Cozy vibes, excellent service and a terrific lineup of health-centric meal options aren't the only things that set this fast-casual eatery apart, it also comes with a drive-thru. For breakfast, expect to find everything from steel-cut oatmeal and granola to burritos, pancakes and fruit bowls. While lunch and dinner feature items such as baked chicken and goat cheese empanadas alongside an assortment of salads, wraps and burgers. And not only do they offer plenty of choices for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-adverse diners, there's also a menu dedicated solely to kids, which includes favorites like grilled cheese and quesadillas.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Start is the best place for families needing a healthy meal on-the-go.
Ilene's expert tip: Register your email on the website under "Let's Talk' to receive special offers.
This fast-casual cafe is not only a go-to spot for wholesome meals, it's also a haven for gluten-adverse diners, as most all the offerings can be prepared gluten-free. The menu keeps things relatively simple, pumping out a selection of salads and wraps as well as bowls that can be enhanced with proteins like grilled chicken, steak or salmon. Top pickings include an acai bowl filled with fruit and a wrap stuffed with buttermilk fried chicken, pepper bacon, veggies and ranch dressing. Another reason to come is that kids 12 and under can eat free after 4 p.m. every day.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Unleavened Fresh Kitchen is a great lunch option for gluten-adverse diners.
Ilene's expert tip: Receive a 10% off discount by checking in on Yelp when you go.
Furnished with a riot of wall-to-wall Indian kitsch (think expansive wall murals, Hindu artwork, Buddha statues and the like), this Oak Lawn stalwart is anything but subtle in looks. But aside from the décor, Cosmic Café cranks out a rollcall of vegetarian hits ranging from Indian specialties like samosas and dahl to tacos, spinach enchiladas, falafel and even pizza. On the liquid end, expect to find smoothies, lassies and teas alongside a selection of beer and organic wine. Fun fact: All the prices on the menu ($8.01, $3.06, etc.) are listed in digits that add up to nine, a significant number in Hindu mythology.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: The Cosmic Cafe offers a unique experience both in terms of food and decor. Kids will love coming here too.
Ilene's expert tip: In addition to nourishing your body, you can also feed your soul with a variety of classes, ranging from hatha yoga to Chakra meditation.
Ramen might not be the most obvious pick among healthy eating options, but Hinodeya's ramen is made with a lighter, umami-rich dashi stock ( with seaweed and dried bonito) as opposed to the fattier, pork-bone based versions commonly found in most ramen joints. Their "hamaguri ramen," chock-full of littleneck clams and wheat noodles in a buttery dashi broth, is a top draw. But don't overlook the vegan-friendly, "creamy ramen," which combines a shitake-soymilk dashi base with spinach vegan wheat noodles, fried sweet tofu, crispy kale, acorn squash and bell pepper. Also included on the menu are vegan appetizers like bamboo shoots marinated in hot chili oil and spinach gyozas filled with edamame and tofu.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Hinodeya is a good option for a vegetarian ramen fix.
Ilene's expert tip: Look for the entrance to be on Bell Street. The restaurant takes walk-ins only, reservations are not accepted. There is a free parking lot as well as a complimentary valet behind the restaurant.
Crowds have been flocking to this casual Greenville Avenue eatery for organic, gluten-free fare since it opened in 2011. Head here for all-day brunch or lunch and find everything from paleo bowls and build-your-own pancakes to tacos, burgers and chicken fried steak up for grabs. And not only does Company Cafe actively cater to gluten-adverse folks, but it also caters to all, meaning anything on the menu can be made with gluten as well. The gluten-free monster cookie cake (chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and a chocolate chip cookie tucked in the middle) is sinfully delicious.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Company Café is a terrific all-day brunch option for gluten-adverse diners.
Ilene's expert tip: Register online for a free Company Café Rewards card and score a free non-alcoholic beverage for signing up. Note that dinner is only served on Friday and Saturday nights.
