The zen salad at Beyond Sushi.
Raw veg heavy bowls at Dimes.
Breakfast bowls and lavender acai at Dimes.
Nuberry oatmeal, paleo muffins and green juice at Hu Kitchen.
More from Hu Kitchen - the quinoa mushroom bowl.
Juice Press on-the-go.
Fish tacos from Seamore's in Nolita.
Healthy kale salads from Sweetgreen.
I’m so excited to share with you my new series destination eats – comprehensive guides to the restaurants, cafes, juice bars, and markets that top my list of healthy eats (and indulgences!) in the cities I live in and visit. Staying healthy while traveling or even eating out in your own city can be challenging, and these city guides are designed to highlight my favorite places to get a healthy meal or an afternoon juice. Through these guides, I hope to share my go-to spots that make traveling exciting and delicious.
First up is NYC, my current home and the original city that inspired Clean Food Dirty City!
When I moved to NYC, I felt like I had finally found my mecca of gluten-free, vegan, allergen-friendly foods, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. My West Village apartment was smack dab between Risotteria, still one of the best places for gluten-free pizza and my favorite NYC juice place, Juice Press, which left me in a food-induced euphoria. Since then, I’ve eaten my way across the city and it’s no surprise that there is an endless selection of amazing places to eat. After four years here, I’m sharing the places that I know and love, and still go back to time and time again. Most of these spots have a casual, relaxed vibe, with healthy options and delicious eats.
The Butcher’s Daughter // Nolita – This brunch hot spot is completely vegetarian and non-dairy. It’s one of my favorite spots for juice and has super creative combinations like the honey bee (grapefruit, turmeric root, yuzu, kumquat, anjou pear, honey, bee pollen) and the goddess of green (kale, cucumber, green apple, fennel, pineapple, thyme, blue green algae). It has one of the best kale caesar’s ever – make sure to order it with the tempeh bacon!
Jack’s Wife Freda // West Village +Soho – This casual cafe with a Mediterranean/Israeli flavor has become a go-to brunch for downtown locals. Green shakshuka, veggie bowls, and the greek salad are highlights. Dinner is solid too – the roasted cauliflower, salmon, and veggie curry dish are favs. One of the most Instagrammed brunch in NYC, be prepared to wait a bit during peak hours but it’s worth it for the food and maybe even the photos 🙂
GO TO LUNCH SPOTS
Angelica’s Kitchen // East Village – This long-established East Village staple offers a healthy twist on comfort food. The all-vegan menu is delicious and deeply nourishing, and most dishes have a macrobiotic feel to them. Order the dragon bowl with miso soup and gluten-free cornbread. I come here for lunch often or with my girlfriends on Sunday nights – the food here is made with with love and we always leave feeling grounded and healed.
Beyond Sushi // Multiple Locations – This isn’t your average cucumber avocado roll! Chef Tal has created the most inventive, flavorful vegan sushi and has won over vegans and non-vegans alike. Always check out their roll of the month and order the spicy mang roll and nutty buddy. Not everything is gluten free so be sure to specify if you have an allergy.
Dimes // Chinatown – The girls behind Dimes have opened an awesome brunch and lunch spot on an otherwise unassuming street in Chinatown. Go for the creative bowls like the bright pink strawberry pitaya bowl or the quinoa vegetable bowls. They also offer great eggs dishes for brunch (like their summer tacos) and lots on the menu to satisfymore than just your uber-healthy friends.
Gingersnap’s Organic // West Village – Gingersnap’s is 100% raw, gluten free, and vegan. Everything is made with such care and is incredibly flavorful, satisfying and inventive from the portobello reuben wrap to the green soup and classic gingersnap’s salad. They also have a wide selection of organic juices and smoothies. Bonus: there’s wifi!
Hu Kitchen // Union Square – There are endless options at this paleo spot, including an entire bar dedicated to smoothies and chia pudding, a prepared foods section, bowl and soup section, and other paleo, gluten-free options. Super easy to be plant based paleo here (they have one of the best kale salads!) but also pleasing for those looking for their grass-fed meats. This is also a great spot to visit when looking to stock up on some kale chips, juices, dark chocolate and granola for your hotel room or flight.
