Whether you’re in the mood for something hearty or light, here are five healthy places where you can fill up your plate without feeling guilty. By Carly Petrone.

(credit: Two Forks)

Two Forks

119 W. 40th St.
New York, NY 10018

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If you’re in midtown then definitely make your way to Two Forks, the newly opened fast casual eatery located across the street from Bryant Park. Their menu of healthy buns (sandwiches) and bowls will satisfy the meat eater, the vegetarian, and even the gluten-free dieter. The star of the menu? Cabbage! This forgotten superfood packs a nutritional punch with tons of Vitamin C&K and it’s the base for a variety of their refreshing house-made slaws like Parmesan & Lemon and Cabbage, Carrot & Scallion. Pick a bowl option, filled with Jasmine rice, roasted seasonal vegetable, smashed chickpeas, potato, or super greens or opt for a fresh bun as your base. Choose between signature favorites like the Pork & Pickles (pulled pork, Korean chili sauce, brussels, and Kimchi slaw) or the Big Fat Greek (pulled lamb, green herb sauce, cucumber, tomato, and olive slaw). They also offer a vegetarian version called Squash Goals (pulled spaghetti squash, Tzatziki sauce, butternut squash, carrot, apple, cranberry, and goat cheese slaw). Add on toppings like feta cheese, picked herbs, or avocado and call it a day. Are you a picky eater? Don’t worry, you’re welcome to create your own bowl or bun, too. Owners Michael Kaplan and Dave Oz certainly make clean eating not only fast but fun.

(credit: Young Street Poke)

Young Street Poke

136-17 39th Ave.
Flushing, NY 11354

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Say “Aloha” to Young Street Poke, the hot spot in Flushing that specializes in creating fresh Hawaiian poke bowls. Chef Akiyama uses flavorful ingredients to serve up signature bowls like the Big Island (Ahi Tuna, onion, scallion, cucumber, seaweed, and sesame soy sauce), Sesame Caesar Chicken (chicken, onion, scallion, cucumber, Daikon sprouts, crispy shallots, parmesan cheese, sesame Caesar sauce), and Yakumi Salmon (salmon, scallion, cucumber, Shiso, chive, Daikon sprouts, crispy shallot, Yuzu pepper ponzu). Choose a base of white rice, brown rice, or chopped romaine and add your favorite sides like avocado, wasabi octopus, or seaweed salad for an additional charge. You’ll feel like booking a trip to the Big Island after eating this flavorful meal.

(credit: Chopt)


125-350 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY

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Native New Yorkers know that Chopt is the place to grab a hearty salad on-the-go. Now you can stop into their newest location inside the iconic Empire State Building, which has communal seating for 20 and walls lined with custom King Kong wallpaper designed by Batabasta. Discover dishes from their rotating destination menu like the Wild Smokehouse Salmon Plate, which is inspired by the Pacific Northwest. It’s filled with smoked wild sockeye salmon, quinoa, lentil & millet blend, pickled sweet onions, and arugula with Dill Caraway. Their Grain & Noodle bowls are another healthy option with favorites like the Smoky Santa Cruz (FreeBird grilled chicken, avocado, corn, scallions, tri-color quinoa, black beans, kale, broccoleaf, and purple cabbage with Sweet & Smoky Chipotle Vinaigrette and a drizzle of Mexican Goddess) topping the list. Come in and try it for yourself.

(credit: Organic Avenue)

Organic Avenue

See website for locations

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Egg whites don’t always have to be your go-to healthy breakfast option. Organic Avenue offers lots of nutritious menu items like Lemon Chia Muffins, Sprouted Grain Bagels with Almond Chive Cream Cheese, and Probiotic Coconut Yogurt to keep you full until lunchtime. You can even nosh on their Gluten-Free Warm Oatmeal with your choice of delicious toppings like goji berries, hemp seeds, cashew butter, and coconut dulce de leche. Grab a bite for later, too. Energize your body with vibrant entree options like Kale Sushi, Sunflower Falafel Salad, or Curry Cauliflower Risotto. But if you only have time to sip your meal, then one of their Smoothie Blends will do the trick. The Heart Beet is sweet yet filled with antioxidants and heart healthy ingredients like coconut Mylk, beets, spinach, and ginger. And don’t forget dessert! The S’mores Pie, made with with cacao, coconut butter, carob, vanilla bean, raw agave, nectar, and sea salt will satisfy your sweet tooth.

(credit: Dig Inn)

Dig Inn

See website for locations

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Dig Inn works with local farmers to create comfort food that is not only healthy but seasonally inspired. Create your own meal that’s rich with flavor like their Happy Valley Meatball (a blend of beef and chicken tossed in dried apricot and tomato chutney) along with a crisp Spring Radish salad tossed in lemon juice, Maldon salt, and pepper on a base of Farm Greens with Chervil & Mint. Vegetarians can dive into their Grilled Organic Tofu that’s served Gaucho-style with charred red onion, fresno pepper, and chimichurri. Add a side of avocado with salt and extra virgin olive oil for some extra protein and you’ll be full until it’s time to dine again.

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Carly Petrone is the founder of Petrone on the Rocks, a lifestyle site about food, drinks, beauty, travel, and more. She lives in New York City.