You restocked your pantry with clean-eating essentials and are armed and ready to turn your kitchen into your healthy-living headquarters. Spice blend in hand, you've cooked dinner and brought your lunch every day this week. Kudos to you, partner.
Now it's almost lunchtime and your commitment to the mission is wavering. You've come too far to give up now, but you've spent all week dreaming of that pizza place around the corner or the sandwich shop that just started delivering . . .
Wait, this is New York. If this city doesn't have something healthy and delicious to eat for lunch, then nowhere will. Here's a healthy mix of restaurants that will come to your rescue, and some of them even deliver.
① Brodo: Chef Marco Canora is convinced (as are we) that broth ($4 to $4.75 for an eight-ounce cup) is the future of grab-and-go health. His new bone marrow add-in ($.75), sold out of the doorway around the corner from Hearth in the East Village, is just what the doctor ordered. "Bone marrow is pure fat, so it's delicious and very caloric, which means it will fill you up. It also happens to be where all of those immune-building stem cells reside," Canora says. He's also of the notion that it's "the most delicious superfood you could drink!" Canora's new cookbook, A Good Food Day, is on bookshelves now, too, in case you want more ways to keep those resolutions in check.
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② Dig Inn Seasonal Market: "Farm to table" isn't just a buzz phrase for Dig Inn's founder, Adam Eskin; it's an ideology. Locally sourced charred chicken; wild salmon over brown rice or bulgur; and fresh, seasonal sides keep your palate and your wallet pleased. And with 10 locations around Manhattan, you've got no more excuses.
③ The Little Beet Table: Chef Franklin Becker has expanded his Little Beet fast-casual Midtown pick-up counter into a full-service restaurant, Little Beet Table. With an urban rustic farmhouse aesthetic, Becker's new restaurant takes all the locally sourced, organic produce and adds table service along with some New York-based liquors. Seasonal vegetable-based dishes like roasted squash with hazelnuts, olive oil, acacia honey and pecorino ($14) and flavorful presentations of proteins like his slow-cooked salmon with an avocado caponata ($26) keep this spot just as appealing for dinner as Little Beet is for lunch or late breakfast. Everything on the menu is gluten free as well.
Roasted squash at The Little Beet Table, soups and broths at Brodo | Photos: Dave Katz/Tasting Table
④ Dimes: Now that you've put that delicious pork bun around the corner from your Chinatown-adjacent office on the "rare-indulgence" list, Dimes is here to help your refined lunch objective with delicious acai bowls full of all sorts of fruit and nut combinations ($9). Not feeling nutty? Consider spicy lamb meatballs over chickpea stew ($18) or a farro bowl with sweet potatoes, celery-fennel slaw and ginger turmeric tahini ($14) to mix things up.
⑤ Hu Kitchen: Add the word "preindustrial" to your vocabulary. It's how Hu Kitchen (taglined "Food for Humans") describes its approach to food, meaning none of the ingredients are chemically processed or made in a lab. All you really need to know is that you'll leave satisfied. Extra-hungry customers can opt for the Diesel Parker, an all-veggie lasagna topped with spiced ground beef (basically chili; $14) or the perfectly tender rotisserie chicken ($17). No matter what you order, get a side of caramelized pineapple and cashew cream ($3.50), and grab an almond butter and puffed quinoa chocolate bar ($6) on your way out. Located on 14th and Fifth, it's an easy jaunt from Union Square, Chelsea and Flatiron—and it delivers.
⑥ Free Foods: Tucked in among endless chains and nondescript Midtown delis is a mini organic haven. Shake off the chill with the daily homemade soup on offer ($12 to $15.50). It constantly rotates, but recent winners include slow-roasted tomato topped with herb oil and chicken vegetable pappardelle. Diners in the mood for healthier Mexican can indulge in the signature burrito with heirloom bean mash, salsa verde and brown rice ($13.50). Carefully crafted salads like Yakuza Salmon with sesame-crusted salmon, avocado, soy-glazed shiitake mushrooms with carrot-ginger miso dressing ($14.50) put your cold-bar mishmash to shame.
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