Hailed as one of the top food meccas across the country, Houston’s food scene has been years in the making, and there’s no signs of it slowing down! In fact, the Bayou City has been exploding the last few years, neatly securing itself as a go-to destination for foodies.
But the best part of the city’s ever-growing food culture is the restaurants that are putting health at the heart of their business. Vegetarians and vegans, paleo pals, celiac crew, and clean-eaters, don’t despair — you’ll find there are amazing options sprinkled throughout Houston, and we’re about to show you some of the top spots to fit your needs!
True Food Kitchen is a beloved restaurant developed in part by renowned physician Dr. Andrew Weil (alternative health practitioner and author of several anti-inflammatory diet books). And the fast-casual franchise in Uptown and The Woodlands lives according to its own simple philosophy: to be true and transparent about the goings-on in the kitchen. That’s why fresh fruit and vegetables are handled the day of your meal, all food comes from local sources, and their culinary team works year-round on evolving their seasonal menu. Yep, this place really raises the standard for food consciousness and community, if that’s something you look for.
HS Green in the Plaza On Richmond shopping center has made a name for itself by crafting delicious meals with in-season produce whenever possible and by committing to using only cage-free eggs, hormone-free chicken, and wild-caught shrimp. Described as a “fresh food kitchen”, this health-conscious eatery is as much a drink stop as it is a savory option for a healthy brunch or dinner. Plus, a sprawling cafe in the center serves espresso, delicious smoothies, cold-pressed juices, beer, and wine. With such variety, it’s easy to find yourself coming back!
Quality food and a welcoming vibe has landed this healthy-conscious cafe on the the top of best restaurants lists, but Bebibas’ commitment to early-morning commuters sealed their spot on ours. See, this healthy neighborhood spot opens their doors in Highland Village as early as 7am seven days a week for all our juice/smoothie/coffee fixes. Hot matcha lattes, coconut-infused smoothies, and breakfast tacos round out their menu, making this place an excellent fuel stop.
Healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice sweet. At Tout Suite in EaDo, exotic fruit bowls and eclectic macaroons bring in health enthusiasts looking for a fun and light sweet treat. Pop into their bakery for fresh avocado toast or hearty migas around brunch time — that’s when things are really popping. But their “light” dishes and array of drinks make this spot your perfect go-to for a post-workout snack, too.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Local Foods and their all-local, seasonal menu. Really, Houstonians are lucky — this is one of the few healthy spots with more than just one location in town (you can find them in The Village, Upper Kirby, Tanglewood, downtown, and The Heights). Each location boasts its own style — but one thing they all have in common is their inviting and friendly atmosphere. Fitt Tip: if want to know exactly where your food is coming from, just check out their website where they list which area farms they are currently sourcing from.
Green Seed in Museum Park is the humble unicorn on the list. The magic is in the name: it’s actually 100% plant-based, no exceptions. And this is a big deal, because even though Houston restaurants are crafting more vegetarian-friendly dishes than ever before, strictly vegan restaurants remain rare. An all-vegan restaurant also means you can have your cake and eat it, too — literally. Vegan cupcakes, anyone?
Wondering where to satisfy a craving for something exotic without compromising your health-focused diet? Pondicheri in River Oaks and at the Asian Society Texas Center offers unique Indian dishes bursting with flavor, color, and spices — do not expect bland food here. And they put it best: “We create and cook all our own food, curating ancient Vedic secrets, recipes, and techniques to bring you the most nourishing, vibrant and memorable flavors from India”. Some say their prices are on the higher end, but treating yourself to this authentic, savory experience is always worth it. Fitt Tip: they also have Bake Lab + Shop in Upper Kirby that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious.
Part restaurant, part health food store, A Moveable Feast has options for everyone. This cozy spot right off I-10 has a sweet, cafe-feel flair to it, minus the small plates. You’ll find a variety of comfort food-style dishes on the menu — all of which are made fresh on the daily. Grass-fed burgers, vegetarian entrées, and juice are just a few of their popular items. Here’s another great thing: their menu offers wonderful dairy- and wheat-free options. It’s one of very few destinations in town striking the balance between Southern cuisine and healthy dining — because yes, such a thing can exist!
Upon first glance, you may be thrown off when you pull up to Pat Greer’s in Montrose — you’ll notice right away the space doesn’t look like any other common storefront. In fact, it looks like a residence. Yet, that’s exactly what makes this place so charming. Take note, though: Pat Greer’s only offers take-out. But don’t let that stop you from coming to this friendly, plant-based eatery to try out some kombucha (which they make in store!) or a few fresh, raw desserts. Fitt Tip: you can also find some of their tasty menu items at select stores and cafes around the city, you just have to know where to look.
The idea behind this healthy fast-casual is simple — create nourishing, scratch-made meals crafted with farm-fresh ingredients. But just because Flower Child’s menu is packed with good-for-you grains, fats, fruits, and veggies doesn’t mean they compromise when it comes to flavor. Whether you order the soup of the day, a salad, bowl, wrap, or plate, your taste buds are in for a treat. Check them out in Uptown and The Woodlands. Oh, and bring along your vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friends, they’ve got plenty of options.
If you’re stopping by this S. Kirkland Rd. hot spot, prepare yourself because you’re in for a culinary experience unlike any other. A flavor-filled Asian-inspired menu is what Loving Hut is known for, but that’s not the only reason this place is a local favorite. What sets it apart is its commitment to crafting delicious dishes you can feel good about eating — meaning they use high-quality, non-GMO ingredients, including organic sugar and flour. Not only that, everything is 100% plant-based and 99% gluten-free. So the next time you’re craving spicy pad Thai or a fresh-made spring roll, you know where to go.
A Houston-based concept, bellagreen knows a thing or two about the healthy eats arena. Since 2008, they’ve been dishing out affordable, innovative creations packed with satisfying seasonal ingredients. From wood-fired pizzas made with organic wheat flour (that can also be made gluten-free) to tantalizing tacos, sandwiches, wraps, and even paleo plates, their menu has every type of eater in mind. And luckily, you won’t have to travel far to find them — they have multiple locations scattered throughout the Houston area.
This health-focused restaurant is on a mission to fill you up with feel-good food that you’ll enjoy eating. And while the menu may be small, these flavor combinations are mighty. Sink your fork into a savory Steak Salad or a Seoul Food grain bowl made with spinach, sautéed portabella mix, chicken, cilantro, fresh basil, green onion, carrots, pepitas, and brown rice and topped with a ginger dressing. Conveniently situated in the Central Business District, this is your new go-to for delicious, seasonal eats.
When you're in the mood to splurge a little but still want to stay on top of your healthy eats game, Vibrant in Montrose is the spot. This modern, trendy restaurant truly has your well-being in mind, and that plays out in a menu that's entirely gluten-, dairy-, refined sugar-, peanut-, and soy-free. But they're not stopping with wholesome and healthful ingredients; here, they also make all their breads, crackers, cheeses, nut milks, and yogurts in-house and use wines and spirits that are minimally processed and produced using natural methods. Even better, they've got you all day long because this place serves breakfast and lunch till 3pm and dinner starting at 5pm.
With and bright, modern interior and creative, healthy menu items that are brimming with flavor, there are few restaurants in Houston that can touch Verdine. Whether you're craving a juicy burger, mouth-watering tacos, or some good 'ol Southern mac and cheese, they've got you. You won't have to feel guilty about indulging, either — this neighborhood eatery in The Heights is 100% plant-based and uses organic, local ingredients whenever possible. Keep an eye out for them around town, too, they also have a food truck that regularly posts up at area farmers markets.
**Updated May 2019.