Although the bi-polar NYC weather would lead you to sometimes believe otherwise, summer is RIGHT around the corner. What does that mean? Time to peel off the layers and reveal that winter body you’ve been working on — or not. Unfortunately, bomb cyclones, sub-zero temperatures and MTA delays are not the most conducive to getting a beach body. Even if the never-ending winter season has left you in a dietary and fitness funk, fear not! This list of exciting and healthy lunch spots, coupled with these workout classes provide a variety of options to get you back on track, excited and ready for the upcoming spring and summer season.
Even better? The list excludes the generic go-to spots among health buffs (Chop’t, Sweet Greens, Just Salad etc.) providing variety to stave off dietary boredom and help you reach your goals. Get ready to look and feel great exploring NYC and all the great Bedly neighborhoods!
Think fine-dining quality New American food with the price point and speediness of a fast-casual spot. Tender Greens, a popular Dan Meyer chain originating from California is a delightful hybrid of healthy meets satisfying. The cashless restaurant allows you to customize your meal with a base of eclectic protein choices (Herbed Brushed Tuna, Marinated Backyard Steak are just a few) and seasonal market sides. A Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich and Falafel Sandwich provide a happy medium to those looking for a richer meal. While, seasonal soups and an array of adventurous salad choices like the Lobster Salad satisfy those looking for something different and nutritious. The ambiance and the décor sets itself apart from other healthy lunch spots with it’s chef counter, giving diners a fine dining sit down feel with wait service included.
Highly Recommended: Chipotle Barbecue Chicken with Butter Lettuce (Tarragon Dressing) and Mashed Potatoes, House Made Green Monster Juice
Flatiron: 900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
This family-owned custom salad spot may look like a Sweet Green clone on the surface, but it’s extensive market plate selection gives Dig Inn a run for their money. Unique specialty salads draw influence from an array of international influences —cue the Vietnamese Ban Mih Salad and Caribbean Bowl, while picnic baskets (Good Seed’s market plate option which consists of a protein and two sides) provide perfectly balanced and hearty entrée options.
Bonus? They have a massive selection of unique, artisanal snack options perfect for a special dessert. Featured items include Legally Addictive Crack cookies a salty and sweet cracker and cookie combo packed with toffee and chocolate that touts themselves as “the world’s most addictive snack.” Small batch cookies from Grey Ghost Bakery and Fatty Sundays’ pretzel further add to the drool worthy specialty treat selection.
Highly Recommended: Caribbean Bowl
Midtown West: 213 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
If you’re like me, and the thought (and smell!) of seafood makes you cringe, but you still envy the colorful rolls that your friends inhale, Beyond Sushi is a Godsend. This all vegan, kosher menu features an assortment of sushi rolls, noodles, soups and dumplings minus the fish. Veggies and fruit and grains are substituted for fish while the rice comes in a black rice or six grain variety. The rolls are refreshing, light yet filled with unexpected umami flavor and fun side sauces like almond pesto, and shiitake truffle, toasted cayenne and tomato guajillo. This is sushi 2.0, revamped for the vegan palate.
Highly Recommended: Nutty Buddy Rice Paper Wrap, Cucumber Mint Lemonade
Union Square: 229 E 14th St. New York, NY 10003
Chelsea Market: 75 9th Ave New York, NY 10011
Financial District: 70 Pine St. New York, NY 10270
Midtown: 62 W 56th St. New York, NY 10019
Midtown West: 134 W 37th St. New York, NY 10018
Chicken — one of the leanest and therefore easiest proteins to screw up (once you overcook it, you’re eating rubber), gets the royal treatment at this chicken only spot. Market plates, salad, bowls, white meat or dark meat, grilled or roasted, everything is customizable at this chicken lover’s spot. They also allow you to choose an array of free sauces (Tangy BBQ Maple Chipotle, Fresh Herb Salsa, Verde Habanero Mango Hot Sauce) to compliment your meal. Craft Beer, wine and cider round it out to make it a dream lunch or dinner.
Highly Recommended: Sweet Pea Bowl
Midtown South: 148 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016
Midtown: 26 East 40th Street New York, NY 10016
Financial District: 101 Maiden Lane New York, NY 10038
Flatiron: 44 East 23rd Street New York, NY 10010
“Taste buds explode with flavor bombs” per the owners of this counter service spot that churns out Indian classics with a vegetarian twist. The husband and wife team behind the health conscious Indian toss up use a variety of Ayurvedic spices along with fresh local ingredients to create a menu of one of a kind, savory vegetarian dishes that have resulted in best sandwich and best bowl nods by NYEater. Take for example their infamous Chana Masala Sandwich: Slow cooked chickpeas topped with mixed greens, pickled onions, date chutney on ciabatta or their Honey Fennel Grilled Cheese: fresh mozzarella with organic honey, homemade hot sauce, feeble and raisins on whole wheat bread. Worth your while if you’re looking for something bold, and nutritious.
Highly Recommended: The Garden Sandwich
Flatiron: 48 West 27th Street New York, NY 10001
Midtown: 224 West 35th Street New York NY 10010
Credits In Order Of Appearance: Instagram: @foodandsachi, Tender Greens, Good Seed Salad, Instagram: @patricialilacs, Field Goods Chicken, Instagram: @food_p.o.r.n_ny