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Native Foods - Wicker Park

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 20 reviews )
Contact 773-489-8480
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1484 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60622

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. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm.

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

Reviews (20)

First Review by SynthVegan

Just okay with a few items that keep me coming back - Edit

I've eaten here a few times and overall find the food overpriced for the quality. The Reuben is just bad: over spiced and disappointing. However, the fries are great and the carrot cake cupcake is the best I've ever had. I also tried the chicken run ranch burger and the soul bowl; they were both okay but not amazing.

Pros: entirely vegan menu

Cons: overpriced


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Love this place - Edit

If you're vegan/vegetarian, this vegan chain is a must. I love the idea of this place. It feels like a regular family restaurant (not too out-there), but all-vegan! Yummy classic American foods with a meat-free twist. Burgers, fake meats, nut cheeses, salads, wraps, etc. Let's keep supporting this place and maybe it will expand even farther!!

Pros: Nice vibe, Friendly staff, Good food

Cons: Should have more menu options, None in northeast!


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Very Nice, casual - Edit

Cafeteria style, sandwich and lunch oriented. Lots of fake meat hamburgers and chicken burgers-- but they were good. Lots of college students, some high schoolers after 3pm. Service was quick, food delivered promptly. The order taker was helpful when I told her it was my first Vista there. Casual, but pleasant atmosphere. Limited parking in a shopping neighborhood. Good vegan food, plenty of choices.

Pros: Plenty of vegan choices, Helpful, friendly staff, moderate prices

Cons: Limited parking


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I LOVE NATIVE FOODS! - Edit

I totally adore Native Foods! I must admit, I prefer it over Chicago Diner now! I love that there are multiple locations and it is expanding too! I wish Nashville would get one! I think it is great that it makes vegan food easily accessible to all - with reasonable prices and not too much of a wait. Love the artwork too!

My favourite is the Chicken Run Ranch Burger - but there are so many dishes yet for me to try! Can't wait to go next time I am up in Chicago!

Pros: Great vegan food , Reasonably priced , Accessible to all


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An old favorite in a new place! - Edit

I was really thrilled to visit NF in Chicago, as I had loved their food in LA a few years ago. On a visit to Chicago two weeks ago, I went to two Chicago NF restaurants. I stumbled onto the Wicker Park location by accident, two days after eating at the Hyde Park location. I was excited to see the R+D menu items. I got the French Market Muffaletta. It did not disappoint. The seitan was super thin, and the sandwich seemed to have a million layers of ingredients.

My only complaint is that is was perhaps a tad too salty. I also wish that they had been a bit more generous with the pickled vegetable mix.

Pros: excellent food


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Delicious! - Edit

I love Native Foods. 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. Non-vegetarians love this place too!


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Great vegan now in Chicago - Edit

I have always loved your food. I live in Los Angeles I have friends and family in Chicago. I went to your new resturant while I was there. I am glad you have gone to Chicago. Now I know where I can get good vegan food while I am in Chicago. Thanks a bunch for the great move. Are you planing to move to other states as well? I hope so, other states need to have a great place to get good vegan food too. Your Favorite Customer Tyannah Nicoles.

Pros: excellent food, health cuisine, Good Vegan food

Cons: none, none , none


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5 Cows! - Edit

I was seriously craving a sloppy joe so I ordered two of them (they're on the kids menu). Just one of them was enough to fill me up so I had leftovers. They use edamame beans and make a cute smiley face on the sandwich for the kids. It was delicious!

My only 'negative' was that when I got my order to go they forgot to give me a number. I didn't realize I was supposed to get a number, so I just sat down and waited for them to bring the order out to me. After waiting about 10 mins I asked how it was coming along and they were like, "oh sorry". It was sitting right on the counter but no one tried to find me. Not a deal breaker though.


