The world is becoming more health-conscious, one kale and quinoa salad at a time.
No, really — the two leading influencers when it comes to a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle include physical exercise and a nutrient-rich diet.
In a Nielsen study that questioned 30,000 consumers across 60 countries, those from ages under-twenty and up put a high priority on organic foods that allow them to feel good and stave off diseases. They were willing to pay more for these options, too, and ready to give up chocolate and sugar to boot.
So, for those times when you’re on the go, what healthy restaurants can you turn to for a refreshing, wholesome meal? Say you’re traveling — does that mean you have to give up your proper diet?
In fact, 52% of chain restaurants in the U.S. alone plan to place more importance on low-calorie menu items. Everywhere you look, there are spots that focus on clean eating.
Check out the following twelve locations if you happen to be near them. You’ll be glad you did!
1. Elizabeth’s Gone Raw in Washington, D.C.
If a restaurant offers options like ‘plant-based catering,’ you know it’s going to be a healthy one.
This restaurant in Washington D.C. is a go-to spot for locals trying to get a healthy bite to eat. Forewarning — it’s only open on Fridays and Saturdays, so plan ahead if you want to stop in.
And come hungry, too. Elizabeth’s Gone Raw is a prix fixe (pre-fixed), seven-course experience of vegan delicacies.
Elizabeth, the creator, was influenced to create this restaurant concept after an experience with breast cancer.
She was introduced to a plant-based diet, which provided her with ‘better health, vitality, and peace of mind.’ Every item on her menu is plant-based, delicious, and surprisingly filling.
Located at 1341 L St NW, Washington, DC, 20005.
2. Urban Cookhouse in Alabama (Plus 3 Other States)
Urban Cookhouse is one of many healthy restaurants that emphasize all things local — with as many of their ingredients as possible coming from farmers in their neighborhood.
Their farmers work on the following farms:
- Southern Oaks
- Gravel Ridge
- Millie Rays
They produce anything from tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers (used in Urban’s soups and salads) to fresh strawberries for their lemonade. Millie Rays’ farm makes the famous orange rolls that accompany their fork and knife plates.
And that’s just an example of the true food-to-table nature of Urban Cookhouse.
Visit the Downtown Birmingham location at 1801 5th Ave North, Birmingham, AL 35203.
3. True Food Kitchen (17 Locations and Counting!)
This healthy restaurant is available at an astounding seventeen states, so keep your eyes peeled for their deliciousness!
True Food Kitchen is the epitome of health-conscious dining.
TFK was founded by none other than Dr. Andrew Weil, a physician, and doctor of integrative medicine. His belief was one that we can all admire: food should make us feel better — not worse.
For his recipes, he focuses on creating from the anti-inflammatory pyramid.
Inflammation is a common complaint from those with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. With TFK’s menu, you’ll find hand-selected items that are science-backed to help people achieve (and maintain) optimum health.
Every season, they select items that are in abundance—such as their Fall menu, which includes foods like:
- Beets, the root vegetable loaded with vitamins
- Butternut squash, which helps the body absorb Vitamin A
- Nutrient-dense pomegranates
- Brussels sprouts, the fiber-rich veggie
- Kuzu root starch, which balances natural sugars
They currently serve 31 communities in 17 states, so there’s plenty to be said about their successful strategy.
Pull up a seat at their San Diego location at 77007 Friars Road, Suite 394, San Diego, CA 92108.
4. Clever Rabbit in Illinois
Clever Rabbit is proof that healthy restaurants don’t only taste good, but they look good, too.
Clever Rabbit is the epitome of modern fare with a wholesome kick. Their menu is veggie-centric and features ‘thoughtfully-sourced’ ingredients.
Executive chef Matt Lair forgoes butter and cream and instead uses health-conscious substitutes. Dressings skip the corn starch in favor of six-year balsamic vinaigrette.
Try one of their much-talked-about dishes, like the carrot dumplings or cauliflower dish that includes bay leaf, pickled veggies, and a well-done cauliflower puree.
Located at 2015 W Division St, Chicago, IL, 60622.
5. Organic Oasis in Alaska
This Alaskan restaurant and juice bar is known for its health-conscious menu curated by Steve Planté (an appropriate name, right?).
