The Chicago Diner

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 137 reviews )
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773-935-6696
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3411 N Halsted, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60657

Providing all vegetarian and mostly vegan American comfort food for brunch and dinner with organic beers and wine, margaritas, vegan bakery, and desserts. Meat free since 1983. Patio seating available. Open Mon-Thu 11:00am-10:00pm, Fri 11:00am-11:00pm, Sat 10:00am-11:00pm, Sun 10:00am-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Beer/Wine, Bakery, Catering

137 Reviews

First Review by amargrav

Incredible Desserts! - Edit

We came here after visiting Kitchen 17. We got a milk shake and the absolutely amazing peanut butter puck sundae. I wish we would have come here for our whole meal. Next time we visit Chicago we certainly will try many more items on the menu!

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Amazing Vegan Comfort Food - Edit

I've been here twice so far but it's my go to place when I come to Chicago. They have amazing vegan comfort food and their milkshakes get my dads (an omni) seal of approval. Definitely make a stop for this restaurant

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AMAZING Comfort Food - Edit

Ate TWICE here while touring Chicago - even during a Vegan festival that was in town! The food and selection are amazing. It really surprised me and I have very high standards when it comes to quality and service. Impeccable, seriously, this restaurant is a MUST-GO.

Pros: Selection, Price, Service, Atmosphere, Hours

Cons: NONE

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Really good food - Edit

I've been here a couple of time and each time I order something new. Everything I've had has been really good. Literally no complaints. They know what they're doing!

Pros: Great food, Fair prices , Attentive staff

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Still great after all these years! - Edit

Re-visited recently and delighted to know the food is still wonderful and creative. Nicely renovated since my last visit as well.

Pros: Great veg/vegan "diner" style food, Great location

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All day I dream of Chicago Diner - Edit

I don't live in Chicago, but I wish I did just so I could eat Chicago Diner. I took a whole group of skeptical non-vegans and they all left absolutely thrilled. Some of them even started eating more veg food after this. I had the Radical Reuben and it was more amazing than I could have ever imagined in my wildest dreams.

Pros: DELICIOUS, Omnivore approved, Milkshakes!

Cons: None!

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the best!!! - Edit

Every time my husband and I are in Chicago, we go here. The food is amazing. I recommend the cookie dough peanut butter vegan milkshake!

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Amazing Spot - Edit

This place is great for any meal. I've had brunch and dinner here several times and have not been disappointed. You can't go wrong with anything on their menu and plenty of my non-vegan friends have joined me and loved it! Their milkshakes are the best.

Pros: friendly staff, excellent food, good value

Cons: Need a few lighter options

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great brunch spot - Edit

This place is fantastic. We have to get poutine every time we go (seriously, order it. you’re welcome). They serve Teese which is getting difficult to find elsewhere. Their vegan shakes are just amazing. I love the vegan veggie, BLT, quesadilla, cinnamon rolls, Mexican breakfast bowls...never had a bad meal.

Pros: Doesn’t serve meat, Mostly vegan, Great rare vegan finds

Cons: Serves eggs and dairy

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Meat eaters love it too! - Edit

This place is amazing, the entire menu is vegan or easily made vegan, and even omni's enjoy the food. They have a great variety of choices available. I had poutine and milkshake and they may have been better than the real deal.

Pros: Absolutely delicious, Friendly staff, Reasonably priced

Cons: Very crowded

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YUM! - Edit

Ok, this place is amazing. The entire menu is basically vegan unless you modify your order to add non-vegan items. Server was super nice. I order a sweet potato pineapple burger with vegan mac and cheese for a side. HOLY COW it was so good!! The vegan mac was the best I'd ever had. I wanted to order a vegan shake for dessert after because they looked amazing but I was stuffed. This is a place that vegan, vegetarians, and omnivores will love. I will DEFINITELY go back!!

Pros: TONS of vegan options, Nice staff, Nice atmosphere

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Vegan

  Contributions +116

Nothing Could be Finer than the Chicago Diner - Edit

After a cold and rainy bike ride and Cub's game the Chicago Diner was a great way to end the day. We started with some tasty appetizers (waffle fry poutine, caesar salad) and some great shakes. All of our main courses were delicious as well, especially the "meat loaf" and the cheesesteak. They also have an extensive beer list and a variety of vegan desserts. Chicago Diner placed a solid 3rd in our family vacation restaurant war competition. We liked it so much we bought the cook book.

Updated from previous review on 2016-08-01

Pros: great food, great drinks, neat atmosphere

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Worth waiting years for! - Edit

As a Chicagoland native who has spent my adult life elsewhere, I had been waiting a few years for an opportunity to return to my hometown and eat at the Chicago Diner. The restaurant did not disappoint! I am vegan; my dining partners (old high school pals) were one vegetarian and one omnivore. We ordered two Radical Reuben sandwiches, one Country Fried Steak, Sweet Potato Fries and Ginger Garlic Flashed Greens - sampled a bit of each and loved it all! The beer and wine selection was good - I had a nice glass of Pinot Noir with my meal and my friends had beer. Servers were exceptionally nice - it was a really lovely evening!

Pros: Outstanding food, Great range of options, Friendly staff

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Excellent every time - Edit

Edit:
We generally visit the Logan Square location and are much happier with wait times and space. The variety offered is great!

----
The food is always amazing. We've had numerous items over the years and the only thing we didn't love was a burrito which I don't think they have anymore anyway. I very highly recommend the gyros and shakes.

One disappointing thing is that their portion sizes have gone down while prices have gone up. For example, you used to get two gyros instead of one and sandwiches came with two sides. The place is also very cramped.
Updated from previous review on Thursday October 20, 2011

Updated from previous review on 2012-09-14

Pros: So many great selections!

