Healthy Restaurants in Chicago, Illinois

Lauren Less is an allergy-friendly food blogger and recipe creator. Less was diagnosed with allergies such as gluten and dairy, and has created a long, diverse list of her favorite allergy-friendly places in Chicago. “I look for restaurants that are allergy friendly and have modifiable options,” Less shares.

Eating with allergies isn’t always about enjoying delicious and nutritious foods, but also about feeling safe and comfortable knowing your diet restrictions are being taken care of.

“It is not as simple as taking away an ingredient, people with food allergies have to be careful about cross-contamination in the kitchen or fryer and ingredients in dishes that others might not think about, such as spices.”

What are Less’ go-to safe substitutions for allergies that don’t take away from deliciousness? “Substitute a lettuce bun on a burger, remove cheese from a dish, olive oil instead of dressing, no sauce, minimal spices or salt and pepper instead of a seasoning blend!”

If you’re looking for allergy-friendly, healthy restaurants that don’t substitute the yum factor in Chicago, check out Less’ top picks!

Lauren’s Healthy Restaurant Recommendations in Chicago

1. Ema

74 W Illinois St Chicago, IL 60654

Type of food: Mediterranean

Why she loves it: “Ema is a Mediterranean restaurant focusing on spreads, dips and small plates that are meant for sharing. I love Ema because the food is phenomenal and they are super allergy-friendly and accommodating.”

Go-to orders: “I am obsessed with their toasted almond and garlic dip. It is a must try! I also love their crispy potatoes (I have a dairy allergy so I remove the crema and cheese).”

2. Beatrix

834 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607

Type of food: Comfort food

Why she loves it: “Beatrix serves comfort food with a healthful twist! Everything I have tried on their menu is delicious and I love the atmosphere. They are also phenomenal with food allergies.”

Go-to orders: “I basically always get their prime burger with kennebec fries. They add crispy lemons to their fries and they are amazing. I also love their coconut chia pudding if you are going there for breakfast or brunch!”

3. Oromo Cafe

1912 N Western Ave Chicago, IL 60647

Type of food: Coffee/cafe

Why she loves it: “Oromo is a cute little cafe in Chicago that focuses on organic ingredients and they even make their own house-made nut milks. I love meeting friends for coffee/tea there!”

Go-to orders: “I always order their matcha with hazelnut milk. Their house-made hazelnut milk is awesome!”

4. Summer House Santa Monica

1954 N Halsted Chicago, IL 60614

Type of food: California-inspired

Why she loves it: “Summer House serves a California-inspired menu featuring simple ingredients. The summery vibe in the restaurant is also amazing!”

Go-to orders: “I love their sweet potato fries and they also make delicious salads. Prior to developing food allergies, I also was able to try their cookies and they are amazing!”

5. True Food Kitchen

1 W Erie St Chicago, IL 60654.

Type of food: True Food offers delicious food made with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Why she loves it: “I love that they have a seasonal menu.”

Go-to orders: “They have such good turkey burgers! I also love their chopped salad (I get it with no cheese and no farro because of my allergies). They also more recently added roasted fingerling potatoes and they are delicious!”

Learn more about Lauren Less on her website or follow her on Instagram.

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