Chutney Joe's

Chicago, Illinois

Closed as of Jul 3 12

511 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60605
312-341-9755

Vegan-Friendly

3.6 / 1 vote

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Indian fast food in South Loop with labeled vegan options

Vegan options are labeled at this new-concept Indian restaurant in the South Loop. Options include garbanzo masala, gobi potatoes or baked samosas.

The naan is not vegan.

According to the website, "Chutney Joe's brings authentic Indian cuisine to the "fast-casual" platform. Combining a slow-cook process with fast service, Chutney Joe's aims to correct the errors of typical Indian restaurants in America."

Added by conde.kedar on Apr 10 09 (last updated Aug 16 12)

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As many others have mentioned, Chutney Joe's is basically an Indian copy of Chipotle (practically plagiarized). It's in many ways a hip, slicker version of Indian whole-in-the-walls that serve full meals for very little money. Funnily enough, Chutney Joe's has the balls to make this claim on its website: "Chutney Joe's aims to correct the errors of typical Indian restaurants in America."

The food here is okay. I had a two-curry combo meal with a fountain soda and a baked samosa ($12 with tax and a student discount). They also had a tofu tikka special which sounded good, but I didn't try. The samosa was pretty decent, though the curries were both bland and seemed to be missing some crucial ingredients. The chana masala was watery and lacked zing; the aloo gobi was made with fresh, tasty potatoes and cauliflower, but the sauce had no flavor other than that of vegetable oil.

I like that they label all their vegan options, which is extremely helpful and progressive. However, they don't offer vegan bread such as whole-wheat tandoori roti (they only have naan, which is made with dairy), and they don't offer brown rice, which is always a travesty. It seems strange that they don't offer these things, considering the restaurant emphasizes its "healthy" aspects (no butter, no cream, no trans-fats, etc.).

The portion size is large and definitely a good value though, again, the food isn't spectacular.

Also like other Indian whole-in-the-walls, Chutney Joe's serves its food on paper plates and styrofoam/plastic and everything here is disposable. That was pretty disappointing and I felt extremely wasteful eating there (not that Chipotle is much better).

On a whole, Chutney Joe's is decent. I'm giving them three stars because they do try to do new stuff (such as the tofu tikka) and because they're one of few places in the Loop that offers labeled vegan food. That said, this is definitely not stellar Indian food and has much room for improvement.

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Neighborhood

South Loop

Directions

CTA stops: Harrison (Red); Library (Orange, Brown, Purple Express, Pink); LaSalle (Blue)

Non-Smoking

No Reservations

Prices

$$ - average

Payment

  • MasterCard Visa

Cuisines

  • Indian (Northern)

Features

  • Delivery
  • Large Group-Friendly

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Hours

11am - 9pm
noon - 9pm

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