Where to eat in Chicago for both Vegetarians and Carnivores

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Strawberry Banana Crepes at Yolk – Chicago, Ill

When you have a mixed menu family, dining out can sometimes be difficult. So traveling with diverse eaters sometimes means that one person has to “suffer” for the sake of the group vote.

We love Chicago. My daughters love going in the late summer, spending time walking the Mile and shopping until they drop. We wander through the museums, stroll through the aquarium, and take in the many parks for afternoon daydreaming.

However, exploring the city’s many restaurants is the highlight of our sight-seeing.

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Publican Quality Meats

When I heard we were going to a “meat” shop for dinner, I was pretty grossed out. As a vegetarian, this was going to be a difficult night. However, they were very sweet and my family and I had a fun time.

We came here with a group. Let me say this clearly. This is Not the best place for vegetarians, but actually it isn’t the worst either.  Maybe the dried pigs head, that was kind of gross.. or the rows of dead things in the basement.  Finding your way to the dark bathroom in the basement by way of the rows of heads… very unpleasant.

Yet the foods we did try were very flavorful, and the salads were excellent.

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Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
This place has traditional Chicago deep dish pizza. Crispy crust on the bottom, fillings, and sauce on the top. This is Chicago style and it is pretty awesome.  I always try to head to Lou Malnati’s when I am in Chicago.

The pizzas are HUGE! They are masters at deep dish pizza. One piece is plenty, but who can stop at one? I love the vegetarian selections.  I am fan of a simple cheese pizza, and they do it just right.

But be warned, baking these pies take a LONG time and you will be waiting at least 30 minutes after you order for your food.

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Yolk South Loop

You can’t go wrong with this place.

Yolk’s in Chicago are famous for their omelets,  the waffles, and the French toast! The fresh fruit toppings are the best picked fruit and the presentation is always delightful.

The wait is long, but don’t let it keep you away.  Come here for brunch and leave full for the rest of the day.

The staff is fantastic and helpful; the food is some of the best in Chicago.  We are big fans.  One week we were there we ate there 3 times and never had anything but exceptional food and service.

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Bandera Restaurant

Nice place.  Fancy and expensive, but it’s Chicago.

This is a white table cloth, beautiful restaurant. It is a gem and it has the price tag to go with it. However, that being said, the food is top notch.  It has a menu that is extensive enough that you can find a savory steak, fresh caught fish, or a vegetarian delight.

Speaking of vegetarian, this place has the most incredible vegetarian burger I have ever had. I have actually tried to replicate it for years, and I just can’t get the texture and smokey flavor just right.  It is very good and even my tween daughter thought it was one of the best things she’d ever tasted.

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Grand Lux Cafe

Take a break from shopping and do lunch! Call ahead and get a reservation if you can. But the wait isn’t ever very long. The food portions are large, beautiful, and the options are creative and colorful! This is one of our favorites when we visit Chicago.

The salads are filling, creative, and don’t rely on the dressing for flavor.  The mashed potatoes are life-changing.  But the carrot cake is what I daydream about most. It is moist, not too sweet, and has a subtle spice to it.

My girls, both teens love visiting the Grand Lux. It has a fancy feel without the overly fancy price tag.

Yes, this is a chain. I’ve been to a few of them.  It feels similar to a Cheesecake Factory, but with an American upscale menu.  But the sweets are still incredibly amazing and worth every sinful bite. You have to save room for the cake!

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