Meatless eatery Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat opened this week in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, offering soulful “to-go flexitarian” food that caters to transitioning vegetarians and vegans. The menu features items such as a vegan Philly Cheesesteak with onions, peppers, mushrooms, jalapeños, and “beef-less” protein; a Who Betta Double Burger with vegan cheese; vegan Chicken and Waffles; and vegan smoothies and shakes in flavors such as the Cookie Monster, which is swirled with Oreos cookies. The café’s first Monday lunch rush saw a lineup stretching down the street. Local restaurateur Rico Nance—who owns several grill and soul-food restaurants in the area—opened the café with his sister Laricia Chandler. The focus at Can’t Believe It’s Not Meat is on comfort foods such as burgers and sandwiches, which the duo hopes make a plant-based diet more approachable for locals. “We wanted to encourage transitioning into healthy eating by creating healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods and providing knowledge about plant-based alternatives,” Nance told Block Club Chicago.

Photo credit: Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce 

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