The 15 Best (Kind Of) Healthy Places For Dinner

Where to go for a healthy meal that’s not just a bowl of kale.
The 15 Best (Kind Of) Healthy Places For Dinner  image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

In a town that’s truly passionate about sandwich and pizza spots, knowing where you can have a healthy meal is essential, too. And whether you want to go fully plant-based or are just looking to switch things up, this list is an excellent place to start. While you might find a lot of vegetables in this guide, we’re also here to tell you about Ethiopian and Turkish restaurants, great options for nigiri, and a staple Indian food truck. 

The Spots

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Middle Eastern


$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBirthdaysDate NightDrinking Good CocktailsEating At The BarImpressing Out of Towners
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

This Israeli grill in Kensington from the team behind Zahav kicks off the meal with ten vegetable-based salatim before you even get to things like chicken skewers or shawarma-spiced cauliflower. Aside from the plate of sweet carrots and beets, lemony gigante beans piyaz, and hummus, they have shareable things like chicken shashlik and tuna slices covered in a green chili sauce. s everything they put to the flame here is exceptional. Finding a healthy option on the menu is the easy part; the hard part is getting a reservation. 



OpenTable logo

This Afrocentric grocery store and all-day cafe in West Philly has a menu full of products sourced from Black farmers, including everything from a sausage, egg, and cheese on a sweet potato english muffin to a satisfying cornmeal hot pocket packed with stewed collards. It might be hard to choose, but if you only get one thing, go for the dollar hoagie (which actually goes for around $12). It can come turkey or turnip filled and the roll is studded with West African benne seeds, giving each creamy bite some earthiness. Stop by the casual shop for produce, fresh-squeezed juices, or something incredibly delicious and light to take home. 

As soon as you walk through the door of this Northern Liberties West African spot, you’re met with the scent of steaming jollof rice, plantains fresh out of the pot, and the sound of chicken sizzling on the grill. It’s a sensation that we can’t put a price on, but they have, and it’s notably affordable (the bowls are $13.89 or under and each comes with a side). Suya Suya is a comfortable counter-service place to grab a quick meal full of spicy brussels sprouts, juicy shrimp, and a zobo ginger tea.

Pera is a Turkish spot that delivers one hit after another. The dining room has a handful of long tables where you should post up with a few friends, along with two tops and four-seaters near the massive windows if you want to people-watch on a casual date. Their menu includes tabouli, creamy hummus, lemony marinated lamb skewers, and a perfectly charred, super juicy whole dorado. Everything here is made to share so you can split a few plates with your friend, and in case you forget a bottle (it’s a BYOB), there’s a Fine Wine & Good Spirits shop down the street. 

If you’ve lived in Philly for more than 10 minutes, you already know about Vedge and its greatness. You probably also know that it’s vegan, and every dish here is centered around vegetables. That makes the Midtown Village spot the perfect place to go, whether you haven’t eaten meat since you saw a “Where Food Comes From” documentary or just want something other than a double cheeseburger. All of the food here is excellent, but the mushroom carpaccio, gochujang glazed tofu, and grilled avocado with hearts of palm are some of our favorites.

Pietramala is a casual vegan restaurant in Northern Liberties where you can get great, satisfying dishes like sweet corn gnocchi and maitake mushrooms with heirloom polenta. Walking into the cozy BYOB, you’ll find cozy green velvet booths, low lighting, and enough plants to fill up a greenhouse. There’s no wrong order here—in fact, we take smaller bites to make a few dishes last longer—so bring a few friends and one of your favorite bottles. 

If you enjoy knowing that your food comes from an organic potato farm out in Lancaster with exactly 54 happy chickens, Washington Square’s Talula’s Garden should be your first choice for dinner. They’ve been doing farm-to-table since before it became a thing, and most of the menu is healthy and delicious. Find someone else who is trying to eat a little lighter and split the Mediterranean sea bass and seared sea scallops and gulf shrimp.

