Black-Owned Vegan Restaurants to Support in Chicago
These Black-owned businesses are serving up some of the tastiest vegan eats the Windy City has to offer!
Chicago might be known for its deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, but amidst the traditional pizzerias and fast-food joints lies a thriving vegan scene. Many of Chicago’s vegan restaurants were founded by Black chefs and entrepreneurs, so in honor of Black History Month we are giving these Black-owned businesses a shoutout and acknowledging all of the work they do to provide nourishing plant-based meals to their community. Here are Black-owned vegan restaurants to support in Chicago.
Chefs Tsadakeeyah and Nasya Emmanuel opened this fast-casual vegan restaurant as a nod to their African heritage and rural upbringing. Majani—which means “green leaf” in Swahili—serves Southern-style, plant-based bites such as black-eyed pea fritters, crab cake sandwiches, candied sweet potatoes, and fried okra. Take a peek at the dessert menu, where you’ll find sweets like German chocolate cake and lemon cake slices.
Greater Grand Crossing
Soul Veg City, which was first opened under the name Original Soul Vegetarian, has been serving Chicago’s South Side since 1982. The eatery offers all-vegan dishes such as jerk nachos (piled high with jerk seitan, lettuce, soy cheese, and tomatoes), Cajun shrimp & rice with spinach, and vegan quesadillas (stuffed with sautéed spinach, grilled onion, mushrooms, and house-made soy cheese). You can also enjoy a selection of cakes, pies, and more made fresh daily.
This vegan catering company was founded by Chef Rain Truth as a way to educate the community on healthy eating and to provide nutritious meals for all. The catering menu features dishes from a variety of global backgrounds, such as African, Asian, Caribbean, Indian, Italian, Latin American, and Southern Cajun. Guests can enjoy everything from calzones stuffed with vegan pepperoni to West African peanut stew, as well as sweets like carrot cake cookies.
GreenBites aims to provide delicious vegan meals to underserved neighborhoods throughout Chicago that typically do not have access to nourishing plant-based foods. This vegan catering service offers brunch, lunch, and dinner and features dishes like chick’n & waffles, French toast, jerk veggie Alfredo, and smothered cauli chops. GreenBites also serves peach cobbler, chocolate chip cookies, and cinnamon rolls for those with a sweet tooth.
Libby’s is a vegan catering service that you may recognize from various vegan markets and pop-ups throughout the Chicago area. This Saturday, February 19, Libby’s will be at the Vegan Market at Soundgrowler Brewing Co. and will serve a menu of cracking mac & cheese, jerk chick’n with mixed greens, red beans & rice, country fried steak, and fried cabbage with cornbread. Guests will have the option to choose between three items for $15 or five items for $20.
This 100% vegan scratch kitchen was created as a way to integrate a holistic approach to food within the community and as a way to offer flavorful options to those who wish to transition to a vegan lifestyle. Enjoy plant-based eats like jackfruit nuggets, loaded nachos, spicy Nashville chick’n sandwiches, and more! B’Gabs also makes a variety of vegan treats, such as CBD chocolate bars, cheesecake, lemon squares, and coconut haystacks.
Sold at Multiple Locations
Soul Vegan aims to spread tasty vegan eats across Chicago and sells their items at major retailers like Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, and the University of Chicago campus. Their pre-packaged foods include wholesome meals like the macaroni & cheese lunch (macaroni and organic soy cheese, collard greens, and organic BBQ tofu) and the lasagna lunch (lasagna with organic soy cheese, collard greens, and BBQ seitan roast). They also offer a catering menu for those who wish to include vegan dishes at their next event.
Founded by owner and chef Bobbie Beaugard-Williams, Plant Based Junkie serves vegan junk food that guests can feel good about eating. The restaurant offers vegan bites like chili cheese fries, fried broccoli, tacos, smothered brats, stacked burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, and jumbo vegan shrimp, to name a few. Dessert options include brownies, cinnamon rolls, and banana pudding jars.
Conscious Plates offers a fully plant-based menu that is 100% alkaline, meaning the food is vegan, soy-free, wheat-free, starch-free, and made with spring water. The restaurant serves items like Chick’P Egg Sandwiches, cheesy quinoa tacos, oyster wings, fajita fries, and mushroom-based tenders smothered between spelt waffles, perfect for a weekend brunch.
Located on Chicago’s West Side, The Black Vegan is a one-stop shop for vegan comfort food eats. Feast on BBQ ribs with fries, or chow down on a portabella gyro. The eatery offers both in-store pickup and local delivery.
Uncooked specializes in 100% plant-based bites and drinks made from whole food, holistic ingredients. Start your morning with a rose-infused latte, or cool down with the CBD Cooler (blend of hibiscus, blueberries, lemon, monk fruit, and CBD). In addition to juices and coffee drinks, you’ll also find overnight oats, vegan sushi rolls, noodles, hummus bowls, falafel bowls, acai bowls, and more.
Owned and operated by Chef Tee Scott, Vegan T’ease offers everything from good ol’ sloppy joes to vegan versions of Reese’s peanut butter cup smoothies, all of which are made from plant-based ingredients. The restaurant also offers specials throughout the week, such as Taco Tuesdays and “Fish” Fry Fridays.
Hyde Park, Gold Coast, & Orland Park
Owned and operated by self-taught fashion designer and self-taught chef Laricia Chandler Baker—aka Chef Fab—Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat serves American comfort food classics with a Midwest flair. The menu features items like boneless Buffalo wings, triple-decker vegan turkey & bacon club sandwiches, hoagies loaded with plant-based toppings and veggies, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, and more—all made from plants!
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