The Best Healthy Fast Casual Eateries in New York City


by Anne Thompson

Across New York City, is a new trend is flourishing; the rise of 'healthy fast casual' cuisine.

Going way beyond chain outfits like Pret A Manger, a new set of eateries is helping New Yorkers lunch healthier, serving up fresh, nutritious dishes created using locally sourced and organic ingredients.

SEE ALSO: Top 4 Must-Try New York City Juice Bars

Eating at your desk still isn't very good for you but if you really have to ordering from one of these restaurants will help a bit.

Dig Inn

Dig Inn New York

Dig Inn began life as The Pump, which was basically a go-to spot for those Paleo eating bodybuilder types. Once re-branded it began attracting a broader clientèle (although the buff dudes do still stop in) who are attracted to the fresh creative salads and slightly heartier fare like their becoming legendary roasted Brussels sprouts, hearty but heart healthy crockpot specials and leaned grilled meats.

A part of Dig Inn's stated mission is to make 'good food fast' affordable and as a lunch here is comparable in price with a burger chain meal you know which choice you should be making.

Dig Inn has multiple locations all over the city.

Hu Kitchen

Hu Kitchen NYC

Although it does not bill itself as a Paleo restaurant, Hu's food certainly does line up with many of the basic tenets of the trendy diet plan.

Grains are certainly kept to a minimum and meats and veggies - all sourced from local farms and just harvested fresh - are definitely the big stars.

From unusual salad options like the Primal Kale Salad that also boasts goji berry, organic apple cider vinegar, shallots, garlic, mustard to the spiced to perfection Italian Berkshire Pork Meatballs and the crispy, crunchy and surprisingly tasty Wild Fish Sticks there really is something for everyone.

There is also a wide range of healthy snacks, green juices and organic teas to grab to go for later so you can resist the temptation of the office vending machine.

Hu Kitchen is located at 78 5th Avenue (at 14th Street)

Mulberry & Vine

Mulberry & Vine NYC

What does a restaurant owned and operated by two self-admitted gym junkies have to offer? Basically a wide range of 'sexed up' spa food that tastes as good as it looks and will, despite its healthy content, have half of your colleagues drooling when you bring it back to the office.

Popular choices include the Sriracha Roasted Tofu and Broccoli, the Red Lentil Dal and the Mediterranean Braised Chicken Breast, as well as a wide range of bean laden salads.

There are also some very good organic beers and wines on offer, but you may want to leave sampling those for after work, unless you have a very lenient boss.

Mulberry & Vine is located at 73 Warren Street, between West Broadway & Greenwich St (fooled you huh?)


Sweetgreen NYC

The Sweetgreen chain made its mark originally on college campuses and at each of its New York locations that young, hip, vibe is certainly still pretty strong.

There really is little in the way of a formal menu as the basic idea is that you make your own meal using the freshly sourced produce laid out buffet style on the counter in front of you. However, if you ask nicely, the staff will whip up one of their chef-designed creations just for you.

How fresh is the produce? Blackboards dotted all around each location actually detail which local farms it came from so that you can 'look up' your lunch when you back to your desk if you like!

In New York City Sweetgreen locations can be found at 8 E 18th St, 1164 Broadway, 413 Greenwich Street and at Columbia University, with more to come soon.