Eating out used to mean sacrificing your health — and your waistline. Nowadays, Columbus is adapting to the growing clean eating and healthy lifestyle movement.
Which means eateries with healthy and balanced options are popping up all over the map. This means no more greasy, heart-burn-inducing carryout when you don’t feel like cooking.
Next time your stomach is grumbling for real food, check out our favorite spots to grab a nutritious (and delicious!) bite.
Farm to… drive-thru? That’s right — the folks at Acre are slinging healthy fast food through a pick-up window. Their mission is to bring better-for-you, local food to the masses. And it’s working. With their expansion from Clintonville to Grandview, you now have more opportunities to start your day with their killer breakfast deal. Fitt Tip: a fresh egg sandwich comes with a free coffee.
Zest Juice Co.
“Fresh. Honest. Healthy.” Check, check, and check. Put your zest foot forward with this juice bar’s undeniably healthy juices and smoothies. They even offer shots to supercharge your nutrition. They’ve added toast and sandwiches to the menu — and we are not at all mad at it. Chipotle avocado toast and buffalo tofu wraps for the win. Get all the juicy details at any of their five locations — Dublin, Easton, Grandview, Short North, and Westerville.
TRISM knows how to party. And we’re here for it! The folks at this fast-casual eatery, bar, and event space on OSU’s campus really get the meaning of balance, too. In the morning, you can get smoothies and toast before pop-up yoga. In the evening, you can sip on fresh-pressed juice cocktails while a DJ bumps the beat. Basically, you never have to leave.
You won’t find any GMOs, hormones, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, or additives in CoreLife Eatery’s bowls. What will you find? Nourishing dishes packed with responsibly-raised protein and locally-grown vegetables. Skip the greasy food options and fill up on real ingredients at their Polaris and Lennox locations.
FUSIAN’s healthy take on sushi earns it a place on our list of post-workout go-to’s. They wrap up brown rice, a variety of seasonal vegetables, and wholesome lean proteins into one mouth-watering (and good-for-you) creation. And keep an eye out for the featured bowl crafted in collaboration with a local fitness or nutrition expert. Head to Easton, Campus, Grandview, or Clintonville for one of their many yoga workshops followed by a protein-packed roll or bowl.
Native Cold Pressed
One too many brews with your buds this weekend? At Native Cold Pressed in Short North, German Village, and Bexley, all juices are 100% organic, raw, and guaranteed to detox you as quick as you can slurp them down. And if it’s something of more substance you crave, their smoothie bowls and energy bites are second to none. Don’t blame us if you end up becoming a native at Native.
If you live in Columbus, chances are you’ve wandered past one of Northstar Cafe’s locations in Beechwold, Short North, Easton, Clintonville, or Westerville. If you’ve never stopped in, now is the time! Their famous veggie burger has topped local charts for years, and will tempt even your most stubborn carnivorous friends. Honestly, whether you go full-beet or full-beef, the burger can’t be beat.
Graze might be the ultimate hidden gem on this rundown of healthy spots! Tucked away in the basement of the Ohio Statehouse, they’re one of downtown’s best-kept secrets. This sandwich and salad joint has everything we want: fresh vegetables, high-quality protein, and prices under $10. Yep — it’s all served up with a side of history and justice.
Another downtown hot spot, Market 65 is our go-to for make-it-yourself salads and wraps. You can choose one of their suggested mixes (if you’re indecisive) or build your own bowl of vibrant superfoods (if you’ve got it down). Have it your way. Don’t worry — it’s healthy! Fitt Tip: order ahead and skip the lunch-rush line.
Local food blogger and registered dietician Alexis Joseph (aka Hummusapien) made her dreams (and ours!) come true when she opened Alchemy on Parsons Ave. Gang, it really doesn’t get much healthier than this place. Their juices, smoothies, toast, and artisan sandwiches are all healthy options. There’s also an on-site dietician and nutrient-packed grab-and-go snacks. Oh, and they now have a second location right on Grandview Ave., too!
Get ready for a veggie overdose! Portia, the café’s namesake, is here to hook. you. up. The local plant-based rock star serves an entirely vegan and gluten-free menu — and many of the options are also raw. The food may be cold, but the flavors are lit, fam. Try her signature Thanksgiving-inspired (and totally vegan) quesadilla and thank us later.
Veranico Kitchen + Provisions
Veranico is flexing its healthy food-making muscles in the Arena District, bringing powerfully delicious bowls to the downtown food scene. Check out their seasonal option to get the freshest produce added to your meal. And, if you’re looking for a weekend pre-game, swing in to get a piece of Flatbread Friday!
Greening up Clintonville andColumbus’s beloved North Market, Little Eater serves lunch by the scoop — sorry, we’re not talking ice cream. On any given day, you’ll find six or more salad options all made from direct-from-farmer products. And if you’re the home cooking type, their sister store a few steps away sells veggies of the uncooked variety (read: fresh).
PurePressed Organic Juicery
PurePressed Organic Juicery at the Columbus Commons makes detoxing simple. They offer one- or three-day packages of their cleansing organic juices. But if you want something heartier, they also offer smoothies, salads, and host Hai Poké during the week. Healthy life-hack: band together with friends and they’ll deliver any order over $25 for FREE!
Started from New York, now they’re… everywhere! Columbus was long overdue to get a Freshii location. And now that they’re in Dublin, Bexley, and New Albany we’re stoked! Freshii has eateries all over the globe and their simple, healthy meals are always a hit. We love piling their salads high with protein for a green, filling lunch.
The Angry Baker Cafe & Bakery
The Angry Baker has been a Columbus staple since they opened their first set of doors in Olde Towne East. The bakery is known for their delicious, vegan pastries and huge array of breakfast and lunch options. Check out the original site or their location in Short North for all sorts of tasty treats!
**Updated by Madeline Crider, November 2018