Native Foods Cafe - The Loop

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 74 reviews )
Contact
312-332-6332
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218 S Clark St, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60604

Small chain of vegan restaurants originating from Southern California. Offers a menu of sandwiches, veggie burgers, bowls, salads, and others. Order at the counter and food is brought to your table. This one est. 2012. Open Mon-Sat 11:00am-9:00pm, Sun 11:00am-7:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, American, Fast food, Take-out, Catering, Fusion

74 Reviews

First Review by SynthVegan

soooooo good! - Edit

This is my first time here. I’ve been wanting to try this place since turning vegan. Unfortunately, I don’t have one where I live. I’m visiting Chicago and was excited when I saw this pop up on Happy Cow! I had the soul bowl which delicious and fulfilling! My husband ( who isn’t vegan, yet) has a burger and loved it! Can’t wait to try more, before we leave!

Pros: prices

Cons: don’t have one near me

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delicious - Edit

This restaurant has really great food. My brother, meat eater, recently said that he wishes this place would open a restaurant closer to our house so he could eat there regularly. Their tacos are great. Their fried cauliflower and wings are delicious and they have fast service

Pros: price, speed

Cons: really far from my house

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Hit or miss food, GREAT service - Edit

We had nachos (disappointing), chicken sandwich & fries (both AMAZING), kids mac & cheese (gross). Also tried chocolate cupcakes (great), blondies (great), sea salt caramel brownies (great), peanut butter cups (very meh) and chocolate-covered sea salt caramels (barely edible).

But the service was FABULOUS, and there were tons of options. I'd visit again (but stick to things I knew I'd like).

Pros: amazing service, diverse offerings, all vegan, yay!

Cons: really hit or miss food, loud-ish music

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Great vegan Food! - Edit

This place is really great. The food is delicious, and some of the items are really unique, like the Chicken and waffles dish.

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always a fave! - Edit

I was so happy to find out that this place was right downtown. There's a bit of construction going on there, so it may be easy to overlook (but they do have some signage outside). I had the chicken and avocado club - excellent, of course - and the peanut butter parfait (my new best friend in life!). This location offers chicken and waffles on the weekends only. I'll have to try this at my next visit.

Pros: options, good tasting food fast

Cons: parking could be difficult (it's downtown - just w

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Wow! - Edit

This place is the best vegan place my husband and I have been to yet. The flavors of everything were off the charts good. The oatmeal cream pies were incredible. The variety of options was impressive and we ate at multiple locations. The lavender lemonade is so yummy. No complaints at all!

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Second visit even better then the last. - Edit

I was here a few weeks ago and had an AWESOME philly cheese steak. (I am 45 year philly native - I know cheesesteaks! Probably why I went plant based/vegan) My cousin who lives in chicago knows the owner of this specific spot and recommends it highly.

This visit I had the spicy cauliflower, very nice! And then for a main the Portobello Jibarito sandwich which was wonderful and flavorfull!! The plantain bread was a great gluten free option.

The watermelon fresca for a drink and finished with the peanut butter ice cream sundae. Oooh boy nice ending!!!

Pros: lots of vegan variety and options.

Cons: out of kombucha on my second visit ( had to think

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Great atmosphere and food - Edit

Very reasonable price and excellent food that even my non-vegan friends enjoy.

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tasty, affordable - Edit

Loved this place. Great things on the menu, good service and nice seating area. No wi-fi though.

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Very good but could use a bit more effort. - Edit

I first went to a Native Foods in 1998 in Palm Springs. None exist near me in Florida so I was excited to visit again while in Chicago. The peanut butter parfait was SUPERB, and the Reuben was good, but a tad lazily put together. There was one small squirt of dressing in one spot of the sandwich, and everyone knows the dressing is an important flavor in a Rueben. Still, I may have to go back tomorrow because I love Native Foods Cafe.

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Great Food!! - Edit

I had the Moroccan bowl and loved it! This place has so many options and I really enjoyed coming here.

