Striking the balance between clean eating and having a social life feels almost impossible, especially during the summer (yes, we’re talking about our rosé and lobster roll habit). You want to make better, plant-based choices, but the restaurants your friends want to frequent serve dishes like braised pork nachos and Kobe sliders. (Don’t get us wrong, we love those nights, but sometimes we need something that won’t leave us in a food coma.)
Enter Sakara Life’s Danielle and Whitney. These girls know how to seriously have a good time while eating smart, which is why we consulted them on their favorite restaurants in the city. They’re the perfect blend of vegetarian and omnivore – meaning there’s something for everyone. Next time you’re heading out for the evening, consult the handy guide below…
This East Village stand-by (there’s one in Soho, too!) is pretty much the authority on macrobiotic plates: medleys of brown rice, greens, seaweed, root veggies and beans designed to bring balance to the body and mind. It’s one of the few places in the city that do a perfect job of treating your taste buds and your body at once. For an extra omega protein boost, pescatarians can add a piece of salmon, prepared simply to let the flavor and texture really shine.
This cozy West Village hotspot is one of our weeknight favorites for inspired plant-based foods (especially summer nights thanks to their prime outdoor seating). Small plates are definitely the way to go, so that the whole group can taste everything. We always, always start with the house-made pea hummus (it comes with flax crackers rather than pita!). What to get: Roasted Heirloom Carrots (with cashew ‘cheese’), Sweet Potato Carpaccio (with tahini + pumpkin seeds), Cauliflower ‘Steak’ for entree (with romesco and baby kale), you get the picture…
If you can get a table for brunch, save us a seat! We love this wellness-conscious downtown eatery where all the cool kids get their healthy fix. If you can’t get a seat, swing through the Deli for an acai bowl to go. Bask in the space’s SoCal vibes while you snack on toasts that rise above the typical avocado variety, Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls and abundant salads, and choose from a wide variety of herbal teas. Pro tip: The wheatgrass margarita is the perfect libation for when you want to be a little bit naughty and a little bit nice all at once.
For those of us not able to make it to Chef Dan Barber’s original location in Stonehill Farm, Blue Hill in NYC is here for us (if you haven’t watched his Chef’s Table episode, may we suggest you book it in your calendar for this eve?) All of the meals are created using ingredients sourced from their very own surrounding fields and pastures, as well as other local farms in the Hudson Valley. The OG in farm-to-table cuisine, we’re not going to tell you what to get, because everything on the menu is perfection.
Underneath the highline and next to the Whitney, Santina is one of our favorite places to go on the weekend with a group of people. Not only is the atmosphere amazing, but most of their menu (even their desserts!) are gluten free. For breakfast we love the Frittata Sumodo (with all the veggies, thank you very much) and and tuscan chickpea pancakes for the table to share. For dinner, we suggest tapas style: all the dishes in the veggies section with a few fish dishes to share. Don’t skip the Branzino Crudo! Or the Spicy Potatoes.
Whether you dine at Inday’s serene Chelsea space or grab-and-go from their booth at MadSqEats, you can expect a wholesome meal inspired by the cuisine and spirit of India…which means plenty of invigorating, inflammation-soothing spices (hello, tamarind chutney). The omnivorous but vegan-friendly menu also includes an array of superfood beverages to complement your customizable bowl of choice, like a Master Cleanse-inspired cayenne lemonade or chai with neuroprotective chaga mushroom and cleansing activated charcoal.
The team behind ABC Home, Kitchen & Cocina get what it means to be a conscious consumer in 2016 and, to be honest, everything they do feels so right. You cannot go wrong with ABC Kitchen’s signature kale salad and a side of handcut fries. If you’re in the mood for something a little spicier, but still made with whole food, high quality ingredients, check out her American-Mexican fusion sister restaurant around the corner. ABC Cocina’s menu changes depending on what’s in season, and right now they’re serving some mushroom tacos that we have our hearts set on. Regardless of what’s on the menu, they always have their guacamole with homemade crunchy tortillas and those grapefruit margaritas…
This has been a staple for us for years for clean, pure food that tastes and feels good. Perfect for a date, the interior is romantic and rustic all at once. Our favorites? The Fat Radish Plate (similar to a macro plate) and Avocado + Carrot + Hijiki + Crispy Kale salad every time. If you want to splurge and can handle a few bites of dairy, get the Grilled Cheese & Pickle appetizer to split with your date.
And always, our go-to daily is Sakara Life delivery. It’s our foundation for eating well so that we can indulge in all of the fabulous restaurants New York City has to offer, guilt free.