Vegan In Chicago: Handlebar
Tuesday morning we drove by Pick Me Up Cafe, but since it wasn’t opened yet, we headed over to Handlebar. I immediately fell in love with the place. Okay, we were the only people eating there because it had barely opened, but it was relaxed, comfortable, and friendly.
I can’t lie, I was sad to see they serve some seafood, but the wheel symbol indicating vegan menu items made browsing easy. As soon as I saw the fried pickles under appetizers I placed my vote for those. I love fried pickles!
Corn meal battered fried dill pickles with house made vegan ranch dressing.
Yes! I could eat these everyday; I’m not saying I should, but I definitely could. The vegan ranch dressing was wonderful. It was creamy and just a little spicy; I would love to have their recipe.
I ordered the vegan french toast, and I’m pretty sure it was the best menu decision I’ve made in a long time, possibly ever.
Maple syrup, powdered sugar, fresh seasonal fruit, and toasted pecans.
I shared with the little man again, and he was definitely back in food heaven. In fact, Chris and my dad both tried and lovednot it, so I was glad it was a big portion with everyone eyeing my plate. I’m not exaggerating, this was seriously french toast perfection. Crispy on the edges, but soft in the middle. Mmm… I’m drooling a little just thinking about it.
Chris ordered the Vegan Diablos.
Two handmade corn tostadas , scrambled tofu, seitan chorizo, and chipotle sauce with beans and rice.
He really loved the dish and said it was very spicy, making him feel full sooner. I tasted it also and loved the flavor- plenty of spice!
Dad ordered biscuits and gravy.
Two hearty biscuits smothered in seitan sausage gravy.
He said he really liked it, but thought it might be on the salty side for some. He was definitely in the Handlebar’s french toast is epic camp though.
As a snack (and a field trip down memory lane), I picked us up some astronaut strawberries and apples to munch on from the planetarium gift shop. The only other space food options were a beef stew meal (Ew!) or astronaut ice cream, which sadly isn’t vegan. I guess if I were an astronaut they’d have to make me special vegan space food.
So there ends my Chicago vegan dining adventures, for now anyway. When we got back to the car there was a parking ticket waiting for us; how very Chicago! We were planning on eating at Pick Me Up Cafe after visiting the Children’s Museum, but it was pouring and traffic was just so bad we had to start the drive home. A giant double rainbow saw us out of the city and safely home.
I didn’t grow up in Chicago, but it definitely holds a lot of memories for me and it was nice to be back. The city is near enough to where I grew up that we had field trips to the museums and planetarium quite often when I was in elementary school, and one year our high school prom was held on a boat out of at Navy Pier. It was where I spent a lot of summer days during my high school years when we all had driver’s licenses and nothing to do. Thanks, Dad, for an awesome trip!