With thousands upon thousands of restaurants in New York City, deciding where to eat on any given day can feel weirdly complex—especially because the dining options here tend to change by the second.
Consider this list of the best new healthy restaurants (as well as some beloved standbys refreshing their menus big-time this fall) your lifeline.
Whether you’re looking for a brunch spot, a dinner destination, or somewhere to score seriously delish takeout on your lunch break, it’s all here.
These are the 14 best healthy restaurants to eat at in New York City right now—bookmark it now so you’ll be that friend who always knows where to go.
After crafting a mouthwatering menu for the vegan hotspot Mother of Pearl—kalua jackfruit and dragon fried rice FTW!—chef Daphne Cheng poured her energy into Ladybird, a vegan tapas bar owned by restauranteur Ravi DeRossi of Bourgeois Pig fame. (It’s actually in the former Bourgeois Pig space on MacDougal.) Standouts include baby beets (with blood orange jelly and lemon ricotta, obvi), vegetable charcuterie (with smoked carrot, mushroom pate, beet chorizo, fig compote, and roasted grape), and smoked cauliflower (with grape relish, honeydew, and miso butter). Really, there isn’t a single dish on the menu that’s not exquisitely crafted.
Ladybird, 127 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012, 212-475-2246, ladybirdny.com
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a household name in the plant-based food world—if you’re vegan, there’s a good chance you’ve at least flipped through one of her best-selling cookbooks—and her long-awaited Modern Love Brooklyn is finally open in Williamsburg, serving up “swanky vegan comfort food.” The most Instagrammable dish on the menu? The brussels and shiitake bacon, which, with its edible flowers, tastes even better than it looks.
Modern Love Brooklyn, 317 Union Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211, modernlovebrooklyn.com
The Wild Son opened this past summer as a healthy breakfast and lunch spot serving gluten-free buckwheat pancakes and drinking vinegars with activated charcoal. Now owners Robert Ceraso and Jason Mendenhall—the duo behind The Wayland and Good Night Sonny—have rolled out a dinner menu that also offers plenty of delicious, deceptively simple dishes. Standouts include raw walnut pate with house cashew cheese and charred kale with vegan breadcrumbs.
The Wild Son, 53 Little W. 12th St., New York, NY 10014, 212-727-7900, thewildsonnyc.com
It’s increasingly hard to stand out in the healthy fast-casual scene, but The PokéSpot has managed it—and it’s got the lunchtime crowds to prove it. On the menu? Signature bowls like the Spicy Salmon with masago, cucumber, and Sriracha aioli (you can get it on top of rice, zucchini noodles, or salad), as well as avocado boats—where the avocado basically becomes the bowl. Um, genius.
The PokéSpot, 120 4th Ave., New York, NY 10003, 212-933-0971, pokespot.com
Since opening last fall, Inday has established itself as a buzzy grab-and-go destination for health-conscious foodies—and its revamped menu for fall makes it clear why. In addition to two new base options (a squash trio of roasted acorn, delicata, and butternut squash with pumpkin seeds, as well as pink kelp noodles), the menu now includes an apple lentil curry and a sweet potato and purple carrot side. Spicy, comforting, and way more autumnal than a PSL.
Inday, 1133 Broadway, New York, NY 11010, 917-521-5015, indaynyc.com
It’s a small spot, but what New York’s first Brazilian tapiocaria does, it does so well—from the decor to the food. Everything served is seasonal, organic, and locally sourced, meaning the menu changes every month. But the staple is the gluten-free Brazilian tapioca starch, used to create a crisp, flavorful crepe. It’s total perfection in dishes like the Egg ‘n’ Oca, (tapioca starch, farm eggs, parmesan cheese, oregano, and tomato)—and make sure to leave room for their strawberry cashew nut shake, a just-sweet-enough treat blended with OCA’s homemade alt-milk.
OCA Positive Food, 250 Mott St., New York, NY 10012, 212-966-0622, ocastore.com
Rouge Tomate’s new Chelsea location is your new date night go-to. Not only does the Michelin-starred restaurant have an extensive wine list, it also serves nutrient-dense plates like zucchini with quinoa, daikon, baby bok choy, and smoked onion, or chicken with sunflower seed “risotto” and leeks. A win for meat eaters, vegetarians, and wine lovers.
