Look, we get it. You want to eat nutritious meals but you just don’t have time to chop vegetables, roast chicken, steam sweet potatoes, make salad dressing, and so on and so on. Especially when even after all that effort, you often end up with a dish that’s...kind of meh. Here’s an idea: Instead of spending your Sundays meal-prepping a week’s worth of recipes for your new diet of choice (paleo? Whole30? Japanese Paper Diet?), eat deliciously at these healthy restaurants in NYC—from grab-and-go lunch spots to date night dining—that will help you feel your best (while keeping your free time intact).
The 26 Best Healthy Restaurants in NYC Right Now
1. Divya’s Kitchen
Even non-vegetarians love Ayurvedic-inspired Divya’s Kitchen. While balance and food compatibility are the key ingredients on the menu, diners crave the seasonal kitchari, vegetable cashew curry, lasagna, dairy-free chai and carob coconut cake. Many ancient alt grains like house-milled sorghum, einkorn, and amaranth flours make appearances on the menu as well as natural sweeteners like dates and sucanat.
25 First Ave.; divyaskitchen.com
2. Le Botaniste
Following a “food is thy medicine” motto, NYC-based Le Botaniste is 100 percent botanical (aka plant-based), 99 percent organic and gluten-free. Le Botantiste charms with savory “prescriptions” like the Tibetan Mama Rice Bowl (curry peanut butter curry sauce served over brown rice with steamed vegetables and kimchi) and the Pasta Bolo, a gluten-free fusilli with botanical bolognese, green herbal oil and superseed mix. Also, they are the first plant-based organic restaurant to be certified CO2 Neutral.
Multiple locations; lebotaniste.us
The organic burgers at Bareburger definitely make the cut when it comes to staying on track. From lean grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free proteins like beef, elk, bison, turkey (check out The Supreme, The American and The Duke), to sprouted grain buns and collard wraps, plant-based proteins like Impossible™ Burger, dairy-free alternatives, we’re not scratching hamburgers off our new diet plans.
Multiple locations; bareburger.com
4. Pure Grit BBQ
Pure Grit BBQ is shaking up the barbecue game with its 100 percent vegan and gluten-free menu offering all that smoky, melt-in-your-mouth flavor, minus the meat. The fast food-meets-healthy restaurant offers up familiar BBQ staples like coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans and mac and cheese, plus a selection of mains. But the real star of the show is the smoked Impossible cut, a stand-in for brisket—it’s flavorful and soft, with just the right texture to pull it apart with a fork. Smothered in the restaurant’s signature BBQ sauce, the dish is tangy and sweet, and won’t make you miss the original one bit. Especially when you can enjoy feeling light and upbeat after your meal, rather than sluggish and lethargic like you usually do after a meat ‘cue.
36 Lexington Ave.; puregritbbq.com
5. Lekka Burger
Tribeca spot Lekka (which means "delicious" in the South African dialect Afrikaner) is the plant-based burger concept from Chef Amanda Cohen (Dirty Candy) and partner Andrea Kerzner, a lifelong vegan. The vegan burgers are made fresh daily from whole ingredients to create their unique texture. We’re drooling over the Peri Peri Burger with peri peri sauce and vegan mayo, Guacamole Burger, and Masala Burger with coconut chutney cabbage slaw and tamarind ketchup. They also serve sides like broccolini Caesar and oat milk soft serves and milkshakes.
81 Warren St.; lekkaburger.com
6. Little Beet Table
Little Beet Table is a 100 percent gluten-free restaurant. The menu includes nutrient-dense small plates, entreés and sides. Try the roasted shrimp salad, mushroom & black bean burger, crispy spirulina rice and baked beet falafel.
333 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10010; thelittlebeettable.com
7. 12 Chairs Cafe
The popular neighborhood Middle Eastern restaurant has two spots (Williamsburg and Soho)—both of which have more than 12 chairs. Some signatures include their hummus options that come topped with either mushrooms, falafel or mixed meat, as well as other dips like babaganoush. For mains, we love the whole baladi eggplant, their famous shakshuka or lightly fried schnitzel for a little indulgence (because what’s life without a little balance?).
Multiple locations; 12chairscafe.com
8. Avant Garden
This all-vegan spot in the East Village does not skimp on flavor, eschewing the notion that vegan food is any less layered and complex than meat- and dairy-laden meals. Highlights include the paella (merguez royal trumpet, almonds, red pepper cream), artichoke toast (spinach artichoke puree, black truffle vinaigrette, jicama, cashew) and “hen” of the woods (mushroom puree, kohlrabi, pickled hon shimeji).
