Live Well. Eat Well. Pay It Forward. 

Plant Strong Diva

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Eat Well.

I love to eat. I also love to share where to Eat Well around Chicago.

Cheap Chicago Eats plus bonus recommendations at the bottom!


Photo by Cafe Orchid

1. Cafe Orchid Lake View, Chicago   

Exceptional Turkish food at a great price in a cozy setting with tons of veg options. Located in Chicago's vibrant Lakeview neighborhood. 

Why it's on the list?  Great value, friendly service, fresh ingredients, thoughtfully prepared food.  Entertainment on weekends & holiday's.  Oh, and it's BYOB with no corkage fee so you can splurge on your favorite wine at Binny's before arrival!

Must order: Shepard Salad, Ezme, Piyaz, Baked Eggplant entree, which they will make without cheese if you ask kindly. Their falafel is good too!

Tips to make your trip a breeze: Free parking lot out front or metered street parking on Addison.

*Free semi private room. Great for parties!


photo by Chicago pizza and oven grinders

2. Chicago Pizzeria and Oven Grinders Lincoln Park, Chicago

Not your traditional Chicago style pizza joint. Here you will find a Chicago classic, dishing up individual pizza pot pies, oven grinders and salads all made from scratch using high quality ingredients, served in a bustling basement of an old brick home in Chicago's hip Lincoln Park neighborhood. 

Why it's on the list?  Great value. Large portions of scratch made, deliciously prepared grub served in an energetic, iconic environment. The pizza pot pie paired with the Chef's salad will have you hooked. 

 Must Order: Large Chef's salad with an extra dose of their house made sweet and sour poppy seed dressing, Mediterranean bread & an individual 1/2 pound vegetarian pizza pot pie. 

Tips to make your trip a breeze: Cash only! ATM across the street.  Valet parking for $8.00. Reservations not accepted so arrive early and have a drink at the bar if you can push your way in.

Photo by George Valdez'

3. Caro Mio Ristorante Lincoln Square, Chicago

Hand made pastas, freshly prepared sauces and exceptional service set this BYOB Italian restaurant, located in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood apart. 

 Why it's on the list?  The food is extremely fresh and full of flavor. There are plenty of veg friendly options available. It's BYOB with no corkage fee. The portions are HUGE so you essentially get 2 for 1 meals and being a value hunter, I just love any place that I can get great food, solid service & pick the wine I want to drink at the price I want to pay.  This makes me truly happy diva.

 Must Order: Pappardelle arrabiatta don gamberi.  Gnocchi with arrabiatta sauce ( not on menu, but just ask for a veggie version of their Gnocchi).  Farfalle alla primavera. Complimentary bread & oil. Grilled mixed veggies or a side salad to accompany your pasta. Delizioso!

 Tips to make your trip a breeze: Arrive early as they get very busy. Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more. Metered street parking available out front on Damen or Wilson. 

*Free semi private room. Great for parties!

 Interior Bombay Spice Grill & Wine

Photo Credit Bombay Spice Grill and Wine

4. Bombay Spice Grill and Wine Streeterville, Chicago

Trendy, yet somewhat casual & healthy Indian cuisine, dished up with style in Chicago's classy River North neighborhood. 

Why it's on the list?  I love Indian food, but I hate the Ghee! Bombay Spice Grill and Wine doesn't cook with this clarified butter, making the flavors of each dish truly stand out and tickle your taste buds. The prices are extremely reasonable. You can walk away tasting over five things on the menu, have a drink and have extra cash left over to spend on a drink at Paris Club around the corner!

Must Order: 2 orders of Behl Puri, Chickpea Ceviche, Vegetable Samosas, opt for the "Create your own Entree with Bombay Sampler" perfect for two to share with a combination of appetizers. With this option you get to try each of their tasty  house made sauces and they are good.

Tips to make your trip a breeze: Parking can be tough as it's all metered, so arrive early or Valet for $11.95.  Reservations for parties of 6 or more. Perfect starting spot for a great night out in River North. Get dressed up and have some fun!


Photo Credit Urban Vegan Chicago

5. Urban Vegan Lincoln Park and Lake View location, Chicago 

Come on guys! I had to put at least one Vegan place on the list! This place will rock your socks off. Urban Vegan serves up authentic Thai cuisine without the nasty fish sauce. It's BYOB so you can bring your favorite bottle (or two) of semi sweet wine to pair with their creative, fresh cuisine. 

Why it's on the list?  Thai food is something that I would rather go out for then make. If you have ever tried to make green curry from scratch, you understand. Urban Vegan is a mecca for plant based foodies. They have an extremely versatile menu that you can sample without abandon. You get LOTS of food for minimal cost and you can bring your own bevvies. Oh and their "brown rice" is amazing. Done.

Must Order:  Papaya salad, Steam curry dumpling (or fried), Golden Tofu, Freshly Rolls, Green Curry entree, Spicy Noodle.  

Tips to make your trip a breeze: Parking is a bit tough for the Fullerton location.  Meters are usually available on Fullerton or you can go on a side street for free parking. The decor at the  Montrose location is a bit more hip if you are in the mood for a sexy vibe, I'd suggest going there. For week night dining hit up Fullerton. Don't forget your wine!  

 -Plant Strong Diva

 House Divided? Here is my round up of great Chicago restaurants w/Veg options on.....  

 A couple more of my favorite conventional Chicago restaurants with Veg options on...

Where can you find the best Vegan desserts in Chicago? I'll show you on........