NYC on the cheap and healthy

by Loni Markman, MA, CHHC

I don't know about you but I LOVE going out to eat. I am a total foodie, however, at times it is to my detriment. The restaurants we choose are not always the healthiest no matter what the price is. Recently, a friend turned me on to this great book turned website turned mobile app called Clean Plates which consists of a continuously updated collection of the healthiest restaurants in town – nutritionist-approved - ranging from all price points. I found some great affordable options that I wanted to share with you! Check out some of my favorite healthy and inexpensive restaurants in NYC.

  • Souen - SoHo, Union Square, East Village: Macrobiotic / asian / sushi restaurant with gluten-free, flexitarian, naturally-sweetened, vegetarian, & vegan options.
  • Dig Inn Seasonal Market - Locations throughout NYC: American restaurant + juice bar with organic meat who's philosophy is based on real food and real quality. Delivery available.
  • Bareburger- Locations throughout NYC, Brooklyn and Queens: Organic meat and options for vegetarians as well. Gluten-free bread is available and still delicious. Offers delivery as well!
  • Candle Cafe - Upper East Side + Upper West Side: New American/Asian Fusion plus a delicious juice bar with a variety of options for those in need of gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc.
  • Peacefood Cafe - Upper East Side, Upper West Side: Cafe/restaurant with gourmet vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, and raw options. Delivery is also available upon request.
  • 'sNice- West Village, Park Slope Brooklyn, SoHo: Looking for a healthy sandwich? This is your spot. A cute American / Mediterranean cafe with vegetarian & vegan options.

Going somewhere special? The following choices are a bit pricier but worth it - healthy picks that don't sacrifice taste:

  • Lupa Osteria Romano - Greenwich Village: Mario Batali's Old Italian restaurant creates traditional Roman dishes while supplementing with local, fresh ingredients and organic meat. Their extensive wine menu is an added bonus and never pretentious. Amazing for a great date night.
  • Blue Hill- West Village: Treat yourself to Dan Barber's farm fresh New American gourmet restaurant with organic meat and local fresh food. Here it is all about knowing thy farmer. Great for a fine dining experience.

We may all love to eat out, however, the cost can definitely add up. Most people don't really realize how much they spend dining out each month and would be shocked to find that they could probably hire a housekeeper or a gardener for that same amount! Here are three great rules to follow to keep costs down when you eat out:

Tip #1: Write it down. Take one week and write down how much you spend eating out. That includes all those coffees, soft drinks, things from the vending machines and snacks you buy throughout the day. Be sure to write down the amount of anything that goes into you and your family’s mouths for an average week. I’m afraid you may be unpleasantly surprised.

Tip #2: Cook or Assemble. I'm sure you're staying " but I don't have time to cook" well think about this... for the amount of time it takes you to get that cafe/restaurant, wait for the server to come over and take your order and then wait for them to prepare your order, you could have probably cooked one of these simple healthy meals. Don't like to cook? How about assemble? You don't need a pot or pan to eat at home.. chop up some red peppers and hummus for a healthy snack, or place it onto a bed of arugula with beans, tomatoes, and onions. No cooking involved, just assembling.

Tip #3: Eat Half and Save. It is no secret that portions in America are super-sized. Take advantage of this by only eating half of your meal - save the rest for the next day. You can always mix it up by using the ingredients from your meal to re-create something new. For example, I'm a big Thai food lover and I always save half to make stir-fry in the wok with quinoa for dinner the following night!

Join me over on my blog and let me know your favorite places to dine out on the cheap and be sure to take advantage of my complimentary Awaken Your Positive Body Strategy Session. A 20-minute phone chat to help you get clear on your nutritional needs and goals. Click here to book your session.