BUCKTOWN — A fast-casual vegan restaurant that opened last year in Fulton Market has added another location in Bucktown.
Uncooked, 1616 N. Damen Ave., opened this month. The shop features prepackaged vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees, including overnight oats, acai bowls, salads, juices, smoothies, sushi and cacio e pepe made with kelp noodles.
The aim of the restaurant is to “demystify what being plant-based is” and be “accessible … judgement-free,” co-owner Jeremy Jones said.
A plant-based diet is good for you, but it’s also good for the environment, Jones said. Eating a vegan diet decreases the amount of food truck miles, water and land use associated with the livestock industry, he said.
Uncooked comes from Chicago Raw co-founder and chef Carole Jones; her son, Jeremy Jones; and her daughter-in-law, Kaitlyn Jones.
Everything the Joneses cook is plant-based, gluten-free and sustainably sourced using whole ingredients.
Offerings include salads such as the Goddess, a kale salad with macadamia nuts, watermelon radish, cucumbers, broccoli, scallions, raspberries and creamy goddess dressing; and entrees such as the Sesame Noodle with kelp noodles, carrots, pickled Fresno chilis, red cabbage, black sesame seeds and a creamy almond sauce.
The cacio e pepe — kelp noodles, mushrooms, parsley, broccoli, dressed in creamy black truffle alfredo sauce served with a side of vegan parmesan cheese — is a best seller, Jones said. Cakes — gluten-free, dairy-free and less than 300 calories — are also popular.
Outside of promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle, Jones said he thinks a lot about how neighbors must help each other heal from the traumas associated with 2020.
“If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we’ve been dealt blow after blow of stress we haven’t chosen,” he said. “There’s a lot of healing to a lot of trauma that needs to happen. … If we all band together.”
Uncooked is one of the Wicker Park/Bucktown area’s few Black-owned restaurants. While neighbors may celebrate Uncooked’s arrival because of this, Jones said he hopes Bucktowners are thinking about racial equity on a citywide level and not just in their own backyards.
“It’d be cooler if a white-owned business opened in Englewood,” he said. “That’s how we break down barriers.”
Uncooked’s hours of operation are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
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