Being a vegan can be hard, thankless work—extended family members rarely understand, many restaurants don't accommodate you, and cows still try to devour you every chance they get. Today's Groupon proves that vegan eating can be stylish, sexy, and delicious. For $10, you get $25 worth of upscale vegan cuisine and equally earth-friendly libations at Karyn's on Green in Greektown. Karyn's on Green reinterprets contemporary dining with such bold flavors and creative combinations that vegans and meat-eaters alike will be mouth-stunned. Reservations are required, so call ahead.
Unlike so many restaurants, the vegan options on Karyn's on Green's menu don't begin and end with hummus and olives. They only begin with hummus and olives ($7), then quickly move on to small plates of wild-mushroom risotto ($9) and eggplant cannelloni ($9) made with ratatouille, rosemary cream, charred-eggplant puree, and olive oil. Lunch it with a wood-grilled portobello sandwich ($9) stuffed with vegan cheese, greens, and Kentucky-bourbon barbecue sauce, served with fries; chopped vegetable salad ($9); or arugula pizza ($10) overloaded with Yukon potatoes, caramelized onions, arugula, vegan cheese, olive oil, and tortillas. But to truly enjoy the sexy, high-ceilinged, white-and-candlelight atmosphere of Karyn's on the Green, you'll want to be there for a dinner of linguini fra diavolo ($14)—whole-wheat noodles strewn with "crab" meat and smothered in spicy tomato sauce. Side an order of crispy "chicken" legs ($14) with a traditional crispy mixed basket of tempura cauliflower, mushrooms, steak fries, and avocado—or a futuristic digestive enzyme supplement ($2)—before topping off the evening's flirtatious frippery with bananas foster (dark rum, vanilla-bean ice cream, caramelized bananas, coconut tuile, and citrus dust, $8).
If you haven't brought a date, find one over a specialty drink at Karyn's 22-seat bar or among the taupe chairs of its upstairs lounge. Cocktails are arranged according to century, so 19th-century nostalgists can awaken the dead with a Corpse Revivor #2 (Beefeater gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, Sirene absinthe, and fresh lemon, $9). The Southside (Death's Door Gin #6, fresh lime, mint, and grapefruit bitters, $9) will hearken 20th-century foxes back to the days of Prohibition, as well as the short-lived era of Carnibition, when meat was outlawed and vegan gangsters ruled the streets. Futurists, meanwhile, can sip on a summer night with the Chicago River Run (Beefeater, Aperol, St. Germain, fresh lime, orange bitters, and flamed orange, $10). If you don't need alcohol to have a good time or shout rambling expressions of affection into friends' ears, try one of Karyn's tonics and elixirs, such as the Chairman's Cobbler (green tea, pomegranate juice, ginger syrup, muddled lemon, goji berries, and fresh raspberries, $6). Karyn's also serves a variety of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines, beers, and teas.
Karyn's on Green is the brainchild of Karyn Calabrese, who for more than 20 years has beat the odds and created a booming vegan mini-empire in a city where most of the sinks still have a third faucet labeled "beef." Karyn's educational, non-judgmental approach makes every variation of -vore feel welcome at her restaurant, so use today's Groupon to show some skeptical friends that there's more to veganism than always being forced to order the saddest-looking thing on the menu.
Groupon not valid on Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, or Easter.
Proving that vegan and fine, upscale dining aren't mutually exclusive, Karyn's on Green earns positive write-ups from BlackBook, Centerstage Chicago, and Time Out Chicago. Hungry vegans across the web are equally enthused: Karyn's gets 3.5 stars from Metromixers, four stars from Yelpers, a 4.4 from OpenTable diners, and a perfect five from the discerning veggie fanatics at Happy Cow.
- The sexy, contemporary space, with its high ceilings and neat and clean, uncluttered dining space is a temple to vegan eating. If you want a special night with the non-carnivore in your life, this may be the premiere destination in the city. – Bill Burman, Centerstage
- The décor is amazing and the location is huge...shall I say the décor is amazing again? Because it is! This is a GREAT spot to take anyone on a date or a friend to a nice diner without the terribly high prices. – SynthVegan, Happy Cow
- The food was really good, and there was plenty of variety as well. Ambiance is great for dinner with friends or for a date. – jojo, Metromix
130 South Green St.
Chicago, Illinois 60607Get Directions