When you visit a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, you can enjoy a delicious meal while keeping your body healthy. Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet can help you lose weight and prevent heart disease, some types of cancer, and diabetes. Here are some of the best restaurants in Lake County for excellent plant-based food.

The Purple Sprout Cafe

The Purple Sprout Cafe and Juice Bar offers healthy, organic vegan and vegetarian food. You can also choose from many gluten-free options. For breakfast, try a lentil and brown rice crepe filled with apple-pear or strawberry jam and covered in cashew whipped cream. Other options include whole wheat or gluten-free waffles with maple syrup and cashew whipped cream or a multigrain English muffin with bean sausage, cashew cream cheese, and microgreens.

For lunch or dinner, you can get a tofu kebab with vegetables and homemade teriyaki sauce on brown rice or a burrito with seitan, cannellini bean sausage, sprouted lentil chorizo, or tempeh. For dessert, you can enjoy a variety of vegan, sugar-free, and grain-free options, including vanilla cheesecake, German chocolate cake, black forest cheesecake, Key lime pie, and tiramisu.

If you don’t feel like a full meal, stop by the juice bar for a shot or a smoothie. The Super Immunity shot comes with ginger, horseradish, black radish, garlic, aloe, and onion, and the Blue Mountain smoothie has more than 60 vitamins and minerals. It uses celery, turnip, cucumber, grapes, blue spirulina, and mint or peppermint extract. This family business is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays. It closes at 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The Chicago Diner

The Chicago Diner in Lake County

Image via Flickr by ruffin_ready

The Chicago Diner has been meat-free since it opened in 1983. This cozy, casual restaurant looks just like a traditional diner, and it has plenty of options to satisfy you.

You can choose country-fried seitan steak with country gravy, mashed potatoes, and sauteed vegetables or Thai basil stir fry with tofu or tempeh, brown rice, vegetables, and a spicy garlic sauce. The Cajun black bean burger comes with spinach, sauteed onion, mushroom, fried jalapeno, tomato, cheddar sauce, and Creole mustard. You can also indulge in a chocolate-covered pretzel, chocolate chip cookie dough, strawberry, banana, or mint chocolate chip shake. The Chicago Diner is open for pickup and delivery from noon to 8 p.m.

Urban Vegan

Visit Urban Vegan for great Thai food, including steamed curry dumplings, deep-fried tofu with chili sauce and ground peanuts, cucumber salad, and seaweed salad. You can also select teriyaki soy chicken with sesame seeds, scallions, and jasmine rice; an Impossible Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and fries; or soy shrimp spinach noodles with curry sauce, salsa, carrot, red cabbage, and cilantro.

For dessert, try a slice of strawberry cheesecake, a pair of banana spring rolls, or mango with sweet, sticky rice. Urban Vegan is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Flora Fauna

If you want to spend some time with meat-eating friends, try Flora Fauna. It features flavors from Hong Kong, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, and many other countries, and there are plenty of plant and animal options to choose from. You can try a lettuce wrap with fried tofu, fried mushrooms with pineapple rum mustard, or caramelized Brussels sprouts and fried shallots with kimchi vinaigrette sauce.

Brunch options include toast with grilled corn, avocado, Tajin, black cumin, and queso fresco. Pomegranate, ricotta, honey, and sunflower topping is available as well. You can also sample some oatmeal with Angostura aromatic bitters, cinnamon, and fresh berries or a Greek yogurt parfait with coconut milk and tropical fruits.

For dessert, indulge in a white chocolate panna cotta with toasted cashews, blackberries, lemongrass, and pink peppercorns or tres leches with strawberry-infused coconut milk, toasted coconut, and roasted pineapple. This restaurant is a reclaimed loft with expansive windows and a high ceiling with beautiful wooden beams. It’s open from Wednesday through Sunday. The hours vary, and reservations are recommended.


Demera Ethiopian Restaurant serves traditional Ethiopian dishes with fresh, high-quality ingredients. You can eat with injera, a type of Ethiopian bread that people use to scoop up their food. Vegan options include spicy red lentils or chopped potatoes in a rich berbere sauce, beets and carrots with cinnamon, and collard greens with onions, garlic, and ginger. If you can’t decide what you’re in the mood for, choose the Bayaynetu platter with all of Demera’s vegan options. It can feed two people and provide some leftovers for the next day.

For dessert, you can have a slice of mango cobbler with vanilla ice cream, a flourless, gluten-free chocolate torte, or a scoop of palate-cleansing basil-lime sorbet. The helpful staff understands that most people aren’t familiar with Ethiopian food, and they’re happy to answer questions and offer suggestions. You can visit on any day, but reservations are recommended.

Chicago RAW

RAW stands for Raising Awareness Worldwide about healthy, plant-based raw food. By keeping the ingredients from reaching high temperatures, this restaurant keeps nutrient levels in its food high. You can choose a quality vegan breakfast, lunch, or snack. Several juices and elixirs are available, including coconut water, organic celery juice, and ginger and lemon elixir. For breakfast, you can enjoy an apple cinnamon parfait with agave, granola, and cashews or cacao and chia seed pudding with maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla.

For lunch, try the mock tuna sandwich, the falafel sandwich, or a garden burger with sunflower seeds, carrot pulp, celery, onion, flax, parsley, and red pepper. For dinner, sample the spaghetti with zucchini noodles, marinara sauce, and meatballs made with flax, sunflower seeds, and carrot pulp. Chicago RAW is open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you want healthy food that tastes great, check out one of these great restaurants. Do you think our list is complete? If we missed your favorite plant-based spot in Lake County, contact us so that we can add it.