Today’s post is written by a reader Camila Sampaio. Camila is a clinical nutritionist specializing in functional nutrition and phytotherapy and post-graduate in nutrition and exercise physiology. Camila contacted me to write about how it is possible to eat healthy in New York – which I ALWAYS tell you! And if you’ve been following the blog for some time, you must have realized that the city does not rely on fast food, right? Also, these tips are not only for tourists but for anyone that lives in the city and likes to have a healthy lifestyle. Hope you like it! I also add some of my suggestions too!
My name is Camila Sampaio, I am a nutritionist and I love New York City. In April, I was in the city – it was my fourth time – and this time I went with a purpose: to end the idea that New York only offers fast food. Of course, if you are traveling for fun, you don’t need to deprive yourself of experiencing fast food or anything outside of your eating routine. But one tip I always give my patients is: Stay within your proposal most of the time and make good choices whenever possible. And I’ll show you now that in New York City you can eat healthy the entire time of your trip if you want.
See the locations on the map at the end of the post!
Let’s start with the category of the moment, vegetarians/vegan:
- by Chloe – This is the most sought-after vegan restaurant on Google in 2018. Even those who are not vegan want to try the food from this place. I was at the Rockefeller center location and I loved the experience. There are a lot of locations around Manhattan and several new ones that will open. I chose a Whiskey BBQ and my husband got the BLT burg. For sides, we got baked potato with paprika and for drinks we got Kombucha. Even though I’m not a vegan, I’ll be back for sure to try other things. Cashless. Prices range from $8 to $10.
- Blossom – A vegetarian restaurant with super creative options on the menu. I did not eat there at this time, I visited it and I really liked the proposal. They reinvent classic versions of world cuisine. It’s already on my list for the next trip. It is necessary to make a reservation by the website, telephone, email, or even in one of the two locations. Prices from $7 to $22. Check out the menu.
- Souen – It is not vegan at all, but it is a restaurant based on the principles of macrobiotic nutrition, with organic ingredients, no dairy, no meat, or any refined food. A different experience with very unusual combinations and flavors. It is not so cheap because the portions are very small, so you end up ordering several dishes. One cool thing is that they offer several menu options. So for those who are in doubt about what to choose, it is good! I recommend it because of the experience that it is quite different. Prices from $9 to $24. Check out the menu.
- Le Botaniste – this restaurant, which is part of the Le Pain Quotidien chain, is, in addition to vegan, gluten-free. They offer veggie sushi (from $9), small dishes based on avocado, beet, hummus, etc and also bowls, ($14) that mix vegetables with grains or pasta (gluten-free). There are options, for example, with potatoes, mushrooms, and vegetables, noodles with tofu and vegetables, soup, salad, etc. You can also choose the ingredients and do your own bowl.
Paleo and Low Carb: my favorite category
- Hu Kitchen – A paleo, low carb restaurant, all based on the principles of real food. Everything there is of cultivation and own production, including coffee and chocolate. How not to love? Unfortunately, there is only one store in the city. If you are concerned about the origin of the foods you are eating just as I am, this is the right place. Not to mention incredible service. They explain everything, including the cultivation and preparation of your dish. And the best part, the price fits in the pocket of a lot of people. Also, the location is like a market, so you can take all this experience to your hotel or apartment. Take their chocolates, I’m sure you’ll love them. And they are prepared with top quality ingredients. Lunch options for $10 on average.
- Egg Shop – Here if you are not low carb, you are also welcome. It is a restaurant whose dishes lead, as the name suggests, eggs. The menu is tailored to your liking. Do you want some bread? They have it. No bread? They also have. You know that good American brunch? At the Egg Shop, you get it without cheating on your diet. I loved everything I saw there. Prices from $10 to $15.
- The counter – This is not exactly a low carb restaurant, but I have included it in this category because they have a set menu with the traditional American Burger and they allow you to set up your burger totally low carb. They also have ice cream and delicious teas. The price is a bit higher than burger chains, but it’s worth the freedom of DIY. NOTE: Be prepared to not to get a table. And it’s a great choice for the day you decide to stroll the night through Times Square. Average price: from $15 to $20.
