This is a post that is long, long overdue.
Down the block from our house is a wonderful place known as B’Gabs Goodies.
Gab’s is not just vegetarian, but is in fact a “Raw Vegan Deli” with the tagline “It’s not the food in your life it’s the life in your food”. In addition to serving up raw vegan food, they also sell spices, and some really fantastic smoothies.
(I don’t have any pictures of Gab’s, but you can see many good ones over at WTF Vegan Food) (That’s WTF as in “Will Travel For” Vegan Food, not WTF as in what non-vegans say when looking at vegan food)
More important than the food selection though, is the people who work there. I can’t stress this enough. It’s family run (including a brand new co-owner, baby Hudson), and they make you feel like you are part of the family. Evie is like the Norm of B’Gabs, where everybody knows her name and they’re always glad she came. We try to make it there pretty often, because we’d hate to see it go the way of the previous tenant in that space, the Backstory Cafe.
But you don’t have to take my word for it, there are plenty of glowing reviews on Yelp, including one by Sara:
I saw this was up on Groupon today, so I was motivated to finally sign up and write a post.
B’Gabs Goodies is a smoothie/raw vegan restaurant (small) and spice and herb store (very large selection) just a block away from us in Woodlawn (just south of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago). Gab, Ron, Marley, and James are so sweet and we make it a point to try to stop in weekly, as we were very sad to see the last business in this location close due to financial concerns.
So, the smoothies are fantastic (just ask my kids who like all sorts of combinations and especially love them with carrot juice) and the herb selection is great–I have bought oregano (excellent price and tastes great), cinnamon sticks (also an excellent price and I’m looking forward to using them), and chia (a little on the steep side compared to online/Costco/etc. but I highly doubt any stores within the next 5 miles carry it).
They also have a booth at the weekly farmers market on Saturdays at E 61st St and S Dorchester!
(Oh, and if you’re having trouble finding it, go to E 61st St and S Dorchester and walk east along 61st. Turn right at the end of the street. Yes, it seems like you are in an alley, but the correct door is the first place on your right. You will enter in the restaurant area, then the door to the store is to the left.)
(It should also be noted that, after Sara’s review, they adjusted the price of chia)
So we’ve been going there since forever, why am I just getting around to writing this now? Well, because I finally sat down and had a meal there, and it was excellent.
Mostly, Sara and the kids go without me, and mostly they just get smoothies with the occasional dessert. However, B’Gabs recently extended their hours for summer, so we decided to check it out for dinner one night.
Now, like a lot of people, I’m not really that familiar with raw food options. However, they understand that, so Gab’s is a “judge free zone”. They know that eating raw is new to most people, so they’re happy to help or answer questions. You don’t have to feel embarrassed if you’re not sure about something. They’re excited about healthful food, and happy to talk about it. They’re happy you’re there, willing to try it out.
So for me, I went into it for the experience, like I would any new type of food. I’m always up for trying something different. I had a burger (which was of course not a burger), which also came with an absolutely wonderful salad and a side. I chose kimchi. Everything was different, interesting, and yummy. I am neither a vegetarian, nor vegan, nor a raw foodist, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. So if you do happen to be some or all of those things, then I guess this place would probably be heaven.
I don’t know if you can find better raw vegan food in the city. Certainly, *I* couldn’t find better. But I do for sure know that you can’t find friendlier owners than Gab and Ron.
And tell ‘um Evie and Ollie sent you.