In 1983, when Chicago was sill typified as a meat-and-potatoes town, one funky diner decided to zig against the zag—aka eschew meat for a 100% vegetarian menu in the heart of the clubby gayborhood. Founded by spouses Mickey Hornick and Jo A. Kaucher, who went vegetarian on a dare when she was 19, the notion of a meat-free diner was audacious. So much so that it was difficult to get a loan from business lenders who deemed it too wild and risky. The duo changed public perception with their emphasis on hearty and familiar food—e.g. hulking Reuben sandwiches, country-fried “steak,” milkshakes, and gyros—in a space that felt just as familiar as a comfy roadside diner. There just happens to be more pride flags and seitan than your typical diner. The recipe proved a successful one, spawning another location in hipster-packed Logan Square, and the original outpost on North Halsted still commands a queue for some of the most inventive and decadent comfort food around, all of which just happens to be meat-free.
How to order: Pickup and delivery orders can be placed directly through the website.