The options below have the same concept: places where you can order your own salad or choose one of the versions offered. Average price: from $10 to $14:
- Chop’T – Do you know that day of the trip that you have tried several typical foods of the city and you are beginning to miss your healthy diet? Chop’t is without a doubt the best option, especially if you are visiting the city in the summer. They have simply the best salads I have ever eaten in my life. In good style, you can choose the leaves, the toppings, the sauces, and the seasonings. And best of all is that all the ingredients are organic and the sauces are all prepared by them and without any added sugar. For those who are uncreative, they also have a set menu with great options.
- Fresh & Co – A super eco-friendly company, concerned with the origin of its food and with the environment. The highlight are the salads, which are served in a very large bowl with various delicious things mixed and very well seasoned. And although it is not a restaurant with a specific vegetarian, gluten-free or low carb menu, they appeal to all tastes. All the ingredients are organic and as the name itself says, they are very fresh and delicious. Fresh & Co also offers the market plates, which are options with a protein of your choice (chicken, salmon, meat) and side dishes. You can order at the website and take out at one of the stores too.
- Just Salad – This is another salad shop option that you can also order through the website. And a cool thing is that they put the calories on the menu. That is, for those who do not want to skip the diet, you can keep 100% control in Just Salad.
- Sweetgreen – Another salad chain. What’s the difference? The variety of ingredients is almost endless. You want to put everything in your salad. Sweetgreen also has Warm Bowls, which are hot bowls with vegetables and carbs (such as brown rice or quinoa).
Juices: (In winter, all options bellow offer hot chocolate, coffees, and teas).
- Juice Generation – This is my favorite store for several reasons. And the first reason is their concern to prioritize the consumption of organic products and local producers. In addition, part of all juices sold is intended for social projects in Harlem and NGO protecting animals. And as if all this was not enough, they still make the best juices in the city. The menu features juices, smoothies, açai and the “medicinal juices”, which have functional properties. And of course that these are my favorites!
- Jamba Juice – A juices chain that also offers a super varied menu and a cool thing is the shots of antioxidants. I love these shots, especially for the occasions when we suffered a sudden change of temperature. You give an extra boost to the immune system.
- Juice Press – They only offer organic and grown products in the United States. In the menu, more than 50 options of juices, smoothies, teas, flavored waters and some healthy food options following the same proposal. Foods without preservatives, fresh and ready to eat. I tried the matcha with almond milk and loved it.
- Joe & The Juice – I saw this place on Laura’s blog and, at the end of a walking tour, I choose the option Sex me up. And I highly recommend it! If you like ginger, it’s delicious. I came back another day to a store near Central Park and tried the Herb Tonic, which is also very tasty. And besides the flavors, the service is great and the place beautiful.
- Liquiteria – Whole organic menu and with some vegan options. Juices, smoothies, vitamins, and, for açaí lovers, it is the best option in NY. The one that most resembles the açaí from Brazil. The atmosphere is super cool, and it is all that New York style, buy it, and take out.
- The Butcher’s Daughter – a good option for a quiet breakfast, mostly for a Sunday brunch. The organic menu features so many options that you will not know what to order, lol. Unfortunately, I did not eat at the place, but I had a coffee to know the environment and I was very eager to return. Check the menu by clicking here.
- Two Hands – This is a super cool Australian restaurant. Their proposal is to bring the light and fresh life of the coast to the great metropolis. They have a complete menu with organic and fresh ingredients. Their brunch was elected in 2016 by the New York Times as one of NY’s best healthy brunch. Not to mention that their price is great. Check the menu clicking here
- Dig Inn – They have some plate choices, but if you want, you can put together your combo. Although is not a vegan place, it offers several vegan options and all flagged in the menu. The decor is charming. You can assemble your own marketplace. First, choose a protein (turkey, chicken, salmon, tofu), then choose a grain or leaf (brown rice, brown rice with tomatoes, etc.) and 3 sides (sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower). These dishes range from $8 to $12.