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Meh - Edit

I was pretty excited about this place, but they were just ok. I ordered the wings, sweet potato fries, kale and watermelon fresca. Even though they had me repeat my order, they got it wrong. Then, when they were bringing out my food, they forgot it was a to go order, and they only brought out the wings. The wings were not very flavorful. If I went again, I'd probably order something else. I'd be willing to try again next time I'm in the area

Pros: Great variety, Location, They have a cookbook I might like to try

Cons: Wait time, Staff seem stressed and forgetful

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So many choices - Edit

I love whatever I get every time I visit Native Foods. I've always had nice service at the loop location as well. I'm not sure about their GF options but they have plenty of things for my nut free and vegan diet.

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Slow service - Edit

I love native foods however this location I've found to have terrible service. Both times I've ordered online my order wasn't ready. Since this is near the loop I always order ahead since parking is limited. Last time the manger was the one assisting me and I had to wait 20 minutes after arriving for my online order. Luckily a nice employee working the floor helped me and was more knowledgeable than the manager on what was going on with my order. I love their food, but recommend a different location.

Pros: Great food , Inexpensive

Cons: Order never ready on time , Clueless management

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vegan but not gluten free - Edit

My husband had a nice looking burger. Due to my VGF and nut-free status I ended up with their dill potato salad and a small green salad. Bummer.

Pros: vegan

Cons: minimal GF options

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wonderful ev-er-y time :) - Edit

We are Native Foods junkies and go here every time we are in a city that hosts one of these amazing restaurants! We have visited multiple locations in Chicago and SoCal, and are always welcomed with the best folks and most delicious food. This is a staple stop, for sure!

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nice food, lacking flavour - Edit

lovely, spacious place with many many options on the menu!
had the soul bowl. nice mix of veg salad chicken sticks. especially the chicken was amazing. the rest was good, very fresh, but lacking a bit of flavour - which is weird as it came with both a bbq sauce and also some white dressing...

drinks are fantastic!!! there's different options of lemonade and iced tea. some unsweetened. free refills!!

service was excellent!

Pros: choice, drinks!!, service

Cons: lack of flavour

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A great all-around vegan option - Edit

I enjoyed several trips to this restaurant during a winter business trip to the city. A wide variety of items in something approaching a fast-food-type setup. I enjoyed the quality and healthfulness of the food, as well as the variety of flavors on the menu. A non-vegan colleague who joined me for one meal commented somewhat favorably. Finding this place made the trip much more enjoyable than another trip I took for the same conference some years ago. The OC Raw Chopper was among the salads I enjoyed. I look at the menu and am reminded that it is full of renditions of American comfort-food-type classics, reminiscent of a chain restaurant with a laminated menu somewhere on the road..

Pros: variety of serious, nutrient dense menu items, convenient hours compared to nearby alternatives

Cons: lack of dishes with fruit, berries, and melon

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Oh so good - Edit

I'm disappointed that I have to downgrade my rating a little bit. I went to Native Foods twice during a short visit to Chicago. The menu and restaurants was mostly the same as I remembered it, but the quality was not as good as I recall.

I ordered the chicken run ranch and the scorpion burger. A few small things about each:
The burgers had flavorless shredded iceberg lettuce that really didn't add much
The burgers would benefit from some tomato
The buns were crumbly and lacked flavor
The selection of sauces used to be extensive and exciting, but now it seems to mainly consist of standard Heinz bottles.

I admit that I'm being super nitpicky here, as the food and experience is still quite good overall. It's just that Native Foods used to be my favorite place for veggie burgers, but now I can think of many restaurants and food trucks around the country that do it a bit better.
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I love Native foods. Creative, compassionate, and scrumptious food. I really like the Scorpion Burger and the Chicken Run Ranch. In truth, everything is fantastic.

I was in Chicago for four days and I went to this location three times (and another location once). That just about says it all.

