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Where To Eat In Your Gym Clothes

PHOTO: Christina Slaton

Going out to eat doesn’t always have to be such a process or special occasion. You have a regular life, and we get that. You have a job that doesn’t pay you enough, a boss you don’t like, and annoying errands to run. Yes honey, we will get the milk. Probably while wearing our gym clothes. Or maybe you actually do workout. And would like to eat afterwards. Either way, we put together a number of places where you can get a healthy bite no matter what you’re wearing. Here’s where to eat in your gym clothes.

Check out the rest of our Guide To Being A Little Healthier.

The Spots


River North
623 N State St

Nowhere will you find more people coming to eat in their gym clothes than Sweetgreen. It was literally built for this. Lululemon. Nike Dri-FIT. Outdoor Voices. They should all give out free Sweetgreen gift cards with purchases of workout gear and vice-versa. Would be a win for everyone.

Athenian Room

Lincoln Park
807 W Webster Ave

To be honest, if you're not in gym-like attire or pajamas at Athenian Room, then you're not doing it right. It's one of the best places for a casual meal, which means no buttons allowed on your pants. Buttons are the worst. The chicken kalamata and gyro are our favorites, but order anything that sounds good.


River North
519 N Clark St

The menu here is what makes Beatrix an enticing place when you’re looking sporty. Fresh squeezed juices like the carrot, apple, and ginger snap are available at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus other healthy salads and sensible entrees. You can’t serve healthy food like this in River North and not expect people to show up straight from the gym.

If you follow some blogger on Instagram, then odds are they’re snapping photos of green juices and kale salads from Left Coast. And honestly, we don’t blame them. It’s a cute space in Lakeview with everything from those green juices and kale salads to acai bowls, avocado toast, and grain bowls with all the best kinds of grains.


We’re considering moving into one of the apartments near Wyler Road so we can become regulars. There’s no bad time to be here, and that includes after athletic activity. Yes, they have aggressive sandwiches like short rib or fried clam belly, but there are some lighter options like a smoked salmon sandwich or classic turkey.

True Food Kitchen is surrounded by a Barry’s Bootcamp, a Studio 3, a Pure Barre, and probably a Soul Cycle somewhere because there’s always one lurking over your shoulder. It’s the kind of place you can both come for a casual weekday dinner with a glass of wine, or show up post spin for a healthy meal. It’s also huge, which means there’s plenty of room for everyone no matter where you’re coming from.


What exactly is En Hakkore? It's a small restaurant for fast, pretty cheap, yet interesting Korean fusion food. The menu is pretty short, but it works, because there's enough variety in three major items to hit a separate craving - bibimbap, sashimi-bap (a salad with sashimi), and paratha tacos, all of which are great.

Lyfe Kitchen

River North
259 E Erie St Ste 1-110

What happens when you spend time in life slinging Big Mac’s as the global president of McDonald’s? You have a mid-life crisis and leave to start a healthy fast-casual chain with the help of Oprah’s former personal chef. America. The result is LYFE Kitchen, a place that does a good job serving healthier items like edamame hummus, salads, and even healthier sandwiches and fish tacos. The menu even has calories listed, so you know they mean business. Lyfe is great for food on-the-go but it’s also nice enough inside that it’s often more enjoyable to eat there and maybe even have a glass of wine while still in your spandex.

DOX serves dressed up Greek street food in a bright, attractive Wicker Park space. It’s casual in that you order at the counter, get a number, and have your food brought to a table of your choosing. But it’s also a little more elevated than your typical cheap-eats spot. There are snacks like grilled octopus or charred halloumi, and the sandwiches are basically mini Greek pita tacos that come two to an order. It’s a great option in-between something super basic and a full-blown dinner on the town.

Is falafel healthy? It’s a debate that has perplexed scholars (us) since the beginning of time (for a few years now). On one hand, it’s made of chickpeas. On the other, it’s deep fried. We’re going to put it in the kind-of-healthy division, especially when you add in veggies. The next time you’re craving falafel along with some hummus and lentil soup, get it at Sultan’s Market, a place where you can wear whatever you want.

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