Native Foods Cafe
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Neighborhood: Wicker Park, the Loop
Phone Number: Multiple
Price Range: $5-15
Our Rating: 5 out of 5
Our Take: They say kale is the new black. My great aunt Mary was eating it before it was cool—and she was still playing tennis at age 92!—but I must admit that I’ve also jumped on the cruciferous bandwagon.
Enter Native Foods Cafe, an entirely plant-based restaurant. Though Native Foods is a chain with locations across the country, each restaurant features a regional menu. They use organic, sustainable ingredients, made fresh every day, and all the restaurants are energy-efficient. Namaste!
Last Sunday, I stopped at the Wicker Park location for a quick lunch. As I’ve stated in earlier posts, I’m not vegetarian, but after living in Nepal for a summer and trying to cook on a budget, I don’t have to eat meat every day. And if the opportunity to try some fancy vegan creation presents itself…it’s like that time my friends suggested we continue our night at a dueling pianos bar…”I live for that ish!”
You order at the counter, where I guarantee your server will be really, really nice. Either they’re all from Canada, or the whole “you are what you eat” thing actually works. **INSIDER TIP**~~ if you give them your phone number, you get a free drink on your first visit. And then if you fill out the survey on the follow-up email they’ll send you, you get a free dessert! I told you they were nice!!
My meal was equally delicious and beautiful, and you get a lot of food for a good price. And it doesn’t require any strategizing like a trip to the Whole Foods salad bar. The menu is large enough that I could go back again and again without eating the same thing twice, and diverse enough to satisfy whatever craving I have at the moment.
Native Foods, consider me a regular! In the meantime, I’ll be in the kitchen massaging my vegetables.