When traveling to the Space Coast, treat your tastebuds and improve your health at the area's top 10 healthy restaurants.
Start your day with a refreshing smoothie at Happy Healthy Human or the Sun Shoppe and Cafe, where you can enjoy your breakfast with fresh-roasted coffee on the outdoor patio. Juice N Java has been named the top coffee house in Central Florida, and its fruit smoothies and salads are excellent.
At lunch, swap greasy French fries for healthier, baked sweet potato or pumpkin fries at the D.I.G. (Dirt Inspired Goodness) Bistro, which uses as much local produce as possible in its meals.
Finish up your day with a delicious dinner at one of the fresh sushi restaurants. Haru Sushi Bar and Grill serves colorful sushi "boats." Thai Thai Restaurant and Sushi is known for its authentic Thai food, as well as mouthwatering sushi. And Zushi Asia Fresh, in two locations, boasts more than 100 menu options.
If you're vegan, Happy Healthy Human and the Sun Shoppe and Cafe have you covered. Gluten-free? Head to the D.I.G. Bistro, the Sunrise Whole Grain Bakery and Happy Healthy Human. Vegetarians will love Juice N Java, which is a local fave. Grab a table outside and enjoy Florida's sunshine, with a side of scrumptious.
Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar
Forget all of that battered and fried nonsense! If it's fresh fish and seafood you seek, look to this restaurant at Sunrise Marina.
Sure, aesthetically, it looks like little more than your standard waterside shack (complete with its own party deck and tiki bar, of course), but then it's that intentional shabbiness that helps give the place its character.
Of course, the kitchen crew does its part, too, a fact made clear once you've tried the grilled fish of the day (mahi mahi or cobia one day, maybe dolphin the next) or the steamed deep-water crab legs. Hold the butter; they're tasty enough without it. (http://www.visitgril)
Juice N Java Cafe
Juice N Java is a great place to get fresh-roasted coffee wine, craft beers and healthy, fresh, farm-to-table menu options inspired from around the world. This shop is a local fave and has been voted the No. 1 coffee house in Central Florida.
For healthy options check out the fruit smoothies, salads and artisan cheese trays. For a healthy snack, try the chocolate-covered strawberries. Sandwiches come with a variety of bread options to meet your dietary needs or culinary cravings. Juice N Java also offers vegetarian options, like the roma sandwich.
Come and plan to stay; wifi is free and service is excellent. Grab a table outside on a nice day. (321-784-4044)
Zushi Asia Fresh and Healthy Downtown
Zushi Asian offers healthy and fresh sushi and Thai food in downtown Melbourne, with another branch in the Indialantic. The menu here is incredible, with more than 100 different Thai options and unique sushi rolls you've probably never tried before. Many ingredients come straight from the owner's garden.
Zushi Asian walks the healthy walk, too; it promotes local fitness centers and offers health tips on its social media pages.
Want to try something new? Order the Tropical Roll, the Lobster Lovers Roll or the Vicky Roll Tuna, with tuna, scallions, cream cheese and cucumbers. If sushi's not your thing, Zushi Asian also serves up some delicious salads, such as the Thai Ocean Salad, with mixed seafood, tomatoes, cilantro, lime, celery, onions and hot sauce. (3219140700)
Alexandria Mediterranean Grill
Alexandria Mediterranean Grill is a delicious place for some inexpensive and healthy Mediterranean food, but you can also find Greek, Italian and Middle Eastern offerings here. Almost everything on the menu is less than $10 – and it's all made with fresh, high-quality ingredients.
We recommend the soup and salad combo, which comes with the soup of the day and your choice of four different types of salads, including our favorite, the Greek. The $7 wraps are also delicious and filling.
