Veggie Grill, America’s largest fast casual vegetarian chain, is opening five new restaurants in Chicago this year.

Its additions come as part of a nationwide expansion, with a different logo and kitchen layout anticipated for the first Midwest development.

Veggie Grill CEO, Steve Heeley has high hopes for this plan. He said: “The trend around vegetarian food and eating veggie diet, plant based diet or vegan is growing, especially in big cities. There’s a lot of our core consumers clustered in those big cities.

“I think over the next couple of decades having this type of diet and eating this type of food is going to be more mainstream than probably a carnivorous diet today.”

Whilst the exact dates of all the new locations are unknown, the first Chicago-based Veggie Grill will be placed on the northeast corner of Clark and Broadway streets in mid-February and the second can be expected to launch in March.

Since the chain raised $22 million in funding just over a year ago, its plans to double in size and dominate the veggie-based industry have quickly got underway.

Heeley ensures that his veggie-friendly restaurants are not solely for vegans and vegetarians, but for anyone who wishes to reduce their meat intake or add more vegetables to their palate.

“We want to be all inclusive … so we call [ourselves] veggie-centric because we don’t want to exclude those folks that just want eat more veggies and they want great flavour and great food and they don’t want labels attached to who they are and how they eat.”
Regular and new diners can expect Veggie Grill’s popular, plant-based Beyond Burger ($12.95) on the menu as well as Quinoa Power Salad ($10.25), Tempura Green Beans ($7.50) and much more.

Veggie Grill’s current 28 locations are based in California, Oregon, Texas and Washington.