Sweetgreen // Multiple Locations – This sustainable salad spot is a weekly staple in my routine, and not just because they are focused on sourcing local ingredients and supporting local farmers (as you may have seen on Instagram)! Their menu features a rotating seasonal menu and collaborations with forward-thinking spots like Momofuku and Blue Hill. Brave the lines for a weekday lunch, head there after a yoga class or reset after a long weekend with a bowl overflowing with kale and arugula. *Added perk- the Williamsburg location has wifi if you’re looking to escape the office for a working lunch.
Taim // Multiple Locations – Taim serves up perfect gluten free falafel that comes in three different flavors – red, harissa, and green (my favorite!). To try all three, opt for the sampler platter with mixed falafel and pick from an assortment of gf, veggie sides. At the West Village location, take your food to go and find a bench to eat on in Washington Square Park.
CASUAL DINNER WITH FRIENDS
Gran Electrica // DUMBO (Brooklyn) – Perfect spot to enjoy margaritas and guac in the beautiful outdoor garden. Tacos and ceviche are solid – you can ask for the tacos to be grilled instead of fried to make them gluten free – but at the end of the day you’re coming here for the vibe and to enjoy good mexi food with friends.
Fat Radish // Lower East Side – Fat Radish is loved for its veg-centric menu and fish options. The roasted carrot app (heirloom carrots, avocado, crispy kale, and hijiki) is a regular order as well as their fresh-pressed juice infused cocktails. Stop into their sister restaurant The East Pole if you’re on the Upper East Side.
Risotteria // West Village – The original gluten free pizza place, this tiny spot on Bleecker has been a fixture for years. I recommend going with a small party (maybe just one other person) because of the restaurant’s size. Their pizza truly “doesn’t taste gluten free” and you’ll be able to smell the inviting aroma of freshly baked gf breadsticks from across the street. You can’t go wrong when you order here, whether it’s the portobello pizza, the truffle risotto, or the arugula panini. Their red velvet cupcake is also one of the best.
Seamore’s // Nolita – Seamore’s is a new sustainable seafood joint opened by Michael Chernow, the face behind NYC’s The Meatball Shop . The airy vibe transports you from the restaurants location in the middle of Little Italy, to a beach town like Montauk or somewhere close to the water. All fish is sustainably caught and the fish in the tacos rotates depending on the daily catch. The griddled fish tacos are great as is the “reel deal” – your choice of fish and rotating veggie sides. Don’t forget to order the vegan soft serve from OddFellows at the end of your meal!
Souen // East Village + Union Square +Soho – This macrobiotic cult-favorite serves up nourishing meals in an earthy setting. Macrobiotics is based on ancient Eastern principles and is all about finding balance. This translates into a menu of lots of whole grains, legumes and , veggies. You can’t go wrong with the classic macro plate and dishes like the yasai itame or vegetable curry. This is a more low-key, hippie place and is great for lunch too.
ABC Kitchen // Union Square – Jean-Georges’ restaurant offers an incredible seasonal menu that is driven by organic, local ingredients and sustainable, humanely raised products. You literally taste the flavors of the season – like this summers roasted halibut with crushed tomatoes, summer squash, and basil. Make sure to stop into neighboring ABC Carpet and Home before dinner to check out some of the gorgeous home goods.
Barbuto // West Village – Jonathan Waxman has created a breezy West Village space with open garage doors that is perfect for summer dinners in the village. It’s become become my go-to destination for bringing out-of-town visitors. Order the vibrant vegetable dishes, seasonal fresh fish, and the famous jw potatoes or brussels sprouts when they are in season. Great brunch, too.
Blue Hill New York // Greenwich Village – Owner Dan Barber is the pioneer of the farm-to-table movement and this will easily be one of the best meals you’ve ever had. The menu changes daily but it’s always sustainable and local – using much of the produce that is grown on their nearby farm in Pocantico Hills. For the full experience, head out of the city and visit them on the farm (also known as Blue Hill at Stone Barns). Tip: ten seats at the bar at Stone Barns are first come first serve and are a steal for dinner at $58.
