By Maureen Sill
The competition for the five best vegetarian sandwiches in Chicago is stiff. First, you have to determine what will be constituted a sandwich, but that’s a whole different story. Generally, I accept a sandwich as being 2 slices of bread (or a bun, or something resembling the aforementioned versions of the almighty carbohydrate) and fillin’ or fixins therein between. Following that very weak guideline, here’s a list of the 5 best vegetarian sandwiches Chicago has to offer.
The BBQ Twist
Soul Vegetarian East
205 East 75th Street
This is, by far, one of the most incredible sandwiches available to vegetarians in the Chicagoland area. A giant bun loaded with house made seitan smothered in their own soulful barbecue sauce (think smoky and very nutty) making this bite a soul food lover’s soul mate.
Chicago Style Tofu
2311 West North Avenue
Behold, the legend of the Chicago style tofu. I know meat eater’s who’d prefer this sandwich to most others. There’s nothing too fancy about it — veggies, cheese and pesto style tofu, but a sandwich this full of flavor deserves some recognition. With homemade Giardiniera and fluffy, chewy bread, this sandwich is a dream.
3619 West North Avenue
They’re not listed on the menu, and some may argue they’re not a sandwich, but they’re served on hot corn tortillas loaded with marinated zucchini and mushroom with a heaping of avocado and queso fresco on top. Order an extra one, because all your friends who ordered the pork cemitas are going to want to taste yours.
Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi
2612 West Lawrence Avenue
Buy 5, get one free… don’t mind if I do. This sandwich is phenomenal and defies all expectations of something with the words “lemongrass” and “tofu” in the name. The pickled carrots, the warm toasted fresh bun, the marinated tofu- it all rules. This sandwich could convert anyone to the green side.
Falafill Fresh Food
3202 North Broadway Street
The falafel here isn’t all that, but the condiment bar is magical. Pile your pita full of chickpea lemon salad, fresh cilantro chutney, mango salsa, jalapeno slaw, and so much more. One of the best veggie sandwiches on the North side, for sure.
… there you have it. If you disagree, feel free to send me a sandwich you believe is better. I’ll get back to you.
Maureen Sill, CBS Chicago