Friday, April 6, 2012

Vegan Chicago: Review of Chicago Health Foods Store

Chicago Health Foods store replaced Maple St. Market a little while ago and I admit, I hadn't been in really since the change in ownership. Maple St. Market was not far from my apartment and school, so I used to go in there every once in awhile to pick up some odds and ends (say if I ran out of vegan toothpaste and didn't feel like going to Whole Foods for it, stuff like that). It was your general health food store, more geared towards hygiene products and supplements, if anything. The owners were not friendly and rather off-putting. They had a sandwich bar at one point and changed it only to a juice bar eventually. I wasn't too sad to see Maple St. Market close. 

Now, Chicago Health Foods store is an entirely different story. I go in here all the time. It's nice to support a local health food store versus giants like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The new owners are way more friendly and helpful. They redid the inside layout and it looks much better and brighter. The place carries a variety of hygiene products, a lot of them vegan, like shaving lotion, shampoo and conditioner, soaps, face products, lotions, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. They also carry candles and incense in this area. The middle section of the store has all the supplements and raw powder products. There is your standard selection of every vitamin you can imagine, powders like wheatgrass and spirulina for juicing, and protein powders. There is a snack wall with a whole slew of different types of chips and crackers.

Towards the back is the small food section. On one side, there is the frozen section with a bunch of vegan options like Amy's dinners, Tofurky pizzas, Tofutti ice cream bars and pizza, meatless burger patties, and frozen vegetables. The thing I like about Chicago Health Foods store is that they have somewhat obscure vegan products that you don't always find other places like the Tofutti pizza and their "Marry Me" ice cream bars. On the far back wall is the refrigerated section with vegan cheeses, butter, various drinks, and a line of their own pre-packaged food like raw cauliflower salad, raw kale salad, curried seitan, etc. I really like their raw cauliflower and raw broccoli salads. In the middle of this back area are packaged food items like spices, breakfast foods, canned food, pasta and grains, dried fruit and nuts, etc. 


Lastly, Chicago Health Foods store has a small sandwich spot inside and a juice bar. I may be addicted. The sandwich menu is primarily vegan with a seitan sandwich, veggie wrap, housemade black bean burger, and a falafel sandwich. There are vegan smoothies and of course, juices, as well as vegan soft serve (Chicago's own Temptation). The seitan is from Soul Veg and you can add vegan cheeses (they have several different types) like Daiya and local cashew cheese company, Ste Martaen. The seitan sandwich kicks major ass. It comes with a delicious vegan basil aioli (made with Vegenaise). I get it with Ste Martaen cheese to call it a meal. The black bean burger is huge for $5. It's also really good. I come in this place when I don't feel like making a meal for myself and know I'll have a tasty vegan sandwich for lunch!

Seitan Sandwich

Chicago Health Foods store also does monthly lectures and demonstrations. They vary from month to month on the topic, but all are health-conscious related. I recommend you check out this health food store if you are in the Old Town or Gold Coast area!

2 comments:

SunShine said...

I've moved from Chicago about 10 years ago...is Sherwyn's still open on Diversey?

I miss Chi-town muchly, love your blog because it brings me a bit closer again.

Miss Lexy said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! Chicago misses you too. ;] I've never heard of Sherwyn's, but doing a Google search shows me that it is closed. :/

 
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