- Nanoosh – One more good option for lunch. The shops are in that New York style with an ordering counter and little tables for a quick bite. A varied and comprehensive menu prepared with organic ingredients, it offers gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian options, soups, salads, made dishes, desserts, chopped fruits, and natural juices. Prices starting at $9
- Kashkaval Gardens – It is a Greek restaurant with healthier options for traditional dishes. Romantic setting for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, without cheating on your diet. I recommend the Truffle Fondue, which was one of the best things I’ve eaten in life ($14 per person). They also offer some vegan and gluten and lactose-free options. Check the menu by clicking here.
- Broken Coconut – located in the NYU area, near Washington Square Park, this restaurant has a super cute environment and a menu full of healthy options such as salads, bowls, and poke (trending right now, with raw fish sliced with soy sauces). Portions are super well served and prices start at $11. In addition, there are breakfast options such as oats, eggs, and toast, as well as açaí (these options start at $ 8).
- Made Nice – have you heard about Eleven Madison? It was voted the best restaurant in the world and is located here in New York. The tasting menu is not affordable, but the good news is that the same team behind Eleven Madison opened Made Nice, a casual restaurant focused on fast and healthy food. The menu is seasonal and usually changes according to the season’s ingredients, but expect to find options of salads ($9), sandwiches ($11), and plates ($11). The dishes have options with chicken and also vegetarian. But if I can give you an unhealthy tip: try the Milk & Honey ice cream! Wonderful ($6).
- Beyond Sushi – I always heard good things about this place. It’s a chain that offers a healthy and fresh approach to vegan and vegetarian sushi
. Each sushi roll has 8 pieces and costs $7.50. The pieces are big and I highly recommend Spicy Mango and Mighty Mushroom. Sushi can be tasty without fish or seafood and Beyond Sushi does it with mastery! In addition, the chain uses multigrain rice or black rice in sushi. The menu also has options like wraps ($7), noodle soups ($11), and salads ($12).
- Honeybrains – Honeybrains menu was created after reviewing the science related to food and the human brain. People who regularly eat five delicious food groups (vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and foods high in Omega 3s)(the “HB Five Food Groups”) with healthful garnishings (herbs, spices, fermented foods and pure sweeteners from nature) feel good and have energy, with stronger hearts and brains for life. These foods are good for us because they contain essential nutrients. That’s why they form the foundation of the Honeybrains menu. Options include toasts (starting at $6), bowls (starting at $11), sandwiches (starting at $8), salads (starting at $11). Besides that, the restaurant is huge, cute, and is located in a super nice area in Soho.
- Pret a manger – Kind of healthy fast food. With a varied menu, it suits all tastes and styles. A great option for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Sandwiches, salads, wraps, juices, vitamins, chopped fruits, yogurts, and coffees. And, during winter, it also features a really nice variety of soups, which you can even take to the hotel for that day that you are very tired. Options starting at $7.
- Hale & Hearty – It offers snacks, wraps, salads, juices, and soups. Soups are the highlight. And they are incredibly delicious. Try all if you can, especially if you go to the city in the winter. It’s a good choice for lunch, snack or even dinner when you’re exhausted from strolling all day. The prices are great and the best part: they have tables for you to seat. And like the good fast foods, they are everywhere. Options starting at $4
- The Little beet Table – The place is cute, the service is wonderful, and the entire menu offers lots of nice variety, including vegan options. I tried the brunch on Sunday and the experience was amazing. Tip: If you can, make your reservation in advance. But you can also place your order online.
- Terri – healthy fast food, with good vegan and non-vegan options for sandwiches, snacks, juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, and breakfast choices. The menu also has some muffins and cupcakes with healthier ingredients. One cool thing is the juices menu of the day, with 6 choices per day. The price and the service are good.
On the streets
- Fruits and juices – exploring New York mean walking a lot. And juices are a great way to replenish water and nutrients these days. You will see juice trucks everywhere and you will also see a lot of fruit vendors. So, dig in!
Did you realize how good it is to be healthy in New York?
Content creator and journalist in New York City. Here, I share lifestyle, beauty, NYC tips, thoughts, and the struggles about living in the most amazing city in the world! I’m not gonna pretend to be another person: I’m a Brazilian immigrant and I think this is my soul, it is part of who I am. I hope you enjoy my content! Follow me on Instagram!