UPDATED JAN 15, 2020
It's no secret the Bayou City is a go-to destination for foodies. Lucky for you, we’re about to fill you in on all the best spots for a delicious, good-for-you meal.
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 to craft a healthy and delicious seasonal menu. It doesn't get much better than that!
HS Green in the Plaza On Richmond shopping center has made a name for itself by crafting tasty meals with in-season produce whenever possible and by committing to using only cage-free eggs, hormone-free chicken, and wild-caught shrimp. And thanks to a sprawling cafe in the center that serves espresso, smoothies, cold-pressed juices, beer, and wine, this health-conscious eatery is as much a drink stop as it is a good-for-you food go-to. Win-win.
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 eatery opens their doors in Highland Village as early as 7am, seven days a week, ensuring we can always get our juice/smoothie/coffee fix. Warm grain bowls, perfectly-crunch toasts, and breakfast tacos round out their menu, making this place an excellent fuel stop.
Healthy doesn’t mean you can't indulge. 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 restaurants with more than just one location in town (you can find them in The Village, Upper Kirby, Tanglewood, downtown, and The Heights). Each space 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 clue 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. Plant-based cupcakes, anyone?
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. From the all-day breakfast bites to their comforting lunch and dinner options (the Naanwich is what dreams are made of), you're guaranteed a satisfying, healthy meal. 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 you definitely want to check out.
This DC-born salad shop has built a serious fan following around the country, and we’re pretty happy to have them here in Houston. Sweetgreen focuses on fresh and local, incorporating the tastes of the region into its seasonal menus and building relationships with the farmers that make up the communities where they make their home. Grab one of their beautifully Instagrammable bowls in either Rice Village or Montrose.
Upon first glance, you may be thrown off when you pull up to Pat Greer’s in Montrose — the space doesn’t look like your average 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, you're in for a treat. Check them out in Uptown and The Woodlands (Houston Heights coming in 2020!).
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, pepitas, brown rice, and more and topped with a ginger dressing. Find them conveniently situated in the Central Business District and at One Allen Center.
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; 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.
Thanks to its bright interior and creative, healthy menu items, 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.
With sandwiches fit for foodies and salads built with soul, Mendocino Farms is shaking up the quick-serve scene. A whole lot of thought goes into how they source their ingredients, and it sure does show in the quality of what lands on your plate. But they go beyond the food too, aiming to foster community and connection with each meal. They’ve got three locations around the city (plus two more on the way in 2020), and they promise to serve a side of happy at each one.
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