All too often eating healthy translates into a meal of boiled vegetables and limp salad, but thankfully that isn't the case at Flower Child, a popular health-driven restaurant chain devoted to bringing wholesome, organic meals to the masses. Expect to find a selection of salads, vegetable dishes and wraps as well as bowls which you can mix-and-match to your preference. Standouts include a grass-fed steak wrap and the "mother earth bowl," consisting of ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, pistachio pesto and red pepper miso vinaigrette. Don't miss the house-made lemonade which comes in seasonal flavors like rose. Also, note that the Flower Child location in Uptown offers a full bar and lounge menu.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Flower Child is where to get a veggie fix in a variety of ways.
Ilene's expert tip: Download the Flower Child rewards app and receive $5 off your first order.
HG Sply, which translates into hunter and gathering supply, was one of the first Dallas restaurants to embrace the paleo diet (also known as the caveman diet) before it became a trend. And while not exclusively paleo, you can expect to find a spread of simple, unprocessed food, that's anything but bland and boring. Highlights include build-your-own bowls with items like Mexican pulled pork and poblano cauliflower grits and a coffee crusted ribeye topped with shallot butter and a farm egg. Fresh pressed juices along with health-inspired cocktails and biodynamic wines complete the picture. Don't leave without checking out the views from the rooftop bar.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: HG Sply is the place to go when you have meat eaters and vegetarians in tow.
Ilene's expert tip: The rooftop bar offers Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m. weekdays. Score half price apps plus $5 select cocktails, $6 select wine and $3 draft beer.
Recently opened in the Gables Villa Rossa building in Uptown, this tropically inspired eatery features a menu of organic tacos, burritos, bowls, and salads, all of which can be customized to suit practically any dietary preference. Fan favorites include vegan barbacoa burritos, ahi tuna tacos and bowls loaded with quinoa, black beans, ancho-chile short rib and jalapeño jack cheese. And if none of the preset options fit the bill, diners can also choose from an extensive selection of bases, proteins and toppings to build meals to their own liking. Also, find an array of sugar cane sodas alongside a full bar menu with kombucha cocktails and organic wine. Bonus: You can easily fuel up for $10 or less.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Toluca is an ideal option for when your group has various dietary requirements.
Ilene's expert tip: There is a free parking garage located in the corner under the apartments.
Those looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast, lunch or late-day snack will want to consider Hatchways, a breezy, chef-driven café attached to a co-working office space in Victory Park. And the best part, other than the food, is that it's open to the public, which means you don't have to purchase a membership or day pass to eat here. On offer is a variety of salads, bowls and sandwiches plus house-baked pastries, craft coffee and tea, all of which can be eaten on-site or packaged to go. Inspiring options include buckwheat pancakes with blueberry compote, and a power bowl brimming with braised spinach, avocado, chorizo mushrooms, pickled carrots and a poached egg over yuzukosho seasoned brown rice.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Hatchways is a great option for a health-conscious lunch and grab-and-go fare.
Ilene's expert tip: Hatchways is open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., daily. Complementary parking is available in the garage, just be sure to have Hatchways validate your ticket.
Popular with vegetarians and carnivores alike, this retro-style meatless mecca reinvents homespun American and Tex-Mex fare into seriously delicious 100% vegan dishes. The extensive menu covers everything from tacos and cashew cheese nachos to grilled seitan barbecue sandwiches, veggie burgers and pasta. Crave-worthy picks include the "Frito gordito bowl," which is basically a bowl of Frito nachos topped with mac n' cheese, chili, sour cream and fried onions. Did we mention that Spiral Diner offers vegan beer and wine too? Weekend brunch is a major attraction here just be prepared for a wait.
Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Spiral Diner's delicious vegan fare will impress even the most die-hard carnivores.
Ilene's expert tip: If the parking lot is full, find plenty of street parking nearby, just be aware that some streets are marked resident only parking.