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Healthy Living Guide: Chicago

November 10, 2011

Chicago is famous for many things; its glittering skyline overlooking Lake Michigan, Cubs fans singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in the 7th inning and, of course, its chilly, windy winters! Maybe a lesser-known fact is that Chicago also has a vibrant and ever-expanding culinary scene. Gone are the days when Chicago fare meant hotdog carts and deep-dish pizzas. Now, the city features an array of healthy restaurants with everything from raw, organic dishes to gluten-free and vegan baked goods!

Check out all of Integrative Nutrition's Healthy Living Guides!

Green Zebra
1460 West Chicago Avenue

Green Zebra’s chef Shawn McClain opened the restaurant to share his appreciation for pure ingredients with the world. He uses locally produced, seasonal fruits and vegetables on his menu. All of the dishes are vegetarian, and there are many vegan options as well! 


2056 West Division

This 100% organic pizza shop serves flatbreads, salads and sandwiches made with only locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Some popular dishes include the Bruschetta Trio – avocado pesto, burrata cheese and sun gold tomato preserves – as well as the prosciutto with apple mostarda and the any of the unique flatbread combos made with organic flour. Gluten-free crust options as well as seitan and soy cheese are also available!


175 North Franklin

This popular lunch spot serves a large variety of sandwiches, salads, and wraps made with the freshest of local ingredients. Goodwin is located in a historic building and is a very comfortable and clean space. The exceptional staff makes this restaurant an excellent choice for a relaxed lunch!


hannah's bretzelHannah's Bretzel
Several Locations

This is not your ordinary sandwich shop. Hannah’s Bretzel prepares “Uber Sandwiches” made with all-organic, high-quality ingredients. Choose from such sandwiches toppings as organic greens, organic, all-natural smoked turkey, nitrite-free bacon, and white truffle-goat cheese on whole grain bread.  Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.


4111 North Lincoln Avenue

Browntrout describes their restaurant as casual and comfortable with sustainable cuisine. They grow their own herbs in their rooftop garden and use ingredients of the highest quality: sustainably farmed and organic produce, seafood from natural waters, and all grass-fed, free-range meat. Browntrout is an excellent choice for a healthy and casual dinner with family and friends!


chicago rawChicago Raw
131 North Clinton Street

Chicago Raw is located in the Chicago French Market. They sell a variety of raw sandwiches, small plates, sweets, and entrees including collard burritos, falafel plates, and garden burgers. Raw also sells several raw food products in the market and on their website that will aid the cooking endeavors of any raw foodist!


3267 South Halstead Street

Nana is a family-owned organic restaurant serving great-tasting food made with only fresh, local, organic ingredients. They source their food from over 30 local farms, creameries, and orchards in the Midwest.  Nana has an exceptional dinner menu as well as lunch and breakfast. Some fall favorites include the roasted pumpkin pancakes and the fall apple cider-parmesan fondue.


4471 Lawn Avenue
Western Springs

This upscale seasonal contemporary American restaurant is located just outside of Chicago city limits in Western Springs. The menu features several seafood, meat, and vegetarian options made with only the finest, organic, seasonal ingredients. If you are looking for a fine dining experience with a healthy twist, Vie is an excellent choice!


chicago dinerThe Chicago Diner
3411 North Halstead

The Chicago Diner has been serving vegetarian versions of classic diner dishes since 1983. Their menu features all of your dinner favorites such as the Reuben, BLT or chicken fried steak with a unique vegetarian twist. The Chicago Diner is a great, laid-back restaurant to enjoy with family or friends!


bleeding heart bakeryThe Bleeding Heart Bakery
1916 West Chicago Avenue

This punk rock bakery serves everything from cupcakes to pumpkin pie baked inside a chocolate cake. And the best part? The local, sustainable, and organic ingredients are better for your body and the earth!


Buzz Cafe
905 South Lombard Avenue
Oak Park

This coffee shop in the Oak Park neighborhood outside of Chicago specializes in local, organic foods and organic free-trade coffee. The menu features everything from pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches to soups and salads.  Gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options are also available!


townhouseTown House Books Literary Cafe
105 North 2nd Avenue
St. Charles

This literary café in St. Charles is an excellent place to escape busy city life and enjoy reading or discussing literature over a homemade lunch of fresh, wholesome food. This is a great spot to meet with a book group, come in for an author book signing, or even just check out the selection at the Town House bookstore! 

For more restaurant options around the country, have a look at all of Integrative Nutrition's Healthy Living Guides, or explore all our recommendations on the map below!

View IIN's Healthy Living Guide Map in a larger map

Do you have any restaurant suggestions for our upcoming Healthy Living Guides? Just send us an email to and we’ll do our best to include your suggestion when we get to your city!