The Chicago Diner: A Vegan Tradition in Lakeview

Mondays can bring a bit of “shame” with them.  Mine is usually triggered by my culinary overindulgence from the weekend.  While I hate the prejorative tone of the word shame (I prefer disappointment),  I try to self-flaggelate by going meatless for a few days.  Though, those days need not be consecutive (I’m not that disciplined) 😉  Today, I decided to repent at The Chicago Diner.


The Chicago Diner in Boystown


The Chicago Diner is a veggie/vegan restaurant located just 2 blocks

south and 3 blocks east of the Addison ‘L’ stop (Wrigley Field), along the CTA Red Line.  Taking the bus?  The #8 Halsted stops right out front.


CTA Red Line near The Chicago Diner

The good folks here have been getting their plant-based groove on since 1983.  That is no small feat in a Midwestern, meat-centric town like Chicago!

Here’s how my lunch went down:

There are several soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees available but I went for the Buddha’s Karma Burger.  I could use all the good vibrations I can find 🙂


The Chicago Diner

Veggie, vegan and gluten-free!


It was made with a curried sweet potato-tofu patty, grilled pineapple, lettuce, red onion, sprouts and chimimchurri sauce.  To heighten this much needed vegan experience, I asked that my burger be served on a gluten-free bun.  


Menu at The Chicago Diner

I did’t miss the meat or gluten and I am not hungry 4 hours later 🙂


This was a very tasty burger.  I loved the different textures and flavors.  The spicy, smoky flavor of the curried sweet potato against the silkiness of the tofu, the sweetness of the pineapple, the crunch of the onion and the zing of the chimichurri sauce was well executed.  This burger came with my choice of a side dish.  I had the dark greens which were sauteed with a bit of garlic and ginger.  Delicious!


Vegan burgers at The Chicago Diner

Buddha’s Karma Burger


Well, I feel better already 🙂  Even if I don’t keep this plant-based initiative up all week, I am off to a good start.  Small moves, people.


The Chicago Diner in Lakeview


The Chicago Diner also has an onsite bakery with whole cakes for sale.  Since I was repenting, I passed on dessert (sigh!).  However, I will be back soon for a vegan shake and some chocolate mousse cake.  Catering is also available.

So, the next time you want to go meatless in Chicago, check out The Chicago Diner, one of the vegan pioneers in town.

The Chicago Diner is located at 3411 N. Halsted St.  It is open daily for lunch/dinner with brunch available until 3pm.  Click here for more information.

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Red Line to The Chicago Diner.  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive! 

Looking for another vegan/veggie food destination in Chitown?  Check out Mana Food Bar in Wicker Park.