When you follow a vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten-free diet, it can sometimes be hard to dine out at restaurants. Your friends or family suggest a favorite dining destination, but you’re limited to one or two items on the menu. Fortunately, restaurants are taking notice and adding more options than ever before. Read on to find local options so tasty, even carnivores will want to take part.
Blind Faith Cafe
525 Dempster St., Evanston
Start your day with gluten-free Huevos Rancheros or Chilaquiles, or try the Vegan Mexican Breakfast. If you visit Blind Faith later in the day, the Enchiladas Verdes are gluten-free, as is the Spinach Lentil Salad. Vegan eaters will also love the Mongolian Stir-Fry or Barbecue Seitan Sandwich. Plus, the Thai Peanut Noodles, Teriyaki Fried Rice Bowl, Quinoa Salad Bowl and Miso Soup are all vegan and gluten-free.
1145 Church St., Northbrook
Gluten-free diners can still enjoy an evening at Francesca’s North, which offers gluten-free options under antipasti, insalate, pizze, paste, secondi and dolci. Try the Pizza Margharita, Penne del Pastore, Pollo al Limone or Crema alla Vaniglia. Vegetarians will also find a variety of options throughout the menu.
Viet Nom Nom
618 1/2 Church St., Evanston
This Vietnamese-inspired restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The Summer Rolls, Vermicelli Noodle Salad, and Pho are all vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, while the vegetarian Banh Mi can be made vegan. Side-options that work for everyone include the Saigon Veggie Slaw, Green Papaya Salad, and Great Lakes Potato Chips. Plus, every sauce is made in-house and is gluten-free.
North Branch Pizza & Burger Co.
4520 W. Lake St., Glenview
North Branch’s gluten-free menu includes beer, appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees (including gluten-free pizza!), so you’ll have plenty of options on game night. Try the Grilled Calamari, Blackened Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos, Mediterranean Chicken and more. Vegetarians should order the Eat Your Veggies pizza or the R.H. Tree Hugger veggie burger topped with roasted tomatoes, mixed greens, sautéed green peppers, avocado, chipotle and rosemary aioli.
341 E. Dundee Road, Wheeling
Purple Sprout makes it easy to eat well on the go with their Grab-n-Go menu. You can also dine in or carry out gluten-free crepes, Pine Nut Roll, Tofu-Spinach Quiche and Hempburger. Gluten-free desserts include Coconut Raspberry Macaroon, cheesecake in a variety of flavors, Chocolate Bonbons, Chocolate-Covered Truffles and more.
Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery
1107 Waukegan Road, Glenview
When you’re in need of that perfect birthday (or any special occasion!) treat, visit Sweet Ali’s for delicious gluten-free doughnuts, breads, muffins, cookies, cupcakes, pies and more. They even make custom cakes and vegan treats.
Sweety Pies Bakery
8042 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
Whether you’re looking for your wedding cake, or need treats for an upcoming birthday or shower, Sweety Pies can help you by making the perfect gluten-free creation.
550 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling
During lunch and dinner, this Italian favorite offers gluten-free pasta for an additional $2. Other options include Carpaccio Di Manzo (arugula salad, shaved parmigiano, truffle oil), Prosciutto E Mozzarella, Minestrone, Barbe Rosse (roasted red beets, hazelnuts, citrus segments, goat cheese, frisee, butter lettuce, sherry vinaigrette) and Bistecca Di Maiale (roasted pork chop, garlic rapini, rosemary, sage, and pinot noir demi).
2985 Tower Drive, Glenview
Make-your-own-pizza is all the rage and gluten-free diners don’t need to be left out. Your Pie offers a gluten-free crust that you can then pile with all the toppings (including vegan cheese and a variety of veggies) your heart desires.
Find even more restaurants and bakeries on Chicago’s North Shore here.