When it comes to eating things that are good for you, it's often necessary to prepare your own food. But, in some instances, you may not have the time or energy to do so, so it’s nice to know there are some healthy restaurants when you have to eat lunch or dinner out. It's also important to know what's going into your food. Hint: If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Thankfully, a new crop of healthful restaurants is making it clear what they’re putting in each of their dishes—and oh, they taste pretty good, too.
We live in a world where a juice can cost you more than $12, so where do we draw the line with spending when it comes to an actual meal? Yes, healthy, often organic, ingredients cost more, but you shouldn’t be paying a fortune to eat food that's nutritious. Thankfully, we’ve been able to find a great assortment of healthy restaurants that dish up great food, are up front about what they serve, and that won’t put you over your monthly budget (amen to that). Below, see our top picks.
Even if you don’t normally like salads, trust us: You’ll like Sweetgreen. Its astonishing array of fresh items like spicy broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, brown rice, and more than four types of lettuce always mean you can mix up your dish. The restaurant also places an emphasis on local ingredients, hanging signs in the store to indicate which items the restaurant sources nearby. Side note: When the cashier asks you if you want bread, just say yes.
Locations: Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; Pennsylvania; Massachusetts; New York City; California; Chicago
FOR COMFORT FOOD:
This takeout spot is known for its market bowls and salads—one’s served over grains and the other over greens. You pick your choice of protein and two sides, like fingerling potatoes or spicy kale, and trust us, you’ll be full afterward. If you’re craving something salty, don’t forget to try its creamy mac ’n’ cheese (but don’t worry; it’s not a huge portion). And if you have stricter dietary needs, when it comes to ingredients, the menu is always up-to-date.
Locations: Boston and New York
Boston’s first-ever oatmeal café whips up both sweet and savory oat bowls to satisfy everyone—we think the Apple Pie and Sriracha Fried Egg are two of the best options. You can also have them craft a custom bowl just like you would at a make-your-own-salad spot… Mix-ins range from almond milk yogurt to banana mash to even smoked salmon. If you can dream it, the store’s employees can make it.
For vegan and vegetarian sushi with a sustainable mindset, look no further than Beyond Sushi in Manhattan. The eatery champions local and seasonal produce that it wraps up in a version of a sushi roll (no seafood here). Perhaps the most famous of all is the Spicy Mang Roll, which has slices of mango and cucumber topped with a secret spicy dressing.
Location: New York City
This Danish coffee/juice shop has a fun, quirky atmosphere (you’ll never walk in without a custom music playlist blaring). At this healthy restaurant, you’ll get your choice of beverage (juice, tea, coffee, veggie shot, or smoothie) or healthy sandwich whipped up by an employee who was actually cast online… yes, you heard that right, that’s how the restaurant hires its staff. Thanks to juices like Sex Me Up and Go Away Doc, you can pick your juice based on your mood.
Locations: San Francisco, New York, and Miami (but in 14 countries total)
If you haven’t heard of the hip healthy eatery By Chloe, you may be hiding under a rock. But there may be a chance you haven’t heard of The Sosta, the fast-casual Italian eatery from By Chloe co-founder Samantha Wasser that just opened this month in New York. It’s true that Italian will never be the healthiest type of food you can order, but since the restaurant makes all of its own dairy, cheese, and pasta in-house, Wasser says it’s significantly lighter than the fare elsewhere.
Location: New York City
What are your favorite healthy restaurants near you? Did we include them in our list? Be sure to tell us in the comments.
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