10 Essential Dallas Dining Spots for Feel-Good Feasting

Given Dallas’ love affair with Tex-Mex, burgers and barbecue, the city may not be the first place you think of as a healthy dining haven. But fortunately more and more restaurants are paving the way for clean eating with menus that are anything but bland and boring.

First up is trendy newcomer Flower Child, a healthy fast-casual eatery by Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts. With its delectable selection of salads, bowls, plates and wraps, it’s no surprise that this spot stays busy from morning until lights out.

Following a paleo path? Then HG Sply is a caveman’s (or cavewoman’s) dream. Think, duck confit on cauliflower rice and coffee crusted ribeyes with horseradish-shallot coconut butter.

Going gluten free? No problem. The made-from-scratch dishes at Kozy Kitchen are so good that you'd never know that almost everything on the menu is completely gluten-free. That goes ditto for Company Cafe, where you can delve into everything from bananas foster pancakes to chicken fried steak.

Need something healthy in a hurry? Look no further than Start, a fast-casual restaurant that's a perfect pit stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the run.

Then there’s Be Raw, a charming little café, which if not for the name, you probably wouldn’t guess that all of its dishes on the menu are 100 percent raw. From the sandwiches to the pizzas, noodle bowls and amazing desserts, the offerings will have you seeking endless excuses to return for more.

Finally, no list of healthy restaurants is complete without mentioning Spiral Diner, one of the area’s most popular eateries for vegan Tex-Mex and American comfort food classics.

So, whether your idea of clean eating means going gluten-free, paleo, vegan or chowing down on a grass-fed steak, these 10Best Dallas restaurants know how to cater to all types of health-conscious foodies.


Unleavened Fresh Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Unleavened Fresh Kitchen

This fast-casual Lakewood haunt offers sandwich nirvana in the form of gluten-free wraps stuffed with incredibly flavored goodness. The Havana, filled with guava-glazed pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese and chopped horseradish pickle is legendary, but the Weekender (buttermilk fried chicken, pepper bacon, greens, Boursin spread and ranch)– is nothing short of pure soul-food heaven. And every wrap comes with a complementary side, which can include anything from grilled corn (with shallot, garlic crema, and cotija) to broccoli slaw or quinoa salad. Speaking of salad, all of the wraps can be made into salad form or served atop potato hash. Another reason to come? Kids 12 and under can eat free after 4 p.m.– every day.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Unleavened Fresh Kitchen pushes the boundaries when it comes to wraps. And 90% of the menu is gluten-free.

Ilene's expert tip: Receive a 10% off discount by checking in on Yelp when you go.

Read more about Unleavened Fresh Kitchen →

Cosmic Cafe
Photo courtesy of Cosmic Cafe

It's virtually impossible to miss this place. Furnished with a riot of wall-to-wall Indian kitsch (think expansive wall murals, Hindu art work, Buddha statues and the like), this neighborhood restaurant is anything but subtle in looks. In fact, the mesmerizing decor is worth a trip here on its own. Not to mention, the place offers a swarm of free activities to feed the soul, including yoga, ecstatic dance and meditation. And for fueling your body, the cafe rolls out a line-up of vegetarian hits that are sure to please even the most staunch carnivores. The menu features everything from Indian samosas, pakoras and dahls to veggie tacos, pizzas, burgers and falafal. To drink, there's smoothies, lassies, juices and unlimited chai tea, along with alcoholic offerings of worldly beers and organic wines. And if you're wondering what's up with the odd prices on the menu ($8.01, $3.06 etc.), it's because all the digits 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: The parking in back is extremely limited. The best bet is to find a space to park across the street.

Read more about Cosmic Cafe →

Start Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Start Restaurant

Wholesome food can turn up in the unlikeliest of places, even at a fast food spot that boasts a drive-through window. And that's exactly the inspiration behind Start, where you'll find tasty, handmade organic fare served from breakfast to dinner, and all at wallet-friendly prices. We're talking everything from breakfast burritos and whole wheat pancake sandwiches to goat cheese empanadas, mahi mahi wraps, grass-fed burgers, smoothies and artisanal coffee. Mindful of food sensitivities and intolerances, the café also turns out vegetarian and gluten-free options, ranging from veggie burgers to a killer flour-less chocolate cake made with quinoa.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Start is the best place to take kids out for a healthy meal.

Ilene's expert tip: Start also serves wine and beer, plus it offers a children's menu.

Read more about Start Restaurant →

Be Raw
Photo courtesy of Be Raw

Not only has it been proven that eating veggies is good for you, but eating foods in their natural state, meaning raw or live, might just be the road to the fountain of youth. And that doesn't mean a diet consisting of rabbit food either. Be Raw serves a wide selection of flavorful, rich dishes that are ideal for gluten-free and vegan diets. But it's not only raw food connoisseurs who appreciate what this place has to offer. Raw pizzas with pine nut cream cheese and basil pesto, coconut kale enchiladas and zucchini pad Thai tossed in almond butter are just a few of the treats in store here. The restaurant does an amazing job with desserts as well. No one would ever guess that the brownies, cookies and cheesecakes are totally dairy, gluten and sugar free.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Be Raw is one of the only eateries in Dallas serving up 100% raw cuisine.

Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to follow on Facebook to find out about daily specials. Also note that Be Raw is BYOB friendly.

