Earwax Cafe

Chicago, Illinois

Closed as of Sep 1 11

1561 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60622


3.7 / 16 votes

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American diner foods such as tofu scramble and more

Restaurant, Coffee/Tea/Juice, Other

Earwax Cafe combines coffee (La Colombe) with a menu geared towards vegans and vegetarians. The atmosphere is casual: with a combination of carnival-inspired decor and a hip, laid-back staff, Earwax sets a tone that is not found in the Wicker Park neighborhood like it used to be. It is an original.

Also see their facebook page for more information: http://www.facebook.com/#!/earwaxcafe

Added by Jessica on Sep 20 03 (last updated Sep 7 11)

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Most Recent Reviews

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Goodbye to an old friend.

Ok, sure, the place has a disgusting name and may have been closed due to a rat infestation. I don't care at all.

EarWax has been serving vegan food before most people had any idea what vegan was. This place has been open since 1980. I've personally been coming here since the early 90's when it was located just across the street from where it is now. It's kept the same hipster vibe and vegan-friendly menu the entire time. I feel very loyal to a restaurant whose liberal atmosphere made me feel so comfortable and served the only budget-friendly vegan food I could afford at the time. Sure, veg-friendly restaurants are everywhere in Chicago now, but let's not forget an old friend. This is the type of restaurant that set its roots in the community 20 years ago, introduced the neighborhood to veg dining and made it possible for new vegan restaurants like Native Foods to survive and thrive today.

Veg*ns in Chicago, especially Wicker Park and Bucktown, owe a debt of gratitude to EarWax. It's a neighborhood landmark. Old friend, if you are truly closing your doors for the last time, I am sorry to see you go and thank you for your service.

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For vegans, I was hoping Earwax would be better, but it's just decent. I had only been there once before it closed and re-opened, but my experience was pretty much the same. The food was pretty greasy and soggy both times. The second time I visited, after the re-opening, I had a smoothie, which was pretty bland (I'd rather go to Jamba Juice), and a seitan ruben. The fries were limp, and the reuben was just okay. For similar food I'd rather go to Handlebar.

However, I did have the jerk seitan pita with mango salsa, which was really great.
They're cash only, but there is an ATM in the back.

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Wicker Park


Near the Damen stop on the Blue Line.


No Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible


$ - inexpensive

Cash Only


  • American
  • Eclectic (Varied)


  • Brunch
  • Outdoor Seating


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11am - 5pm
11am - 5pm
11am - 8pm
10am - 8pm

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