Field Trip: Chicago Diner

Chicago Diner
All photos via Yelp

Yesterday I told you that I was going on a (very) belated birthday trip downtown to The Chicago Diner.  Todd took me for lunch!  So, we got grandma to babysit for the afternoon, and drove down to 3411 N. Halsted.  The first thing that I was all excited about was that it's right across the street from Chicago Male, which is a salon that Todd and I had seen on an episode of Tabitha's Salon Takeover.  (You know, it was one of those "omg that's from TV!" moments... ha ha)

But the main reason for our trek downtown was lunch.  The Chicago Diner is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant.  I can go in and order ANYTHING off the menu and not have to scour it for hidden meat ingredients!  Woo hoo!  That's the #1 most awesome part, because I don't know of any vegetarian restaurants in the suburbs (Do you know of one?  Lemme know!!!).  But also, the food is very delicious.


I have to admit, I'm a total self-conscious geek when it comes to taking photos at new places like this.  I don't want to stand out, so I don't take any photos at all, or sometimes I'm just having so much fun that I forget to take any!  So, uh, yeah, I don't have any of my own photos to share here.  I borrowed these from Yelp (see link below top photo).

We sat down, ordered a couple of drinks, and carefully searched the menu.  Todd and I both decided to go with the reuben sandwich.  I wanted to order something that I couldn't just make at home.  You know, I've already eaten many many veggie burgers.  I can buy and make veggie meatballs, veggie sausage, veggie bacon, etc etc etc.  But I had never had a reuben sandwich!  They use seitan in place of the beef, and it has cheese (you can get vegan cheese or dairy cheese), sauerkraut, and (vegan) thousand island dressing.  Yum.  You get to choose a side from off of a list with many delicious options.  Todd got mashed potatoes and gravy.  I got the steamed greens.  Both were very very good.

The reuben sandwich.  This one is with mashed potatoes and kraut on the side.

The Chicago Diner has a vegan bakery for lots of dessert options, too!  I skimmed the menu, but I was so full by the time I finished my lunch that I didn't even go that route.

My verdict?  I will definitely return here, even though I felt a little out of place... it's very... hipster-y.  Like I should have ridden my bike here and worn an ironic t-shirt.  Todd should have fashioned his moustache into a handlebar.  We should have stretched our earlobes (I do NOT get that trend...).  But the food was good enough to give it another visit next time we're downtown.  

My first choice when visiting the city still has to be Kuma's, but the wait is SO long most of the time, I may have to start making The Chicago Diner an alternate route.

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  1. you vegetarian or vegan? I had no idea! You just made me hungr that Reuben sounds awesome :)

    1. I'm a pescetarian. I don't eat "meat," but I do eat eggs, dairy, and seafood (yeah, I know that's technically "meat," but it's the best method of vegetarianism that works for my lifestyle). I figure, every little bit helps, right?

      And yes, the reuben WAS great! Unfortunately, I can't replicate it at home, because I can't find seitan anywhere around here... I've tried Whole Foods, Fruitful Yield, Trader Joe's... no luck so far...

  2. Haha your comments on the "scene" of people there were humerus. I love a good Reuben!

    Amanda Rose

    1. At the risk of insulting some people, it's just my honest reaction... Why are hipster guys always so damn skinny anyways? I think it's so they don't look like giant gorillas when they ride their scooters around... :)

  3. Have always been a fan of that lovely marble bread. Looks great!

    Cathy Trails

    1. And it was delicious, I assure you! Thanks!


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