'The Vegetarian Option' on Serious Eats

The Vegetarian Option: Taxim

At one point during my meal at Taxim, there were four fetas on the table. An impromptu taste test suggested that among the portions of salty, crumbly cheese within arm's reach (crowning four different vegetarian Taxim dishes), at least two distinct varieties were represented—and both were delicious in their own way. Any place that traffics in Greek cheeses this good, and takes the extra step of parsing between different styles of fetas to complement specific dishes, is my kind of place. More

The Vegetarian Option: Native Foods Café

Can one restaurant successfully serve up Greek, Asian, and Italian flavors, just to name a few of Native Foods's points of culinary reference? And, maybe even more importantly, can it deliver authentic, honest, and ultimately delicious flavors via its proprietary line of fake meats? More

The Vegetarian Option: The Publican

I won't go so far as to say that the Publican provides enough meatless dishes to make a big meal for the vegetarian diner. It's just not that kind of place. But I'd argue that it's worth a visit, say for a beer and a few plates, when you're hunting more for flavor than fulfillment. More

The Vegetarian Option: New Tokyo

Vegetarian sushi doesn't begin and end with the cucumber roll. Take the menu at New Tokyo, where there are no less than nine varieties of meatless, seafood-free sushi rolls. Not only is New Tokyo more accommodating toward vegetarian diners than most sushi joints I've been to in Chicago, the humble little Lakeview BYOB eschews the overblown theatrics common to more upscale Japanese restaurants. More

The Vegetarian Option: Udupi Palace

Udupi Palace serves a completely meatless menu, so the vegetarian diner has free rein to explore. That said, avoid over-ordering appetizers—not that the vegetable samosa, pakora, and vada at Udupi aren't tasty, you just run the risk of filling up on these fried, carb-laden items before making it to the main event, which for me is the delicious selection of curries. More

The Vegetarian Option: Bangers & Lace

For being as encased-meat-centric as it is, Bangers & Lace strikes a close, favorable accord with the vegetarian eater. For every hot dog preparation on the menu, you can sub in a veggie dog for a buck more. And the ratatouille-smothered veggie sausage is delicious...not to mention, it goes great with beer. More

The Vegetarian Option: Wow Bao

In some ways, the challenge of eating vegetarian is hardest when doing it in a fast-food context. Enter Wow Bao—Lettuce Entertain You's chain of Asian bun stands, which in the past few years has expanded to include five locations in Chicago and the Bao Mobile, a roving bun truck. More

The Vegetarian Option: The Pump Room

If you've had your eye on the Vegetarian Option column thus far, you'll know that SE Chicago editor Nick Kindelsperger has gotten off to a promising start, but I'll be taking over for him in the search for delicious vegetarian eats here in Chicago. Nick and I held the torch-passing ceremony in suitably swank digs: the dining room of the recently refurbished and reopened Pump Room, in the Gold Coast's Public Hotel. More

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