For When You Are Watching Your Waist Line

By Kristopher Neild, Travel Expert

Dining out shouldn't result in an empty wallet,  just because you want to make healthy choices. The restaurants on the following list make it easy to enjoy a healthy meal without being limited to the salad bar or paying more for organic choices. Perhaps it’s because the beach is so close, but Palm Beach/West Palm Beach have lots of dining venues where health is a top concern.

For a casual dining experience, Field of Greens and Sweet Tomatoes are both excellent choices. Field of Greens lets you build your own salad or sandwich from an array of fresh ingredients. Sweet Tomatoes takes that concept a step further and operates an all-you-can-eat salad bar. The common thread of this restaurant list is that each eatery places a high importance on the freshness of all ingredients and produce. Sweet Tomatoes definitely delivers on that note and has a selection of fresh breads and vegetarian baked goods.

Healthy eating isn’t all salad and sandwiches and Darbster Bistro, a 100% vegan restaurant, shows just how creative you can get with great ingredients.  This is a great spot for dinner and the entrees are so great, even the meat-lovers in your party will find something they love. 

10. Avocado Grill
Photo courtesy of Avocado Grill

Avocado Grill is one of the newest restaurants in all of West Palm Beach. This self proclaimed "foodie paradise" offers up a unique blend of small plates, seasonal fare, a raw bar, great wines and specialty cocktails. Avocado Grill truly operates in a farm-to-table sense, locally sourcing the majority of all ingredients. Everything is supremely, noticeably fresh; this isn't your Chili's or Duffy's. Located on Datura Street in the heart of the downtown district, the eatery is steps away from the Intracoastal Waterway. Grab a few intimate friends, and be some of the first to check out this hip new joint.

9. Palm Sugar
Photo courtesy of Palm Sugar

Palm Sugar Asian Grills & Dessert Bar is a one-of-a-kind restaurant on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach that offers a fusion of Thai and Asian meals. The restaurant has a gastropub feel and draws a lively crowd in the evenings for its great happy hour priced drink and small plates. Some crowd favorites are the duck buns and the crispy bok choy. Enjoy the deluxe lunch combo during the week and get a salad, starter and entr�e for only $11. The dessert menu has a nice fusion of Florida favorites like key lime pie as well as Thai cheesecake and an assortment of cupcakes.

8. Sweet Tomatoes
Photo courtesy of dominik18s

Sweet Tomatoes doesn't think it is possible to have too many fruits and vegetables so they've created a buffet style salad bar that is all-you-can-eat. The buffet also serves up soups and vegetarian pastas as well as some vegetarian bakery creations so don't think that coming here leaves you with limited meal choices. Sweet Tomatoes likes to prepare the meal selections daily and so you can be sure that the veggies you are served are fresh and the bread you are enjoying was prepared just for you. The West Palm Beach location is open from 11 AM until at least 9 PM so you can follow a healthy eating plan for both lunch and dinner.

7. Nature's Way Cafe
Photo courtesy of Nature's Way Cafe

Nature's Way Caf�'s motto is "Eat Well, Be Well" and their menu is full of choices to help you create customized meals to fit your dietary needs. The sandwiches and salads are perfect for the meat-lovers as well as the vegetarians alike. My favorite thing about the caf� is the amount of smoothies and shakes that are offered. Go for a fruit shake made with frozen yogurt or a performance shake to help you recover after a workout. There are lots of dairy free smoothie options as well- like the Palm Beach Warrior with acai, bananas, strawberries and pineapples. With nine locations from Jupiter to Delray Beach, there is bound to be a Nature's Way Caf� near you to make eating healthy for breakfast and lunch a no-brainer.

6. Mellow Mushroom
Photo courtesy of Mellow Mushroom

The West Palm Beach Mellow Mushroom is located at the corner of Rosemary and Okeechobee in City Place and is the perfect stop for delicious pizza. The menu is stacked with over 15 specialty pizzas with favorites like the Kosmic Karma (mozzarella, spinach, feta and pesto) and the Holy Shiitake Pie (mushroom blend with garlic aioli). If those are a little too extreme, you can always create your own pizza with vegetarian and meat toppings. Mello Mushroom also has salads, calzones and hoagies as well as a large selection of craft beer. The patio seating at this location is a prime place to toss back a pie.

5. Agora Mediterranean Kitchen
Photo courtesy of AGORA Mediterranean Kitchen

Agora Mediterranean Kitchen is a beautifully decorated Turkish gem on N. Dixie Hwy in West Palm Beach. The imported artwork and furniture, along with the Turkish music, really add to the experience and authenticity of this family business. The menu is a mixture of Greek and Turkish favorites- the falafel is a must try for a starter. For an entr�e, try the "Adana"- the fresh lamb that is hand ground daily and marinated with 17 spices. If you really want a lively experience, check out Agora on Saturday nights for live music and belly dancer.

4. Joy Noodles & Rice
Photo courtesy of avlxyz

Joy Noodles & Rice has so many menu items representing Asian and Thai favorites that it isn't hard to see why the place stays so busy. Open for lunch and dinner, with the same full menu for both, Joy Noodles & Rice is a favorite of West Palm Beach. It is recommend going with a big appetite because the starters and entrees are just too tempting to go light on. Start with the pork dumplings and the crispy chicken spring rolls or choose a soup like the chicken wonton soup. The entrees range from vegetarian and seafood to meat dishes and come with your choice of one of over 15 different noodle plates.

3. Field of Greens
Photo courtesy of Field of Greens

With three locations in the area, Field of Greens is definitely doing its part to offer a healthy option when dining out. Build your own salad or choose one of the creative salad combinations from the menu and transform it to a wrap. There are options to create your own sandwich or pick a pressed sandwich like the Prosciutto & Brie or the Chicken Cordon Bleu on a baguette. If you aren't in the mood for food, try out on the juices, smoothies or protein shakes they offer. Just like the salads and sandwiches, you can create your favorite concoctions.

2. Darbster Bistro
Photo courtesy of Darbster's Bistro

It is often tough to find a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that has flavorful foods on the menu as well as the full, sit-down dining experience. Darbster Bistro offers all of that and so much more. When you're in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton, Darbster has to be on your dinner or brunch list. With creative entr�e choices like the Palm Cake and the Scallops Provencal and a few classics remade without the meat like the Tempeh Reuben and the Black & Bleu Burger, there is bound to be something for everyone in your group to enjoy. Darbster also boasts a great beer and wine selection with happy hour prices during the week. Pets are welcome and encouraged- enjoy a discount on your meal on Sunday evenings if you bring your dog along. The bistro isn't just animal friendly in the food they serve, 100% of the profits go to the Darbster Foundation- a foundation created by the owners to assist in animal welfare.

1. The Chickpea Grill & Hummus Bar
Photo courtesy of The Chickpea

Located in the middle of Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, The Chickpea Grill & Hummus Bar is a great place to go for Mediterranean cuisine, especially if you strive to eat local and organic. The whole menu is prepared fresh, with even the pitas brought in daily from a local bakery. One glance at the menu and you'll see that they take the guess work out of knowing which selections are gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, organic and lactose free. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 4:30PM, Chickpea lets you build your own pita, bowl, or platter for dine in or take out. The prices can't be beat when you know the quality of food that you are receiving and once you see how big the servings sizes are- you'll agree even more.