We all know how hard it is to find real food in Chicago when you’re on the go with your family or even by yourself. Thankfully, there are some great options that do exist if you’re searching for organic! Below is a list of the top ten establishments (in no particular order) where you can order or pick up items to go while out and about!
Green Grocer Chicago
You might not think of the Green Grocer as a “to-go” spot, but they offer a great assortment of lunches you can grab while on the run. While you’re there, pick up local, organically grown produce and specialty items. Having supreme standards, Green Grocer is dedicated to only the freshest of ingredients.
If you didn’t already know, 1/5 of Jason’s ingredients are organic! This include many of their menu items like their blue-corn tortilla chips, whole-wheat wraps, field greens, and spinach. If you’re trying to watch what you’re consuming, order the portion-control option that reduces the size of some items (and saves money). Order your sandwich on an organic whole-wheat wrap, and say hello to health!
Love Your Food Everyday (LYFE) began when two employees at McDonald’s had their own ideas of healthy and eco-friendly food. LYFE serves grass-fed beef and, when possible, sustainably-sourced and local ingredients. They don’t use white sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, trans fat, or many other unhealthy ingredients. Another great pro of LYFE is that you can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner online at one of three establishments in Chicago, and pick it up while you’re out!
Nana practices what they preach — hosting a local, sustainable, and organic environment. They offer choices free of synthetic preservatives, growth hormones, genetically-modified ingredients, antibiotics, artificial colors and flavors, and many other additives and chemicals. Buying local whenever possible, they believe in great tasting food and obtain supplies from local farmers, certified vendors, suppliers, and craftsmen who meet and maintain USDA organic standards.
Fulfill your craving with Nana’s American cuisine with Latin American, Mexican, and Spanish influences. Better yet, Nana gives back with its philanthropic initiatives, so not only are you making a healthy choice for you and your family, you’re also helping your community!
Native Foods Cafe
Though Native Foods Café was originally from California, it has spread across the nation quickly because of the importance they have for vegan, organic cuisine. Their menu is 100% plant-based, making their vegan cuisine from scratch! Menu items include everything from salads and soups to nachos and chili. The culinary team here at Native Foods is remarkable, and you can see their compassion for both our environment and their meats in the food process.
Newleaf Natural Grocery
Newleaf Natural Grocery is also a hot spot of affordable, organic products. With their hormone-free dairy products and grass-fed, antibiotic-free, free-range meats, you have choices to nourish your body. Pre-order, home deliver before you head out for the weekend, or stop by to pick up weekly organic produce.
Noodles and Company
Noodles and Company is great way to appease you and your family’s various taste bud preferences. You can choose from an Asian, Mediterranean, or American style with options of hormone and antibiotic-free chicken, beef, shrimp, and organic tofu. They’ve even removed all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives from its soups, sauces, and dressings! If you don’t like their noodles, which are free from bioengineered ingredients, you can substitute fresh spinach in some of their dishes. You can order a small or bigger portion from all over Chicago, or from one of their 400+ establishments across the nation.
Panera Bread is just doing healthy the right way. Though “bread” gives its negative connotations to the gluten-free or calorie-conscious consumer, Panera Bread offers a huge variety of choices that are good for you during any meal. Most of their chicken is antibiotic and hormone-free, which we all know is a rarity for large chains, and “organic” doesn’t stop with adults. Kids can order organic yogurt, all-natural peanut butter and jelly, or grilled organic cheese on white whole-grain bread. It’s a win-win for any family.
Pret A Manger
Pret’s organic food and natural coffee prepares each meal in their kitchen throughout the day. Their coffee is organic, as well as the milk you put in your cup of joe. So grab that caffeine as you pound through your daily errands, but also check out their handmade, natural food! They use fresh ingredients that are free of obscure chemicals, additives, and preservatives. Once their door shuts for the day, they give all unsold items to philanthropic partners, and start fresh the next day.
It’s hard not to add Whole Foods to the list of healthy, organic establishments. Whole Foods offers a full deli, vitamins, the freshest of veggies and fruits, natural body care products, groceries, and more. It’s trying to get away from the “whole paycheck” accolade it’s been deemed and have lowered the prices of many items, which is great for the health-conscious consumer. Their buffet of offerings is delectable. If you’re on the go, they have compostable to-go boxes. Even if you only have ten minutes to spare, take a seat and enjoy your lunch or dinner in their Whole Market.