Christmas in Chicago - Food Recommendations? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-24-2008, 04:25 PM
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I'm a vegan Brit (living in Germany), who will be visiting my (omni) Dad for a week over Christmas.

My Dad is in a mini panic as to how to cope with my "weirdness". Never having spent Christmas in the US, I'm not sure what to suggest as easily swappable seasonal menu items. Is something store bought like Tofurky Roast a sensible option or would I be better planning to make something from scratch?

Also are there any vegan restaurants etc. in Chicago that are worth visiting while I'm there?

Thanks for any advice.
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#2 Old 11-24-2008, 07:43 PM
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I'd recommend going to the Illinois forum. I think it's mostly Chicagoans.

At any rate, the three I've been to would be the Soul Vegetarian (south side of Chicago: Serves Soul Food.), the Chicago Diner (north-middle of Chicago: serves Diner-type food. Also sells vegan pastries. May sometimes use dairy.), and Amitabul (northwest of Chicago: serves Korean veggie food).

I generally liked all of them, although Soul Veg has something of a prix fixe arrangment which provides few options when ordering.

UPDATE: I should note that when I posted this message, this thread was in the Veggie Patch. It was moved with no announcement.
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#3 Old 11-24-2008, 07:50 PM
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What part of Chicago are you going to be in? I'm from the far south suburbs and many places canbe difficult to get to from here.

My family copes by having a Quorn roast for me instead of turkey and everything else made veggie (including the stuffing). For the stuffing, we don't cook it in the bird anymore (unsafe) and use veggie broth (or vegetarian chicken broth) instead of meat broth. We may use veggie broth to make gravy or use packages of veggie turkey/chicken gravy. We never make the super oversweetened, inludes marshmallows sweet potatos ever, just the thought makes our teeth curl.
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#4 Old 11-26-2008, 03:24 PM
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Many thanks for the feedback. The thread move had stumped me completely. Ended up having to look for my last post to track down where it was.

I'll be in the Elk Grove Village area. To be honest I'm not sure how likely getting to restaurants will be. My Dad's health has declined considerably this last year, and he hasn't left the house since February. I'm there for a week though, so who knows? I'd definitely expect to need to explore a bit and do some retail therapy, so lunchtime suggestions would be awesome.

My first question is really what decent vegan foods I could swap in for the usual omni fleshfest. Tofurky is one thing I've heard of, but I have no idea if its vegan (I know google could help with that one), or more importantly (which google can't help with) if it, or something else, is worth bothering with.

Would Whole Foods be a reasonable (more for variety of choice), and best, quick stop to pick up some suitable foods? Thinking about fresh fruit and veg, and seasonal meat substitutes (though to be honest I would be as happy with a vegan pizza for Christmas lunch, but I think that more tradition is the best way not to rock the boat too far), or groovy, exotic, never-heard-of-before-but-would-have-to-move-to-Chicago to never be without again type treats?

Thanks again,


Fingers crossed the thread doesn't move again.
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#5 Old 11-27-2008, 07:07 AM
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I've never been to a whole foods in Chicago, but it manages to always have fresh produce. Quorn has egg whites in it, but I think Tofurky is vegan. I've never had their of them (turkey version).

I'll be in Chicago for Christmas too-- I'm looking for a veg-friendly Dim Sum restaurant.
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#6 Old 12-05-2008, 02:47 PM
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Whole Foods Market should do you for most everything...fruit and veg, along with mock meats, etc. if you want them. There's a store in Wheaton, which isn't too far, but there may be one closer too (

Also, the stores very often have prepared vegan meals, special ones for holidays with things like tofurkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, etc. You'd have to call the store ahead, but it would be a very simple solution.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#7 Old 12-15-2008, 02:15 PM
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Thanks Jen and Cstadt for the very helpful replies.
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