Cons: small and cramped, smaller portion sizes than before, sometimes a long wait to get in

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Revolutionary Radical Reuben! - Edit

This is one of the best experiences I've had since going vegan. I was in heaven! I NEVER expected the Reuben to be as good as it was. A meat-eater would never have guessed this sandwich was vegan. I was traveling from out of town and had planned this visit to The Chicago Diner for several months and was quite excited. I wish I could've had gone back every day I was in Chicago and had the Reuben. (Never been a fan of Thousand Island dressing, so I always sub yellow mustard.)

I had Macaroni & Teeze as my side dish and regretted my choice. I've had WAAAY better vegan mac & cheese.

The Choc Chip Cookie Dough milkshake was super delicious. The only thing I regretted about that choice was that I didn't order the large! ;)

My dining partner ordered the Pierogi Quesadilla and really enjoyed it.

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it was okay - Edit

Nothing too fancy. It was all okay. I would recommend soul veg over this place.

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Amazing vegan milkshake - Edit

Lists of wheat but please try the vegan milkshake, is amazing! Peanut butter chocolate is my favorite :)

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YES! YES! YES! - Edit

My husband brought me CD food a few years ago, and even after a flight from Chicago to Boston, it was amazing. I was so excited to eat here and it totally lived up to its reputation.
We got the Buffalo Wings, and you cannot oversell those things. They were spicy and chewy and awesome. Then we got the Reuben--it's just one of the best things I've ever eaten, period.
Also got the Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes etc. Also just amazing. The 'meat' is chewy, and crispy on the outside with delicious gravy.
Our waitperson was great. She advised us that the desserts are now made by Whole Foods :( but recommended the Turtle Cheesecake (OMFG, it was great) and a milkshake, also fantastic...be sure to get the chocolate sauce lining the glass.
The beer selection was surprisingly interesting. We had a really great local porter.
I've eaten some great vegan food the world over, but there is nothing like this comfort food anywhere else.

Pros: best comfort food anywhere, very reasonable prices, beer list

Cons: having to fly to Chicago

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Come here!! You won't regret it! - Edit

Love this small and adorable restaurant. It has all vegan options with some gluten free items. They even have gluten free beer, vegan desserts, and everything tastes delicious. We came here with my coworkers, 2 were vegetarians, 2 were not and I am a vegan. The non vegetarians absolutely loved everything they ate, which speaks volumes about the quality of the food. I would come here again for sure. Loved the neighborhood and it had great service. The vegan milkshakes are to die for!!!!! :)

Pros: Vegan, Gluten Free Options, Quality and Service

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Awesome Experience - Edit

Every time I go there the service is really fast and everyone is super nice. I love asking questions about the menu and they are very patient and understanding.

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Awesome diner - Edit

Mostly vegan with a couple dairy and egg options. I ate here 6 years ago when visiting the city for work. Couldn't wait to visit again, and was not disappointed. And the dessert selection is great! The carrot cake surprisingly wasn't as good as I'd expected, but I went back the next day and got a milkshake and the cinnamon roll which were both awesome. Wish I could eat there more often!

Pros: Most items are vegan, Many dessert options, Friendly, attentive staff

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I love this place. - Edit

Whenever I travel to Chicago for work, I make sure my trip allows for enough time to have at least one meal here. Excellent diner food made veggie. Truly one of my favorite veggie restaurants in the world. Wish there was one in Seattle!

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Awesome - Edit

This is one of the best meals I've had in Chicago, really nice food. Might not be the healthiest tho.

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Second City and Second Class - Edit

I drove hours out of my way to try the famous Chicago Diner and I ordered the country fried steak based on recommendations from friends. I was not impressed, the seitan was rock hard and flavorless, though the breading was good. The mashed potatoes were great, but the gravy was salty and blah, and the vegetables were a bit al dente for my taste (but that could be a personal thing)
I do have to say that the waitstaff were incredibly friendly, and really on it, as far as checking in, filling water, and just being real nice.
Sorry Chicago, but you have nothing on Champs in NYC for comfort food, and once again come in second.

Pros: Great Staff, An Originator

Cons: Not great food

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great vegan comfort food! - Edit

Try the breakfast combo with tofu scrambled and French toast!
Gluten free options, friendly staff
Full cocktail bar

Pros: vegan option, cozy atmosphere

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Love this Place! - Edit

I try and come here every time I come home to visit!

My favorites are the shakes and the wings, and I just rotate through the sandwich options. The only negative is that it is pretty small with limited to no waiting area, but that hasn't be an issue for most of my visits.

It IS heavy food...but it's a diner. So.

Pros: Wings and shakes, Atmosphere

Cons: Small

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Vegan

  Contributions +93

worth trying - Edit

Worth going to try, cute location and it's super cool that it's inspired so many other restaurants. Be prepared to wait, though, it's popular and not very big so it can take some time to get a table.

We had a shake and it was really good, maybe try to save space for one or even go just for that. The wings were real tasty too, I enjoyed those.

However, both our meals were real greasy and heavy. I'm not usually against that (I love me some french fries and vegan doughnuts), but it did leave me not feeling super great (like you're gonna want to nap afterwards). I had the vegan Monty Cristo sandwich, super heavy and greasy but fairly tasty.
But the vegan Mac my boyfriend ordered was just plain gross. I don't know what gives, I make vegan Mac at home all the time and love it. Not sure what they are going for but its sour and sweet, kind of yogurty tasting and gluey after taste. Defiantly skip it, the recipe needs some work on that one.
All in all, though, I would go back again, just not everything on the menu is winner.

Pros: vegan milkshakes, the wings

Cons: vegan Mac is not good at all, long waits for tables at peak hours

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