Great food.. Been there a few times and this place never fails to impress me..
Vegan pizza – best ever
Taco salad – super
Eggplant – awesome
Desserts – only thing which I gave it 4 stars for… Would have been 5 otherwise..
This place varies a lot, but basically the food is pretty yummy (and the desserts very yummy) and the wine is ok, and it’s a little loud. They don’t take reservations, which is a drag, but I’ve never had to wait too long and usually not at all. The wait staff is fantastic. Best tofu in the city in the salad. Karyn’s on Green is better for non-vegans to eat vegan at, and fancier. But I love KC.
Five years a fan… I’ll start with that. I discovered Karyn’s in 2009, a couple of years after I went vegan. I lived in St. Louis, MO, but would happily make the 4 hr road trip each way, to eat at her restaurants and drive 4 hrs back home, happy and full. Once I got my family hooked, this road trip became a summer tradition.
I’ve since moved from the midwest, so it had been 2 years since I’d been to Karyn’s. Luckily, on a recent trip back home, I had to fly out of ORD airport, so come hell or high-water, I was going to Karyn’s. Chicago traffic (if you know, then you know) + @ a 1 hour window to get to the airport and I was about 30 minutes outside the city limits. “Go straight to the airport !”- said reason. “You better get your Karyn fix while you can !”- said the foodie. So I called Karyn’s Cooked (phone # still on speed dial), placed my normal order, found street parking out front, and my order was ready and waiting when I arrived. Yes!!
My order –
FRIED BROCCOLI BASKET:
I’d would order huge pans of this appetizer when I lived in STL. Luckily, it still travels well, and it’s still delicious. Deep fried broccoli trees, perfectly seasoned, and a killer garlic aioli sauce. A must for any broccoli fan!
JERK TOFU WRAP:
I order it w/o tomatoes, but with extra jerk sauce. It comes with 2 potato wedges (w/ BBQ dipping sauce) and coleslaw (which I omit). This is my favorite food entree. The spice level is on point! Flavor + high spice level = Tiggy heaven. Then there’s a creamy garlic sauce that she adds for a sensory boost. SO amazing!
HOMESTYLE MEAT LOAF:
I used to like this dish, but it wasn’t good this time. I didn’t like the flavor or the texture of the meat loaf or the gravy. I’ll definitely pass on this dish next time.
This also traveled well, in a great, reusable to-go container.
KEY LIME CHEESECAKE:
OMG! I didn’t pre-order this, but it was staring at me when I walked in to pick up my carry-out order, so I felt obligated to take a piece home with me. I thought I’d tried one of her cheesecakes before and didn’t like it, so I wasn’t expecting much. But my, oh my. It was so good. Thick, yet creamy, great key lime infused flavor, with a delicate crust (I believe it’s nut free, but double check if you have nut allergies.)… I was nearly in tears when I reached that last slither. The quality, taste, and the big piece that I was given made me forget it was a $7 piece of cheesecake. Well worth it! I want a whole order of this yumminess! This is easily one of my top 3 favorite vegan cheesecakes of all the vegan cheesecakes that I’ve had worldwide, thus far.
In my haste, I forgot to order it this time, but I must also recommend their BREAD PUDDING. Coming from someone who isn’t a bread pudding fan, and never gets it elsewhere, trust me when I say that this bread pudding will change your life. (As long as you’re not allergic to coconuts; then you’ll have a problem.) I’m also not a fan of coconuts, but this warm, caramel-y, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth chunk of yum is outstanding, on all levels. This is another item that I’d order as a huge pan (think catering order), and drive it back to STL.
I’m so happy to know that over all these years, I can come back to a place and the food is either generally consistently good (excluding the meatloaf), and/or improving (i.e. the cheesecake).
I am from Chicago and recently moved to California. When I return back for a visit I crave certain foods and restaurants. Lets just say this last visit I couldn’t get enough of Karyns Cooked.
I was there for dinner five days in a row. I ordered the same thing each time. The steak wrap with soy cheese on the side, mac and cheese and bread pudding. OMG! So good.
I was also so pleased with the staff and want to give a shout out and a thank you to Juan, Adrian and Nacho. Your friendly dispositions and attentiveness were the frosting on the cake.
Oh, did I mention that the whole restaurant randomly sang out loud when Boys Of Summer started playing. I can’t promise there will be a sing a long but I can promise you will get hooked on the mac and cheese.
We just had wine and appetizers, but everything was great! Especially loved the “wings”…the buffalo sauce was so tasty! Staff was welcoming and fun yet unobtrusive. If I lived in Chicago I’d go here all the time!
I love Karyn’s Cooked and make it a point to go there whenever I go to Chicago. Tasty vegan food at it’s best. I love every entree I’ve tried, but the vegan cheesecake was just sweet w/ not too much other flavor. I would recommend everything, but the vegan cheesecake. This place has great service and is elegant, so a great place to take a date.
Great food, good atmosphere, and good service. From a non – vegan aspect the food was amazing! Hard to believe that it is all vegan. Must go!
I’m not a vegetarian, but I sure don’t miss the meat! These dishes are amazing and I always look forward to eating here everytime I’m in the city.
Karyn’s is one of the best vegan options I’ve found in Chicago. I’m not usually someone who likes fake meat but they have a lot of veggie options that are really delicious. My favorite is probably the polenta and mushroom dish. Definitely a great lunch spot in River North!