We have officially moved to Westerville Ohio and I couldn't feel more at home! I am not from Columbus, but I lived here for awhile post-graduation. So returning to my favorite restaurants, gyms, hiking trails and malls brings back so much nostalgia. For the last two weeks, we've been working on unpacking, organizing, coordinating deliveries.. the list is endless. But our house is finally feeling like a home! One of the hardest parts of this move was not having appliances for 12 straight days. I decided instead of getting terrible takeout every night; this would be a lovely chance to try all of the current health-conscious, gluten free, vegan, protein heavy, you-name-it, restaurants! This list will provide you with details of the food, what to expect, my likes and dislikes, and more!
Healthiest Columbus Restaurants | 2022
Brassica has always been a staple of mine! Think Chipotle, but Mediterranean food. At Brassica, food is ordered at the counter and delivered upon checking out. You'll first decide between a sandwich or salad. I always get a salad with no rice (personal preference) and top it with chicken. They give you a hefty amount of chicken but I personally double my protein on every salad. They have falafel for vegetarians as well. The vegetables range from beets, to spicy carrots, mini cucumbers and pickled cabbage. I love their pickled varieties! Sauces and dips are endless; I absolutely love both the hummus and baba ganoush. As for sides, the pita and hummus is incredible as well as their fries. At some locations, beer and wine is available.
My healthy order: A salad topped with double chicken, beets, cabbage, cucumbers and hummus.
Zest has been around for a long time and of course it made the list! I am a bit picky in terms of smoothies; but the consistency is perfect and they modify any ingredient that doesn't work in your diet. Zest has vanilla, chocolate, and green plant-based protein available to add into any smoothie. The açaí bowls are incredible and they even serve up toasts in case you'd rather eat your calories! Zest has three locations in Columbus. I come to Zest when I want to treat myself after a heavy lift; the carbs and protein help my muscles recover quicker!
My healthy order: Super Spirulina with half the banana (versus a whole banana) and added chocolate vegan protein powder.
Green House Canteen
This vegan restaurant was new to me. I saw they had taco specials on Tuesday; so Mike and I headed down for dinner. We were impressed with the cute inside and fully stocked bar! I ordered the margarita and two tacos. One taco had jackfruit and the other taco was "raw" but had faux meat made with nuts, seeds and legumes. Both of my tacos were amazing. I asked for no onion in both tacos and they were very accommodating. We also ordered the buffalo cauliflower (pictured, top left) and the greek salad. Both were exceptional! The menu had other items besides tacos; but everything was plant based. I would love to come back to taco Tuesday at Green House Canteen.
My healthy order: One jackfruit vegan taco and one raw vegan taco. No onion. I also ordered a side greek salad which was huge, so I split it with Mike.
True Food Kitchen
I absolutely love True Food Kitchen. TFK is located all over the United States and opened a location in Easton Town Center a few years back. The best thing about this restaurant, is that they make healthy eating cool. Walking inside True Food Kitchen, you see plants, bright green and white interior, instantly you feel just as alive. This restaurant is not vegan or gluten free per say, but has many options on the menu for both diets. We ate here at 11 AM on a Wednesday and were happy to see many others filling the restaurant. True Food Kitchen also serves up healthy and fun cocktails. I would eat here for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
My healthy order: Earth Cobb Salad with chicken. I asked for no cheese or onion. I also replaced the dressing with oil and vinegar. The salad is packed with fiber as it has tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, chick peas and carrots. The healthy fat comes from both avocado and avocado based dressing. You can add protein to ay salad, in which I chose the chicken. My husband and I split the edamame dumplings, which is an appetizer. It is vegan and super flavorful.
We picked up Chop 5 for lunch during one of our unpacking days and it did not disappoint! Chop 5 is your traditional BYO salad place. When it comes to places like this, I always fear the salads will be too small and I'll remain hungry. But Chop 5 filled the bowls to the brim and tossed them up before serving! You'll go through the line choosing the base, un to five vegetables, one protein, crunches, and dressings.
My healthy order: mixed greens, double chicken, carrots, cucumber, tomato, chick peas, beets and a side of peanut dressing.