The Alexandria Mediterranean Grill is one of the few family-owned restaurants of this type on the Space Coast, and it's authentic, too. In fact, the founder was born and raised in Egypt, where he learned how to prepare traditional Middle Eastern meal. The menu items today stem from his family's generation's-old recipes. (3216226905)
Thai Thai Restaurant and Sushi
Thai Thai III is a bit of a hidden gem, a local favorite and reliably delicious. Fresh seafood on the Space Coast means some of the best sushi you can imagine, so your visit to the port wouldn't be complete without a sushi stop. The menu here is brimming with exciting options. Try the spicy tuna rolls or the sushi boat. If you are looking for something cooked, you will love the curry. As the name implies, Thai Thai has Thai food down to an art. This is one of a handful of Thai Thai restaurants in the area, all which boast a reputation for quality and authenticity. (321-784-1561)
Sunrise Whole Grain Bakery and Coffee Shop
Sunrise opens at 6 a.m. and stays open until 6 p.m. This family-fun business is a hot gathering place to work, relax and meet. In fact, a local running club and knitting club meet here regularly. There's plenty of space to meet and wifi is free.
Sunrise doesn't only offer (delicious) whole-grain breads. It also bakes muffins, cookies, scones and cinnamon rolls – most from scratch. Bread here is made from 100 percent whole wheat with no additives, and flavored using pure Florida honey. Most bread doesn't contain preservatives, fats or oils.
Gluten-free eaters will be happy to see a small selection for them, too. Curl up with a book, a coffee and a light breakfast upstairs, and prepare for your fun day on the beach. Craving something to cool off? Order a smoothie or iced blended coffee drink. (321-268-1009)
The name says it all: D.I.G. Bistro stands for "dirt inspired goodness." In other words, fresh real food, straight from the soil.
D.I.G. Bistro uses produce and meats grown and raised by local farmers – not the pesticide-laden stuff you can find in the grocery store.
Although the farm-fresh food here is house-made and healthy, it's substantial, too. Indulge in bacon and cheese and and eggs and rich goodness, as well as refreshing drinks like the blueberry iced tea, and unique alternatives, such as pumpkin fries or baked sweet potato fries.
For more traditional healthy offerings, the wraps and salads (try the pear and roasted squash) are delicious. Vegetarian and gluten-free options abound, such as quinoa and lentil dishes. (321-254-5001)
Sun Shoppe and Cafe
Sun Shoppe and Cafe, located in the heart of downtown Melbourne for more than a decade, features good selection of coffee, dessert, muffins and bagels.
This popular, quirky coffeehouse serves breakfast all day. Coffee here comes from custom-roasted beans, and the blended "frappe" selection includes some unique concoctions, such as the PB + Mocha. Pastries are made fresh daily. You can also choose from vegetarian and vegan offerings. Looking for a cool, lighter option? The long list of smoothies at the Sun Shoppe are refreshing and inexpensive. If you're more of a tea-drinker than coffee-addict, the Sun Shoppe's selection of teas will warm your belly and start your morning right.
Enjoy free wifi by day, and live music at night. (321-676-1438)
Happy Healthy Human
Visit Happy Healthy Human for the best "real food" on the Space Coast. This organic, raw, vegan cafe is also a "community life center" that is all about healing the body, as well as nourishing it with delicious food. Everything here is delicious, high quality, organic and free of pesticides.
Even if you're not on a vegan or gluten-free diet, you will enjoy the food here. Get a shot of energy in the delicious green smoothie with wheatgrass. Munch on some kale chips instead of potato chips. Also enjoy green juice, salads, the acai bowl, nut cheese and "mylk shakes." The onion bread sandwich is the most popular item on the menu.
This restaurant is small and casual, but friendly with great service. It also organizes various healthy events, such as group cleanses and raw food samplings and demonstrations. (321-779-0077)
About Aimee Heckel
Aimee Heckel’s passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University.
When she's not covering Colorado for Fodor’s Travel Guides and writing for SpaTravelGal.com, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees in Africa.
Heckel also blogs for HuffPost Weird News and writes feature stories, a fashion column and fitness column for the Boulder Daily Camera in Colorado.
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