I have been wanting to create a list of black owned vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in the Chicagoland area for some time. What better time to launch this working list than during Black History Month?
Black veganism is nothing knew. You do not have to give up any cultural or sub cultural foods you love as a black vegan and these places are proof. Whether you want African vegan food, Caribbean vegan food or even Chicago classic style vegan eats from the neighborhood, this list covers it.
Most of these spots, I have been to, while some I have not made it to yet. These lists are divided into two groups: vegan and vegan-friendly. Vegan-friendly has vegan options and not fully vegan, so please be aware that there is a potential for cross contamination.
Am I missing any places? Drop me a comment! Let me know the restaurant name and what they offer that is vegan-friendly so I can include them!
Black-owned Vegan Restaurants in Chicagoland (updated list 2024)
B'Gabbs Goodies: Named after the community-focused owner, Gabrielle Darvassy, this long-time Hyde Park gem offers some fresh, clean options like their Marley's Love Kale Salad as well as some junk food faves like their Philly Uncheese Steak and Spicy Nashville Sandwich.
Conscious Plates: Chef and owner, Latrell Garnett, opened Chicago's only fully alkaline vegan restaurant in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood on the south side. This Dr. Sebi-approved spot serves dishes like Oyster Wings and Burro Fries, Tempura Basket and they offer a weekend brunch. Everything is made from scratch, so if you walk in, please expect a 20+ minute wait.
Daisy's Cafe: This south suburban restaurant is a family owned spot and features fresh, made to order items (be prepared to wait 20-30 minutes for your food if you walk in). I enjoy their Jerk Wrap, Fried Mushrooms & Cauliflower Platter and Vegan Gyro.
Good Foods Vegan/Vegetarian Deli: You might miss this unassuming, low-key south side spot if you're not paying attention. Order at the counter and shop herbs while you wait or stop in for a quick grab and go meal you can reheat for later. They offer tons of herbs on-site, cleanses, smoothies, burgers, wraps, and more.
Native Foods (Chicago location only): This vegan restaurant chain is now black owned as of January 2024. Dame Dia was once the general manager for the location and has since purchased this location! Native Foods is a fast casual vegan spot in the heart of downtown, offering eats like salads, burgers, wraps, pre-packaged desserts and more.
Majani: Owned by husband and wife Nasya and Tsadakeeyah Emmanuel, this south side community gem is a staple in the community. They have some of the best BBQ Cauliflower Wings and I am obsessed with their Oyster Mushroom Tacos and Soul Bowl!
Soul Veg City (previously Soul Vegetarian): This south side pillar in the community has been serving up delicious vegan food for over 40 years! They offer a full menu made to order, fresh smoothies, grab and go items and have a hot bar with some absolutely delicious eats such as mac and cheese, greens, lasagna and much more. They also recently opened Vegan Now 2 Go, a fast casual vegan spot, also on the south side.
Sweet Vegan Bakes: Chef Cheryl, the owner, lost over 115 pounds after going vegan and wanted to create a place with flavorful meals and decadent desserts that everyone would enjoy. Chef Cheryl is a self-proclaimed food scientist and can all of her desserts gluten-free as well as sugar free! My faves are any of her desserts and the Chipotle Chicken Wrap.
The Black Vegan: This black woman owned spot is located on Chicago's west side in the Little Village neighborhood and offers vegan eats with lots of gluten-free options. Sparkle Le’Star Rucker, the owner, serves eats like portabella gyro, BBQ ribs, loaded fries and more.
Vegan Trap House: South side, black woman owned spot for veganized Chicago style food faves.
Black-owned Vegan-friendly Restaurants in Chicagoland
Bani's Beets Cold-Pressed Juicery: Auriel Banister, the owner, opened this adorable, quaint juice bar in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago. My fave juices from Bani's Beets are the Lean Green and Morning Glory. They also host community wellness events like yoga classes and more.
Bronzeville Winery: This classy spot located in the historic Bonneville neighborhood of Chicago's south side has vegan options including food and wine. They serve brunch, dinner and host happy hour, offering a variety of vegan options like their vegan burger, salads and starters such as their Sweet Potato Hummus and Watermelon Nigiri.
Can't Believe It's Not Meat: This flexitarian, vegan-friendly spot is a Chicago favorite and has opened three Chicagoland locations including their original Hyde Park location, Orland Park and Gold Coast locations. They have a tantalizing weekend brunch at Orland and Gold Coast locations! I am crazy about their Waffle Breakfast Sandwich and Breakfast Eggrolls. Their vegan menu is so vast and they add new items periodically, so you will never be able to say you've tried everything! A few of my go-tos are the Mr. Philly Melt, Surf & Turf Vegan Pizza and Shrimp Po' Boy--tantalizing.
Demera Restaurant: This Ethiopian restaurant owned by Chef & Owner, Tigist Reda, who was born and raised in Ethiopia. She has been in Chicago for over 20 years. I love their vegan options so much, it is definitely a must try. I suggest trying their Bayaynetu for 1, a sampler platter.
FruVe Express Juicery: This local juicery chain offers decadent, pretty acai bowls, fresh pressed juice and to-go items. They serve bee pollen and honey, making them vegan-friendly. Please note, their third West Loop location has closed, they have two - south side (53rd St) and South Loop locations.
Mimi's Tacos and Fries: This fast casual pickup spot offers vegan-friendly eats like birria tacos, loaded fries and other indulgent Mexican style eats. They also serve up some tantalizing vegan Italian Ice they make in-house!
Soul Vibez: This soul food lux-feeling fast casual spot is owned by Chef Fab of Can't Believe It's Not Meat and shares space with their Orland Park location. Their vegan friendly offerings include Hot Not Honey Chick'n and Waffles, Steak and Potatoes, Mac n Cheese and much more.
Vibrations: This is one of my faves and worth the drive to Miller Beach, IN (Gary, Indiana). They have a vast menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner options including fresh juices and smoothies, their oyster mushroom burger and more. They also host community events throughout the year and are in a multi level building featuring yoga, live music and a store inside their café with hand made jewelry, herbs and more.
Am I missing a black-owned vegan-friendly spot in Chicago / Chicagoland area? Comment and let me know the restaurant name and I just may do a video featuring them!