A Day of Healthy Eating in Manhattan


Get a guilt-free taste of The Big Apple.: Photo by: xavierarnau/iStock/Getty Images Plus collection/Getty Images

These days it seems as though New York City has a build-your-own salad spot, Green Market or Soul Cycle studio popping up on every corner. Here’s a sampling of old — and new school — dining options offering a full day’s worth of health-minded dining options.

Eye Opener: Cha Cha Matcha

Green tea enthusiasts flock to Cha Cha Matcha, which bills itself as the city’s only cafe devoted to everything matcha. Opt for a latte, cappuccino or lemonade at this Little Italy spot and then decide if you would like your beverage sweet, strong or gussied up with a splash of non-dairy milk. Looking for something a little more decadent? Cha Cha does a mean matcha milkshake as well.

Breakfast: El Rey

Well before new school California cuisine was all the rage, El Rey brought the flavors of SoCal to the Lower East Side. The morning menu is all about granola topped with crunchy pepitas and chia pudding sprinkled with sweet coconut and agave. if you’re getting a late start, El Rey’s all day menu kicks off at 11 a.m. bringing heartier fare, like avocado with pickled red onio, pita and chimichurri, and faro salads dotted with sheets milk cheese — all of which can become more breakfast-like with the addition of a poached or pickled egg.

Lunch: Bistango

For anyone who thinks a life without gluten means bidding farewell to pasta and pizza, Bistango is a dream come true. With locations in Midtown and Kips Bay, Bistango gives you the option of enjoying anything on the savory menu gluten free. That means the penne with brown butter and butternut squash, rigatoni Bolognese and margherita pizzas are all back on the table. Bistango even boasts two raw gluten- and dairy-free desserts to end the meal on a sweet and healthy note. Less than half a mile from EVEN Hotels Midtown East – making the walk home the perfect post-dinner stroll.

Happy Hour: Terroir

Terroir was championing organic and biodynamic wines way before natural wine generated buzz among oenophiles. Terroir’s daily 4 to 6 p.m. happy hours offer discounts on pours from its eclectic and epic wine list featuring everything from single vineyard Rieslings to locally fermented ciders and aged sherries. Check out the food menu for wine-friendly bites to accompany happy hour pours, including charred shishito peppers, smokey almonds and raw cheese boards from local makers.

Dinner: Candle 79

With 30 years on the Upper East Side, Candle 79 is the grand dame of New York’s vegetarian dining scene. Even in its third decade, this institution still holds plenty of appeal with an internationally influenced menu — think everything from live young coconut pad Thai and guacamole timbale to flatbreads with truffled almond cheese and seitan Piccata. Candle 79’s cocktail menu uses a garden’s worth of ingredients to mix one-of-a-kind creations, like wheatgrass infused vodka, Goji berry liqueur and fig-scented bourbon. Come time for dessert, vegans will flip for dairy-free versions of chocolate mousse pie and coconut ice cream-topped cannoli.

About the Author

Caroline Russock Caroline Russock is a Philadelphia-based writer. Past gigs include vetting thousands of recipes for Serious Eats, bartending in rural Sicily, and running a French bistro in San Diego.