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Fab Five: Vegetable-Forward Restaurants

Jessie Sardina | January 4, 2017 | Feature Features

Five fresh spots that know the importance of eating your greens.
The addictive crispy fried tempura lemons and squash from Bad Hunter

1. Bad Hunter
The Heisler Hospitality team puts veggies front and center inside this trendy green house-inspired West Loop eatery. Chef Dan Snowden serves up dynamic seasonal dishes that could convince any carnivore to take a walk on the green side. Don’t miss: We challenge you to eat just one piece of the crispy fried tempura lemons and squash—a salty-sweet creation that’s as oddly delicious as it sounds. 802 W. Randolph St., 312.265.1745

2. Farmer’s Fridge
On-the-go healthy eaters have long been familiar with the delicious jars available from these techy reclaimed wood vending machines—er, veggie machines—scattered all around town. This summer, the Chicago-based startup opened up shop inside the hot new lunchtime destination Revival Food Hall, where you can visit their counter for nutritious farm-fresh dishes. Don’t miss: The Chicago Style avocado toast combines shaved veggie giardiniera and a healthy sprinkling of celery salt for a tasty vegan lunch with Windy City panache. 125 S. Clark St.

3. Sweetgreen
When this Washington, D.C.-based chain opened its first Midwest location in River North this summer, lunchers lined up around the block to take a trip down this super-hip salad bar (health maven Gwyneth Paltrow’s a fan). With a rotating seasonal menu of both salads and warm grain bowls, as well as the customizable build-your-own option, Sweetgreen puts the standby grocery store salad bar to shame. Don’t miss: The new Shroomami bowl tops a base of organic wild rice with a smattering of savory toppings like warm portobellos, raw beets and roasted sesame tofu. It’s a delicious way to warm up—and fuel up—during chilly winter workdays. 623 N. State St., 312.374.8173

4. The Little Beet Table
This NYC Park Avenue destination recently opened its doors to a modern industrial Chicago outpost on the Gold Coast, and brought with it a veggie-centric menu focused on gluten-free whole foods. And with an entire section of the menu dedicated to fresh seasonal produce, options for vegetarians abound. Don’t miss: You won’t regret starting your meal with a plate of beets and carmelized fennel. The earthy veggies are amped up with the addition of pickled pearl onions, watercress and a thyme-mustard dressing. 845 N. State St., 312.549.8600

5. True Food Kitchen
The culinary brainchild of famous integrative medicine physician Dr. Andrew Weil, this new 8,000-square-foot River North health-food destination serves dishes that follow the anti-inflammatory food pyramid. With an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, the chain’s menu is not only healthy (the anti-inflammatory diet can help counteract the chronic inflammation that is the root cause of many diseases), but beautiful. Don’t miss: You’d never guess the savory filling served with fresh butter lettuce cups is completely meat-free—a flavorful mixture of finely diced tofu, jicama and sambal. 1 W. Erie Street, 312.204.6981


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