L’Artusi // West Village – There are so many exceptional West Village restaurants but L’Artusi always stands out. Dishes are meant to be shared – like the fluke ceviche with pineapple, red chili peppers, ginger and mint or the gargenelli with mushroom ragu and ricotta salata. Most if not all of the pasta dishes can be made gluten free with their incredible housemade gluten free pasta!
COFFEE AND JUICE BARS
Brodo // East Village – So this is technically a broth window but the bone broth craze has blown up in NYC over the past year and this is my favorite place to get my fix. Bone broth is one of the oldest healing foods and you’ll spot cups of Brodo bone broth (not coffee!) in the hands of East Village locals during the winter months. Great when taken as a tonic year round as well, you can spike your cup of broth with turmeric juice, ginger, beet kvass and you’ll already be on the mend.
Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee // West Village – Right around the corner from my old West Village apartment, Jack’s is not just for coffee. They have tons of teas, an awesome matcha latte, as well as vegan + gluten free muffins and vegan donuts. Their superfood-packed, gluten free mighty muffin is a special weekend treat! Added perk – soy and almond milk are available as dairy-free options.
Juice Press // Multiple Locations – Organic cold pressed juice with multiple locations across the city. The largest menu of juices, smoothies, and grab and go raw food. Juice Press prides themselves on being completely organic and hpp free. Mother Earth, OMMM! and Glo are some favorite juices. If I’m going for a smoothie, I opt out of the added agave and still find them to be sweet.
Two Hands // Chinatown – This Aussie spot has been open just a year and already has a cult following, largely in part due to the Instagram-worthy acai bowls, and avocado toasts ,which they serve all day long. Stop by if you’re in the area.
Tu-lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery // East Village – My hands down favorite for gluten free + vegan baked goods. They have an incredible assortment of cupcakes, cakes, brownies, cookies, donuts, and even paninis! My gluten-eating friends that live in the East Village have even been known to choose Tulu’s over it’s glutinous neighbors. You can’t go wrong here – but the red velvet and chocolate cupcakes are always amazing.
MARKETS AND FLEAS
Chelsea Market // Chelsea – Chelsea Market is filled with places to eat, specialty ingredient shops, cute stores, and more. This is a must to walk through during your trip to NYC – grab a bite at Beyond Sushi, check out the Italian specialty store and the fish shop, and shop in the Artist & Fleas market. I come here regularly to purchase fresh seafood and to get my knives sharpened.
Eataly // Flatiron – Eataly is a huge Italian market that has great restaurants, food counters, and speciality shops. Come here to enjoy a glass of wine and a meal – or to window shop. It’s known for having some of the most beautiful produce and people flock here to purchase produce for everything from photo shoots to entertaining. It’s also a great spot to pick up fish.
Life Thyme Market // Greenwich Village – Great natural food store stocked with organic produce, a salad bar with lots of prepared raw/gf/vegan items and a juice bar in the back. Let them know your symptoms and they’ll whip something up for you. The vitamin/supplement section is also pretty comprehensive and they will help you find what you need. (As always, be careful when taking supplements and make sure you are doing so under the supervision of a physician).
Union Square Farmer’s Market // Union Square – New Yorkers flock to this famous market that has hundreds of farm stands and the best seasonal offerings. Pick up your fruit and vegetables, local honey, cheese and fish, chat with local farmers and take in the beauty of the season’s bounty. The market is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturdays – my favorite days to go are Wednesday and Saturday. I always make sure to stop for a treat at Body & Soul, my weekly sauerkraut from Hawthorne Valley farm, bee pollen from Applestate Hilltop, veggies from Keith’s Farm.. and the list goes on! Note: try to bring some cash when you go, as some stands are cash only or require credit card minimums.
Smorgasburg // Williamsburg – This food market is open every weekend from April through November on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s become somewhat of a food incubator with many of the vendors going on to open their own brick and mortar. It’ll be hard to decide what to get (so go hungry!) and also expect a bit of a mob scene on nice days. Options are always changing but there are some great gf + vegan options like fresh Vietnamese summer rolls and ice pops!
Comment below and let me know if you enjoy some of these spots during your visit and what other favorite spots you have in NYC!