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Boston Restaurants with Healthy Items Satiate the Heartiest Appetites



10best has your picks for Boston's best healthy restaurants. Forget going meat-free, and find spots that make meat a part, not the star of your plate. Enjoy the local seafood used by Boston area chefs in so many of their dishes and feel good about your order. Or ask the staff to alter their preparation methods or sauce accompaniments to suit your needs. 

If you love the flavors of Italian food, but not the heavy sauces, make your way to Rialto where the menu is comprised of dishes that focus on making meals the way they do in northern Italy-fresh and healthy. 

Global cuisine is big in flavor and often low in fat. Enjoy a meal at La Brasa, and you'll find many of their local ingredients prepped in ways that are arouse your taste buds while  being kind to your waistline. Mediterranean inspired cuisine comes to life at suburban Juniper where their dips, appetizers and mail dishes offer many healthy choices. And at fast casual SA PA you'll find Vietnamese food that comes out fast, fills you up and leaves you without the need for an extra workout. 

A simple way to stay healthy is to order grilled seafood, and Boston has just the place to do so: Legal Seafoods' Legal Harborside location. Here you get a great view and can order your fish grilled without additional sauce, allowing you to take in the healthy omega 3's without adding anything extra. 


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Earl's Kitchen + Bar
Photo courtesy of Earl's Kitchen + Bar


Boasting a scratch kitchen that emphasizes the use of fresh local ingredients churning out regional specials from the kitchen and craft cocktails from the bar, you'll find yourself impressed with your experience at Earl's Kitchen + Bar. Focused on classic food with clever twists, Earls Kitchen + Bar is your go-to spot in Assembly Row. A comfortable place to eat and drink, Earl's has been designed to create an atmosphere that inspires lingering. White tiles are accented by copper inlays, and maps of the Boston area, while the same lines that run throughout the walls can also be found in their lighting. A four-season lounge style "patio" features plush leather seating and offers large windows that open in the warmer months for that al fresco feeling. Made from scratch, Earl's menu can be altered to suit your dietary needs allowing you to make many menu items healthy.




Only in the diverse, eclectic neighborhood of Jamaica Plain could a tapas bar converge with a book and record store and be a huge success. Tres Gatos is that restaurant. With menu items that range in price from under $10 to the mid teens, you certainly get excellent tapas at a good price in a very local setting. Healthy options abound at this Mexican focused joint where flavorful specialties include fire-roasted eggplant, monkfish a la plancha and chickpea salad. Add creative craft cocktails like a leadbelly lemonade and the rosa de Espana, amazing red and white sangria and a an impressive yet reasonably priced wine list to the mix and you have one amazing meal.


Sa Pa
Photo courtesy of SA PA


Healthy and fast have finally found cohesion at SA PA. This fast casual, modern Vietnamese spot in Downtown Crossing and Cleveland Circle churns out super fresh & healthy dishes using top-quality ingredients. You'll be amazed that you can get such bright flavors without heavy hearty fattening ingredients, but the bold spices and long simmering times for their broths allow full flavor development without the need for anything extra. The broth of their Pho is bursting with the aroma of star anise, combined with crisp fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs, and delicate noodles. While their bowls are a broth-less way to enjoy similar flavors; choose vermicelli noodles, brown rice or mixed greens as a base and you'll get toppings that include pickled carrots, daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, sliced mango, and pistachios and your choice of protein: slow braised beef, Saigon BBQ pulled pork, ginger lime chicken, or marinated tofu.


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Beat Hotel
Photo courtesy of Beat Hotel via Image Unlimited


Beat Hotel is ideally located in Harvard Square where the diversity of the population is mirrored in neighborhood spots, including Beat Hotel. With menu options as diverse as the population of Cambridge, Beat Hotel includes several healthy options that will make you feel like you're indulging. Order one of their three "bowls" and you'll fill up on whole grains and protein packed with flavor. The Bowl Azteca is a mix of adobo-spiced quinoa, tomatillo salsa, fresh corn, squash, green beans, avocado, & baby spinach, the Earth Bowl is a filling concoction of 5-grain pilaf, harissa roasted vegetables, turnips, broccoli, tomato, zucchini, sugar snaps, beets tossed with a pumpkin seed & tahini vinaigrette, and the Thai Bowl is sauced with a coconut curry mixed with bok choy, potatoes, carrot, Asian vegetables and rice noodles. Served vegan or with protein of your choosing; it's a complete meal.


Legal Harborside
Photo courtesy of Chip Nestor


Those seeking to enjoy Legal's like the locals do will love the floor to ceiling windows, outdoor patio and the casual, fun, family friendly, moderately priced menu offered on floor one. The basic New England selection of seafood is complimented with flavors from other cultures to create a menu that brings the past of Legal Seafoods into the present. Specialties range from richly sauced dishes to healthy, simply grilled fish served with your choice of side dishes Legal's offers a little something for everyone. Raw bar selections are another way to watch what you eat, as the naturally light shellfish is always fresh and flavorful.


Alden & Harlow
Photo courtesy of Alden & Harlow


Alden & Harlow is one of those cool spots where you just feel like you fit in. From the inviting bar that runs the length of the restaurant to their mix of high-top and low-top dining tables you'll feel at home at Alden+ Harlow. The menu is meant to be eaten tapas style with about three plates needed per person to create a full meal. Loaded with creative interpretations of local fare, you'll find the flavorful bites will fulfill your sense elf taste as well as quell your hunger. Healthier items include their fan favorite charred broccoli dish; served atop squash hummus and sprinkled with montasio & cashew crumble you'll wonder why your mother never prepped vegetables this way. Another healthy winner is the ubiquitous kale salad that includes shaved fennel, pistachio & lemon.


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West Metro


Juniper is a suburban hot spot you'll want to try. A no reservations policy makes snagging a table tough during prime time, but their inviting bar serves a sensational selection of food. More casual fare is served bar-sdie along with your pint of beer or favorite cocktail. Here you can enjoy quinoa falafel in a pita, lamb burgers on homemade English muffins, and a traditional shakshouka. The dinner menu boasts a selection of mezze that includes lamb tartare, souvlaki, and charred octopus salad, dips that can't be missed like the almond skordalia, and the pickled beet hummus, and entrees that wow like the skirt steak with whipped feta yogurt and the seafood couscous. Specialty cocktails have a savory element that sets them apart from most and the wine list is a bargain with reds running $42/bottle and whites set at $34.




La Brasa is an East Somerville spot making a big splash on the dining scene in the Boston area. With culinary influences that span the globe, you'll find yourself dining around the world within the walls of this one spot. Order meals with influences from Mexico, Peru, and the Middle East all under one roof. La Brasa's menu has a flavorful mix of items to choose from. Healthy snacks like the burnt beets with honey mustard and lovage, and the swiss chard pie with colorado chile,coddled farm fresh egg, spanish ham & piperade are great ways to kick off a healthy meal. While main course selections like the harissa grilled chicken breast with roasted broccolini & greek yogurt, roast pork loin sandwich with rapini, chorizo & fiddlehead tome, and grilled snapper rubbed with guajillo make for wonderful main dishes.


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Meet Jessica Polizzotti

Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. 

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