We picked up Aladdin's Eatery the very first night of being staying in our house. We had barely any furniture and absolutely no way to cook, so we decided Mediterranean take out would do! I had read many times about Aladdin's Eatery being fresh, healthy, and full of flavor. They have multiple locations throughout Columbus including one 10 minutes away from our house! I ordered Mike the Genie's Combo Plate which consisted of brown rice, chicken, cauliflower, toubouli, and hummus (pictured on the left). I ordered a tossed salad with chicken and a side of hummus (middle and right pictures). It was super flavorful and we both had leftovers (that we couldn't store) so the portion sizes were large!
My healthy order: tossed salad with chicken plus a side of hummus and vegetables. The hummus came with pita bread too.
Roots is located near Ohio State University's campus. I always love when college kids have both access to healthy food and chose options like this! Roots is another BYO bowl restaurant. As you make your way through the line, you'll chose your base (rice options, greens, kale, etc), protein (only chicken and tofu), and lots + lots of vegetables. They had cheeses, nuts, crunchies and many dressings to chose from. Mike and I both loved this place and will definitely be back.
My healthy order: base of mixed greens, topped with double chicken, carrots, tomatoes, edamame, carrots, beets, and cabbage. I got miso dressing on the side.
Portia's Cafe has been around for a long time but this was my first time dining in! Portia's Cafe has been rated best vegan restaurant in Columbus for many years. Initially, Mike isn't fond about going to a vegan restaurant due to little protein. However, once we eat and try new foods, he loves it! This was the case at this cafe. We ordered hummus to start; we were able to chose 2-3 dippers. I decided on veggies, rice crackers and corn chips. For my main meal, I ordered a tossed salad with crumbled falafel (bottom left). I also ordered a side of black beans for added protein. I added the black beans to my salad and it was incredible. My husband ordered the vegan burrito bowl which came with rice, tofu, salsa, avocado, onion, Daiya cheese, and a vegan cashew cream (top right). He absolutely loved his meal. The interior of the restaurant is a bit older and gives a diner-like feel.
Another note: Portia's Cafe had a separate menu for those who are onion and garlic free. Although I didn't ask to see the menu, they denoted that they are extremely accommodating to many diets and have special menus for low fodmap, gluten, vegan, etc. I love this!
My healthy order: Hummus with vegetables, plus a tossed salad (cabbage, greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers) topped with crumbled falafel (crispy chickpeas). I added black beans for additional protein.
Because this blog is real and raw... I must confess, Clean Eatz was a major disappointment. We had tried Clean Eatz while living in Michigan and had fabulous food; it was macro friendly and very accommodating to dietary needs. Unfortunately, we did not have the same experience at Clean Eatz New Albany. My salmon bowl was absolutely terrible. The salmon was tough and the veggies were minimal. Mike got pasta and a wrap; he didn't even touch the pasta as the chicken was disgusting. I have no pictures to provide as we didn't even think about taking photos of our horrible food.
You have most definitely heard of North Star weather it was through my instagram, past blog post, or have ever asked me to go to lunch in Columbus. North Star is one of our favorite places and it will continue to be a go-to spot for Mike and I. There are so many locations throughout Columbus but we've grown to love the Westerville spot. Indoor and outdoor seating makes this place spacious! North Star has tons of organic, vegetable-forward meals.
My healthy order: The Mexicali salad with double chicken, no cheese and dressing on the side. This salad has tons of vegetables including jicama, corn, tomatoes, and peppers. It has avocado and tortilla strips garnished on top as well!
Townhall has changed the game of eating healthy food while dining out. In fact, there isn't one thing on the menu I would deem unhealthy. This spot is located in the Short North and is always busy. We love the vibe of this restaurant because you're submersed in the lively bar scene, while still ordering bone broth & keto chicken wings. The best part about this restaurant is that they make eating healthy a non-negotiable and cool.
My healthy order: the chopped salad with no cheese or onion; add salmon. The chopped salad has peanuts, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, and keto croutons for added (low carb) crunch.
Comune is a vegan restaurant with seasonal offerings that truly blew our minds. I had never been before; I was excited to drag Mike downtown on a Friday night for this vegan treat. We were blown away with how fabulous each dish was. We started with the crispy rice appetizer; it was topped with chick peas (top right photo). We split the garden salad (top left) and I had the falafel lettuce wraps as my main course (bottom right). I kid you not, we will be back. Mike claims this is his favorite vegan restaurant to-date!
And there you have it..
There are tons of healthy options throughout Columbus Ohio that didn't make this list, simply because we haven't gone yet! Some other honorable mentions include Alchemy Kitchen, Brekkie Shack, and Clean Juice.
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