There’s certainly no shortage of delicious indulgent fare in New York City, but what makes this city so fabulous is the growing popularity of health conscious eateries. From organic, local and seasonal food, to vegan and gluten-free friendly menus, no matter what your dietary needs are, there’s a restaurant to meet them. While it’s hard to narrow your choices to just a few, below are a few favorites on my must-visit list.
This Michelin rated restaurant offers seasonally inspired dishes using sustainable, locally sourced ingredients. Their resident nutritionist analyzes each dish to ensure they meet high nutritional standards. If you like wine, their list of organic and biodynamic wines is top notch. What makes this restaurant stand out is their nutritional approach, which is based on a charter, called SPE, Sanitas Per Escam, which translates to health through food. Not only is the food delicious, but you can also feel good about consuming responsibly raised products that are good for both you and the environment.
Address: 10 East 60th Street
Nearby Places of Interest: Upper East Side
Located in the Flatiron district, Aldea is named after the Spanish word for village. The seasonal menu is created by the talented Chef George Mendes. The cuisine is inspired by Mendes’ heritage, focusing on shellfish, rice dishes and Iberian-cured hams. In addition to the mouth-watering menu, the ambience is also first class. You’ll feel as if you’ve been taken away to the beautiful countryside of the Iberian Coast, surrounded by pictures of water, clouds, sky, earth, stone and wood. If you can’t decide what to order, I suggest the 6-course chef’s tasting menu, which won’t disappoint.
Address: 31 West 17th Street
Telephone: 212- 675-7223
Located in Greenwich Village, Mas Farmhouse purchases ingredients from local, organic and sustainable farms in the New York area. The Union Square Farmer’s Market is one of Chef Galen Zamarra’s favorite spots. The menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh and in season. While an a la carte menu is available, try the chef’s 6-course tasting menu for a special dining experience. You can also visit their sister restaurant Mas Grillade.
Address: 39 Downing Street
Telephone: 212- 255-1790
In 2000, Dan Barber, Executive Chef and Co-Owner, opened up Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village. This gem of a restaurant will take you from the concrete confines of New York City and help you connect with the food on your plate. The menu features local ingredients, many of which come from the Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, just 45-minutes north of the city. Barber believes in bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table. The “Farmer’s Feast” is worth saving up for, which is a 5-course tasting menu inspired by the week’s harvest.
Address: 75 Washington Place
Telephone: 212- 539-1776
With locations on both the upper east and west side, Candle Café is a vegan’s dream come true. While the menu may be vegan, even your meat-loving friends will be delighted. For gluten-free diners, a separate menu is available with delicious options. Candle Cafe focuses on the use of organic ingredients, free of pesticides and chemicals, and was one of the first Certified Green Restaurants, by the Green Restaurant Association of New York City. You may also want to visit Candle Café’s upscale sister restaurant, Candle 79.
Upper East Side location: 1307 3rd Avenue (between 74th & 75th Streets); 212-472-0970
Upper West Side location: 2427 Broadway (between 89th & 90th Streets); 212- 769-8900
Nearby Places of Interest: Upper East Side, Upper West Side
Toby Amidor, MS, RD is a registered dietitian and owner of Toby Amidor Nutrition, PC. She is the nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com and regular contributor to their Healthy Eats blog. She is also the Nutrition Advisor for Sears FitStudio, columnist for Today’s Dietitian Magazine, and adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. For more information, visit her website and follow her on twitter and Facebook.