130 E 7th St.; avantgardennyc.com
9. Beyond Sushi
Best known for its vegan sushi and dumplings, healthy fast-casual fave Beyond Sushi has multiple locations around the city. They’ve recently added many exciting new dishes to their menu, including jackfruit crab cakes, butternut squash tortellini, hickory smoked burger, and adobo mushroom tacos. Their globally inspired plates are perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Multiple locations; beyondsushi.com
10. Jajaja Plantas Mexicana
Mexican, but make it vegan. Dishes at JaJaJa are all prepared with plant-based ingredients. A tribute to the Mayan cuisine which is traditionally plant-based, enjoy dishes like beet and pumpkin empanada, coconut quesadilla with sautéed coconut meat, hearts of palm ceviche and more. The restaurant also serves over a dozen options to cater to all dietary restrictions and lifestyles. Open for take-out, delivery and indoor dining.
Multiple locations; jajajamexicana.com
Honeybrains might be the only restaurant in NYC dedicated to serving food and drink that’s beneficial to brain health. Fact: Each dish is vetted by a neurologist and a nutritionist to assure it’s nourishing for the brain. Feed your brain (and body) with their popular daily catch bowl (Atlantic salmon or daily whitefish, kale, sweet potatoes, crushed peanuts), carne asada bowl (grass-fed sirloin steak, pinto and black beans, organic mesclun greens, watermelon, Himalayan ruby rice), and Dr. smoked salmon (labneh, cucumber, dill and lemon zest on sourdough).
Multiple locations; honeybrains.com
12. Oath Pizza
Known for its “feel-good” pizzas made on crust that’s grilled and seared in avocado oil, the Upper East Side’s Oath Pizza includes plant-based, dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free pizza offerings (as well as a new cauliflower crust option available with any pizza)! Favorite menu items include: the Bella with mozzarella, Luau (like a Hawaiian pizza), and the Muffled Trushroom (that is not an error!). Don’t skip on the chocolate chip cookies—they are low-key some of the best we’ve ever had.
1142 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10065; oathpizza.com
13. The Butcher’s Daughter
The self-labeled “vegetable slaughterhouse” treats fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: chopping, filleting, and carving fresh produce into healthy vegetarian dishes. The seasonal, daily changing menu is 100 percent vegetarian with many vegan and gluten-free options. Faves at the West Village and Williamsburg eatery include the butcher’s bowl with roasted potatoes, harissa aioli, maitake mushroom, spinach, fennel “sausage” topped with a poached egg and cacio e pepe cauliflower served with pecorino and vegan butter.
Multiple locations; thebutchersdaughter.com
Vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians alike will find something at this East Village Japanese eatery, which boasts a diverse menu of organic and macrobiotic fare that includes vegetable platters, ramen bowls, and supremely fresh seafood and sushi. The health conscious will also appreciate that everything on offer is free of preservatives, chemicals, refined ingredients, dairy and meat.
326 East 6th Street, New York, NY 10003; souen.net
Check out the plant-based stir-fries at honeygrow, made from egg white or whole-wheat noodles alongside all-natural, antibiotic and hormone-free proteins. Sure to satisfy is the sweet soy five spice, a hefty brown rice and togarashi spiced turkey bowl with green beans, red onions and sesame seeds.
194 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201; honeygrow.com
A “paleo-inspired” eatery in the West Village, FiDi and Williamsburg, Springbone is famous for their amped up collagen-rich bone broths (get your hands on the signature Liquid Gold, a classic chicken broth with coconut milk and turmeric). While not strictly paleo, the mix-and-match nutrient dense menu is flexible so even the most hardcore paleo folks can modify as needed. The Mexican bowl is a fan fave.
Multiple locations; springbone.com
17. Veggie Grill
Veggie Grill has two locations in the city—Flatiron and Midtown East—and is the largest 100 percent plant-based fast casual brand in the United States. All menu items are free of meat, dairy, eggs and other animal products (that means they are free of antibiotics and hormones!). Seasonal menu items include the Masala Curry Bowl and Tuna Melt made with Good Catch tuna.
12 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010; veggiegrill.com
18. Malibu Farm
The quintessential farm-to-table dishes (with the best views in New York—hello, Brooklyn Bridge!) are made with organic produce, grass-fed beef, and freshly-caught fish sourced from small farmers close to the city. Enjoy cauliflower crust pizza, vegan chop salads, spaghetti squash lasagna and grilled salmon. The beverage menu features simple, handcrafted cocktails with infused organic agaves, fresh squeezed juices and local produce.
