6 healthy culinary hotspots you have to try in 2015

(Photo: Gracias Madre)
Gracias Madre
(Photo: Gracias Madre)

Clean Plates founder Jared Koch just debuted the fourth editions of his guides to New York City and Los Angeles that identify the healthiest, tastiest, and most sustainable restaurants for vegans, Paleos, and everyone in between—and we’ve got the scoop on where you need to eat (healthy) in 2015.

(Photo: Clean Plates)
(Photo: Clean Plates)

Koch, a New York City based nutritional consultant and health coach, started Clean Plates five years ago, and it now includes a newsletter, cookbook, website, mobile app, and the city guides, which pretty much live on the shelves of every healthy foodie.

The 2015 city guides stick to his original mission of providing “Zagat with a healthy twist,” but with a few big changes. Picks include the top 100 restaurants in New York City (which this year means Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens) and Los Angeles. The restaurant reviews are also shorter, and include bulleted “Clean Bites” like a must-try dish or cool facts about sourcing. You’ll also notice a “Beyond Restaurants” section with healthy bakeries, coffee shops, food trucks, ice creameries, juice bars, and provisions shops. (Yum.)

(Photo: Clean Plates)
(Photo: Clean Plates)

Of course, in scouring both scenes to create the guides, Koch observed plenty of healthy culinary trends. In New York City, he says you’ll notice “more and more places are paying attention to local sourcing, especially with quality meats,” whereas in Los Angeles, “there is more of a focus on gluten-free, vegan, and raw food.”

We asked him to share three restaurants in each city that really stand out as of-the-moment healthy destinations you’ve got to try in 2015. If not immediately. —Jamie McKillop

New York City

Dimes: In addition to being trendy and delicious,the California-cool, all-day resto on the Lower East Side “filters all in-house water” and “sells the quirky ceramics” that decorate the clean and bright space.

Blenheim: “All of the restaurant’s produce comes from Blenheim Hill, a farm in the Catskills owned by the restauranteurs” at this West Village contemporary American eatery.

Black Tree Sandwich Shop: The Lower East Side restaurant and sandwich shop creates a whole menu around one animal at at time, like “the signature pig sandwich—showcasing pork belly braised in local IPA” that changes its ingredients and name with the seasons.

(Photo: Dimes NYC)

Los Angeles

Pono Burger: Santa Monica’s Pono Burger with classic American fare boasts a menu where “even the milkshakes feature organic ingredients.”

Gracias Madre: From the team that owns Cafe Gratitude, West Hollywood’s Gracias Madre is vegan Mexican food with innovative dishes like seared cauliflower tacos topped with cashew crema and “mild, chunky guacamole, simply seasoned with onion and lime.”

Crossroads: Chef Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads is a white tablecloth vegan restaurant with crab cakes and wood-fired meaty lasagna that are “so close to the real thing that both vegans and meat lovers will revel in them.”

For more information, visit www.cleanplates.com

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