UPDATED NOV 1, 2019
With restaurants for the vegan, the vegetarian, the gluten-intolerant, the dairy-free, and the keto, the NYC dining scene hits on every branch of “healthy”. And whether you’re eating in or letting Seamless deliver it right to your door, these clean and tasty eateries are top-notch. Read up for our fave healthy restaurants in the city right now.
It’s clear New Yorkers have a thing for lunch bowls, and this Midtown joint gives good reason. INDAY is all about serving you both good food and good karma… fast. While the food is inspired by Indian cuisine, you won’t find chicken tikka masala or Naan here. Instead, the 100% gluten-free menu is focused on fresh, local foods and anti-inflammatory spices. Choose from one of their chef-designed combinations — like the veggie-filled Curry Flower bowl, or create your own bowl of goodness. The big decision, though: cauliflower rice or quinoa? At this grab-and-go operation, there’s really no wrong choice. And while most people take their bowls to go, they do have seating. So stay and sit with coworkers for a healthy, chill lunch meeting. Downtown? There’s a NoMad location and also an food hall version called Inday Go Go in Urbanspace at 570 Lexington Ave.
The third restaurant in the ABC empire is chic, veggie-focused, and open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And you’ll love how the menu is organized: Light & Fresh, Warm & Hot, Noodles & Rice, or Legumes. Created as the new go-to for wellness savvy New Yorkers, the decor is a modern minimalist miracle and the menu is fresher than fresh. A sampling from the dinner menu includes: Avocado Lettuce Cups, Kabocha Squash Soup, Baby Artichokes, Soft Custardy Tofu, and Fresh Spinach Spaghetti. Looking to splurge? Rumor has it they have a daily wellness special which, for $48, will get you a beautiful display of dishes specially selected by the chef.
With a cheery communal vibe complete with lots of plants, a big workers table, and (sometimes) even a swing, all of this eatery’s locations are as welcoming as they are casual. With menu options like juicy Guac Burgers, mac ‘n cheese made with sweet potato “cheese” and shiitake “bacon”, and Kale-Matcha Mojitos, it’s a go-to for post-sweat hangs and NYU student lunches. And if you don’t have time to sit and dine—or it gets too crowded (which it will)—their grab-n-go section is pretty fire, too. Plus, with six total locations (plus a vegan dessert shop called Sweets by CHLOE.) in Manhattan and Brooklyn, getting your hands on by CHLOE.’s air-baked fries has never been easier.
If you don’t mind spending a little bit (okay, a lotta bit) of dough on a kale cocktail or avocado toast worthy of queens, this sunny West Village restaurant is your new splurge brunch and dinner spot. We recommend starting off with a Kale Caesar and then moving onto chicken & waffles (available for brunch). If you’re turning your head at waffles, don’t — these babies are made with kale and are completely organic. Dare to get a little fancier? The Red Wine Braised Octopus is clutch. And from the drink menu, if you’re not completely sold on the Too Good For Yoga (the kale and tequila concoction), try the namesake While We Were Young with vodka and butterfly peaflower. Just make sure to wear your nicest athleisure — this spot requires a little more than a sweatsuit.
Grab your chopsticks, vegans. It’s now possible to eat sushi animal product-free. The fact that this fish-less sushi bar already has six locations sprinkled throughout Manhattan is proof that salmon-less doesn’t mean simple and bass-less doesn’t mean boring. Beyond Sushi’s colorful rolls come wrapped in healthier rice (black or six-grain) and are packed with creative, delicious ingredients like mango, pickled jalapeño, sweet potato, and jicama. But their menu goes way beyond cucumber and fruit rolls. The culinary team fuses unconventional pairings of fruit and vegetables with whole grains to create a whole range of vegan rolls.
This West Village, Nolita, and Williamsburg eatery is a go-to first date spot for the city’s resident hipsters. While the cool-kid vibe can mean a longer wait, the medleys made in their vegetable slaughterhouse are totally worth it. From their vegan spaghetti and meatballs to their bowls, salads, main courses, bar plates, and starters the foods served up here are always seasonal and totally ’grammable. Not feelin’ solid food? No worries — this restaurant offers a killer juice bar (their bestseller is the Hangover Killer). Whether you’re looking for vegetarian eats for a Tinder date or something to clean out the toxins after a tough night, The Butcher’s Daughter is your jam.
This dimly-lit, semi-romantic hot spot will impress your date in a “I can’t believe it’s vegetarian” kind of way. The Michelin star doesn’t hurt, either. And if a little liquid courage is what you’re looking for, their drink list that includes almond milk cocktails and rosewater sake has your back. Just a few blocks from the Union Square Greenmarket, Nix sources most of its vegetables from the best of the best. But while the dishes are mainly made up of veggies, the main menu isn’t strictly vegan (make sure you ask for their special vegan menu). There, you’ll find the likes of cauliflower tempura and English pea dumplings — vegetables have never tasted so comforting or indulgent.