89 South Street, New York, NY 10038; malibufarm.nyc
19. Bathhouse Kitchen
Come for the body nourishing food, stay for the sweat sesh. Williamsburg’s Bathhouse is located in a renovated 1930s soda pop factory (very cool) and combines elements of Eastern European bathhouses with non-typical programming targeting athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Its restaurant arm, Bathhouse Kitchen, is attached to the spa and offers some of the best food you can eat in a bathrobe. Seriously: Bathhouse guests are given plush bathrobes of their choice to dine in. Executive Chef Anthony Sousa’s (EMP, Chez Ma Tante) menu is entirely free of grains and refined sugars. Highlights include scallop crudo, fennel sausage with fairytale eggplant, delicata squash with ricotta and pumpkin seeds.
103 North 10th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249; abathhouse.com
20. Playa Bowls
No matter the freezing temps, we will always be up for an acai bowl. The Jersey Shore’s original acai bowl shop now has 15 New York City locations. Choose from their creative menu of bowls or custom design your own from a variety of bases made with superfoods including pure acai berry, pitaya fruit, chia seeds, coconuts, kale, bananas. Next, layer on your toppings like fresh fruit, seeds, nuts, granola, dried berries and nut butters. They also have oatmeal bowls, fresh juices, and smoothies. Bonus: Playa Bowls can be made vegan, gluten-free, and adapted to integrate into Whole 30, keto, and paleo diets if that’s your thing!
Multiple locations; playabowls.com
21. Café Kitsuné
This Paris-meets-Tokyo eatery is a modernist reinterpretation of the classic Parisian café and wine bar, with two locations in the West Village and Boerum Hill. It’s a blend of Japanese flavors and ingredients prepared with French techniques (executive chef Yuji Tani was born and raised in Kyoto and began his culinary career at French restaurant Le Bellecour). The menu reflects chef Yuji's culinary style of taking French café must-haves and adding a light, healthy Japanese touch. Order the Green Green Salad (roasted broccoli, fried kale, greek yogurt mousse), Chiks on Green (chicken, endive, mixed greens, baby potatoes, soft-boiled egg, croutons & Dijon vinaigrette), and Edamame Hummus (chickpeas and Japanese sesame).
Multiple locations; maisonkitsune.com/mk/cafe-kitsune
Head to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Flatiron ABC complex to dine at ABCV, the top chef’s first all-vegetarian restaurant. You won’t find any imitation meat or soy cheese on the menu at this elegant spot, and you won’t miss it, either: Chef de cuisine Neal Harden–himself a vegetarian and professed animal lover–pairs seasonal produce, farm fresh eggs and whole grains with bold flavors to swoon-worthy effect.
38 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003; abchome.com
23. Loving Hut
This vegan gem in Williamsburg boasts plenty of options. The size of the menu, which features everything from Asian-inspired dishes like Malaysian curry to mac and cheese burgers that have neither cheese nor meat, will blow your mind. Fortunately, the same can be said about the expertly prepared food. If you’re in the mood for vegan eats, you can count on Loving Hut to serve up something tasty from pretty much every continent.
76 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211; lovinghut.us/brooklyn
Marco Canora was serving bone broth from this incredibly popular take-out window in the East Village before bone broth was on anyone’s radar. Now, the man at the forefront of this keto and paleo-friendly trend has upgraded Brodo (i.e., his brainchild) to a full-blown restaurant with multiple locations at which you can warm up with a bowl of frothy and nutritious broth, complete with a variety of healthy add-ons of your choosing.
Multiple locations; brodo.com
The Mexican and Central American cuisine at this NoHo hotspot is an ode to minimalism and culinary finesse. Indeed, folks don’t come to Atla to satisfy a late-night Tex-Mex craving; they come for the perfect marriage of fresh ingredients and authentic flavors. Expect innovative small plates like arctic char tartare with tomato and habanero kosho, and masterfully executed classics (think: tacos suadero).
373 Lafayette Street, NoHo, NY 10012; atlanyc.com
26. Bunna Cafe
Gather a group of vegan friends and book it to this casual dining establishment in Bushwick, where you’ll be treated to a giant plate (or several) of fresh, plant-based Ethiopian food. Every dish arrives dripping with one exciting sauce or another, so grab your injera bread and don’t let a morsel go to waste.
1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237; bunnaethiopia.net
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