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It’s been a hectic day. And come lunchtime, you’ll be right here in front of your laptop (hi, again), munching on… whatever’s around. You can do better than that. With so many new places serving super healthy--and tasty--lunches, you’ll soon be hooked on that midday bee-pollen boost. Here’s where to go for Chicago’s freshest lunch dishes.


Left Coast Food + Juice

Lakeview’s favorite new lunch spot draws lines for its incredible avocado toast. (It really is the best.) The menu also has smoothies, acai bowls and salads with supercharged ingredients like bee pollen and flaxseed vinaigrette. (There are even “sun butter and jelly” sandwiches for tots.) Soon, Left Coast will start serving cold-pressed juices--the Paint it Black contains activated charcoal. And here we were thinking kale was enough.

2878 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-880-5338 or 

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Thrive360 Eatery

The folks behind Protein Bar just opened this new, fast-casual spot. Its chef-prepared recipes are packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients; there are also blended drinks and kombucha “mocktails” made with flavored ice cubes. Our pick: the Forester Farms Chicken Pesto Bowl, which has ingredients like roasted red peppers, kale and farro.

37 S. Lasalle St.; 312-801-9309 or

Alain Milotti Photography

Aloha Poke

New to the French Market, the poke spot lets you design your own bowl o’ lunchtime goodness. You’ll start with a base of rice or mixed greens; then add on toppings like seaweed, avocado and pineapple. The cherry on top is actually Hawaiian-style, cubed tuna, which comes either marinated or “naked.” PS: Vegan Now is also new to the French Market, and serves up plant-based lunches.

131 N. Clinton St.; 312-575-0306 or

LYFE Kitchen Gold Coast

LYFE Kitchen Gold Coast

A new location of Art Smith’s casual chain just sprang up in the Gold Coast. Dishing out healthy, sustainably sourced fare, the sunny spot has a robust lunch menu. Goods include quinoa-filled wraps, tomato-mozzarella flatbreads and roasted salmon with tomato and fennel. Better yet, everything on the menu clocks at fewer than 600 calories.

831 N. State St.; 312-967-8600 or


HI-VIBE Superfood Juicery

You may have walked right by this hidden gem, which serves cold-pressed juices and Superfood Smoothies. Try the new Beach Mode juice, which has ingredients like hydrating aloe. Another must-try is the acai bowl, which is drizzled with local raw honey. Pretty super, right?

160 W. Kinzie St.; 312-724-8423 or

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