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If you’re looking to try a vegan lifestyle, there is no time better than the present as World Vegan Week commences on Sunday. In addition to promoting the lifestyle itself, Chicago’s version of Vegan Week also challenges local restaurants to add vegan options to their traditional meat-centric menus.

Show your support for businesses who have chosen to take a step in a compassionate direction by visiting the locations below between October 24th and 31st. Thanks to local non-profit Mercy for Animals for putting this list together! Also – don’t forget to gorge on the delicious foods at some of Chicago’s finest vegetarian and vegan haunts that stay meat free year round! Visit our links page here for our favorites.

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by Mira Kolodkin

Madison: A lovely city with a perfect combination of urbanity and nature, wine and beer, brats and vegan soup.  The only place I’ve ever been where you can tell after 20 minutes that this is a blue smidgeon on a very red state map.  Liberal idealism stemming from angry memories of lives spent in more conservative outskirts.  People who want to get away, but not so far away that cheese curds are no longer readily available.  Welcome to Madison!!! Let us get started on your tour.

Photo by Boulevard Bikes

In the summer, people bike.  In the winter, it’s very cold, but people bike anyway.  If you’re not in Portland, the next best place to bike is Madison, Wisconsin.  Every place that I mention on this tour is located within a block of either easily traversable bike paths, or well-defined bike paths on major streets.  The drivers hate you, but you don’t care, because you’re on a bike and hitting you would be very expensive for them. Read the rest of this entry »

Review and Photos by Lydia Krupinski

mana-32When dining in Wicker Park there’s an endless array of restaurants to choose from. This hustling bustling hipster mecca is filled with diners, bakeries, bars and cafes. But when I had to choose where to take a foodie friend visiting from the West Coast, the choice was easy. Mana. mana-23

Mana Food Bar is a modest and modern escape from the over-styled boutiques and bars of Division street. The minimalist decor, complete with salvaged wood tables, gray walls, and subtle lighting, makes this the perfect place to enjoy a casual lunch or dinner. Read the rest of this entry »

Review and Photos by Lydia Krupinski

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I love Chicago, but after the first snow falls and the twinkling holiday lights grow dim, it’s difficult not to drown in the slush of the city’s everlasting winters. Thankfully, Algerian creperie Icosium Kafe offers an escape from these gloomy Chicago days. This cozy spot boasts a large vegetarian selection, organic coffee, moderate pricing, and an inviting atmosphere that’s sure to melt away the worst winter blues.

Cucumber Water

On a frigid Wednesday afternoon, with our bellies grumbling and our extremities frozen, some friends and I entered this tiny storefront café in Andersonville. Greeted by a bustling lunch crowd, savory smells, and bright colors, our senses were awakened. Read the rest of this entry »

The time is 9:33PM, and we are sitting in one of our favorite Chicago coffee houses, plotting this week’s Sprout debut. Watch for a tasty restaurant review, a snapshot of the most fashionable re-usable grocery bags, and in-depth reporting on where exactly Chicago’s junk goes. But for now, we serve the sproutiest of appetizers as Lydia gets her shears out in a crafty clip. Find it under How-Tos and enjoy!

-Irena and Lydia