While it’s always a good idea to eat healthy, finding restaurants that offer food that’s both delicious and good for you may not be so easy. Are you unsure of where you can find healthy eateries around Chicago? Read on to discover some real treasures!
1. True Food Kitchen
Located on West Erie Street, True Food Kitchen serves healthy vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that aim to feed your cravings, support your health, and nourish your soul — all in one bite! According to reviews, you could eat every meal here and never get bored. The menu is carefully designed to ensure that every bite and sip is flavorful and refreshing, and served with an abundance of fresh, plant-based, anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Besides crave-worthy classics, there is a steady rotation of seasonal offerings, as artisan chefs take advantage of naturally ripe fruits and vegetables to add maximum flavor to each dish. Beverages, too, are creatively hand-crafted and built around seasonality, with quality ingredients but simple preparations to complement every occasion from brunch and lunch to dinner and dessert.
While menu categories include refreshers and tea, starters, salads, bowls, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, entrées, and desserts, you can request gluten-free and keto- or paleo-friendly dishes, too!
2. Brown Bag Seafood
This restaurant, with a strong oriental influence, was established to offer healthy and quick but delicious and affordable seafood in Chicago. Fresh vegetables and sustainably sourced seafood — that is flown in from around the world — are used in every dish. You can design your own powerbox, veggiebox, salad, tacos, or sandwiches with your choice of protein. Kids’ meals are also available including salmon, fish bites, grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled or crispy chicken strips, and cheese quesadillas. And importantly, you can also request gluten-free and keto- or paleo-friendly options!
Brown Bag Seafood certainly has interesting items on its menu, such as grilled and lightly seasoned swordfish, grilled salmon with a light teriyaki marinade, lemon broiled white fish, crispy cod, crispy or grilled shrimp, curry fish cakes made with salmon and whitefish that are grilled and served with homemade ginger dressing, and seared tuna. They also serve crispy or grilled chicken and a few vegetarian dishes such as sesame broccoli with shaved carrots and a light sesame soy dressing or spicy cauliflower with jalapenos and a sweet and spicy glaze.
Special menu items include a lobster roll, which is a freshly toasted New England bun stuffed with Maine knuckle and claw lobster and served with truffle-parmesan tots, fish and chips, and the seasonal special, which is a grilled shrimp firebox containing sriracha-sesame soy glazed-grilled shrimp over grains with spicy kimchee, jalapeno, and cilantro, served with ginger slaw with black sesame seeds. For larger portions, you can opt for a dinner plate, family bundles, or the Brown Bag Care Package.
“Falafel” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by momo
A Middle-Eastern restaurant in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Galit is a space where a diverse clientele get together and celebrate food and drink in a friendly, caring, and respectful manner. The menu here focuses on a seasonal approach to Middle Eastern and Israeli immigrant cuisines.
Popular menu items include Iraqi kubbeh halab consisting of crispy saffron crust, lamb, golden raisins, and almonds; Turkish shepherd’s salad with cucumber, tomato, pepper, sumac, and Bulgarian feta; falafel; shakshukah; chicken thigh with crispy skin, harissa, peas, and whipped feta cheese; fried fish Tunisian style; lamb chop; steak; and Balkan stuffed cabbage with lamb kebab, harissa, and labneh are also very popular.
They also serve varieties of hummus such as masabacha containing chickpeas, herby tehina, and aleppo; trumpet mushrooms with collard greens, harissa, and gribenes; tehina containing sumac, nana mint, and lots of olive oil; and Bubbe’s Brisket with smoky cinnamon, tomatoes, and braised carrots. Desserts such as rice pudding, sorbet, and boreka are also favorites.
4. Healthy Substance Vegan Restaurant
The founder (also the head chef) of Healthy Substance is originally from Guadalajara, so Mexican dishes are primarily served here, all of which are 100% vegan.
Tamales, the house specialty, are gluten-free. You can choose from six varieties: Bicentenario with black beans and onions; cranberry mole consisting of pecans, dry cranberry, white mushrooms, and mole; green mole with pistachios, pumpkin seeds, red and green bell pepper, poblano pepper, asparagus, and zucchini; milpa with poblano pepper, red bell pepper, corn kernels, onions, and cherry tomatoes; quinoa with white mushrooms, onions, carrots, potatoes, dry cranberry, and almonds; and poblano pepper.
Also on the menu are healthy and delicious vegan sandwiches; soups; entrees such as tacos, nachos, chips, flautas, quesadillas, and chilaquiles; burritos with chips and salsa on the side; gorditas; freshly squeezed orange, carrot, beet, or celery juice; fresh orange, horchata, lime with chia, pineapple with mint, cucumber and lime, strawberry, or kiwi fruit water; and white milk almond or coconut Berry K, chocolate, tropical, and Chia P smoothies with vegan add-ons such as acai, almonds, cocoa, coconut, flax seeds, turmeric, peanut butter, etc.
5. Protein Bar & Kitchen
Protein Bar was established to serve fast, customizable, delicious, and nutritious protein-packed smoothies, wraps, and salads to keep busy Chicagoans satisfied. Every entree contains at least 15 grams of protein. You can also request vegan and gluten-free options.
The menu has a variety of salads and wraps to choose from, such as Healthy Club consisting of all-natural chicken, crispy turkey or bacon, avocado, pickled red onion, tomato, and Greek yogurt ranch; Kale Caesar with all-natural chicken, avocado, tomato, parmesan, kale and romaine, crispy parmesan crumble and Greek yogurt Caesar dressing; and Superfood Vegan with organic roasted tofu, chickpeas, avocado, spinach, kale, pickled red onion, carrots, celery, organic quinoa, hemp seed blend, and house-made creamy chia dressing.
The menu items also include eggs scrambled with grass-fed ghee in your choice of scramble bowl or bar-rito. You can include your choice of protein, such as turkey, bacon, or black beans. Soups and chilis, oatmeal, bowls, and several varieties of protein shakes are also available.
Crème de la Crème just informed you of five of the best healthy eateries around Chicago. Did you find our list satisfactory? Did we miss one of your favorites? Please let us know!