The last thing most people want after a hard-working morning at the office is to eat something so heavy at lunch that they’re in a food coma all afternoon. But finding something to satisfy your hunger before it turns into hanger (hunger + anger) can feel like the biggest task you’ve had to accomplish all day, especially if you’re eating on the go.
But there’s no need to give up hope. With our list of healthy lunch options around the city, you’re sure to find a meal that fills you up without slowing you down.
You may be surprised to see B. Good on this list, as the eatery has traditionally been known for its burgers. But recent healthy additions to the menu are worth mentioning, like the kale and grain bowls or hearty seasonal salads. If you’re looking for something that only feels indulgent, opt for a veggie or turkey burger instead of beef. There are seven B. Good locations in Boston, so you’re never far away from a tasty, healthy meal.
This restaurant turned food truck is relatively new to the scene, but has a history of serving healthy food to hungry diners for 40 years. And you’ll soon be one of those loyal diners once you taste their Mediterranean-influenced fare that includes salad pockets that you can get with hummus, tuna, chicken, or steak. Find the roving restaurant at a different location around Boston every weekday.
You’re almost never far from a Boloco in Boston (or Cambridge), which means you easily can grab a healthy, satisfying wrap, bowl, or salad on your lunch break. The meals are endlessly customizable depending on how hungry you are and whether you have any dietary preferences, restrictions, or allergies. And don’t forget to grab a smoothie or shake to bring back to the office for an early afternoon treat.
What started with one truck in 2010 has grown to include five trucks and five brick-and-mortar restaurants. Bon Me serves delicious, fresh Vietnamese food at several locations around Boston, so there’s likely one nearby no matter where you work. The rice and noodle bowls are filling but light, so they won’t weigh you down all afternoon. Bonus: Bon Me is very vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friendly.
A few of the other restaurants on this list (like Bon Me and Mother Juice) have locations at the Boston Public Market near Haymarket, but this one-stop-shop is a standout. Sample the falafel plate or soup at Inna’s Kitchen, the fresh ramen at Noodle Lab, or a slice of quiche or a fresh sandwich from Swiss Bakers. Bonus: You can pick up fresh produce, meat, fish, and other local products to take home after your meal.
Catch this food truck, which serves Bangladeshi and Thai food, two days a week in Boston. Pair the dal (spiced lentils) with the green papaya salad for a fresh, filling lunch. Or try one of the rice or noodle dishes for something a bit more hearty that’s still healthy.
After suffering damage to its truck in 2015, The Chubby Chickpea is back on the road. Fill up without feeling weighed down with one of the homemade wraps, rice bowls, or lunch plates. Fresh salads, vegetarian grape leaves, and spring rolls round out the Middle Eastern menu.
Food trucks are nothing new these days, but once upon a time, they served more fried food than fresh. And Clover was on the cutting edge of bringing healthier food to the streets of Boston. The food lab serves everything vegetarian (though they shy away from that label to have wider appeal) and can often accommodate other dietary preferences as well. Find the delicious eats at one of Clover’s 10 locations (four trucks and six brick-and-mortar restaurants) in the Boston area.
Where cupcake shops were once all the rage, it seems that juice bars have taken over, which is good news for those looking to eat healthier. Cocobeet’s juices, smoothies, salads, snacks, and sandwiches are all vegan, GMO-free, organic, locally sourced, raw, gluten-free, and prepared fresh daily. A meal at the Government Center location is sure to leave you glowing all afternoon.
Yes, Flour is largely known for its decadent treats (think rich brownies and sticky buns the size of your head), but it also has a lot of healthy lunch options. From the fresh salads featuring whole grains to the roasted sweet potato and curried tuna sandwiches, you’ll find a satisfying lunch at one of Flour’s four locations. Just try to avoid the pastry case on the way out!
Stop by the Back Bay’s Jugos for a lighter lunch of fresh juices or smoothies in a seemingly endless variety of flavors with tons of add-ins like bee pollen, chia seeds, and goji berries. If you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, check out Jugos’ daily quinoa bowl or selection of sandwiches.
If you’ve been stuck in a lunch rut, consider branching out of your usual routine with a trip to Lucy Ethiopian Cafe near the Symphony T stop. The mostly vegetarian menu is served on traditional Ethiopian injera bread and will fill you up with delightful flavors you’re unlikely to encounter elsewhere.
With two locations (Kendall Square and Boston Public Market) and a third on Newbury Street coming in 2016, Mother Juice is the perfect place to grab a delicious vegan lunch. Pair one of its signature juices or smoothies with a grain bowl or sample one of its breakfast bowls, which are served all day. Mother Juice even has gluten-free avocado toast for when you need a fix.
This Lebanese Mediterranean cafe in the Financial District has a plethora of healthy options perfect for a quick and easy lunch. Try one of the pita roll-ups, salads, or plates topped with chicken, steak, falafel, or hummus. And don’t miss the fresh tabouli, fattoush salad, and baba ganoush.
A list of healthy lunch options wouldn’t be complete without a sushi joint, and Snappy in the Back Bay fits the bill. Snappy uses only partially milled brown rice, so its rolls and bowls are extra healthy. And if you’re feeling more like something hot, try Snappy’s ramen, which even includes a lobster option. We are in New England after all.
Visit one of Sweetgreen’s three Boston locations to fill up on its signature salad and grain bowls that feature fresh vegetables, whole grains, and proteins to suit nearly every diet, as well as options for add-ons and the dressing of your choice. You could probably eat at Sweetgreen every day and not nosh on the same thing twice.
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