The search to find something kind of healthy that actually tastes good can sometimes resemble the post-apocalyptic shots in the opening credits of The Walking Dead. So, where should you eat to bounce back from a big weekend or when you’re craving a simple bowl of roasted vegetables? Here are some of our picks to get into your rotation when you want something crunchy and fresh to balance out all that crunchy and fried.
This surf shack-coffee shop, run by the same team as Golden Eagle next door and Ladybird Mess Hall up the street, must be pumping Vitamin B or CBD into the air because just walking through the door makes you want to take up running and buy a foam roller. While there are certainly options on the menu that could lure you away from your healthy-eating mission, the grilled fish tacos, poke, and grain bowls will keep you on your path. And since the Eastside Beltline extension is opening up right behind their patio, you can head here before or after that jog you promised yourself you’d do.
While Souper Jenny’s four locations (Buckhead, Decatur, Brookhaven, Westside) are certainly a favorite for the stroller crowd and older, you don’t have to own a Patagonia vest or a Baby Bjorn to enjoy it. The combo deal is the move here, where you pick two from the soup, salad, or sandwich options and then grab a cookie, fruit, and drink. Everything is fresh and in-season, and tends to hang right on the line between healthy and delicious.
We’re pretty sure that everyone misses recess. Monkey bars, dodgeball, freedom. It’s unclear what that has to do with this vegetable-centric spot in Krog Street Market, but what we do know is that avocado toast, quinoa grain bowls, and plates of kale and roasted vegetables will keep you light on your toes in the unlikely event you find yourself in a game of tag after lunch.
You can find bottles of Arden’s Garden juices in most grocery stores around Atlanta but going to their shop for something fresh is best. If you need an energy boost or are trying to kick a cold, go for the Grand Slam, a series of four shots: wheatgrass, ginger, lemon, cranberry. It’s kind of a punch in the face, but once the sting wears off, you’ll be stronger for it.
Walking up to R. Thomas, you may wonder why we’d recommend a place where they’ll likely be filming the next episode of Hoarders. Looking past the birdcages, multi-colored pinwheels, flags, and lawn art, though, you’ll find a restaurant that’s been serving vegan foods like tofu scrambles and kelp noodles since 1985 (though, worth noting, this place isn’t exclusively vegan). And since they’re open 24/7, that means they’ve had a lot of practice serving seaweed and soy products.
It’s been said that sticking to a Mediterranean diet increases your life expectancy. Of course, that’s fully dependent on your ability to refrain from eating multiple pitas in one sitting. Getting its name from Middle Eastern slang meaning “hurry up!,” this quick-service counter, located in Krog Street Market and Tech Square, serves things like hummus bowls and seasonal “salatim” (salads). You’ll find lots of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options here in addition to homemade natural sodas.
Miller Union is an old faithful on the Westside that does a good job of feeling a little luxurious without being stuffy. The food is upscale Southern with a few Mediterranean dishes and a focus on fresh, seasonal produce. It’s a good place to come and split a few different dishes, especially since the menu changes regularly, and you’ll find everything from butterbean hummus and ceviche with orange and grapefruit, to duck breast with squash and a vegetable plate.
When the person you locked eyes with over heirloom tomatoes at the farmer’s market tells you they’re vegan, take them to Cafe Sunflower. Go for brunch and get the avocado toast or head here for dinner to share a few appetizers and salads. And if you’re trying to be healthy but still want to have a drink with your meal, their cocktails are made with fresh juices.
Chicken and rice is pretty healthy in our book. Queso is not. Thankfully, this local Latin chain has plenty to offer from Column A and Column B. Their salads, with toppings like grilled fish and black beans, are substantial and filling, and whether you’re looking for a hangover remedy or a cure for your cold, their jalapeno and lime-spiked chicken soup will definitely help.