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The Chicago Diner

Written by

“Meat Free Since ’83.” That’s the motto at The Chicago Diner, which first opened up in Lakeview, but now has a second location in Logan Square, the subject of this review. They both feel like traditional diners, but the Logan Square spot is newer, larger, and just as good as the original.

The menu is large, and full of vegan and vegetarian options ranging from chocolate chip pancakes, to burgers, to gyros made with seasoned seitan. And the magic they’re able to do with seitan, tofu, and even a black bean veggie burger is a testament to their dedication of making meat substitutes taste good. The staff is polite, knowledgable about the food, and helpful whether you have dietary restrictions, or just happen to be there because you're in the mood for some tasty vegan food.

Food Rundown

Vegan Cinnamon Roll

A vegan cinnamon roll is still a cinnamon roll. It’s good.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Vegan chocolate chip pancakes are still chocolate chip pancakes. We’re in on these too.


Waffle fries with Teese® creamy cheddar, gravy, and green onions. Yes, Teese is vegan cheese. It’s...interesting. The fries are excellent, but be careful of too much Teese.

Cajun Black Bean Burger

Every now and then a veggie burger is good for you. This black bean option is a pretty good one, especially when you load it up with sautéed onion, mushroom, spinach, tomato, and fried jalapeño.

Pierogi Quesadilla

Even non vegan/vegetarian restaurants can’t win ’em all. This pierogi quesadilla with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and cheddar isn’t doing it for us.

Breakfast Combo

If you’re not a vegan or vegetarian and you really get dragged to going here, then breakfast is the way to go. You can keep things simple with eggs, potatoes, toast, and fruit. If that’s your move, at least be a little adventurous and get the seitan bacon that comes with the combo.


This gyro is legit. The seitan seasoning and texture is close to the real thing, like magic. This is a sandwich we can get behind with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and vegan tzatziki sauce on pita.

Vegan Milkshake

If you’re here you gotta try one.

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