath food store upstairs. While I saw that they had a great lunch special, I decided to order ala carte. My decision was made easier by the delightfullady behind the counter who let me try things to see what I liked.

I ended up ordering the Teriyaki Seitan Stirfry and the Watermelon Gazpacho Soup. I could not have been more pleased with the stirfy. It was a special that day, and i feel it really ecompassed the place. While I would not say it had a definitive Teriyaki flavor, it did have a wonderful sweet and sour sauce, which tasted very home made, and I could practically taste my moms home cooking it, I couldnt even picture the ingredients they were using. The plate came overflowing with both rice, seitan, veges and sauce and was a meal in itself.

As i was tempted by the name i decided to order the Gazpacho soup. Overall it was a good gazpach, with the flavor right on. My issue was more the watermelon, it did not add anything at all to the soup, and I guess I was hoping that it would be more of a cold summer fruit soup and it just turned out to be gazpacho with watermelon pieces in it. I would have liked a bit more creativity.

As of now Im already looking forward to coming back and trying some of their sanwiches which looked beautiful. I walked out feeling like i had good home cooked meal. Nothing I ate there or saw there left me wondering "wow how did they make that" but you know what, who cares? it all tasted great! and while nothing particularly wowwed me, I walked out smiling and my stomach did too!

Pros: Smack in the Center of Town, Great Home Cooked Food, Great selection and prices

Cons: Could be a little more Creative, Not Eleagant or romantic

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"meh" - Edit

my partner and i went to chicago for vacation, and were looking for good vegan places in the loop. after reading so many good reviews, we were pumped to try out kramer's health foods cafe. the cafe is in the upstairs portion of the store, and seems kind of haphazardly put together. it's not very welcoming, and has more of a cafeteria feel to it. i got the briam burrito (cooked mixed veggies and brown rice on a wrap, pico de gallo on the side) and my partner got the falafel with vegan dressing, both under $5. their lunch special seems like a good deal; you can get a sandwich, soup, and fresh-pressed juice for a reasonably cheap price (under $7 i believe). but their soup didn't throw me (a watery-looking black bean) and the vegetables i saw them turning into juice all seemed dirty (i.e., still brown with dirt). the staff was very nice and pleasant to talk to, and i was really hoping that the food would be good. unfortunately, my burrito turned out to be a grey-looking mass on an ezekiel wrap and yielded a disappointingly bland flavor. the pico de gallo wasn't bad, but certainly wasn't good enough to save the meal. my partner described his falafel as "good, but nothing above satisfactory". however, the health food store seemed very well-stocked but a little over-priced. i would go back to patron the store, but not the cafe.

Pros: friendly staff, well-stocked store

Cons: bland, uninteresting, cafeteria-like

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great local cafe and health food store - Edit

I love this place. The cafe is delicious, and they have rotating specials, and the staff is super friendly.

The cafe serves hot, homemade meals daily during lunch, and if you get there late or you're in a rush, they have chilled take-away lunches available with their own menu items as well as Soul Vegan brand dishes.

The juice bar is great too, and with the health food store downstairs there's something for everybody! I always had a hard time finding veggie jerky (I crave the stuff!), until I found Kramers - they have 3 different brands, and flavors I'd never tried before!

Pros: Good food, Local, Convenient

Cons: Small-ish menu

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Love this place! - Edit

For the most part, I bring my lunch to work as the vegetarian options in the Loop area can be limited. However, on those days that I don't bring my lunch, I ALWAYS go to Kramers! I love their falafel sandwich and the fresh, vegetable juice. Yummy! The chefs are very friendly and they always engage with the customers. They are genuinely happy to see you. I do wish they would expand to the South Chicago area and that they would include more options on their menu. Overall, great cafe and great store!

Pros: Excellent food, Great customer service

Cons: Need more food options in cafe, More locations

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I need more! - Edit

I like this place so much, I wish they think of branching it to more locations! I live in the suburbs and every time I go to Chicago I stop by at Kramer's for a bite. Very friendly, relaxed atmosphere (and good music), the stuff is nice and helpful. Always a good choice of vegetarian and vegan options. The food is very rich, filling and pleasing. And the prices are great too.
Will be great to have a copy of it somewhere else, possibly with outdoor patio.

