Recently, the Native Foods Cafe in Wicker Park invited the Windy City Blogger Collective to enjoy some of their new menu items. I was already a big fan of Native Foods, so I was really looking forward to this event.

If you’ve never been, Native Foods specializes in “vegan comfort food.” Everything is vegan but it doesn’t necessary taste like “health” food. Or even “fake” food. Everything is made to be very tasty and not merely a substitute for it’s meaty or cheesy version.

I didn’t realize that their Wicker Park location recently went through some changes, and has their own chef who creates new menu items that might eventually make it to their other locations.

So what did we try?

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Spicy Fried Cauliflower. Tossed in fiery chili sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Served with cool ranch dip, cucumber coins, pickled homespun carrots, and beets.

DELICIOUS. It was their spin on buffalo chicken and I loved the pickles (or cucumbers).

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Thai Spicy Brussels Sprouts. Also fried and so tasty! This was one of my favorites. I couldn’t find a description though.

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Green Goddess Salad. Shredded brussels sprouts, adzuki beans made into bacon, sprinkled with shaved candied walnuts, fresh seasonal fruit, and creamy jalapeno-cilantro-avocado dressing. Gluten Free.

Yum. I love brussels sprouts salads.

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Portobello Jibarito. Couldn’t find a description. But. UM OMG. Jibaritos are already one of my favorite sandwiches. (Reubens are the other. Native Foods has a vegan version of that too.) If you’ve never had a traditional jibarito, they are made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread, garlic-flavored mayonnaise, and a filling that typically includes meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. The Native Foods version still had the fried plantain bread with a tasty portobello mushroom cap in place of meat, along with avocado, arugula, cucumbers, onion and some kind of delicious sauce. It was so tasty. 10/10 would get again.

Lemon-Dill Potato Salad. I opted for this as the side to go with my sandwich and it was SO GOOD. Definitely not just some throw-away side. Can’t’ find a description, but I really want to figure out how to make this myself.

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I wish I could remember what exactly were in the rice krispies. I couldn’t find a description. But they were pretty great. I think they had nut butter in them. Or caramel? Geez. I’m the worst.

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Blondies, brownies, merlot chocolate cupcakes and carrot cake cupcakes. Um, yum. All vegan but just as good as the “real” stuff. The frosting was especially rich.

We also got to take some of their new snacks home. The Portobello “Jerk”y was really tasty and I wanted to eat it all in one sitting. I would definitely get that again. The “Cinn”fully Spiced Almonds were also delicious.

So, even if you’re not vegan, Native Foods Cafe is definitely worth checking out. Whatever you get, order the Lemon-Dill Potato Salad on the side. You won’t regret it.

What’s your favorite thing at Native Foods?
What’s your favorite vegan dish?
Do you have a recipe for Lemon-Dill Potato Salad????