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Lincoln Park, Old Town

Elephant + Vine, A Counter-Service Vegan Restaurant, Opens In Lincoln Park

Elephant + Vine is the "little sister" restaurant to Spirit Elephant in Winnetka and will offer some of the same dishes, including cauli-wings and plant-based burgers.

Elephant + Vine offers a vegan buffalo chicken sandwich.
Provided/Elephant + Vine
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LINCOLN PARK — A fast-casual vegan restaurant modeled after Spirit Elephant in suburban Winnetka has opened in Lincoln Park.

Elephant + Vine opened May 3 at 2315 N. Lincoln Ave. in the Lincoln Commons. Elephant + Vine already opened its first restaurant in Evanston at 719 Church St. earlier this year.

The counter-service restaurant offers vegan foods that can be ordered for dine in, takeout or delivery, owner CD Young previously said.

“We’re really excited to be coming to Lincoln Park and Evanston because both locations are right off universities, and certainly young people are taking the lead with this environmental awareness,” Young said. “But we’re really finding all age groups are excited about the restaurant and Lincoln Park has all demographics.”

Credit: Provided/CD Young
A rendering shows what the inside of Elephant & Vine will look like.

Young and Chief Operating Officer James Pierson said they took what they learned from Spirit Elephant’s first two years of business to develop the menu for Elephant + Vine.

Elephant + Vine will offer some of Spirit Elephant’s most popular dishes, including cauli-wings and plant-based burgers, as well as pretzel bowls, hand-battered “chicken” sandwiches, homemade “tuna” wraps, salads and rice bowls, Pierson said.

The restaurants will also offer hand-spun vegan milkshakes, organic juices and teas, he said.

“It will be a pretty diverse menu that caters to a multitude of appetites or preferences,” Pierson said. “But we’re not necessarily gearing our menu to only go after vegan customers. We’re really saying that our food is amazing with a variety of items available for all types of eaters, and it just so happens to be vegan.”

When Spirit Elephant opened in January 2020, “takeout was an afterthought,” Young said. The restaurant was more focused on offering an up-scale vegan dining experience, but the team had to change course once the pandemic struck and indoor dining was banned, he said.

“We were so focused on this beautiful dine-in experience, but because of the pandemic we had to pivot and figure out how to adapt to takeout,” Young said. “Elephant + Vine is much more designed for takeout, so we’re going to make things in a way that if you want to eat at home, it will be the same quality as if you eat in.”

Elephant + Vine is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Credit: Provided/Elephant + Vine
Elephant + Vine’s cauliflower wrap.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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