At these restaurants, you don’t have to feel guilty about whatever you eat, and you don’t have to wait and wait and wait to get sated. Instead, you can dig in, feel great, and get going. Here are our five favorite restaurants for healthy fast food in the city. By Jessica Allen.
Sushi without the fish? Yes, oh yes. The colorful creations at Beyond Sushi’s three locations are flavor-packed, animal-free, and 100 percent vegan. Rolls include the “haricat,” with grilled haricot vert, carrots, and black rice, served with a sweet soy mirin sauce, and the “mighty mushroom,” with micro arugula, shiitake, enoki, tofu, and six-grain rice, topped with shiitake teriyaki sauce. And did we mention how beautiful each piece looks? Like a tiny work of art, delicious, edible art. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Blossom Du Jour was created in 2010 as an on-the-go depot in Chelsea, and has since expanded around the city. Everything on offer is absolutely vegan, eco-conscious, healthy, and prepared super-fast. Eat in, or take away. Options include tons of salads; sandwiches like the “un-chicken avocado griller,” with in-house grilled lemon “un-chicken,” lettuce, avocado, pesto, and vegan mayo, lettuce; a beet burger with horseradish on gluten-free pullman bread; and many, many types of smoothies.
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At The Butcher’s Daughter, on the Lower East Side, vegetables and fruits are treated as if they were meat, carved, sliced, and transformed into entrees and juices for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The menu here is all vegetarian and non-dairy, with several vegan and gluten-free options, and it changes every day. Try the angel hair carbonara, made with thinly shredded spaghetti squash, wilted arugula, bread crumbs, and cashew ricotta, or the avocado tartare, avocado mousse served over marinated vegetables.
Ellary’s Greens grew out of a young mother’s desire to giver her kids (and herself) the best possible food, without spending hours and hours in the kitchen, or hundreds of dollars at the store. Named for the owner’s grandmother and great-grandmother, this West Village restaurant serves slow food quickly, including salmon burgers, sauteed baby bok choy, bacon mac and cheese, chickpea fries, shrimp scampi, and bison strip-loin, for every meal of the day, plus happy hour (get a load of their organic and gluten-free beers and ciders).
The motto at Hu Kitchen? “Get back to human.” The food at this Chelsea restaurant is unprocessed, free of GMOs, and pre-industrial; in other words, everything you get here has ingredients that our great-great-great-great grandparents would recognize and gladly gobble up. Examples include “jordy cakes,” with almonds, honey, eggs, coconut, bananas, and seasonal fruit; roasted beet salad; cauliflower rice; and wild meatloaf, with elk, eggs, pork, beef, homemade BBQ sauce, garlic, onions, parsley, and spices.