After spending five long months battling the biting wind and bitter cold, New Yorkers don’t take spring for granted. Winter may be for hygge-ing and hibernating, but spring is for brunching in the sun and eating al fresco with friends. But when you’re texting with someone to meet up, there’s always that inevitable conundrum: Where should we go?
Behold this guide of NYC eats that are buzzy and healthy. (Pro tip: Bookmark this page to use every time you’re making plans.) All the restaurants and cafes rounded up here are newly open and serving up menu items that will make both your body and Instagram feed glow. Armed with this list, you can suddenly be that person who somehow always knows where to go. (You’re welcome.)
Scroll down for the lowdown on the buzziest healthy restaurants in New York City right now, and launch the map (above) to make your game plan.
When you’re brunching after your fitness class: West Bourne
Inspired by 1960s Los Angeles, this new cafe is bringing all sorts of Cali vibes to the West Village. From sweet classics (with a twist) like roasted banana yogurt mixed with cacao and turmeric to savory dishes like scrambled eggs with avocado, shallots, pickled onions, and hot sauce, there are plenty of ways to refuel post-workout that feel as indulgent as you want brunch to be. As if that isn’t enough to satisfy your gut, there’s kombucha on the menu, too.
West Bourne, 137 Sullivan Street, New York, New York 10012, 347-534-3050, westbourne.com
When you’re meeting a friend for a coffee date: Saltwater Coffee
This little East Village cafe is bringing a taste of the healthy Aussie life to NYC. (The owners both grew up in Sydney, and their knowledge of Australian coffee made the intercontinental move with them.) Whatever your alt-milk preference is (almond, oat, macadamia…) Saltwater has it all. In addition to the typical coffee faves, matcha, golden milk lattes, and vanilla charcoal chai lattes are also on the menu.
Saltwater Coffee, 345 E. 12th Street, New York, New York 10003, 917-881-2245, saltwaternyc.com
When you need a cute cafe to work in: Rita
Whether you’re living the freelance life or just looking for somewhere sunny to meet a friend, Rita delivers. Besides serving cult-favorite brew Ninth Street Espresso, a decaf option is also on the menu, made with roasted dandelion and chicory roots, ashwagandha, coconut oil, oat milk, and honey. (There’s also a horchata made with tiger nut milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and maple and an orange-turmeric-ginger water kefir.) If you’re hungry, go for the coconut yogurt (made with buckwheat-cardamom granola and honey) or the oatmeal with spiced oats, burnt banana, walnuts maple, and ghee—neither will disappoint.
Rita, 283 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231, 347-223-4135, ritabk.com
When you want a fancy salad, but you’re in a rush: Tender Greens
If you work in the Flatiron area, you can now break up your Sweetgreen or Chopt’d routine with this veggie-focused fast casual hot spot. Tender Greens is already uber popular on the West Coast and now, thanks to some backing from Danny Meyer (you know, the guy behind Shake Shack), the first New York City location is now open. While the just-off-Union Square location is spacious enough to sit and stay a while, you can also get your meal prepped quickly to go, whether it’s the lobster salad, a quinoa and hummus-based bowl, or one of the hearty sandwiches.
Tender Greens, 900 Broadway, New York, New York 10003, 212-339-7425, order.tendergreens.com
When you’re hungry near Times Square: Mala Project
Midtown can feel like one long strip of suburban-favored chain restaurants, but thanks to Mala Project’s expansion, there’s a yummy, healthy place to eat right off of Times Square. The main way to go is to build your own dry pot, choosing from a range of proteins, veggies (besides the usual fare of Chinese faves, there’s sweet potato and cauliflower), and preferred spice level.
Mala Project, 41 W. 46th Street, New York, New York 10036, 917-261-7520, malaproject.nyc
When your allergies are getting the best of you: Di An Di
Di An Di isn’t open *yet,* but if you live in Greenpoint, it’s about to be your new favorite pho spot. Vietnamese for “let’s go eat,” Di An Di is owned by the team behind An Choi, a popular Vietnamese spot on the Lower East Side. The co-owners recently revealed to Luckyrice that they plan on being a bit more adventurous at their new locale, though you can count on there being plenty of piping hot bowls of pho.
Di An Di, 68 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11222, diandi.nyc
When you’re having a plant-based power lunch: XYST
Raw food trailblazer Matthew Kenney continues to populate the city with crazy delicious vegan options with his latest restaurant, XYST. Located in Flatiron, the Mediterranean-based menu offers dishes such as mushrooms with creamy kale polenta, Tunisian spiced squash, and stuffed red beet ravioli. And bonus: Its cocktails are made with kitchen scraps in order to cut down on waste. The spot is bit pricey, so it’s not an everyday lunch go-to, but it’s perfect for meeting up with a fellow #bossbabe.
