Maybe someone ordered pizza for the office all-hands meeting this afternoon, and before that, you raided the supply closet's stock of mini Twix bars. Maybe your friend has just Gchatted you declaring he or she "just feels a little gross right now and would like to eat something light."
Either way, when discussing plans for that casual dinner you have on the docket later, you've decided you would like to eat something "kind of healthy." We're not talking going full vegan or signing up for a 10-day juice cleanse. What we are talking about is potentially eating some greens or a big salad and maybe a nice piece of fish.
For those nights, here are some suggestions.
At Lighthouse, you can very easily eat something healthy without trying to eat something healthy. The menu is made up of filling, interesting vegetable dishes and simple proteins (the roast chicken is phenomenal), all done really well and at reasonable prices. Add in the indoor/outdoor space, the daily oyster happy hour, and the ridiculously good burger on hand in case you decide you can be a little less healthy, and this place is officially our favorite weeknight spot in Williamsburg.
Dudley's is a Lower East Side restaurant that's usually filled with very trendy, attractive people, and which also happens to serve several tasty salads and a great roasted chicken. Maybe skip the fries that come with the chicken, or maybe don't.
Greeks figured out the enjoyable, healthy food thing a long time back. How? They invented the perfect salad that doesn’t even involve lettuce. Kiki’s serves Greek food in Chinatown, and while you can get your food covered in French fries here, there are a lot of ways to eat pretty healthy at Kiki’s - make sure the Horiatiki salad is in your order.
Another downtown Greek standby, Village Taverna is an ideal low-commitment spot for when you want an easy dinner. It's a sit-down restaurant, but one where you're totally fine wearing gym clothes. For a healthy and relatively inexpensive dinner, the move here is to get a salad and top it with perfectly cooked salmon or chicken. The grilled octopus is excellent, too.
Cafe Gitane is probably best known for its avocado toast - they were early to the game, and it's a really good one - but that means you might primarily think of Gitane as a daytime operation. We're here to endorse Gitane for dinner, when it's not too crowded. Go for any of the salads, the chicken satay, or the tuna ceviche.
Rider’s menu is split up into four sections, starting with vegan dishes and ending with a burger and a ribeye. And while this big range of options has the potential to feel all over the place, it ends up making for a pretty simple I’m-trying-to-eat-kinda-healthy situation. Stick with the top two sections for most of your meal, maybe pepper in a wildcard option from the bottom two sections, and you have a highly satisfying, mostly good for you dinner.
A place where you can feel kind of cool as you eat kind of healthy. The cozy, below-ground space is a nice place to hide out after a rough Monday, and the menu is made up of satisfying food - salads, proteins, and grains all done nicely.
A brand new, still under the radar Japanese spot, Ise serves some awesome soba, and the soba salad here is about as healthy as you're going to get while still eating a plate of noodles. There's also an excellent selection of sashimi and other light appetizers. Bonus points for extremely zen vibes.
It’s a Tuesday night. You want to try something interesting and new-ish, but not the kind of new-ish where you’re going to have to wait an hour to get a table, and not the kind of interesting that would actually require you to think hard about what to order. With its highly attractive space, Cassette feels like a step up from your usual weeknight routine - and its vegetable-heavy menu makes it easy to eat reasonably.
Been trying to eat healthy-ish lately? Then your restaurant orders have probably involved some combination of roasted chicken, roasted vegetables - maybe even getting wild with a pan-seared fish once and a while. If you're tired of that routine, mix it up at Timna, a modern Mediterranean spot in the East Village where you can eat things like raw fish on quinoa and octopus with eggplant puree.
Seamore's is entirely built around the idea of a kind of healthy dinner. The starring item here is the Reel Deal, which gets you a piece of fish (sustainably caught!), plus three daily market sides (which are usually sort of healthy). The salads are great too, and we might roll our eyes at the fact that they serve vegan frozen yogurt for dessert, if it weren't so good.
If you find yourself in Soho often, you’ve probably eaten at Spring Street Natural at some point over the years. But if you haven’t found yourself in Soho recently, you might be surprised to discover that the Spring Street Natural space is now a Ricky’s beauty store. The restaurant moved to a big new space on Kenmare, and we were surprised to find that the food was significantly better than it was at the original.
A proper restaurant in Tribeca from the people who brought you the acai bowl extravaganza that is Two Hands Cafe in Nolita, brunch here is typically a highly crowded scene, but dinner is significantly calmer. There's grilled salmon and braised chicken, plus some more fun appetizers like little shrimp sliders.