I accidentally stumbled upon Litehouse this summer and have been obsessed with their food and their mission ever since. Established by Hyde Park residents, the restaurant focuses on community outreach in addition to providing remarkable food. The menu encompasses all eating styles, so whether you are vegetarian, meat-loving, gluten-free or vegan you’re sure to have plenty of options. Most dishes are even customizable, allowing you to choose your toppings, main ingredients and dressings. Diners can create their own wrap, burrito, salad, taco or even pizza and tailor it to their specific dietary concerns or culinary preferences. Unlike some restaurants, there is no additional charge for any of the toppings besides guacamole, which means that vegetable-lovers like me can fit as many into a burrito as possible. All ingredients are locally grown, natural and hormone-free, providing a quick, sustainable meal that brings a smile to your face every time. My personal favorite is the Cranberry Chicken Salad, which I typically order as a wrap in a spinach tortilla. It combines the natural sweetness of candied walnuts and dried cranberries with the strong flavors of feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. The chicken is all-natural and prepared lean with minimal oil. Although they are not the healthiest items on the menu, the fried green tomatoes and sweet potato fries are also amazing and perfect to share. The tomatoes are served with a special house dipping sauce (ranch mixed with hot sauce) and the sweet potato fries are perfectly dusted with cinnamon.
The interior and atmosphere of Litehouse Whole Food Grill is just as community-focused as its creators. From the University of Chicago student discount to the pizzas named after Hyde Park residents and places, the restaurant honors the neighborhood in which it is based. Restaurant décor showcases local artists, from the colorful countertops to the eclectic artwork on the walls, and a mix of music selections and friendly staff completes the dining experience and draws repeat customers. As a quick note, be aware that the hours of operation here are a bit unusual: the restaurant closes Friday night and reopens Saturday night in honor of the Sabbath.
Finding delicious, healthy food that is both quick and reasonably priced is a hard task to accomplish.
One must typically sacrifice either time or money to maintain a balanced, sustainable diet. Litehouse
Whole Food Grill, however, has managed to achieve the seemingly impossible: provide locally sourced, hormone-free meals for the busy and picky eater. A pioneer in the “healthy fast food” era, this restaurant is a must for anyone visiting Hyde Park.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Cranberry Chicken Salad as a Wrap
PC: Aneesa Sonawalla
Aneesa accompanied me on my most recent trip and took all these lovely photos! My article & her photos will be featured in the upcoming fall quarter edition of Nonpareil, the UChicago food magazine.