Pros: tasty, cheap, convenient

Cons: only 1 location

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Fantastic Cafe - Edit

A fantastic vegan cafe in downtown. Was my first day in downtown Chicago and came across this cafe as I was strolling down. To my surprise, it exceeded my expectation. They have a cafe upstairs that serves hot food like veggie burger, burritos and soups. They also have great fresh juices at really down to earth prices. There is also a selection of cold salads downstairs by the cash till which are great! I am glad I found this place on the first day of my week's stay in Chicago. Will definitely go back there!

Pros: Cheap, Quick, Centrally located

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Good workday choice - Edit

I have been eating lunch here for about 15 years. It is better under the new management that took over a few years ago. The cooks have been here for years. It is a handy, affordable, busy place for lunch on workdays. The Marrakesh Stew is very popular. The salads and juices are very fresh and good. The juices are better-tasting and more reasonably-priced than elsewhere. The soups are hearty. My only criticism is that in some of the dishes (the bean burrito filling and one of their otherwise very good stews), they feel compelled to put in these little chunks of veggie dogs that aren't that good and don't work. There is also a refrigerated takeout case and frozen items that can be brought back to the office. Busy at lunchtime with a diverse crowd of loyal, health-conscious customers.

Pros: good value, friendly staff

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Great Lunch Option In The Loop! - Edit

This is a great lunch option if you work in the loop. I'm unaware of their hours, so I'm unsure if they're open during the evening or on weekends. I really like their Veggie chili; although I think they use different ingredients each day...but it's always good. They have Vegan packaged cookies that are out of this world there and also offer several Vegan snacks, entrees, drinks, etc. Check it out if you work in the loop! Also, when you walk in, just go to the back of the store, as the restaurant is upstairs. ;)

Cons: Forget trying to park! ;)

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Great lunch place in the loop! - Edit

I had no idea there was a lil vegan cafe upstairs to this health store...And the daily special on Tuesday, this stew, is sooo good and one order was enough for two. You should definitely give it a try. Get there a lil before 12pm to beat the lunch crowd.

Pros: Friendly staff, Excellent Food, Large portions

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DELISH! (and cheap!) - Edit

i'm a flight attendant and am always looking for new places to try. kramers is two blocks from where we stay in chicago so i decided to see what it was like. yeah!!! its a good sized store with a TON of vegan choices. they have bars bars bars galore, which i love since i can only find limited brands where i live. they have a juice bar upstairs (i didnt get a chance to try it) and a lot of fresh vegan and raw food chices in there refridgerated section. the first night i went i got their seitan curry salad (made on site) which was amazing!!! it has walnuts, carrots, seitan, curry, raisins, peppers, and more. it was so flavorful and crunchy- i could live on it. i also tried a small round packaged date cake which was yummy. the next day i was going to be flying all day so i went back in the morning and again got the curry salad, but also got a cactus salad a prepackaged blondie and vegan jalapeno cheese spread. i was nervous about the salad because my mother in-law grows her own cactus and makes the salad, but this was (dare i say) even better! it was so fresh and spicy. yummy. cactus, tomatoes and jalapenos. i havent tried the vegan cheese yet but its really high in fiber and low in fat which im excited about. the two salads were $3.99 each (one is pretty filling) and the cheese was $4.99. i wanted the vegan mole but they were out. they also had vegan taco salad, carrot salad, quiche, sunflower pate, chick'n sandwiches, etc. great place! i cant wait for a nother layover n chicago so i can go.

Pros: fresh, cheap, lots of choices

Cons: not open very late

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Meets ALL your Needs - Edit

THis is a health store as well as restaurant and they have shelves upon shelves of vegetarian foods and "green"" household products! The location is extremely convienient right off E Jackson.

Pros: LOCATION and CHilli

Cons: nadda

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