The last time I went to Chicago, I found myself exhausted by the drive so this time I grabbed an Amtrak ticket and enjoyed a relaxing eight hour train ride. I would take the train again, no question! My friend Wayne picked me up from the station, then we headed to Paulie Gee’s which has a section of vegan pizzas on their menu. I honed right in on the Lady Lola Light (pictured above) which includes kimchi, serrano peppers, green onions, sesame seeds, and a deliciously spicy soy chili glaze. I could have use a little more sauce but I scarfed the whole pizza down pretty quickly. And I may have tacked on a huge slice of Pie, Pie My Darling cake for good measure.
I was in town for the ninth annual Chicago VeganMania and spoke on a panel about social media with Andy Tabar of The Bearded Vegans and Compassion Co. and Dominick Thompson of Crazies and Weirdos. Seattle-based No Bones Beach Club made the trek to sling Jackfruit Flautas that everyone loved. Wayne and I shared an Apple Hand Pie from Kāl’ish that was flaky, sweet perfection.
And it’s not VeganMania if Pie, Pie My Darling isn’t there with these beautiful and amazing slices of rainbow cake!
To round out the sweets, I enjoyed the VeganMos’ cooking demo where Michael and Ethan made Black and Whites. It’s included in their book NYC Vegan that was recently released, and I snagged a copy of JL Fields’ new book, The Vegan Air Fryer! JL was there for a cooking demo, too, but it took place the same time as my panel. There’s always so much going on at VeganMania, it’s tough to fit it all in but it’s worth it for such a fun day.
It wouldn’t be a visit to Chicago without hitting up Chicago Diner. First up, dinner with Wayne, Michael, Ethan, JL and friends. I tried the Spicy Crispy Chick’n Sandwich for the first time and was not disappointed. The heat level was just right, and the cucumber and lettuce helped add some crunch but also cooled things down. We also enjoyed the infamous vegan milkshakes as appetizers.
We had plenty of time for brunch before my train left on Sunday, so we headed back to Chicago Diner and met up with Alison of Miss Alison – her vegan accessories are too cute! I ordered the Country Benedict and oh my goodness, it was scrumptious! The gravy is rich, the fried tofu is eggy, and I recommend a healthy splash of Sriracha for an extra kick.
And thus wraps up another weekend of deliciousness in Chicago. Last time, we ate at Amitabul which I highly recommend, and next time I’ll have to try the newly opened House of ‘Za. What are you favorite vegan dishes in Chicago?