Avocado-lovers, we know you’re already hooked — introducing the first-ever avocado bar. That’s right — the entire menu of soups, poke bowls, salads, grain bowls, and even smoothies is centered around everyone’s favorite healthy fat. And yes, they even have an avocado rosé. If you find yourself in Brooklyn by day, definitely make a stop, as they’re only open from 9am-4pm on weekdays. But if you’re on that nine-to-five grind, make sure you make brunching here a priority. Look for their other spots at Terminal Shores in Chelsea and Timeout Market in DUMBO.
Vegetarians, vegans, and raw foodists, rejoice! This East Village hangout offers kosher, vegan, organic dishes served with a side of nightly entertainment. Craving some mesclun greens, Caravan’s got you covered. Looking for something a little heartier? Try their Huitlacoche and (vegan) Chorizo Quesadilla, Miso and Maple Glazed Squash Platter, or Spinach Ravioli. Don’t need a whole meal? Get yourself a smoothie (we recommend the Astragalus Forever…). Warning: don’t hit up this spot unless you’re prepared to be hypnotized and enchanted by the food and live music.
Something's happening with coffee shops in New York City; they're evolving. In particular, their kitchens are rivaling those of the city's favorite healthy hot spots. Gotan, found in Chelsea, Midtown, Tribeca, and Williamsburg, exemplifies this. In addition serving Counter Culture coffee brewed with ModBar machines, they serve an incredibly healthy, vegetable-forward menu. From their House Cured Salmon Bialy from the all-day breakfast menu to an eggplant salad with an organic poached egg resting on top, count on everything being fresh, seasonal, and best enjoyed with a barista-crafted Americano.
There’s no mystery about what you’re eating at any of this certified gluten-free restaurant’s five Manhattan locations (Nomad, The Pennsy Food Hall, Midtown East, and two in Midtown West). Seriously, every dish on their menu lists all the ingredients. Plus, everything that goes into their mouth-watering meals is local, seasonal, and natural. We recommend The Little Beet Bowl. But if you’re not in the mood for beets, create your own protein plate, so whether you’re ordering the Steak With A Side of Charred Broccoli or Salmon With Side of Charred Kale, it’s all perfectly balanced. And while you’re there, try their cold-pressed Little Beet Juice; it’s their namesake after all.
Roasted Balsamic Chicken. Moroccan Lamb Meatballs. Baked Eggs & Avocado (a delightful riff on shakshuka). These are just three of the amazing Mediterranean-inspired dishes at this NoHo healthy eatery. This cozy spot is as picturesque and quaint as it is healthy and refreshing. Plus, the menu changes with the season, so anything you order is made with produce that is as fresh as possible. Just prepare to wait in line if you’re going for brunch. Or, if you love athleisure as much as you love eggs Benedict, put your name down and go across the street to the lululemon lab while you wait. Fitt Tip: nothing puts a smile on our faces like a quick yet still healthy meal; check out Smile to Go in SoHo, DUMBO, and Flatiron for a cafeteria-style set-up.
Vegan queso. Need we say more? If you’ve been avoiding Mexican because it’s usually synonymous with cheese and chip overload, say hello to Citrico. This Prospect Heights joint offers all the traditional fare AND plant-based, veggie-focused dishes with all the same flavor. Loaded with avocado, squash, and beets, their vegan menu won’t derail your healthy habits. Just make sure you and your dinner mate split the guacamole with fresh pomegranate — the portion is mighty.
This New York City hot spot has revolutionized your favorite dark roast coffee by topping it with a filmy, frothy layer of… egg (you just have to try it). But they’ve also revolutionized date night. With warm lighting, great ambiance, and so many tasty Vietnamese healthy eats, the stage is set for a night of romance. You can’t go wrong with any of the appetizers, but the Little Uni Pancakes and summer rolls are our favorites. And when it comes to main courses, we’re team Turmeric & Dill Monkfish.
Between Bluestone Lane, Little Collins, Sweatshop in BK, we have a full-scale Aussie invasion on our hands, but we are here for it. Though, when it comes to food, our go-to is Two Hands, serving a beachy brekkie paired with a phenomenal cup of coffee. Whether you're in the mood for sweet or savory, you can just as easily swap between the Acai Bowl (with multiple fruit blends, coconut milk, and piled high with granola) or something like the Brassicas Bowl, a delightful medley of charred broccolini, Brussels sprouts, kale, hummus, avocado, and a soft-boiled egg. Find a taste of Sydney in Nolita, Tribeca, and rumor has it they're planning a location in Williamsburg, too.
This casual Union Square restaurant is one of the few places you can easily eat out when following a paleo or keto diet, and for that reason, it definitely deserves a spot on our list. Not to mention the kickass food. Even if you’re not eating like a caveman, Hu Kitchen’s mains, sides, mashbar, and parfaits are on-the-go health food at its best. There aren’t many places you can find a grain-free biscuit, but Hu’s is one of them. Plus, they carry their signature paleo, vegan chocolate bars, so you could say they’ve got their priorities straight.
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