Vegan In Chicago: Chicago Diner

June 16, 2010 by Keri

Hi everyone!  I’ve missed you!  We spent Monday and Tuesday in Chicago with my dad and ate some awesome vegan food.  Oh, and we also visited a couple museums and the planetarium, but let’s stick to what’s really important here- the food!   Since we ate quite a lot at each place, I’m going to give each one its own post.  First up was The Chicago Diner.  I’ve been wanting to eat there for so long.

Chicago Diner

Everyone told me I had to order a shake, but apparently I was supposed to get the cookie dough flavor.  Being uninformed, I ordered strawberry.  It was still out of this world delicious!  You wouldn’t believe the excitement in my son’s eyes after his first taste.  He then assumed the baby bird position and sat waiting with his mouth open for the next bite.

Chicago Diner

Alright, now to the hard part- ordering only one meal each!  I chose the Dagwood,

Seitan roast & corned “beef”, “bacon” &
cheeze, with lettuce, tomato, onion,
pepperoncini & spicy sauce on a hoagie.

This baby was giant!  The bread was amazing and stuffed with meatless goodness.  And the sweet potato fries I chose as my side were so delicious- crispy perfection.

Chicago Diner

Chris ordered the Radical Reuben,

Sliced seitan, onions, peppers, sauerkraut,
vegan Thousand Island Dressing &
cheeze, on marbled rye.

He’s been dying for one of these ever since I showed him the ad in VegNews!  As expected, he loved it.  I’m surprised I even got pictures in, because we were so hungry and drooling over these giant plates of vegan awesomeness.

Chicago Diner

Dad ordered the BBQ “Beef” Sandwich,

Tender marinated seitan in a zesty sweet BBQ sauce, with grilled onions & peppers on a toasted hoagie bun. Served with a side item such as sweet potato fries & a pickle.

He must have loved it because he said he’d go back there without us, and raved about the bread.

Chicago Diner

Finishing out the meals, the little man had the grilled cheeze (with soy cheeze), from the kids menu, with sweet potato fries.

Melted monterey jack or soy mozzarella
on toasted sourdough, with a sandwich side.

You’ve never seen a happier child.  I think Chicago Diner is to my son what Disney World is to most kids.  My dad tried it too (there was no way a two year old tummy could hold all of that) and said it was an amazing grilled cheeze.

Yeah, we were all stuffed, but it’s not like we’re there all the time, so we ordered a slice of chocolate chip cheezecake to share.  Divine! Chocolate cheezecake, chocolate chips, chocolate ganache and chocolate drizzle!

Chicago Diner

If you’re ever in Chicago, you have to check out Chicago Diner. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that though.  The food is awesome, the staff is friendly, and the atmosphere rocks (Bonus points for one of the waiters wearing Herbivore’s “Bacon Had A Mom” shirt!).  We just wanted to sit there all day and keep ordering food!

Have you eaten at The Chicago Diner? What did you order?

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I Eat Trees is a blog featuring my adventures in all things vegan. My favorite recipes, snack food finds, and restaurant trials are all on the menu so enjoy!


  1. Stefanie says:

    I have not eaten at Chicago Diner but would like to if I get the chance. Everything looks delish. Your son looks like a sweet little boy.

  2. I am going to CHicago in August. I am going to try to make it here! It looks so delicious!!!! Those plates are huge.

    • Keri says:

      They are huge- I told you I need to get lost in the city just to walk off the calories, but yum! 🙂

  3. Yay! So glad you tried the dagwood!! Your son looks adorable with his grilled cheeze 🙂 I agree with your pops, the bread is amazing!

    • Keri says:

      Thank you for the recommendation!! 🙂 The little guy LOVED their food. I think he would have given up a million carnival kiddie rides to eat there instead.

  4. Jessie (Bites and Pieces) says:

    Wow, this place looks amazing! I will have to try it out when I am in Chicago for the Healthy Living Summit in August. Can’t wait!

  5. Woz says:

    Oh dear dog, there is so much awesome in this post. The food! Your adorable little munchkin! Gosh, I’m really hungry now. (Because of the food, not your munchkin. ;))

    I hope to make it to the Diner one day!

  6. aw, you can get whatever shake sounds best to you! i’ve never had the cookie dough, but the pumpkin shake is out of this *world* delicious, and i’ve also had the chai. YUM.

  7. Sydney says:

    I am so jealous! I have been to Chicago once, and never had the opportunity to taste some delicious vegan cuisine. Hopefully there will be a next time!

  8. Melissa G says:

    All I have to say is YUM! Glad to see your little guy was so excited by his first Chicago Diner experience. Hope I have the same level of joy & excitement the first time I go there. Can’t wait!!