Lake Side Cafe

Chicago, Illinois

Closed as of Oct 18 09

1418 W. Howard St
Chicago, Illinois 60626
(773) 262-9503


3.9 / 8 votes

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Chicago's Best Vegetarian Restaurant winner in 2006 - 2008

Since opening our doors in 2005, the Lake Side Cafe has been earning the reputation as "Chicago's Best Vegetarian Restaurant" for the health-conscious and connoisseurs of quality food. We offer a variety of wholesome and delicious choices while using healthy, nearly 100% certified organic, preservative and chemical-free ingredients. In a relaxed atmosphere with great service, we offer daily specials, house-made fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, and you can complement your meal with a delectable choice from the Lake Side Cafe vegan bakery. So, come by and enjoy the outdoor dining area during the summer months or our indoor dining room year round.

With the added bonus of vegetarian and vegan cooking classes, buffets, special events, and a green catering division, we have something to offer everyone and something for every occasion. We are dedicated to the lowest carbon footprint in the restaurant industry and support local sustainable farming, so you can enjoy dining knowing you've done the best for yourself, the community and the environment. We welcome you to visit Lake Side Cafe and to experience our commitment to you, our customer.

Voted: 'Best Vegetarian Restaurant Chicago' in three consecutive years

Added by JEC on Apr 16 06 (last updated Oct 19 09)

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Most Recent Reviews

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It's a shame Lake Side Cafe is closing, because the place is pretty cool: modern; friendly; and all-purpose (it could be a coffee shop or a restaurant or even a bakery).

I had a vegan gyro ($10.50) which was tasty with Upton's Naturals seitan and a fresh cucumber sauce. My only issue is that the portion size was quite small---it was just a half wholewheat pita pocket stuffed with seitan and some lettuce, tomatoes and onions---considering the high price tag. For the same price, you could get twice as much food at The Chicago Diner. That said, I don't think the quality of the ingredients would be as high at The Diner as it was at Lake Side.

I also had a piece of chocolate cake ($4.50) and a chocolate-almond cookie ($2.50). All of their desserts are vegan which was pretty cool to see. The cake had a great, rich flavor, though it was dry. The cookie was also dry and rock-hard; it didn't soften too much even after I microwaved it. It wasn't very good, in my opinion, and had a salty taste that overwhelmed the almonds and chocolate chips.

Most of the menu is vegan and I appreciate that this place served a niche in far northern Chicago. It's unfortunate that it is shutting down but, on the other hand, at least a few new vegan places are opening up elsewhere in Chicago, so the net balance is still positive for the city's vegan community.

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Lake Side has great food, but their funky hours are a turn off.

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Rogers Park


At Howard and Sheridan Road (about 4 long blocks east from the Howard L stop)


Accepts Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible


$$ - average


  • American Express Discover MasterCard Visa


  • Eclectic (Varied)


  • (Mostly) Organic
  • Buffet
  • Kid-Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Private Rooms
  • Quiet


main image for Lake Side Cafe Lake Side Cafe Logo


4:30pm - 9pm
noon - 9pm
4:30pm - 9pm

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