Xyst, 44 W. 17th Street, New York, New York 10011, 212-727-2979, matthewkenneycuisine.com
When you’re craving noodles, but don’t do gluten: South of the Clouds
South of the Clouds is essentially rice noodle heaven. The Yunnan restaurant—located in Greenwich Village—is solely devoted to the long, white, mixian noodles. The eatery’s signature dish is made with a four-hour chicken broth, bok choy, bean sprouts, tofu skin, scallion, and cilantro. It’s definitely the standout.
South of the Clouds, 16 W. 8th Street, New York, New York 10011, 212-888-9653, sotc-nyc.com
When you 100-percent plan on Instagramming your meal: Broken Coconut
The decor and dishes at Broken Coconut are so pretty, it’s almost rude not to snap a pic while you’re there—even if you’re just meeting a friend for matcha. Go in the a.m. for a smoothie bowl or later in the day for poké. Either way, your meal is bound to be gorg—and delish.
Broken Coconut, 15 E. 4th Street, New York, New York 10003, brknccnt.com
When you’re craving Indian: Old Monk
Not long after opening, East Village restaurant Old Monk made an appearance on Time Out New York‘s 100 best dishes list—a high honor considering the mind-boggling amount of options available in the city. The honored entree? The Punjabi Power Greens, a dairy- and gluten-free dish made with spinach, broccoli rabe, and mustard greens. The vibes are very Zen, too. In fact, all the servers and cooks wear malas as a reminder to be mindful while they work.
Old Monk, 175 Avenue B, New York, New York 10009, 646-559-2922, oldmonknyc.com
When you want to get work done, but also get a little boozy: 29B
This East Village tea house is probably the only place in the city serving matcha beer, AKA one of the most ingenious pairings ever. (Because of the wide selection of both saki and tea, it’s also a great place to meet up with someone if you aren’t sure whether they drink or not.) There’s free WiFi and plenty of table space, so you can cozy up for hours to read, write, or do work.
29B Teahouse, 29 Avenue B, New York, New York 10009, 646-864-0093, tea-dealers.com
When you’re on a date in Brooklyn: Miss Ada
Ambiance, cocktails, food…It’s all perfected at contemporary Israeli restaurant Miss Ada, located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The menu offers plenty of small dishes and apps—perfect for sharing with your date. (Pro tip: Go for the sweet potato hummus; and if you’re a meat-eater, the lamb shawarma hummus is a decadent must-order). There’s an extensive list of wine, beer, and cocktails—the lavender old-fashioned and Black Mountain, made with rye, maple, pepper, and cardamom are standouts—to help loosen up the vibe. And if you don’t drink, there’s house-made kombucha on tap.
Miss Ada, 184 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11205, 917-909-1023, missadanyc.com
When you’re on a date in Manhattan: Simon & The Whale
Hotel spaces are inherently sexy, and Simon & The Whale, located on the ground floor of the Freehand Hotel, is no exception. Opened by the same owners as Bar Sardine and Fedora, the menu is quintessential Italian seafood, keeping with the nautical theme. While you wait for your, say, black bass crudo (shiso, puffed rice, and coconut milk), sip on the Crazy Charlie, made with mezcal, Aperol, Chilean liquor, and grapefruit.
Simon & The Whale, 23 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10010, 212-475-1924, freehandhotels.com
When you’re getting drinks with the girls: Mood Ring
Round up your fave horoscope-obsessed pals and head over to Mood Ring, which has an ever-changing astrologically aligned cocktail menu. You can also tell your sign to the bartender and she’ll whip you up something perfect for your personality. After you’ve had a couple rounds, head to the back and take over the dance floor. (Totally fine to count this as your cardio for the day.)
Mood Ring, 1260 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11211, 917-818-1738, moodringnyc.com
When you want to toast to all the gloriousness NYC has to offer: Ophelia
There’s nothing like a good rooftop bar to remind you of how special New York City really is. Newly opened Ophelia offers sweeping views of the city, along with quite the cocktail menu. Try the wellness world’s fave libation, mezcal, by ordering the Ophelia’s Ascension (where the spirit is infused with Jamaican pepper), for a smoky, well-crafted sip.
Ophelia, 3 Mitchell Place, 26th Floor, New York, New York 10017, 212-980-4796, opheliany.com
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