Healthy-ish NYC Restaurants that are New Years Resolution-Friendly
I’m not really *about* New Years resolutions when it comes to diet habits, but the reality of the situation is that a lot of people look at the New Year as a new beginning for their health, and that usually includes a diet makeover. Now don’t get me wrong, as long as this new beginning is healthy and not obsessive, I’m here to support you. You do you, and do it well!
I’ve tried different fads before… I dabbled in the Whole 30 for a whole 30 ….seconds… and I’ve tried to be vegetarian for a few weeks. I enjoy trying gluten-free foods just to see if they compare to their glutenous cousins. But, the worst part about eating healthier is *drum roll please* everything. No, I’m kidding. (Couldn’t resist.) But, dining out and watching your friends enjoy oil covered cheese and carbs while you eat a side of asparagus that you paid $15 for is the worst part of eating healthy. And I’m here to change that. That’s why I’ve decided to come up with a list of my favorite restaurants with health-conscious and restriction-friendly options that don’t taste like chalk or grass… or ass for that matter.
For this list, I’m not choosing restaurants by any set diet regimen. I’m just choosing restaurants that have a variety of nutritious options, as well as delicious options. A little oil won’t kill you, a little cheese won’t kill you, and a little butter won’t kill you (allergies not included in this statement.) You don’t want to be the one dragging your friends to f*cking Hu Kitchen on Friday night when they want tequila shots and quesadillas. Don’t be that person.
I want to note that this is not a vegan or gluten-free guide.
206 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Korean BBQ may not *seem* healthy, because it’s so fun. BUT it really is. Think about it, you’re grilling fresh proteins and vegetables right in front of you. YOU have the control of what you’re making, and that’s a great place to be in if you’re on a “diet.” You can make your meal healthy if you put together the right combinations. First of all, if you’re on whole-30 or paleo, skip the carbs. Get meat or fish and veggies. If you’re trying to eat less fat or lower your cholesterol, skip the fatty cuts of beef and go for shrimp, salmon, tuna or chicken, and of course get some veggies. Honestly, no matter what, just eat some veggies and you’re fine. You also gotta try some kimchi. It will make you love vegetables.
53 Little W 12th St, New York, NY 10014
Honest to God himself, The Wild Son made me love vegetables. I’ve never been to a restaurant that has such a vegetable-heavy menu, and is such a great time. I also love the fact that The Wild Son really has something for everyone…from duck confit to healthy appetizers such as blistered shishito peppers, crudité, and warm dinosaur kale. There’s something for everyone. Pair that with fun vibes and trendy location, and this is the perfect spot for your “New Year, New Me” date night or GNO.
Sebastian and I had a great date night here and would 100% go back.
75 Washington Pl, New York, NY 10011
I literally have no photos from our dinner at Blue Hill. We went after we got engaged, and the only photos I have are me crying with champagne. To be honest, as a foie gras butter lover (who was craving an indulgent meal on her birthday — yes we got engaged on my birthday) I was unimpressed with Blue Hill. BUT, if I was trying to eat healthy and I wanted a high end dining experience, I would 100000% recommend. The waiter presented 8-grain bread to the table alongside a special edition hybrid squash and tomato tartare tacos. If this is your vibe for a fine dining experience, by all means, Blue Hill is your spot. Great for a healthy anniversary splurge.
333 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
Like The Wild Son, The Little Beet Table is a well-rounded spot with a variety of menu options ranging from a burger, to salmon crudo and a salad. It’s primely located in Flatiron with a wine list and a list of “natural refreshers.” This place has got you covered!
184 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205
You know, I’ve never been here but I really want to go. I’ve been to a lot of mediterranean spots in NYC that have the staples: babaghanoush, hummus, shakshouka… but I love the spin the chef is putting on the dishes here. The starters are pretty healthy with options like sweet potato hummus and babaghanoush. The mains are a little more edgy and fun with chicken liver and lamb shawarma in the meat department, and for anyone who’s plant based, you’ve got the shitake mushrooms and butternut squash. Of course, you can go to a different Mediterranean spot in NYC, but I just think Miss Ada’s got a little somethin’ goin on that you can’t get anywhere else.
403 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009
Hearth is a great choice for truly any occasion and any taste… except for vegans. I personally love Hearth because they add flavorful elements to healthy dishes. Like, a sprinkle of cheese in a white bean soup, or bone marrow in a bone broth. You’ve got gluten-free options, whole-30 friendly options, and hey, you can always ask for no cheese. If you are giving up gluten for diet purposes, there shouldn’t be any issues. However, if you are celiac, be sure to check with the kitchen that they are not cross contaminating.
326 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003
Souen has a near and dear place in my heart. They sadly closed my two favorite locations, but the Souen noodle bar is still standing. For those of you who don’t know wtf I’m talking about: Souen is a Japanese macrobiotic health food restaurant with vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian options. Every dish is truly nutritious, and you can also have a little fun here by ordering a big bowl of brothy noodles…or you can get steamed vegetables with their delicious tahini lemon sauce. The choice is yours. Souen in the East Village is a tiny spot and would make a great lunch or dinner date. I’ve been here with my friends just to catch up, especially during the winter months. You’re only eating real food here and I really love that.
Ok I had to throw the token vegan place in here, not because being vegan is healthy (I personally don’t think it’s for everyone) but because it’s really a fun experience. I’ve been to Blossom a few times and I love seeing how they get creative with plants. I also love the vibe… Come here with your friends or for experimental date night. Try something new! It’s definitely the place to dabble in veganism. Blossom has locations on the upper west side and in Chelsea.
72 University Pl, New York, NY 10003
Another one that I haven’t been to but have heard the best reviews. Nix is a vegetarian restaurant with an extremely creative menu, such as kabocha squash dumplings, falafel tempura, pan-seared potato gnocchi and more. Great for date night, birthdays or just going out to dinner with a friend.