My company recently moved to a new building. It’s a cool place, but the best part is the plethora of food options close by. Vegan options abound in this neck of the woods, and it’s amazing!! My coworkers and I have been frequenting Freshii, an awesome little place where you can build your own wrap, burrito, soup, or bowl — so tasty and pretty cheap. I also love Protein Bar, where they offer tons of plant-based protein choices in addition to lots of other fresh and delicious ingredients.
But the star of the show when it comes to vegan lunch places in the Loop is Native Foods Cafe. A totally vegan restaurant, I am always surprised by how PACKED it constantly is. I feel like the V word scares off a lot of omnivores, but this place seems to be immune, probably because it’s so delicious! One of my coworkers and I both went there for the first time today, though separately since I had a lunchtime meeting. We both adored it, and another one of our coworkers has already pledged to go tomorrow based on our stellar reviews.
Let me just tell you how amazing my lunch was. I had the Super Italian Meatball Sub. Here’s the menu description:
Native Sausage Seitan meatballs, marinara sauce, caramelized onions, roasted sweet peppers, pumpkin seed pesto, ranch dressing and Native Parmesan on a warm grilled baguette.
Delicious? Uh, YES. I got it with a side of Native Fries and a free Lavender Lemonade since I joined their Rewards Club. Awesome!
This seriously is the best vegan food I have had from a restaurant, probably ever. It was such a sloppy mess of gooey goodness. The meatballs were a little crispy and a lot chewy, the marinara was perfect and made the bread a little soggy… All the flavors were so completely delicious and the grilled baguette was absolutely perfect.
Clearly, this was a massive meal. I easily could have been satisfied with half. But I ate the whole thing because it was just that kind of a day. And it was superb!
Native Foods Cafe gets my vote for vegan comfort food with amazing, rich flavor. They have such a broad menu that there is positively something for everyone — which is proven by their intense customer load! Granted, their food is expensive, and I would never call it healthy… but I actually think it’s great to dispel the impression that a vegan diet is only comprised of carrots and iceberg lettuce. It’s totally greasy, fattening, and delicious. Not an everyday destination, but perfect for an occasional splurge! And since it’s oh so dangerously close to my office, I’m going to have to remind myself of this often. :)