A few days after we broke our fast my husband and I decided a nice way to welcome ourselves back to the world of food would be to indulge in a little raw food. There are not a ton of Raw Vegan restaurants in Illinois, and since we’ve already been to several I wanted to try something new, explore new ground, go somewhere we hadn’t been before. I chose Healthy Sins Vegan Café, which is in Lockport, Il, kind of a hike from our place but I’d heard such good things about it that I thought the 40 minute drive would be worth it. Plus, we’d never been to Lockport, and since it was a lovely, sunny Saturday afternoon we could spend some time exploring. A win, win.
|All the tables are shaped like leaves, isn't that cute?|
We arrived, and parking was easy enough. The restaurant was not overly busy and so we had our choice of tables and were seated immediately. Right away I liked the cozy atmosphere of the café, it felt very warm, very welcoming, and very European. I personally am a big fan of the whole ‘take as long as you want’ mentality, vs the ‘eat and get out’ mode that most American restaurants seem to operate by.
So we asked for water, got some menus and began to peruse. I’ll admit, I had a really hard time deciding what to get because everything sounded fantastic, and since I’d just been fasting for 5 days and had only been eating very lightly since breaking said fast, I was overwhelmed at my choices.
Eventually we settled upon two appetizers. The Bagel Bites (bite sized bagel pieces topped with pesto, pumpkin seed cheese, taco meat, tuna salad, and egg salad) which just sounded way to cool to pass up, and The Nachos (Taco meat, guacamole, salsa and onions with nacho cheese and sour cream served with corn-flax tortilla chips) because how can you say no to a huge plate of nachos?
Seriously, both of these appetizers were amazing. I loved how soft the bagel pieces were, and I loved the toppings though my favorite were the taco meat, nut cheese, and tuna salad. The Nacho’s were to die for, the tortilla chips were amazing, a bit of crunch, and they paired perfectly with the delicious taco meat, nacho cheese, and guacamole. I could have eaten like 4 orders of this!
For our main meal my husband got the Sloppy Joe’s which is a favorite of his. The opportunity to try it raw was too good to pass up. I took a few bites of this and it was very good indeed.
For my main meal I agonized over whether or not I should get lasagna or the pizza. In the end I chose pizza because raw pizza? How cool is that? I think I chose right. The pizza crust was great, but the real winner was the delicious Italian Cashew Cheese, and the Marinara. I could have eaten the marinara with a spoon it was that amazing!
Both Entree’s came with two side salads. One a mixed green salad with a spicy vinaigrette, the other a fruit salad with a sweet dressing. Both were great.
Of course we could not pass up the chance to try dessert. My husband went with the apple pie which tasted like a real baked apple pie! It was super tasty, and the perfect amount of spice. I went with the Almond Butter Pie which was really rich, and heavenly. I could have eaten an entire pie it was that good! Definitely one of my favorite restaurant desserts of all time.
I have to say, having been to several raw restaurants - with varying results - this is some of the hands-down best raw vegan food I’ve ever eaten anywhere. The only place that even comes close to comparing is In The Raw in Highland Park, but from what I understand they’ve closed now, and so Healthy Sins Vegan Café is the King - or Queen - of Raw. Trust me, even if this is a little out of the way for you, you’ll want to make the trip. The food is really that good, and the staff is super friendly, and very helpful. Great place, all around.
|Almond Butter Pie|
After we finished eating we decided to explore Lockport, so we walked around for a few hours taking in the scenery. There was some kind of festival happening with live music and so we hung out by the canal and listened to a few tunes. Before we headed back home we decided to stop over at the Naked Sprout Organic Market which is right next to Healthy Sins. They’re a cute little store selling all kinds of raw, vegan, and gluten-free goods. They also have a juice and smoothie bar, in fact all the juices and smoothies served at Healthy Sins are made at The Naked Sprout, so we wanted to give some smoothies a whirl, you know, just a little something for the drive home.
I decided to go with the strawberry lemon cheesecake smoothie which was so good, and so creamy. It did indeed taste just like a cheesecake. My husband got the oatmeal raisin smoothie which he really liked although I thought it was a bit heavy on the nutmeg. Overall a very cool experience and very friendly staff. If you go to Lockport don’t forget to check out the Naked Sprout after your delicious meal at Healthy Sins!
|Left: Oatmeal Raisin Smoothie|
Right: Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake Smoothie
Healthy Sins Vegan Cafe
928 S State Street
Hours: Monday—Thursday: 11-7
Friday & Satruday: 11-8
Sunday: Closed; available for Private Parties