Healthy Eats In The Chicagoland Area

by Natalie on August 25, 2011

I am definitely an advocate for cooking meals at home, but I also love going out to eat. Sometimes you just can’t cook it like they do!

When I go out to eat, I love to find restaurants with healthy offerings. And I’m not just talking salads, but creative meals featuring a lot of fresh vegetables and herbs.

I know it can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when eating out at restaurants. But let me tell you, it gets a lot easier if you choose the right ones. Here is a list of restaurants I visit in the Chicagoland area that offer healthy eats. If you live in the area or are planning on making a visit, you should definitely check these places out. Many of the places I have listed are not the most trendy places to be but they offer down right good food!

Honey Cafe

499 Main St, Glen Ellyn IL 60137

I love this little place so much! In addition to the awesome food, it has a lovely environment. The walls are painted with beautiful colors and adorned with neat photography. The restaurant has a very casual feel. One of my favorite things to order is the veggie burger. It is seriously one of the best I have ever had. I also like how you can order this sandwich with a side of greens instead of the fries. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available. They also use a lot of organic and local ingredients, a huge plus! I could really go on and on about this place, it is so good.

Uncommon Ground

At 2 Locations in Chicago: 3800 N Clark Street and 1401 W Devon Ave

This place gets me really excited! These restaurants are ranked #1 and #2 green restaurants in Chicago by the Chicago Green Restaurant Association. They even have a certified organic garden on top of their roof which they use for their meals! I have actually only been to this restaurant for breakfast but it has been amazing each time I have gone. Once I had cornmeal pancakes with a fresh raspberry puree which were to die for. You will love the environment of Uncommon Ground. It has an earthy, laid back feel with beautiful art on the walls. When I have gone they usually have a small wait but stick it out because its worth it! They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Prasino

There are 3 locations in Illinois:

  • La Grange: 93 S La Grange Ave 60525
  • St. Charles: 51 S First Street 60174
  • Wicker Park: 1846 W Division, Chicago 60622

I have only been to the St. Charles location so that is to what I will speak. I love the culture of Prasino! You can tell they really care about serving healthy, good quality food. Everything I have tried there has been excellent and very fresh tasting. The salads have all been top notch! I have also tried the fish tacos and seitan tacos which were equally delicious! Among some traditional offerings they also have vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options on their menu. I also appreciate that Prasino also uses local, sustainable, and organic ingredients when possible. Prasino is absolutely beautiful inside with very unique decor. It is in between dressy and casual. Prasino serves breakfast in addition to lunch and dinner.

Town House Cafe

105 N 2nd Ave. St. Charles, IL

When ever I step into Town House, I feel at home. I have been visiting this restaurant since I was a child, but that is not the reason I am partial to it. I keep coming back because the food is great! With the exception of Sunday brunch, Town House serves only lunch. There menu is made up of tasty sandwiches, salads and soups. They feature daily soup, quiche and dessert specials which are displayed on a small chalkboard in the back of the room. All the soups and desserts are homemade! I have tried several of the menu options and everything has been great! My favorites are probably their soups and salads but they also have a great hummus plate. The restaurant is casual and quaint. It is also connected to the Town House bookstore which has a lot of neat finds.

Vino Thai

3825 E. Main Street, St. Charles IL

I am not sure that Vino Thai gets the attention it deserves. Located in a strip mall, the restaurant is very unassuming. I found out about it from a friend many years ago. It is one of my favorite spots to visit in St. Charles. Vino Thai prides themselves in serving healthy, fresh Thai food. From my experience, the food has always been just that. Most of their dishes are served in a light broth with tons of colorful vegetables. It seems like they flash cook the vegetables because they are always very crisp. This I appreciate because it helps retain a lot of the nutrients. I always leave Vino Thai feeling satisfied and not overly full. They are very accommodating with their meals; the restaurant is very vegetarian friendly. The restaurant is always very clean and comfortable. Open for lunch and dinner.

India Palace

242 E Geneva Rd, Wheaton IL 60187

I don’t think this place even has a website but if you want to learn more just check out the reviews on Yelp. This is an Indian restaurant located in a strip mall. I think it is family owned; every time I go, the same people are working. What I love about this place is that they offer a small lunch buffet everyday for $9.99. I am not usually a buffet person but for Indian food it works out great because it allows me to experience more of their delectable cuisine. The food here is outstanding. It always tastes super fresh. The buffet has many vegetarian options to choose from and the naan is some of the best I’ve had. Because of this restaurant, Indian food is becoming one of my most favorite cuisines!

Olive Mountain

610 Davis Street, Evanston IL 60201

Ok, so I only went to this restaurant once, but I would love to go back! I felt like this was some of the best Middle Eastern food I have ever had in the suburbs. My husband and I made a meal out of several appetizers. We got the hummus, lentil soup, stuffed grape leaves, foul, tabouleh, and of course pita bread. Everything was fantastic and fresh. Another benefit is that the restaurant is BYOB. Located in the heart of Northwestern University campus, the atmosphere is casual. I hope I can make it back sometime!

Restaurants I Want to Try

Green Zebra

1460 W Chicago Ave, Chicago IL 60642

I can’t believe I haven’t made it to Green Zebra yet! I have been hearing about this restaurant for a long time and have yet to make a trip. Though I did not see it on the website, I believe this restaurant is vegetarian. I saw they referred to the themselves as “vegetable based”. The menu looks fab!

Karyn’s On Green

130 South Green St, Chicago IL

I have never been to a vegan restaurant before and would like to give it a try. Looks like a neat atmosphere as well!

Have you been to any of these restaurants? Are there any other healthy restaurants in Chicago or suburbs that you would like to share? Leave a comment in the comment box below!

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photo by: Jacob Rickard

Heidi November 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Have been meaning to tell you about a new vegan restaurant that popped up in Lakeview – called Native Foods Cafe. Really interesting and delicious food – you’ll have to try it sometime!

Natalie November 9, 2011 at 10:54 am

Thank you for sharing. Will definitely have to check it out!

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