Gluten Free Eating Chicago: River North

The urban + artsy River North area of Chicago is one of my favorites. Let me begin this blog with my most professional food blogger sounding summary. Located right across from the Loop and bordering the Magnificent Mile, River North is a trendy and growing neighborhood that has become one of my go-to healthy eating areas of Chicago. I have also found it to be the easiest to navigate for gluten free eating. And since I'm artsy, I love the creative current running through River North, as many of its abandoned warehouses have converted to artist studios boasting a vibrant art and design scene.

That was way too stuffy for me. 

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Hi-Vibe Organic Juicery {160 W KINZIE ST. CHICAGO, IL 60654}

I had been seeing Instagram posts about Hi-Vibe Juicery FOR-EVA. So it was on my lengthy to-visit-while-in-Chicago list for awhile. It's a very exhaustive list - my weekends there are pretty much eat -> find next restaurant -> eat -> repeat.

I was SO impressed to see that they not only offered organic, cold pressed juices, but so many other fabulous gluten free items right up my alley: acai & pitaya bowls, superfood smoothies, Bulletproof Coffee, chaga & matcha teas, grass-fed activated bone broth, and other healthy snacks. YASSSSS. However, although they have breakfast items, this is very much a grab-n-go place - it's tiny!

Unfortunately, I was in-between breakfast and brunch, lol, so I could only try their Dandy Detox juice and Kill Shot (a huge anti-inflammatory immune booster). The juice was incredible and the shot was a perfect way to combat germs and pollution from walking around the city. 

Cafe Integral {located inside the Freehand Hotel 19 EAST OHIO ST.,
CHICAGO, IL}

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The cafe + lounge, located inside a renovated 1920s Art Deco building turned Freehand Hotel, has a dreamy vibe - earthy, retro, cozy and laid back. They offer some of Nicaragua's finest coffees - pour over + cold brews, local teas, and other beverages. They also have a breakfast menu, or get the matcha tea pudding with lavender honey for a quick snack!

Later on, hit up heir award winning bar- the Broken Shaker. And then if you drink too much, just stay the night at the hotel. Sounds like a plan to me!

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This farm fresh comfort food hot spot, will likely be packed whenever you visit. It's a casual, industrial diner vibe with natural light coming in through the skylights.

credit: barry breckeisen

credit: barry breckeisen

I knew I had made the right decision when I saw Channing Tatum's stamp of approval on the wall.

Holy biscuits, Batman. Hash House is just insane. I have never missed bread in the four years I've been gluten free, with this brunch being the exception. The biscuits were the size of mini planets. Actually, everything is. The portions are everything that is wrong and wonderful about America. I had to take a picture of this biscuit before I gave it to someone else.

There are lots of gluten free options here, but you're safe with most of the scrambles and hashes. OMG the avocado, applewood bacon, red onion, swiss hash was OFF THE CHARTS. Just get it. Also, I would steer clear of the potato wedges and just go for the garlic mashed - anything fried runs a chance of having gluten in the breading or frying oil. This would NOT be a place for those with Celiac, however.

For those not avoiding gluten - they are known for their sage fried chicken and waffles. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Their bloody marys are pretty legit as well, or so I hear.

Wildfire {159 W. Erie Chicago, IL} 

Wildfire is a dark and cozy steakhouse with Italian music playing and those cute little mini lamps on the tables. So, in my book, they're already #winning.

Now this would be a place for both gluten sensitive and Celiacs. They have an entire GIGANTIC gluten free menu you can check out here. I have never seen quite a large selection of gluten free items, nor such attentive waiters. As soon as I requested a gluten free menu, he brought me out some special bread. #points

I ordered the Moroccan chicken skewers appetizer and the lemon pepper chicken for dinner with grilled balsamic veggies. Both were fabulous! They also wayyyy overdo it on the portion sizes, so I would definitely just stick to dinner next time.

Eataly {43 East Ohio Street | Chicago, Illinois}

YOU'VE GOT TO GO TO Eataly- a multilevel Italian market with various restaurants, a gelato station, a coffee bar, a wine bar, a pizzeria, (with gluten free pictured below - SO GOOD), and a Nutella bar – YES. They have a little handmade desserts that are all labeled and mostly gluten-free. Eventually I will have to do an entire post on Eataly because it's just that massive and that amazing.

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