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Native Foods Cafe - The Loop

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

Quick service vegan restaurant chain originating from Southern California. Offers an original menu of fusion bowls, burgers and wraps, salads, desserts, chai with soymilk, organic coffee, and more. This outlet opened in Jan 2012.

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

Reviews (50)

First Review by SynthVegan

Amazing - Edit

My mom, sister and I visited Native Foods and I fell in love! Even my mom who isn't vegan or vegetarian thought it was delicious! They have so many tasty options, I was overwhelmed and could barely choose! Definitely going back soon!


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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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Meh - Edit

We rushed right over here when we got to Chicago. The ordering is a little weird because stuff on a board lists 'favorite' items, but those are not priced and not on the menu. So, ?
But we got a chic'n avo bacon sandwich, it was pretty good. The fries came barely warm, and are pretty lame shoestring fries. Also, got a seitan sandwich that was mediocre. Their tofu bacon is not as tasty as the stuff I make at home. We got a cupcake with salted caramel frosting. The cake was good, the frosting didn't have any particular flavor and was too soft. The whole experience was just so mediocre.

Because of the location (the only veg place in the Loop) we went back there on our way out of town. We got the Buffalo Wings. They are tasty, but the texture is a little soft. My husband got the Gyro Salad Bowl; he liked it except the vegetables were in huge chunks and hard to cut even with a knife. It also had huge pieces of raw kale, which is pretty tough. I ordered the Meatball Bowl with Mango-Lime because it was the only one without kale. So they brought it out and it's loaded with raw kale. They seemed all surprised when I pointed this out, but were very nice and brought it back without the kale/salad (because the kale is already mixed in, they said). It was so much less food it was ridiculous. It looked like I had half the quinoa my husband got. However, the meatballs were fantastic and the flavors overall were great. Both visits, it took a surprisingly long time to get our food. It was a real mixed bag, disappointing since we were so psyched to get there.

Cons: Menu inaccuracy


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love this place so much!!! - Edit

Just arrived from NC and use this app to find this gem. I am so happy I found this place I am coming every day. There food is fresh, no GMOs and all vegan. They even have a lot of gluten free items which I need. I ordered so much because I couldn't decide. Definitely recommend this place. The tacos and kale cheese dip are so delicious.

Pros: vegan, gluten free, fresh


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amazing so yummy !!! - Edit

So good ! I ate there 5 times in a row and loved everything I had especially the sliders and the child cheese fries with the cashew cheese !!!!!!!!!! And the peanut butter parfait

Pros: fast , quick service, very nice staff

Cons: a little pricey and they need to do breakfast !!


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Oh so good - Edit

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.

Pros: Everything is delicious, Great drinks, Great desserts


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Very, very good!!! - Edit

I was there (and in the second restaurant next to Hyde Park) a few times now and it was always very, very good! We ate tree different burgers, the soul bowl and the chili fries and we loved it. The food is not very expensive (but more than in Europe or in Vienna (where I live), but it was ok and a menu is a lot,so you don't need more than that. The drinks are very good, because there a not typical for a burger restaurant - there are different ice teas without sugar and in exotic flavours like lavender. All in all I would always go there again (and I will)!

Cons: very tasty burger, awesome chili fries, inexpensive


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Hope to visit again to try some more menu items - Edit

Wide selection, we really enjoyed the wrap, burger, peanut butter parfait we ordered. Nice to have some unusual but tasty lemonades to choose from too.


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offers something others don't - Edit

Really good, like every other Native Foods Cafe - BUT they had "Double Delight Chocolate Brownies" there!! WOW! They were soooo good :) I miss them already!

Amazing service (high praise for Cristina!)

Native Foods is the place to go.


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A Little Slice of Heaven! - Edit

This restaurant gave me EXACTLY what I needed in a world where professional events are catered with foods that don't cater to vegans. The Thai Meatball Earthbowl and crispy sweet potato fries left me satiated and satisfied! The carrot cream cupcake made with almond milk was the perfect succulent finish! This place gave me life!

Pros: 100% Plant Based, SEVERAL vegan options


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Tasty and Centrally Located - Edit

I think this is a five star restaurant for what it is - a vegan chain in a very central location. Everything I've tried here was delicious and the service really friendly. I do agree with one of the other reviewers who points out there are more unique vegan restaurants to be found in Chicago. For a quick lunch this location of Native foods is great, but I probably wouldn't go for dinner, as there is vegan food with more complex flavors to be had at other restaurants. That being said, you might try to get here a bit early for lunch, because it gets really crowded!

Pros: Location, Tasty Food, Quick Service


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quality fast food done right - Edit

Excellent. We eat at this location a couple of times while in town. Friendly staff and lots of seating. They even have a large harvest style table to accommodate large groups.

I like that there is lots of options on the menu. You can get something like the ranch burger and fries if you are feeling more like a filling treat meal. You can also get the tacos or a huge salad if you are feeling like something lighter and healthier.

Love all the teas and the fresh watermelon juice and lemonade. Free refills too! And lots of desserts and cookies to go (handy to grab a couple of you are traveling like we were).
We'll defiantly be back next time we're in town!

Pros: great variety, filling tasty food, healthy fresh options


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Wow! Delicious Vegan Offerings!! Great Price! - Edit

I had one of the best vegan meals ever at Native Foods... Wow!

Native Foods may look like a quick-foods' place since patrons order at the counter, however, the food is top-notch. Their menu is filled with delicious vegetable offerings, wonderful healthy sauces, kale and tempeh dishes, salads, wraps, and soups.

Obviously, others feel the same way. This place was packed during the rush hour. Luckily, I was able to find a table.

The food was fresh and sooo delicious! I can't wait to go back.

Pros: Yummy food - the best!, Great creativity & variety in their menu, Fairly priced

Cons: Noisy and croweded during the lunch hour


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A great lunch or weekend spot! - Edit

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


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Great Standby - Edit

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


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Delicious, quick and friendly service! - Edit

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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Newly renovated and enlarged - Edit

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!


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My favorite lunch spot! - Edit

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!


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Great discovery - Edit

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


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Who's writing all these 5 star reviews? - Edit

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


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loved it! - Edit

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


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Amazing - Edit

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


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I felt like a rock star - Edit

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


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Healthy eats in the Loop - Edit

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


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Healthy and hearty! - Edit

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


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Great place for casual eats - Edit

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


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Meh. - Edit

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


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Quick and all vegetarian! - Edit

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


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Wonderful comfort food! - Edit

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


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Tasty Food - Edit

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


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All the vegan travellers out there - Edit

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


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Great Place for Lunch - Edit

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


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Way better than in California!!! Great lunch spot - Edit

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!


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good food, big portions - Edit

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


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nice variety of great food - Edit

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


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The Best - Edit

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

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Lots of choice - Edit

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


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YUM!!!!! - Edit

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....


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Excellent! - Edit

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


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Very dissapointing - Edit

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


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Amazing Comfort Food - Edit

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


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Native Foods - The Loop - Edit

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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