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Making nutritious meals at home is a great step to maintain or kickstart that healthy lifestyle, but sooner or later, you’ll be at a restaurant. Whether it’s on a date or a group hangout with friends, there’s SO MUCH temptation to get the queso, deep dish pizza, or bottomless crab fries.
All while everyone’s entitled to their own temptations, you’re going to want to get familiar with Baltimore’s wide array of healthy and delicious options. The wholesome food scene here is top-notch, so you don’t need to consider your entree as a “punishment dish” for whatever you ate at the O’s game.
The smells that come out of this Canton restaurant‘s Venezuelan-inspired kitchen are sure to make your mouth water. Craving pizza? Try their flatbread made of arepa dough (think light and fluffy) that won’t leave you feeling like you have a brick in your belly. But what locals rave most about is the “arepa bar”. These corn-based pancake-like rounds can be filled with your choice of seafood, poultry, or, if you’re vegetarian/vegan, black beans and plantains.
At Liquid Earth, their mission is to expand the palate and the mind. A brain-boosting stop in the Fells Point, grab lunch or dinner to go or sit and enjoy the artwork on the walls while you savor every bite of your meal. With 50 different types of juice and smoothies, there are so many healthy options for you to choose from. But what you’re going to love most: the portobello mushroom sandwich on their homemade three-grain bread.
An old factory turned rustic eatery, Woodberry Kitchen is an oasis of farm-to-table fare. Committed to sourcing from local farms and focused on what is in season, you can actually taste the quality in Woodberry’s grub. Baltimore natives are known to flock here for the Tilghman Island Crab Cake made with MD blue crab, baked and not fried. See? You can certainly indulge here without a weight on your conscience. Though, their desserts are too sweet to turn down, so maybe just a tiny bite…
Make a visit to R. House in Remington, an industrial-chic food hall where we are sure you will find yourself drawn to Stall 11. Here, you can opt for a juice, smoothie bowl, or salad bowls made from local, fresh, and seasonal produce. Offering healthier alternatives to fried food entrees you may find yourself craving, we insist trying the Korean BBQ Cauliflower — crisp cauliflower tossed in their homemade tangy BBQ sauce topped with cilantro, garlic, and sesame seeds.
Brunch: our favorite weekend meal to drink bottomless mimosas and often overindulge in the sweetness of celebrating the weekend. But never fear — Gertrude’s is here with a healthy brunch that does not skip out on flavor. Spend your Saturday morning working up an appetite walking the halls of the Baltimore Museum of Art, then enjoy brunch out on the balcony overlooking the harbor. Gertrude’s has a wide array of healthy options. Our favorite? The Gertrude’s Crabmeat Omelette (ask for egg whites) and a side of fresh local fruit.
Golden West Cafe is a beloved culinary institution in Hampden serving up Southwest comfort grub guaranteed to make your mouth water. Perfect for eating clean and offering so many options to choose from — options range from an apple and brie burger with a side of Brussel sprouts to zucchini pancakes for brunch. Plus, they have ample vegan and gluten-free dishes that don’t lack in the flavor department.
A raw foodie’s dream come true and a haven for both the vegan or vegetarian, Townson’s Zia’s makes healthy eating a snap. Here, you can create your own sandwich, salad, juice, or smoothie. But if you’re willing to give your taste buds the ride of their life, try the sweet potato pad thai made from sweet potato noodles, topped with lime, cilantro, and their specialty almond pad thai sauce.
Need something quick, easy, and undeniably healthy? honeygrow is your place! With two locations in Baltimore (Harbor Point and Charles Village), you can bet you’ll be eating a nourishing and fresh meal. You can make your own stir fry and salad, or choose one of their suggested options on the menu. And guess what—you can have dessert too. Their honeybar provides you with fresh local fruit, honey, and other toppings of your choice.
If you’re craving chicken salad, Atwater’s is the place to get your fix. With multiple locations throughout Baltimore, this local staple prides itself of fresh and local ingredients. You really can’t go wrong with anything on this menu, either; it’s all delicious without you feeling like you cheated on your healthy lifestyle. If we can make a recommendation, we’ll tell you they work wonders with kale salads. You’ll be treated to raw kale topped with pickled red beets, pumpkin seeds, house-made granola, and a lemon-buttermilk dressing on the side. And you’d be foolish not to top it with their homemade chicken salad.
The “ultimate vegetarian experience” in Mt. Vernon, The Land of Kush aims to feed your soul with flavorful meals. You won’t even believe they’re 100% vegan. Sink your teeth into their Curry Chickun (curried tofu), which taste like the real thing! And add a side of carrots and broccoli or the yams, or really any of their sides — they’re all flavorful without the guilt trip.
Plant- and wallet-friendly, One World Cafe is a quaint spot found in Charles Village. Here, you can’t not try the Vegan Baked Acorn Squash. It’s a seasonal dish (during the fall and winter) filled with a vegan sausage, wild rice, and apple stuffing — making it possible to enjoy a Thanksgiving-esque meal on any day.
Take in the Maryland waterfront experience at Ampersea. Found in Fells Point, Amerpsea aims to connect you to the land, water, and Baltimore community with fresh and tasteful ingredients coming together on an impressive menu! Feeling fish for dinner? You won’t want to miss the trout, placed on a bed of mixed greens, apples, radishes, carrots, and topped with a sherry vinaigrette. Vegetarian? Be sure to order the cauliflower risotto or the root vegetable ragout.
Fells Point’s Duck Duck Goose brings a fresh take on French brasserie. Expect local and seasonal ingredients providing exceptional choices for vegans and meat eaters alike. You’d be remiss not to try out the cauliflower steak topped with a smoked date and cauliflower puree. And the honey roasted duck, atop a beet puree then drizzled with a cherry reduction, is perfectly paired with roasted beets. Brunch, lunch, or dinner, they’re going to wow you.
La Cuchara brings Basque tradition to Baltimore — Clipper Mill, to be exact. There, chef Ben Lefenfeld uses fresh and local ingredients to bring the best flavors to your dinner plate. Order a cheese plate or the sweet but fiery shishito chile peppers, but you need to order an entree with local meat and fresh veggies for the full experience. The menu changes daily to ensure the highest quality of ingredients, but you bet it will be a healthy meal you won’t forget.
**Updated by Charlotte Nagey, October 2018