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Kale My Name
Photograph: @thekoreanvegan

The 12 best vegan breakfast and brunch spots in Chicago

From tofu scrambles and bacon seitan to decadent vegan pancakes, here are our favorite places for plant-based brunch.

Allison Yates
Written by
Allison Yates
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Chicago may be a meat-and-potatoes town—look no further than our vast array of steakhouses, BBQ joints and burgers—but that hasn’t stopped the plant-based and vegan food movement from making its mark on some of the best restaurants in Chicago. From exclusively vegan eateries to non-plant based joints that prioritize fresh, organic and locally-sourced menus, you’ll find breakfasts and brunches throughout the city accommodating animal-free diets in fast-casual or diner-style atmospheres. Whether you’re craving something greens-filled, greasy, gooey or gravy-soaked, here are the 12 best vegan breakfasts and brunches in Chicago.

The best vegan breakfast and brunch spots in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • River West/West Town

The same company that fills grocery store shelves with plant-based meat alternatives also has a small West Town eatery with made-to-order favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast or brunch, you can’t go wrong with the Brekkie Bowl, a tofu scramble with hash browns, kale, tomato, bacon seitan and a truffle sriracha and cheese sauce, or the Breakfast Croissant with seasoned tofu, bacon seitan and vegan cheese. The walk-up counter also serves sweets from Liberation Donuts, the city’s first fully-vegan donut shop.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • River North

Bringing much needed plant-based sabor to the River North neighborhood, brunch seekers can step into this bright, intimate space covered in colorful murals and enjoy Mexican staples. Penelope’s Vegan Taqueria’s fully-vegan menu includes tacos, enchiladas, molletes and other small bites. For brunch, grab the chilaquiles and coffee—there’s bar seating available if you’re dining solo, while small groups can snag one of the tables.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • West Loop

Fresh, organic and local aren’t just buzzwords at this Chicago fast-casual eatery and grocery store, which sources the majority of its food from local organic farms. Real Good Food serves both plant-based and animal meat dishes with accommodations for a variety of dietary needs. While they’re known for their hearty juices and smoothies with creative names–like the Bluice Wayne or Kale E. Kopowski–their vegan breakfast options of bagels, bowls, burritos, and sweet toasts are worth a try.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • West Ridge
  • price 1 of 4

This all-day, late-night hot spot along West Ridge’s Devon Avenue serves more than a hundred menu items catering to meat-loving, vegetarian and vegan diets. Indian and Pakistani dishes include biryanis, parathas, curries and more, with breakfast specialities like egg parathas, veggie parathas and aloo parathas served from 8am–noon. The family-friendly, casual atmosphere is perfect for grabbing food to go or having a laid-back dining experience.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • North Center

Lucy’s Cafe is great any day of the week, but it holds a special charm on slow, cheerful weekend mornings spent with family and friends. The extensive menu of American-style breakfast is exclusively vegetarian, and  most items can be prepared vegan upon request. Order standout dishes like vegan waffles or the southwest skillet—a medley of veggies, plant-based meat, black beans and cilantro—and grab a seat on the sunny front patio when weather allows.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Boystown
  • price 1 of 4

Ideal for both families and groups of friends, the eatery that’s been “meat free since ‘83” is a longtime go-to spot for the vegan and vegetarian community. With locations in both Logan Square and Lakeview, The Chicago Diner’s menu is full of American-style diner brunch favorites, from steak and eggs (vegan available) and omelets to sweet options like cinnamon rolls, French toast, pancakes and more. Weekends get especially busy, so book reservations ahead of time or expect to wait for a table. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Hyde Park

Nothing gets closer to a home-cooked meal and a loving atmosphere than Hyde Park’s B’Gabs Vegan Scratch Kitchen. Owner Gabrielle Darvassy prioritizes organic and local ingredients to craft her healthy, aesthetically-pleasing meals, as well as the goal of a come-as-you-are atmosphere where you can be your whole self. Fill up on the Breakfast Burrito Bowl with vegan sausage, potatoes, black beans, greens, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and avocado sauce or the Breakfast Sammie with chickpea eggs, sausage, potatoes and cheese on a bun.

  • Restaurants
  • Juice bars
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4

This low-key Lakeview restaurant brings fresh West Coast food concepts to the Midwest via a roster of light, nutritious breakfast options appropriate for both plant-based eaters and meat eaters alike. Breakfast dishes include avocado toast with basil, oatmeal with walnuts, blueberries, raisins, bananas and maple syrup, and a selection of bowls, wraps, or burritos for those looking for a heartier savory meal in the morning. Top off your meal with fresh-squeezed juice or a specialty smoothie, like the Mornin’ Buzz, a blend of espresso, cacao, peanut butter, maca power, banana and dates. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Eclectic
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

A pioneer in the city’s farm-to-table movement helmed by James Beard Award-nominated chef Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe has always been especially well-loved for its fresh, thoughtful brunch dishes. With a quaint patio and small indoor space tucked away just a few feet from the heart of Logan Square, plant-based brunchers can enjoy everything from granola to a tofu vegetable scramble with black sesame, ginger miso sauce, house potatoes and toast. Don’t miss the commonly ordered (yet off-the-menu) vegan burrito.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Bucktown
  • price 1 of 4

This Bucktown spot is your go-to destination for fast casual Mexican cuisine with dine-in options and affordable vegan and vegetarian food. You’ll find all your favorites on the breakfast menu, from tofu omelets to chilaquiles, tamales and tacos. Make sure to order a fresh juice from the Healing Juice Bar, where each drink is identified by the ailment you’re hoping to cure–anything from a hangover to cellulite, or a bad libido. Some seating is available inside or grab your food to go and eat at nearby Holstein Park. 

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

This beloved Wicker Park vegetarian and vegan restaurant isn’t just known for its quaint, spacious summer patio: dedicated customers also flock here on weekends for the robust brunch served daily until 3pm. Peer through the menu to find class American-style items like French toast, biscuits and gravy, burritos and Southwest-inspired spicy tofu scrambles. You’d be remiss not to try the standout Handlemuffin, a hash brown patty with blackened tofu and vegan cheeze, caramelized onion, sriracha hollandaise and a side of breakfast potatoes. 

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Albany Park

Located on a quiet corner in Albany Park, this "globally inspired" restaurant with bright green trim serves burgers, wraps, tacos and nachos that vegetarians can enjoy. Don't worry—not everything at Kale My Name incorporates the leafy green that inspired the business's name. Anyone curious about plant-based eating can enjoy crispy cauliflower wings, jackfruit tacos or a Beyond burger served with awesome sauce. If you're looking for something a little more healthy, there are salads, soups and smoothies. And don't forget about brunch: jackfruit lox, "brunchpanadas" and breakfast burritos await!

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