Vegan four course meal


Dominika Chruszcz

Grilled Tofu Curry Stir from Amitabul: 6207 N Milwaukee Ave.

By Dominika Chruszcz, Editor-in-chief

For these four courses reviewed, I decided to shine a light on some of Chicago’s most popular vegan/vegetarian restaurants in different neighborhoods. Since I’m not vegan myself, I decided that this would be an interesting experiment that was worth a try. Prices for all the dishes selected remained between the $9.50-20 range.



Victory’s Banner

I was in a quite optimistic mood as I set out to try a breakfast staple at Victory’s Banner. Prior to my visit, I read Grace Wong’s review for the Chicago Tribune about Victory’s Banner, recommending the french toast.

It was a beautifully sunny and radiant Sunday morning and the rays lit up my face as I walked up the steps into the small corner restaurant.

I was pleasantly greeted by the friendly hostess and the waiters. I could tell that I was going to have an enjoyable meal since the restaurant was almost filled to the brim with hungry customers. The atmosphere was warm and inviting; pastel blues, greens, and purple hues made the space have a relaxing and calming vibe.

As I sat down in my booth, I wasn’t quite sure which menu item to choose from. The vegan menu that I asked for featured multiple soups, salads, wraps, and breakfast foods. I decided to settle on “Victory Banner’s Vegan French Toast.” The description of the dish noted that the french toast was made with coconut milk, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Upon ordering my meal, I was admiring the details that made up Victory’s Banner: ivory white tables, drinking glasses elegantly prepared and water pitchers sparkling with lemon water.

Seeing those beautiful four french toast pieces resting on the plate with a cup of vegan butter on the side was a sight to behold.

The aroma of cinnamon and anise hit me as I started cutting the toast and I was in heaven. Each of the pieces were light, as if slicing a cloud.

The french toast wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet and the vegan butter served as an excellent savory contrast. I decided to put some maple syrup on each of the pieces as well and it added another layer of  flavor.

I finished my french toast in no time and I was wondering if I should order more. I couldn’t find a difference between “regular” french toast and vegan french toast. However, I think that Victory Banner’s french toast will always be the winner over any kind of competition.



Amitabul: 6207 N Milwaukee Ave.  

Amitabul in Chicago’s northwest side prides itself on its simple Korean vegan cooking. Entering the small restaurant, my eyes immediately gravitated towards oriental artwork that filled the walls amongst other cultural memorabilia. Zen-like music greeted guests that walked through its entrance. It was a packed venue during the afternoon.

One of the quotes framed on the wall said: “To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle – Buddha.” It was definitely something to think about while ordering dinner.

The atmosphere was soothing, calm and relaxed. My dish was called the Grilled Tofu Curry Stir and its description seemed very appetizing: a dish featuring Tibetan curry, turmeric and the chef’s selection of other special sauces.

I was a little bit skeptical about trying my chosen dish because I wasn’t too sure if I was a fan of tofu; the only tofu experience I had was with the sofritas option at Chipotle. My portion was large: carrots, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms and different types of onions crowded the plate. Grilled tofu pieces were generously sprawled over the mix of vegetables.

The curry sauce was strong, bold and spicy. I felt that the tofu lacked a little bit of seasoning, but I feel like this was the normal occurence for people who aren’t regular tofu-eaters.

All the customers inside were  eagerly asking for to-go boxes and asking servers about recommendations which made me consider the restaurant as a pleasant one. The people in Amitabul were down-to-earth, along with an earthy and hearty selection of Korean cuisine.



Moonlight Vulture:  2889 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Moonlight Vulture encompasses a very interesting layout inside. Doodles of pizza, lightning bolts and craters appear on one side of the wall and miniature art pieces appear on every wall with various funky quotes.

For example, there were drawings of a cow, pig and chicken with different quotes: “Call me normal and I’ll call you often” or “You will never have a successful long-distance relationship.” The quotes seemed to target those who consumed meat products by my judgement. Yikes!   

A blue ceiling and the R&B music make this locale unique. An old fashioned fridge and a red cart filled with different hot sauces drew my eye to the corner.

I decided to try their El Dorado burger. Its ingredients were black beans, poblano and bell peppers and the classic tomato, lettuce and onion on a pretzel bun. I asked for an addition of an avocado on mine.

Since I wasn’t able to eat within the restaurant this time, I took my burger to-go. Upon returning home, I was looking forward to try a taste of this vegan lunch staple because my hunger was taking me over.

The black beans appeared to make up a patty which had some herbs and spice along with it because of the poblano peppers. I was skeptical at first to even order a vegan burger, but I was extraordinarily pleased with the outcome.

Chipotle mayo was included as a side condiment and it tasted robust and sweet. The toppings were perfectly filling and the burger came with a brined pickle on the side. My avocado made the burger taste creamier and the chipotle mayo made it tangier.

Delicious. Delicious. Delicious. The price of this burger was only $8.00 with the additional $1.50 for the avocado and taxes—not bad.



Heavenly Gelato & Ice Cream: 2662 N Sawyer Ave.

Walking into the cozy corner of Heavenly Gelato & Ice Cream, I witnessed a wide assortment of frozen goods were on display. There was a small selection of vegan ice creams by the name of Raspberry Nebula along with butter pecan and chocolate.

I chose Raspberry Nebula.

I got a scoop with a waffle cone. The ice cream wasn’t too sweet and it was the perfect thick consistency. I detected small bursts of chocolate bits within the ice cream along with raspberry swirls. It was a delightful treat.

Most vegan ice cream ingredients include dairy substitutes of coconut milk or of a non-dairy creamer according to Emily of the Kitchn and Katie of The Healthy Dessert Blog. Other ingredients can include agave and vanilla extract.