Rouge Tomate Chelsea, 126 W. 18th St., New York, NY 10011, 646-395-3978, rougetomatechelsea.com
Do you really, truly know where your food comes from? Farmer & The Fish makes it easy, with more than three-quarters of the ingredients sourced directly from the restaurant’s farm in North Salem, New York. (The seafood is from founding partner Edward Taylor’s sustainable NYC-based company, Down East Seafood.) You can’t go wrong with the surf-and-turf offerings, but standouts include the farmer’s sushi (wild salmon, tuna, scarlet turnips, and African blue basil) or the Maine mussels (with Thai green curry broth and lemongrass).
Farmer & The Fish, 245 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003, 646-998-5991, farmerandthefish.com
Restaurateurs Pamela Elizabeth and David Tianga (who’ve been killing it with their Blossom Du Jour empire) definitely want diners to kick back, have fun, and stay a while. Need proof? See the just-opened Urban Vegan Kitchen. There’s a DJ who keeps things in party mode from brunch through dinner, all while guests nosh on cuisine like chickpea hush puppies, tacos, and Mexican street corn with chili lime aioli, and cilantro. Festive, fun, and tasty? Yes, please!
Urban Vegan Kitchen, 43 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014, 646-438-9939, urbanvegankitchen.com
Everything at ReViVer—which has one location in Columbus Circle and a new outpost in the Flatiron District—is guaranteed to be good for you, because this restaurant’s whole raison d’êtreis is turning out food backed by nutrition science. Each menu item has a nutrient score, is low in sugar, and was created with 10 key nutrients in mind (think vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good-for-you fatty acids). The resulting menu is wide-ranging, including everything from apricot dijon chicken to mahi curry to—yes—burgers.
ReViVer 934 8th Ave., New York, NY 10019, 917-475-1711 and 303 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010, 646-952-0014, revivernyc.com
Latin Beet Kitchen takes the healthy fast-casual trend and applies it to South American food. Think zoodle bowls topped with crispy corn cancha and salsa criolla, or gluten-free arepas filled with avocado and asparagus, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. And now the three-month-old Flatiron hotspot has rolled out a weekend brunch menu, where you can enjoy a spiked latte (made with pisco, cacao liquor, Devocion espresso, housemade cashew milk, and dates) alongside your egg-topped grain bowl.
Latin Beet Kitchen, 43 W. 24th St., New York, NY 10010, 212-929-1200, latinbeet.com
Hu Kitchen is a healthy eating mainstay at this point, but its updated fall menu definitely offers something new. There’s Paleo-friendly cauliflower hummus (which is completely beanless), broccoli and “cheese” soup (with a homemade zucchini cheese), and organic chicken pot pie at the bowl station. Not like you needed an excuse to pick up one of their amazing chocolate bars….
Hu Kitchen, 78 5th Ave., New York, NY 10011, 212-510-8919 and 1536 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10028, 212-335-2105, hukitchen.com
This new East Village restaurant is the very first to apply the ancient principles of Ayurvedic cooking to Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, and Asian cuisine. The result? Delicious, veggie-first dishes served with quinoa and whole grains. Plus, everything on the menu is paired with suggested teas, tonics, cold-pressed juices, or house-made herbal juices. Good for your dosha and your tastebuds.
Divya’s Kitchen, 25 1st St. New York, NY 10003, 212-477-4864, divyaskitchen.com
No one takes brunch as seriously as New Yorkers and this fall the always-packed vegetarian restaurant Nix (which opened its doors earlier this year) is getting in on the game. The cashew yogurt topped with toasted coconut granola and berries is creamy and just sweet enough, while the Egg In The Hole is a seriously delicious way to enjoy your eggs and toast. As with dinner, reservations are strongly encouraged.
Nix, 72 University Place, New York, NY 10003, 212-498-9393, nixny.com
Don’t have time to sit and linger? These are the best (healthy) cafes in NYC right now. And if you’d rather cook at home, all of these dinner recipes can be made in 15 minutes or less.