Photo courtesy of Two Hands/Kristen Kilpatrick/@kilpat
Our Favorite Healthy, Quickie Places to Eat in New York
Our Favorite Healthy,
Quickie Places to Eat in New York
There are three words that are fairly new to New York: functional latte bars. It’s not that the city didn’t have its share of wellness outposts. It’s just that it didn’t have an explosion of workout studios, juice bars, and turmeric everything until pretty recently. In fact, New York has truly (some might say finally) caught up with the wellness mecca of the West: Los Angeles. And nowhere is this friendly—or not so friendly—rivalry so apparent as on the food front. The bagel-and-coffee culture of New York has evolved. In its place: green smoothies, healthy soups, and morning lattes supercharged with all manner of healthy extracts and magical dusts. As much as we champion a proper knife-and-fork lunch, we seem to have less and less time for it. Which means we’re more and more grateful to the spots below (some of which you might recognize if you attended our In goop Health summit in March), which are as healthy as they are speedy.
Bonberi.com has quite a goop HQ fanbase. It’s a site full of nutritious recipes, travel tips, and interviews with women we admire—go figure. The healthy living company recently broke ground on its version of a New York City bodega. The “version” part is that it’s entirely plant-based. Highlights from the Bleecker Street store inventory include Bonberi’s matcha powders, Brightland olive oils, nut flours, and even all-natural sprinkles—all invitingly displayed on a beautiful, antique wood table. The Bodega’s grab-and-go counter rivals New York’s best with wholesome chickpea Niçoise, gently spiced pho, and Bonberi’s famous dulse—yes, the seaweed—chicken Caesar.
Clean Market gathers the A to Z of modern wellness under one swanky midtown roof. Cryotherapy, IV drips, infrared saunas, a functional latte bar—which translates to nut milk(y) coffees supercharged with all manner of mushroom dusts—and veggie-packed smoothies are just the beginning. We love grabbing a smoothie to go (The Core—with coconut water, greens, lemon, and pear—is easily our favorite). Toss one of the turmeric power shots—which you can boost with CBD, chlorophyll, oregano oil, and other goodies—into your bag for later. We did.
Healthy fast food seems like an oxymoron—but Dr. Smood has cracked the code. The menu has six categories (power, immunity, beauty, detox, energy, and health) all of which are certified kosher. Whether you’re looking for a juice cleanse, a latte infused with anti-inflammatory turmeric, a salad, or a sandwich, this is an easy, super delicious place to get something fast.
This NoHo café focuses on the brain and brain health—it even had a neurologist consult on the menu. Honeybrains’ sibling founders believe that eating a combination of veggies, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and omega-3s is the best fuel for optimum brain wellness. And we never knew the combination could taste so good. Honeybrains’ seeded sourdough toast is one of our favorite to-go meals in the city. The tahini, raw honey, date, and sesame seed spread is perfect when you crave something a little sweet. But the real star is the smoked salmon toast—spread thick with labneh and dotted with crunchy cucumber. We could eat it every day. Juices come infused with fiber, and we always pick up a few jars of the raw honey when we swing by—all sourced from sustainable apiaries.
You won’t find a speck of gluten on the Hu Kitchen premises. What you will find is genuinely tasty, nutritious food, and lots of it. The canteen-style space is entirely self-service, which means you can have as much or as little of Hu’s meltingly tender rotisserie chicken, hearty salads, and soups that feel like a warm hug in a cup as you like. There are no GMOs, corn, refined sugar, or conventional sweeteners in any of the dishes, and Hu’s smoothies and green juices are fantastic and very practical if you’re in a rush. They also make chocolate…just saying.
It’s all vegan, organic, fast, and delicious. To be honest, we’re pretty sad Juice Press doesn’t have an outpost in Los Angeles (yet?). Tall bottles packed with nutrient-dense green juices and filling smoothies await you. The Simple Green—a healthy blend of cucumber, celery, kale, and lemon—is our standing order. The handy, drink-in-one-gulp immune-supporting ginger shots regularly find their way into our bags for a boost on the go, as do the recyclable jars of ready-to-eat salads and soups. And the kale chips are just…get the kale chips. Juice Press has fifty-five locations throughout the city, so you’re always covered.
The OG Williamsburg location may have recently closed, but this Chelsea location offers the same seriously good matcha, sourced from an independent farm in Nishio. (There’s a MatchBar outpost in Silver Lake in LA now, too.)
Smile to Go is a SoHo grab-it-quick joint with a huge selection of food that is filling and tasty and healthy. If you’re too time-strapped to deal with a knife and fork, grab a cup of bone broth to sip on your way. But if you have time to sit, order the the roasted carrot, kale, and avocado sandwich—you won’t be sorry. If you’re ravenous, an order of tender rotisserie chicken is comfort food in a box. (There are two other locations, in the Flatiron and Dumbo.)
Our office is universally in love with Queer Eye. And while playing favorites isn’t our style, the irresistible charms and culinary skills of the show’s gourmand, Antoni Porowski, are not lost on us. Porowski’s latest venture sticks to the kitchen but trades Atlanta for Greenwich Village. He and his partners adopted the Village Den diner, on the corner of Greenwich Avenue and West 12th, and transformed the place into a contemporary, chalkboard-and-green-plant-laden grab-and-go spot. We’re partial to the stuffed cabbage, but the salmon and greens are good, too. Credit cards only.
For classic Aussie-style avo toast or an insanely decadent banana bread topped with honey and mascarpone, look no further than this charming, low-key café with outposts in Nolita and Tribeca. The menu focuses on simple, health-centric food, and the space is bright—with whitewashed brick and string lights overhead—and totally relaxed thanks to its Aussie roots.
West-Bourne brings a bit of the West Coast to New York with its Cali-inspired, veg-based menu and zero-waste philosophy. LA native Camilla Marcus delivers dishes centered around seasonal, local produce elevated with some of her favorite artisanal products from her home state. Everything is healthy and hearty (try the farm grains with almond butter)–and the wine list is solid, focusing on a large selection from California. Furthering the Cali influence is the sustainable design that includes reclaimed wood, custom furniture, and nostalgic art highlighting 1960s LA. A portion of all meal proceeds goes to The Door, a New York nonprofit dedicated to youth empowerment. Photos: Nicole Franzen.