Herbivore: Chicago’s Newest Vegan Restaurant

By Nehemiah Rivers

Herbivore’s Exterior

With the United States having some of the highest rates of meat consumption in the world, many individuals look for alternatives to meat whether it’s for the purpose of animal preservation or dietary reasons. Look no further than the newest restaurant in the Bridgeport neighborhood, Herbivore.

As its name implies, Herbivore is a vegan restaurant that serves a variety of plant-based food which are original recipes by Max Musto. The restaurant was founded by Musto along with his wife Dr. Josefina “Josie” Batista and opened on March 17th. Herbivore is open from 5 PM to 9 PM on Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Musto is a graduate from the now closed institution, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. With his studies there along with his work at various restaurants, Musto honed his craft throughout the years to share his unique recipes with the world.

As Musto’s wife, Batista is his number one supporter.  Batista is Herbivore’s director of operations and taste tester. Outside work at the restaurant, Batista is a Board Certified Pediatrician and the lead vocalist for the band And The Animal.

Musto and Batista founded Herbivore with a dream to introduce its customers to the wonderful and often overlooked taste of vegan food. “I want to reframe the way people frame vegan food,” said Musto.

With many detractors not giving plant-based food a fair chance, the very idea of vegan food is often scoffed at. As a seasoned veteran of culinary arts with years of training under him, Musto aims to eliminate the stigma against vegan food with his original recipes. “Sometimes vegan food gets a bad rep because it’s not done the right way. He wants to show people that vegan food can be
flavorful,” said Batista.

The Big Max

Herbivore has a diverse menu consisting of veggie burgers, fries, gorditas, plant-based chicken nuggets, and even deep-fried oreos as a dessert item. The most notable food item on the menu is known as the Big Max, two impossible burger patties on sesame buns topped with cheese, lettuce, and onions. Musto and Batista invite people of all ages to give Herbivore’s plant-based food a chance and prove that vegan food can be more than an alternative to meat, but a true flavorful experience.

For more information or to place an order, visit https://herbivorechicago.square.site/.