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Good Comfort Food - Edit

I have been to Native Foods only once before this visit (at the Chicago loop location). Once again, the food was good! I visited this location with non-vegan friends. This time I got the Daily Special, Portobello & Sausage Burger with Sweet Potato Fries. The Portobello was grilled perfectly and had amazing flavor. Together the Burger was very well paired and tasted excellent. My friends got the Nuevo Native Nachos,Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, and the Twister wrap. I would recommend the nachos and the Portobello & Sausage Burger. I think Native Foods tried to hard to make the Cheeseburger resemble a meat cheeseburger. It has a lot of seitan on it which for me ruined the taste. I would also recommend the Chicken wings over the Twister wrap. My friend ended up buying a chocolate frosted cupcake. The frosting and cupcake was amazing! Their lavender lemonade and Native Iced Tea are excellent drinks.

Pros: Vegan Restaurant, Friendly Staff, Good Food

Cons: Crowded, Noisy


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My favorite in Chicago - Edit

I'm going to say it, despite being a chain, Native Foods is my favorite place in Chicago. Here's why:

Everything I have ever tried is delicious, the staff are nice, this location has some fun local art and it is quicker and easier than a restaurant.

The first thing I tried here was the Twister Wrap as recommended by the staff. It was really good and filling. I liked it so much that I have gone back to Native Foods at least once a week.

Some suggestions: get the special. Everything is good and that way you can get a soup or a side for free. On Fridays (I think) they have a peanut soup that is to die for. They have a pizza that has a fake ricotta cheese. I don't remember the name, but it has lots of veggies and is my favorite vegan pizza so far. The Rocking' Moroccan is my usual favorite.

Staff recognized me by name after just a few visits, they have a loyalty system where you get occasional free meals and discounts.

Pros: Amazing food, Varied Menu, Great Staff


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Great Addition to Chicago Vegan Restaurant Scene - Edit

A great addition to the Chicago vegan restaurant scene. The food is pretty good, but I don't care for the cafeteria-style service. I rather would like a normal sit-down service. Desserts are lovely!

I have written an extensive review on my blog. Please see here: http://veganmiss.blogspot.com/2011/09/vegan-chicago-restaurant-review-of.html

Pros: health-conscious, homemade food, member program

Cons: fast-food style service, expensive


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Thanksgiving Buffet! - Edit

I went to Native Foods for the first time to attend their buffet on Thanksgiving. What a wonderful place. The best Thanksgiving meal I have ever had!

Pros: Yummy Food, Friendly Staff, Casual Environment


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Vegetarian

  Contributions +109

good - Edit

I had their bacon cheeseburger. It's okay, but it won't fool your meat-eating friends. It's not so much a vegan substitute for bacon burgers, it's more like a vegan meal with a bacon burger theme. I also had their sweet potato fries, and they were great! For dessert, I had their cheesecake, which was good. The staff are friendly.

The one big drawback: the place was crowded and noisy.

Pros: lots of choices

Cons: crowded and noisy


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Super yummy vegan restaurant! - Edit

This has got to be one of the best all vegan restaurants in Chicago! The food is tasty and healthy without compromising taste. The staff is helpful and when the weather is nice the outside tables are perfect. I am so happy Native Foods is here in Wicker Park. Too many favorite dishes to list!

Pros: Excellent food, Inexpensive, All vegan


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Welcome to Chicago! - Edit

Hell to the yeah! I'm so excited about this restaurant opening, I don't even care how dorky that phrase is or that I just used it.

I was here for dinner opening day and there was a steady line of people the entire time. The staff handled it like pros. Our food was prepared to perfection in a timely manner. There didn't seem to be any kinks that they had to work out. Very impressive.

I can highly recommend the Ensalada Azteca Salad and the Greek Gyro bowl. Also fantastic was the lavender lemonade.

All vegan, organic, recycled napkins, outdoor seating, water bowls out front for dogs... I love this place. Can't wait to come back again and again. This is the ideal place to bring someone to introduce them to vegan food.

If you're familiar with the neighborhood, Native Foods is just down the street from Bongo Room. Damen Blue Line stop.


