Seasonal. Fresh. Local.
The newly renovated Garden View Café at the Chicago Botanic Garden seeks to provide customers with a fresh, healthier menu featuring local, sustainably produced, seasonal ingredients whenever possible, serving to highlight the Garden’s mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life.
The new look of the café seeks to integrate the beauty of the Garden with the ambience of a relaxed, accessible restaurant. As the new name indicates, the unique views from the café, both inside and out, welcome people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Diners will find an experience that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations.
The Garden View Café is not only an extension of the Garden, but a destination unto itself.
Menu Items for all
The new and enhanced menu features only the freshest ingredients, procured from local sources whenever possible. The café serves the best of local, fresh, seasonal foods, including a breakfast and lunch menu that changes four times a year. The menu features freshly made salads, seasonal soups, weekly specials, and flatbreads and other featured items cooked in a new, traditional pizza oven. A new barista and freshly-baked pastry station offers a whole new way to enjoy the café.
Sprouts menu for children offers a unique twist on traditional favorites – almond butter rather than peanut butter, chicken tenders rolled in cornflakes and baked, rather than fried, and mac and cheese with butternut squash. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are also available.
Freshly prepared ready-to-go sandwiches and entrée salads, yogurts, and snacks are also available for those who have just a moment to grab something and go.
The Garden View Café purveys food from local sources when possible, including the Garden’s own Windy City Harvest Youth Farm.
Sustainability at Work
In 2008, the Garden stopped selling bottled water, and in 2011, the Garden expanded its dishwashing and storage areas in order to change from using disposable plates, bowls, and flatware to using reusable chinaware. Also in 2011, the Garden began incorporating composting of food scraps and appropriate materials into its café operations. With the help of our customers, the Garden was able to divert 38 tons of waste from the landfill in 2013 by composting and recycling.
The Chicago Botanic Garden has partnered with ReCORK to recycle wine corks from the Garden View Café and on site special events. Be part of the effort. Save your used, natural wine corks (no plastic or metal, please) and bring them to the Garden View Café. Recycled cork can be used in flooring tiles, building insulation, craft materials, and sports equipment. ReCORK's recycling program also educates audiences about the role cork forests play in curbing climate change, and encourages companies to make more sustainable products.