Lunch is probably one the things I look forward to the most during my work day. I am not afraid to admit that! We New Yorkers eat out a lot and that’s not only heavy on the waist line. If you’re looking to lose or maintain weight, never leave the house not knowing what you’re going to eat throughout the day. You are bound to make poor choices if you don’t have a plan. When your blood sugar levels are low and you’re starving at 3 pm, you’re just not going to pick a salad. It has nothing to do with will power, but rather lack of preparation.

Always have a plan. I keep a running list of healthy lunch options that are “pre-approved” when I’m thinking so I’m tempted to cheat. For those days when you don’t know just don’t know what to eat, refer to my list of the top healthy lunch spots in New York City.

Dig Inn NYC

Dig Inn
Dig Inn Seasonal Market is known for their farm to table foods, sourcing local and organic meats and vegetables. There are nine locations across Manhattan that allow you to make your own plate with lean meats, grains, and three sides. As their name would suggest, their menu changes depending on the season. I always get variation of small veggie plate with spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, and broccoli with a side of guacamole, or the small plate with spicy turkey & beef meatballs, spinach, kale, and cabbage slaw. Cost, approx $7.

Fresh & Co
I don’t know when these Fresh & Co places started popping up around the city but all I know is one day my gross Cafe Metro was there and the next it was rebranded as Fresh & Co. It really is fresh! In addition to the usual salads, sandwiches, and soups that all NYC lunch spots have they have quinoa bowl bars. My favorite is the Bangkok Quina Bowl with turkey, diakon, cabbage, cilantro, green onions, and chili sauce. Yum! Cost, approx $8-10.

Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien is my go-to spot for healthy business lunches. It’s fancy enough without the hefty price tag. I love the communal seating – it reminds me that dining is a ritual to be shared and enjoyed with people you love rather stuffing your face alone at your desk. My favorite meal at Le Pain Quotidien is the smoked salmon tartine. Cost varies.

This cute little storefront has some of the best sandwiches, salads, and coffee in New York’s trendy SoHo area. While this cute and cozy storefront has some great salads, this is also my favorite breakfast spot. I usually stop by Olive’s for coffee and a breakfast sandwich after yoga on Sunday mornings. It’s the best. There’s no street traffic and I get to sit on the bench outside all to myself. It’s my regular Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment. Cost, varies.

Juice Press
If we’re connected on Instagram, you know that my Saturday morning ritual is that I run for free juice with Juice Press. But my favorite juice place also has vegan, gluten-free, and raw food options at all 18 locations across the NYC-metro area. My favorites are the quinoa nori salad and coconut ceviche. Cost, $10-$11.

The Little Beet
The Little Beet in new to NYC with one location in midtown-Manhattan. This place is very similar to Dig Inn with specialty items like quinoa oatmeal and hand rolls. The trade off is that you also pay a little more. Can’t wait for them to expand as the current location is a bit too close to Times Square for me.

Whole Foods
Three words: 4 for 4. I specifically go to Whole Foods for the 4 for 4 deal where you get four vegetarian sides, which change daily, for $4 from the cold foods/deli section. There is no better deal than this one! End. Of. Story. Just last week I had creamed kale, beets, broccoli rabbe, and quinoa salad as my four picks. The meal was filling, fresh, and satisfying.

What are some of your favorite, healthy go-to lunch spots? Who am I missing on this list?

  • Thank you for posting this RIGHT before I’m in New York! At first I was very resistant to Dig Inn when they rebranded from PUMP (which I loved), but I did find them to have some really delicious, healthy comfort food options in the colder months.

    I think we’ll have to try one or two of these on your list!

    • @Lisa_earlymorningrun:disqus – Had i tried Hu’s Kitchen before this post I would’ve included it. So glad we discovered it together.

  • Kayla Kleinman

    Love all this places plus I’m hopelessly addicted to Sweet Green !

    • @kaylakleinman:disqus – thanks for reminding me…I still haven’t been to Sweet Green yet. Also, I tried Hu’s Kitchen for the first time with @Lisa_earlymorningrun:disqus and LOVE it. Wish it was closer to me!