Read more about Be Raw →

Flower Child
Photo courtesy of Flower Child

All too often eating healthy translates into a meal of tasteless limp salads, but thankfully that isn't the case at Flower Child, a buzzy eatery specializing in delicious organic, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes. The menu runs the gamut from salads and mix-n- match veggies bowls (which can be topped with proteins) to whole wheat or flax & chia seed wraps filled with everything from spicy tofu to grass-fed steak. Portion sizes are good and the prices are reasonable, too, with most entrees priced under $20. Plus they have kombucha on tap and house-made lemonade in flavors like rose petal.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Flower Child is one of the best places to go to get your greens in all kinds of creative ways.

Ilene's expert tip: Sign up for the EBites membership on the website and score $10 off of $20 for new members as well as special discounts and free birthday treats.

Read more about Flower Child →

Pok The Raw Bar
Photo courtesy of Pok The Raw Bar

The famed Hawaiian dish that layers sashimi fish with rice and veggies is quickly catching on in Dallas, and among the new arrivals is this airy West Village café peddling gluten-free raw-fish salad bowls plus all things matcha. Clean-eating purists can opt for a base of kelp noodles, zucchini slaw or cauliflower rice, before loading up with everything from tuna, salmon and tofu to lotus chips, cured shitake mushrooms, and chili-marinated oranges. For those who find the build-your-own menu daunting, there's also around seven different signature bowls to choose from. All of which goes nicely with Pok's epic selection of sake and matcha drinks. Oh, and did we mention that they also serve sushi, sashimi tacos and crispy rice tuna burgers too?

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: The poke bowls at Pok Raw Bar are so good that there's almost always a line out the door.

Ilene's expert tip: Ask about their fixed price menus. And watch Facebook for daily specials.

Read more about Pok The Raw Bar →

HG Sply Co.
Photo courtesy of HG Sply Co.

At HG Sply, which translates into hunter and gathering supply, gastronomes can fuel up on food that takes its inspiration from the Stone Age. But make no mistake, this hipster oasis of re-purposed wood and exposed brick isn't turning out the kind of fare your average caveman munched on a few million years back. Instead, you'll find more modern variations on the theme. While paleo-centric folks can gnaw on coffee crusted ribeyes with lemon & garlic roasted Brussels sprouts, locavores can customize their bowls with earthly goodies like caramelized parsnips and toasted cashew quinoa pilaf. Non-paleo options include jalapeno bratwurst with smoked bourbon-ancho-apple butter and pulled pork nachos. Though, spirits aren't usually part of the paleo plan, the libations here are worth a diet detour. The Double Under, with beet-infused tequila, lime and rosemary syrup, hits the spot. Trek up to the rooftop terrace where you can order a frozen version.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: HG Sply is one of the only places where meat eaters and vegetarians can eat in perfect harmony.

Ilene's expert tip: Take advantage of $3 craft beers and $5 appetizers during happy hour on the rooftop terrace, daily from 4-7 p.m.

Read more about HG Sply Co. →

Lowest Greenville Avenue
Company Cafe
Photo courtesy of Company Cafe

Bananas foster pancakes, sour cream coffee cake, French dip sandwiches and chicken fried steak with garlic mash and honey jalapeno gravy– all gluten-free? You betcha. This casual Greenville Avenue eatery has made its mark on Dallas' healthy-eating food map thanks to a menu of organic, gluten-free dishes that don't compromise on taste. In fact, it was one of the first restaurants to embrace the concept when it opened in 2011, and even with all the competition, the place is just as popular as ever. And there's a reason for that: Not only does Company Cafe actively cater to gluten-adverse folks, it also caters to all, meaning anything on the menu can be made with gluten as well as without. Ditto for cocktails and desserts. Plus, you can eat-in or have them pack everything up to-go. Speaking of to-go, the owners also run Liteful Foods, an online bakery that cranks out fresh gluten-free goodies (biscuits, bread, coconut macaroons and cakes) to be delivered straight to your door. By the way, we hear the CinnFul Cake Bites here are truly sinful.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Company Cafe serves up healthy food that doesn't taste like health food.

Ilene's expert tip: Coupons for both Company Cafe and Liteful Foods can often be found on Groupon.

Read more about Company Cafe →

Kozy Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Kozy Kitchen Facebook

This charming Uptown cafe is so dedicated to producing sumptuous, from-scratch dishes, that you'd never know that almost everything on the menu is completely gluten-free. And we're not talking salads, though there certainly are plenty of those. They also whip up everything from Cajun pasta with venison sausage and pan-seared wild salmon on risotto– to buffalo tacos, sandwiches, omelets, pancakes and even stuffed French toast. And then there's the gluten-free desserts, one of which includes a Nutella cake (soaked with espresso and filled with a Nutella cream cheese frosting) that's out of this world. Another bonus: the restaurant serves most of its breakfast items all day, offers everything to-go and is also BYOB.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Kozy Kitchen offers a terrific selection of creative gluten-free goodies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ilene's expert tip: Kozy Kitchen's Bowl of Doom (sweet potato hash with two eggs, avocado, salsa and choice of meat) is a favorite off-menu item.

Read more about Kozy Kitchen →

Spiral Diner & Bakery
Photo courtesy of Spiral Diner & Bakery

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. You'll also find daily blue plate specials as well as hearty brunches turning up tofu scrambles and all-you-can-eat pancakes. It's not only the food that's vegan, the restaurant offers a terrific selection of vegan beer and wine too. Don't miss the desserts, the cakes and ice cream sundaes here are phenomenal.

Recommended for Restaurants with Healthy Menus because: Spiral Diner was doing healthy before it became trendy.

Ilene's expert tip: The diner also has locations in Fort Worth and Denton. Follow on Facebook to find out about daily food specials.

Read more about Spiral Diner & Bakery →


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene