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Fit and Healthy in NYC: Part 1 {The Food}

  • November 2, 2014
  • By Brittany
Fit and Healthy in NYC: Part 1 {The Food}

When you think of New York City you probably think of iconic landmarks, pizza, bagels and broadway shows.  What you probably don’t think about is that NYC is a huge mecca for healthy living.  I could write an entire book on all the places to workout, eat, shop and generally pursue an active and healthy lifestyle (and in fact, I almost did), but I decided it would be more fun to write individual posts.  So I have put together some of my favorite places and things to do in NYC to help you stay fit and healthy and I’m dividing it into a four part series.  So welcome to Fit and Healthy in NYC: Part 1 {The Food}!

NYC is known for its culinary delights.  Any cuisine, any time of day, anything you want…you can get it here (although I argue that good Thai food is hard to find and you are better off getting that closer to Southeast Asia but I digress).  What you may not know is that the same holds true for healthy food in NYC.  Here are a few of my favorite spots to grab a bite that is not only tasty, but good for your waistline.

1.  Juice Generation–  Once upon a time I said that the Upper East Side needed a juice bar and that you could easily make a killing by opening one.  And then, Juice Generation opened.  With locations throughout the city, this chain offers fantastic options for fresh juices, smoothies and acai bowls.  It’s the perfect spot for grabbing a healthy breakfast or a pre-/post-workout pick-me-up.  Check out the recipe for one of my favorite juices!

juice generation store

2.  Rouge Tomate–  Rouge Tomate is fine dining for the healthy crowd.  It’s a Michelin-star, sustainable restaurant that focuses on quality ingredients.  Think of dishes like chestnut soup, heirloom tomato and watermelon panzanella, black bass and summer squash risotto.  Most importantly, Rouge Tomate doesn’t sacrifice taste for health.  The philosophy here is that they go hand-in-hand.  In fact, Rouge Tomate is SPE certified, a certification program that focuses on nutrition, health, taste and sustainability. 

Rouge Tomate

3.  Just Salad and Chop’t– Salad joints are a lunchtime staple and my two favorite are Just Salad and Chop’t.  Both offer make-your-own and pre-made salad creations.  Of course if you don’t prefer a salad, you can always get a wrap!  The best part is that both companies offer really great low-calorie salad dressings (think “spa ranch”) so you don’t undue all the good with calorie-laden dressings.  All salads have calorie counts listed and they are made right in front of you so you can watch everything as it is prepared. 

just salad store

4.  Dig Inn–  The farm to table movement has expanded beyond the restaurant scene and onto the lunch scene.  Dig Inn is bringing farm fresh cooking to the counter for your lunchtime eating pleasure.  I love that this place is so focused on good, healthy food to go.  The ingredients are extremely high quality and the prices are completely reasonable. 

dig inn

5.  Candle 79– This is THE restaurant for Organic Vegan Food.  Instead of being forced to order a salad at one of the many meat-centric restaurants in the city, vegans (and vegetarians) can select from like spinach ravioli made with cashew cheese, jicama and avocado tartare, roasted squash salad, wild mushroom and squash risotto and moroccan spiced chickpea cake.  The menu is inventive and the food is tasty whether you are vegan or not!  


6.  Bareburger– Healthy burgers seem like an oxymoron but Bareburger has mastered the concept offering organic burgers made with real ingredients. They specialize in using lean meats like bison, turkey, chicken, elk and ostrich.  They also have wonderful vegetarian options like black bean and quinoa.  Their burger combinations are inventive with eclectic ingredients that will make your taste buds dance. 

Bareburger 1

7.  Chobani SoHo– The NYC home to Chobani yogurt, this little cafe offers Chobani Creations.  Whether you like sweet or savory, the cafe has you set.  Think toasted coconut and pineapple, mango and avocado or a seasonal creation like pumpkin and cranberry.

Chobani Soho 3 Collage

Readers, what’s your favorite place to eat in your city?  Which of these places would you like to try?  What kinds of healthy foods do you look for at restaurants? 

By Brittany, November 2, 2014
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  • Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    November 2, 2014

    I am so obsessed with dig inn its so not funny! their roasted sweet potato is my weakness!! I get it like once a week. I’ve always been curious about bareburger, I am definitely going to give them a try!

    • FitBritt
      November 4, 2014

      I love Dig Inn too! The line is super long but so worth it. We actually might get Thanksgiving from them this year because we probably will not be able to travel to my parents’ house.

  • Jessie
    November 3, 2014

    It’s like Juice Generation are mind readers! I’m thinking they should give you half the income since you did think of it first & all ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lisa @ Lulus Big Adventure
    November 3, 2014

    Jeez, I can’t believe there were no juice bars on the UES before Juice Generation! I mean, come on, that’s probably where have the juice-drinkers live. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Shawna
    November 3, 2014

    i love all the places you reference here! we have Chop’t and Dig Inn in my office building downtown, but Just Salad is my fave of those 3. i’m so happy you wrote about Rouge Tomate! when it first opened in NYC, one of my close friends from college was hired to help open it and be the head manager, and it quickly became one of my fave restaurants!

  • Catalina @ Shades of Pink
    November 3, 2014

    I love Just Salad and Chopโ€™t and Juice Generation, I hit these spots all the time. I work in downtown, and there we have a Chop’t a few blocks away, teh line is always crazy, but so worth the wait.

  • Danielle @ Green is the New Black
    November 3, 2014

    These all sound great! I haven’t been down to NYC in a while, but definitely want to give some of these a try on my next trip down!

  • Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    November 3, 2014

    All of these places sound amazing!! Especially Candle 79 – I NEED to get there one day. I love this series that you’re doing – so fun!

  • Carly @ Fine Fit Day
    November 3, 2014

    I LOVE Just Salad and I also wish there was a Dig Inn near me, because I’ve eaten there & it was so, so delicious. There’s a little place in the east village called the Organic Grill that I used to go to all the time with a girlfriend when I was preggo the first time around – the food was super healthy, it was really inexpensive and so tasty.

    • FitBritt
      November 4, 2014

      Oh I’ll have to check out Organic Grill! It sounds really good! I learned that the Just Salad near me started delivering so I’m very excited to hit them up while I’m on maternity leave!

  • Kim
    November 3, 2014

    This is awesome!! I just created a new Pinterest board for your series!!!

  • Melanie @ Happy Being Healthy
    November 4, 2014

    Oh, I LOVE NYC and I’m so impressed with all of these amazing restaurants!!!!! I wish we had all of those around here. In fact, this has made me want to research a bit more to see IF we DO have more restaurants like this around here. They all look phenomenal and it’s so nice to have more options when trying to eat healthy!

    • FitBritt
      November 4, 2014

      It’s definitely something that has really picked up steam in the last few years. I hope it is a trend that continues to be popular and move outside of this area. I love having quick and easy options at my fingertips without sacrificing health!

  • Anna
    November 5, 2014

    I love quite a few of these places but am STILL waiting to try Candle 79 despite the fact that I live no more than 10 minutes from it. Did you see that there is now a Fresh & Co on the UES, too? I just tried it this week and though they’re still figuring out the kinks, the food is great!

  • Catherine Gacad
    November 5, 2014

    i’d say i would try those places next time i’m in nyc, but i have a penchant for the bad unhealthy stuff!

  • Holly
    November 11, 2014

    I would like to try Rouge Tomate and Bare Burger–all looks good. Any you are correct: we do not think of NYC as a mecca of healthy living! Thank for the information.

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