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Awesome vegan chain! - Edit

While on vacation in chicago, my partner and I have been on a vegan food tour. After reading an article about Native Foods opening last week in Wicker Park, we decided to check it out. The space is large and inviting with awesome art on the walls. At the counter I informed the cashier about my nut allergy, and she presented me with their nut-free menu and informed her manager about my allergy. I decided on the chicken wings, which come with a choice of buffalo or ranch sauce (I got both). My partner got the oklahoma burger with spiced fries. We also got a $3 cardamom rose cupcake, which was recommended by the cashier. The food came out super fast and super good. The chicken wings were tender and the ranch had great flavor. The buffalo sauce was good, but a bit too vinegary for my taste. The oklahoma burger RULED. It came topped with crispy delicious pickle chips, the cheese had a great melty consistency with a tangy cheddar flavor, and the seitan was chewy and perfect. He didn't like the bun as much, but the guts more than made up for it. The fries were thinly cut and wonderfully spiced. The cupcake was good, but not my favorite part (my partner disagreed and thought it was perfect). I thought there was a bit too much frosting and the rose flavor reminded me of soap. Throughout the whole meal, wait staff and managers kept checking in with us to make sure everything was going well. It was a little bit overkill, but thoughtful all the same, especially since they were busy. Overall, a great lunch! I would definitely go there again. Also, what an incredible win for veganism to have such a successful chain. I hope they branch out to the east coast!

Pros: attentive and friendly wait staff, excellent food, good value


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Great Food EVEN FOR Non Vegan Vegetarian - Edit

The title says it all. I discovered this group of restaurants in SoCal and was glad to see them expand to Chicago.

Convinced to check out the food by a passionate vegan, I discovered this is a great place for people like me to be exposed to alternative ways to dine. Great flavor profiles and fantastic deserts. I also like the fact that every few months they come out with new ideas and flavors.

So, all you vegan/vegetarians...you can convince your non-beleievers to try the food and feel that they will enjoy.

Now, if they would put one at O'Hare and DFW so when I pass through the airports, I would be happy....

Pros: great taste, great prices, friendly staff

Cons: need more locations


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GREAT addition to Chicago!!! - Edit

Native Foods Cafe has been one of my favorite restaurants to visit while in California for quite some time now. Luckily for us Chicagoans, we can now stuff ourselves silly with as much NF's as we'd like - I'll have to step up my workout routine, but it's totally worth it!

I was delighted to meet the mastermind behind all of the super-tasty menu items, Chef Tanya, she was very delightful, fun, and clearly passionate about what she does. All of the other employees were super nice too, as well as the manager, whom I had previously met in Tustin, CA.

We ordered a few appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks - in sum the food was AMAZING.

Appetizers:
Native Nachos (chips, black beans, veg taco meat, chipotle crema, veg cheese, salsa, guacamole) - this was a tasty dish, although it wasn't my favorite. I really enjoyed the veg meat but didn't care for the cheese flavored drops that resembled fancy butter.

Native Chicken Wings (crispy battered "chicken" wings served with ranch) - this dish was very tasty, even my non-vegan friends loved it. The ranch dressing that came with it is the best in the city!

Entrees:
Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger (seitan, daiya cheese, "bacon", caramelized onions, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, and battered dill pickle chips) - this is, and always has been, my favorite dish! It's perfect for when you're craving a burger and fries, or just when you'd like to treat yourself to a good meal. This time I decided to be on the healthier side and ordered potato salad as my side, it was good and had a lot of dill in it, although I prefer the mayonnaise (vegenaise) based potato salads - I'll likely stick with fries next time.

Chicken Run Ranch Burger (crispy battered "chicken", ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, and onions) - my bf got this so I tried several bites. We both agreed that it wasn't much different from the chicken wings appetizer, so get one or the other, but not both at the same time.

Rockin' Morracan Bowl ("chicken", veggies, quinoa) - my friend let me try this and I didn't care for it at all, however, he really enjoyed it...to each his/her own.

Desserts:
Cheesecake (served with blueberries) - I liked this NF's version better than others. Although you can taste the tofu flavor, it's very tasty!

Strawberry Parfait - I loved this dessert! It was shockingly good.

Chocolate Love Pie - this was good, but it had a carob flavor, and I'm not a huge fan of carob so I prefer the cheesecake, parfaits, and cupcakes to this.


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