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Vegetarian / Vegan

Vegans rejoice! Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot more enjoyable thanks to restaurants offering vegan-friendly tacos, which taste delicious without the addition of meat or dairy.

Given the rapid growth of veganism in the United States (a 600% increase since 2014), chefs across the country are catering to the masses with tasty takes on the Mexican street food staple. In Chicago, two neighborhood hotspots are leading the trend: Big Star, Wicker Park’s honky tonk, whiskey and taco joint, and The Moonlighter, the Scofflaw Group’s new relaxed, casual and family-friendly beer bar in Logan Square. 

Featuring tofu skin and Beyond Meat, a newly acclaimed plant-based protein product that came to Chicago last June, both tacos are packed with bold flavors, sure to please both carnivores and vegans alike. 

Inspired by the tacos sold at California taquerias and food trucks, Chef de Cuisine Julie Warpinski starts Big Star’s Yuba Guisado Taco (feature picture) with non-GMO and preservative-free tofu skins, a new wave ingredient that is making its way across top restaurants in the United States.  Big Star’s slightly sweet and nutty-tasting tofu ribbons, which are formed in heated soy milk, are locally sourced from Chicago producer, Phoenix Bean Tofu, and are smothered in a spicy Guajillo salsa blend. The tacos are then topped with diced white onion and fresh cilantro, bringing traditional flavor to an unconventional and crave-worthy bite.

Topsys Taco
Topsy's Taco at the Moonlighter

Crafted by Executive Chef Mickey Neely, The Moonlighter’s Topsy’s Taco features Beyond Meat Beef, the only soy-free and gluten-free plant-based protein on the market. A tribute to the original Jack in the Box (Topsy’s Drive-In) and its cult-favorite tacos, Topsy’s Tacos start with crumbled Beyond Meat Beef, which is deep fried in a blend of spices, and finished with crisp iceberg lettuce, a slice of vegan American cheese and tangy taco sauce. Complementing The Moonlighter’s menu of pub food and elevated burgers, which can all be made vegan-friendly, Topsy’s Taco can be also paired with the “Taco Party,” a special offer that includes one taco, a can of a can of Miller High Life and a shot of bourbon for $9. 


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