Over the summer I work downtown, just a few blocks from Grant Park. From July 5th – July 9th the Taste of Chicago is happening there. Today I did some recon to plan my weekend visit; on my lunch break, I walked through to check out all the vegan options offered. Below is what I found.
2017 Taste of Chicago Vegan Options
I was happy to see a few place offer some main dishes that are vegan! That way us plant-based eaters have some more substantial food options.
Iyanzé offers vegetarian greens and plantains.
Beat Kitchen has a vegan burger! Super excited to see this!
Jin Ju has a dish called Chap Chae. It’s noodles sautéed in soy sauce with a few veggies. Sounds good!
In addition to the above main dishes, there were a few places offering a smaller side dish (whether intentionally vegan or not!)
O’briens has sweet potato fries. Their corn on the cob may or may not have butter on it, the guy I asked didn’t know and the line it was too busy for him to spend time asking.
Gold Coast Dogs has a pickle on a stick and plain fries.
Farmer’s Fridge offers avocado toast and watermelon. I love these guys! I just saw them in Terminal 3 of Ohare airport too!
Luckily the Taste of Chicago vegan options include lots of desserts. Mostly Italian ices or fruit sorbets, but on a hot summer day, those ices hit the spot! You could have an “Italian Ice Off” and see which place offers the better version. There are also a few places with some unique vegan treats.
La Mexicana – I asked and all their paletas are water based so all options are vegan! Get your popsicle on!
Connie’s has watermelon or lemon Italian Ice
Frannie’s has lemonade or mango Italian Ice
Franco’s Ristorante also offers Italian ice in either lemon or watermelon.
Caffee Gelato offers lemon or strawberry sorbet in a cup. I asked and unfortunately the cone is not vegan.
Garifuna Flava has fried plantains. I love plantains because they are slightly sweet but thick and filling. (Panades are cord patties stuffed with fish if you are curious like I was)
The Fudge Pot has dark chocolate covered pineapple! YUM! (The Oreo is covered in milk chocolate, if only it were dark!)
Punky’s has fried Oreos. Yes, oreos are vegan!
Almond breeze has chocolate almond milk. They were giving out free samples of the product too! I was happy to see the line so long. Even if it was because it was free, at least people are willing to try plant-based milk and will hopefully enjoy it enough to make a switch.
There are some places that looked vegan, but upon further investigation they unfortunately were not plant-based.
Vee’s African Restaurant – the red beans and rice look vegan but they’re cooked in meat broth according to the worker I asked.
Star of Siam – the pot stickers are meat-based and the pad thai has egg in it.
That’s my round up of the 2017 Taste of Chicago vegan options. I just did a quick lap, so if you find more, be sure to comment below! And before you go, check out my Chicago food fest survival guide
for some tips to prepare!