Planté spent years dealing with lead in his stain glass work. This led him to develop severe lead poisoning. While attending a class, he met a naturopath doctor that helped him commit to ‘green living.’
After using this doctor’s methods, Planté had a below-average blood lead level, proving that his clean and green eating had worked wonders.
In turn, he wanted to teach others how to use food as a weapon against diseases. After many hangs at the local health food store, Organic Oasis was born.
Not only does this healthy restaurant serve great food (veggie pizzas, Tabouleh salad, house-made dressing), but it serves up a healthy dose of education, too. They teach about everything from probiotics and blue-green algae to essential fatty acids and papaya powder.
Located at 2610 Spenard Road, Anchorage, AK, 99503.
6. Kitchen Mouse in California
Kitchen Mouse opened its door in 2014 and has slowly but surely become a staple of many a locals’ diets.
Its creator, Erica, was exposed ‘early and often’ to good eating by her parents, who were both ‘serious home cooks.’
Her cafe is dairy-free, meat-free, gluten-free, and delicious — all served in a simple, counter-style manner. Or, you can cater your next party using their catering service, which is in Kitchen Mouse’s origin story.
Located at 5904 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA, 90042.
7. Métier Racing and Coffee in Washington
Métier is the epitome of health-conscious living — their healthy cafe butts up next to a store with a theme of intense cycling.
First, you can try one of their many group fitness classes. Then, you can sit down and have a bite that won’t eliminate the workout you just had. Homegrown is the restaurant that serves inside this facility.
Have your coffee fix aside a healthy grain bowl or toasted sandwiches. Or you can do a liquid breakfast and try a green smoothie made with kale, pineapple, banana, ginger, plant protein, almond milk, and a hearty splash of OJ.
Located at 1017 E. Union Street, Seattle, WA, 98122.
8. The Veggie Grill (3 States and Counting!)
For something a little more fast-casual, check out the Veggie Grill‘s plant-based menu that proves you can get healthy food on the go, too.
They offer Beyond Burger meat, paleo zucchini noodles, a kale Caesar topped with quinoa, and more.
Their tagline, ‘We cut veggies, not corners,’ is everything you need to know. They take every veggie under the sun and produce something unique, flavorful, and filling — proving that veggies deserve to take center-stage every once in a while.
Eat your veggies at their Downtown Portland location at 508 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR, 97204.
9. Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen in New Mexico
For breakfast, lunch, or supper in New Mexico, make sure to pay Sweetwater Harvest Kitchen a visit.
Their menu is always varied, which pays respect for their seasonal offerings. They’re inspired by ‘fresh, natural foods,’ which means they’re getting whatever’s in abundance at that moment.
Their organic flour is milled on-site daily, they source from thoughtful locations, and their menu options provide vegan, vegetarian, paleo-friendly, and gluten-free.
After your meal, consider grabbing a gluten-free baked good, made fresh daily, or take an organic fresh smoothie to-go if you’re in a hurry.
Located at 1512 Pacheco St, Santa Fe, NM, 87505.
10. Hu Kitchen in New York
The vision behind Hu Kitchen reminds me of a quote, summarized like this: If you want to read a book that doesn’t exist, you’ve got to write it yourself.
That’s how Hu Kitchen was born.
The owners and creators wanted a space where they felt comfortable with every ingredient — and so they made that place.
Co-founder Jordan was sick of asking “healthy” restaurants questions about their menu they just couldn’t answer. Questions like “what oils do you cook in?” and “What is the beef you source fed?”.
So, he and a friend made Hu (short for ‘human’) focus on gut-brain health, inflammation, and more.
Hu Kitchen doesn’t want its consumers to just ‘get by.’ It wants them to thrive, flourish, live actively and gracefully.
All this is evident in their health-conscious menu items, each curated to make you feel good about your decision to eat well.
Take a Bite out of These Healthy Restaurants!
Being healthy doesn’t have to mean inconvenient, outrageous prices, or bland flavors.
In fact, as far as this list is concerned, every spot here provides delicious meals that leave you feeling great.
There’s something to be said about leaving your favorite healthy restaurants and not having to undo the top button on your pants for the ride home!
I hope you get the opportunity to enjoy one of these wholesome joints in the coming future. And for more travel advice for your adventures-to-come, check out the rest of my page!