The Chicago Diner is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant, with the catchy slogan, “meat free since ’83”. This is probably my favorite restaurant that I have ever been to. I go at least once a month, and probably will never get sick of it.
The Chicago Diner is located in two places of Chicago. The first is in Boystown, on Halsted and Roscoe, and for starters, the wait is almost always long (thirty minutes to an hour), but it's very worth it. In the warmer months the wait isn’t even a problem, because there is a lot things to do while you’re waiting (go to The Alley, Hollywood Mirror, Egor’s Dungeon, etc) but in the colder months, waiting outside isn’t something that most people want to do. However, this location has a back patio that is heated, that customers are allowed to wait in until your table is ready to be sat. Either way, I'm just happy and excited to eat there, because each time is a totally different experience.
The Boystown location has more of a classic diner feel with fast paced servers (who are still surprisingly energetic and pleasant, no matter how busy it is). This location is the smaller one, so depending on what kind of person you are, you may think the closely spaced tables are cozy or cramped.
The Chicago Diner’s second location is in Logan Square, on Milwaukee and Medill. I have always gotten lucky with getting seated immediately every time I have visited the Logan Square location. This location is more open-spaced with laid back (but not at all lazy) service. The servers seem comfortable and happy to work there, which always makes me feel relaxed.
Both locations have the same menu, and I usually try to order something different each time, but my favorite entrée to order is the gyro. I swear that it tastes just like the real thing, but it’s 100% vegetarian. It comes with one huge pita, gyro ‘meat’ (seitan), onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and a vegan tzatsiki sauce and a side of your choice (which is more than enough food, trust me). Just thinking about it is making me hungry. The locations have pretty much everything that a vegetarian like me misses: burgers, chicken wings, country fried steak, etc.
I definitely recommend that everyone eats there at least once, just to try it and see if you like it. You may not like it, but the point is that you tried something new.