Updated from previous review on 2015-09-04

Pros: Everything is delicious, Great drinks, Great desserts

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Great place! - Edit

I go all the time and order the meatiest non-meat things on their menu, the hamburgers and the meatball sub are delicious.

Pros: Delicious food, They use "Ritual," the take-out app , Fast food

Cons: They need to be in more locations around the city!

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Great comfort food - Edit

Burgers, bowls and much more! If you like great vegan options, you will love this place

Pros: burger

Cons: none

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AMAZING - Edit

I have visited Native Foods Cafe two times, with family members who love meat. Not only did they enjoy the food, they suggested we come back again! We have tried the Chips and Salsa, the Native Nachos, Big Ol' Barbecue Burger, the Native Chicken, Bacon and Avo Club, the Portobello and Sausage Burger, and the Native Southwester Burger. Everything we have tried so far was DELICIOUS! I can't wait to come visit again and try other things!

Updated from previous review on 2016-06-23

Pros: EVERYTHING

Cons: none

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The Mcdonalds of Vegan Food, it should become the norm and replace Mcdonald's. - Edit

It reminds me of Mcdonald's in the way that its always consistent in quality and taste, which is a good thing. It's also because it's a chain thats sprinkled across the Chicago area and I've found in emergencies I'm always close to a Native Foods Cafe and my day is saved. Theres no guess work, its a fully vegan place with no worries of animal products. It fares well with everyone that I've made try, practically everything on the menu is delicious. Its expensive because its quality food, and I feel that the price is justified for what you're getting. It's so popular I rarely find a day where the place is empty unless you come in unusually early. Before I was vegan I was coming here because its delicious, not even realizing that what I was eating had no animal products. I come to this chain on the regular and always have a good experience.

One day me and my friend were waiting past 30min for our food and the manager noticed us and came out and sincerely apologized for the wait and gave us our food for FREE. No charge. The company cares and has excellent ethics all around, for the animals and its customers.

Best drink is the lavender lemonade, absolutely obsessed with it. The handhelds and burgers are amazing. Make sure to make an account to gather points for free stuff and come in Wednesdays for Bogo days where a meal could be free or half price!

Pros: Consistent Quality and Taste, Ethical Staff, Clean

Cons: Sometimes Crowded, Native Oklahoma Classic = Bleh, Certain places don't have lavender lemonade

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Wow! Delicious!! - Edit

I've always wanted to try Native Foods but usually too rushed to get back on the train. It would've been worth the wait -for the next train, even if I would've missed it! I ordered a salad (Ensalada Azteca) and sandwich (chicken, bacon & avo club- all vegan of course) with a side of potato salad. Best vegan food I've had in a long time! I'm very excited about this place. It's fresh and portion size was perfect.

Pros: delicious, creative options, fresh, fast, friendly

Cons: none

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Best vegan place in the Loop - Edit

This Native Food café is very, very convenient since there are not many places where to eat vegan on the Loop. It is one of my favourite, it offers many vegan options, most of them are very tasty. Their desserts are also very good and prices are fair. I found that some burgers were a bit dry (more sauce would be great) but otherwise, the place is perfect. You are served quickly, the staff is friendly and you have room inside. My wish is that they open later! 9:00 pm is too early...

Pros: many choices, good food, nice place, great desserts, central location

Cons: some burgers may be a bit dry, closes too early

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Great selection of vegan meals - Edit

When we entered this place, we couldn't believe that everything was vegan - amazing selection from soups, salads, burgers, bowls and healthy drinka. The "meats" have a similar taste to real ones, so it felt funny eating bacon, chicken and the likes. The food is very tasty and I like how all the ingredients blend together. I especially liked the nachos (at least for 2!) and the Bangkok curry bowl.

Pros: Selection, Staff, Time to get the order

Cons: Size of portions are unpredictable

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Yum! - Edit

Delicious vegan food. My favorites are chicken, bacon and avocado club and the soul bowl. We go there quite often and accumulate points for doing so. Love it when they have bogo

Cons: Can be expensive

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