With Tomo Sushi and Ramen and Kisso Sushi Bar within blocks of each other, Old City has some of the best sushi spots in Philly–and Tuna Bar is no exception. It has some great light options, like ginger and seaweed salads, tuna crudo, and a few rolls that combine simple things like salmon, daikon, lettuce, and avocado And with $2 oysters and $4 edamame on their Happy Hour menu, you can even start your sort-of-healthy night here early and stick to your budget.

Abyssinia, an Ethiopian spot right around the corner from Penn’s campus, has a lot of different vegetarian dishes. Your best bet is the $15 Vegetarian Combination, which includes six of their most popular vegetarian dishes—like split lentils in berbere sauce and spicy sauteed collard greens—all served on top of spongy injera. You can probably split one plate between two or three people because the servings are so big, or just get one for yourself and bring home the leftovers.

Kanella Grill is a staple in Philly, and even though it’s changed locations a few times, their excellent and affordable Greek food keeps them busy no matter where they end up. For around $40 a person, you can get a family-style Greek feast, with things like kebabs, hummus, and dolmades spread out in baskets across your table. Roll to the Center City restaurant on a Thursday night with a date and a bottle of pinot grigio and pretend you don’t have to get up the following day for work.

Aksum is a Mediterranean BYOB in West Philly with things like a vegetable tagine served over couscous (one of our favorite vegetarian dishes in the city), and a huge plate of lemon caper chicken for when you’re extra hungry. It’s super versatile and affordable, with most of their shareable entrees coming in at $30, so you can use it for everything from a casual weeknight date to dinner with your in-laws.

Nafi Food Express is a halal food truck in West Philly that serves some of the best Indian food in town. The menu has hits like grilled lamb, veggie biriyani, and smashed eggplant, all for under $10. And they even have a light and peppery chicken salad that’s most certainly an upgrade to whatever you meal prepped for the week.  

When we want a simple juice bar and fast-casual wraps and sandwiches, we head to Hibiscus Cafe. It’s a cute all-day cafe in West Philly with colorful floral murals on every wall and counter space. You can get salmon wraps, seitan fajitas, fresh-squeezed juices, and side dishes like curried chickpeas and smoky kale. They’re open every day at 10am, so you can head there for a morning smoothie, a quick lunch, or something light for dinner. 

This Lao spot in Kensington is where you should catch up with friends over shrimp wontons, spicy tom yum soup, pan-seared tilapia, and some small plates from the very long menu. We always order their pad kee mao that mixes a spicy basil garlic sauce, broccoli, bell peppers, your protein of choice, and the rice noodle stir fry. There’s nothing on the menu over $20, and they open as early as noon, so it can work as your go-to spot for a casual vegetable-leaning lunch. And if you feel like your meal is getting too healthy, you can always add a banana chocolate spring roll or sugary macaron.

For some, coffee will always be the most important drink of the day, but a morning smoothie is slowly creeping up the essentials list. If you’re in Mt. Airy, do yourself a favor and get a mango lassi or green smoothie with spinach, kale, and raw honey at The Juice Room. It’s a small and colorful neighborhood juicery that serves sandwiches (we love the curry chicken), pastries, and salads. Stop by on a casual morning when you want a refreshing pick-me-up or a healthy alternative to your go-to coffee with lots of French vanilla creamer. 

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

This is a roasted garlic sopes at Primary Plant Based.

The Best Places To Eat Vegan Food In Philly

Where to get plant-based dumplings, deli staples, donuts, and more.

This is a the hummus piryot from Dizengoff.

When you want to go meatless, head to these 18 places.

The Best Sushi Restaurants In Philly  image

From neighborhood staples to omakase spots worth planning your financial quarter around, these are our favorite sushi places in Philly.

Laser Wolf image

Laser Wolf is an excellent Israeli grill in Kensington from the people behind Zahav.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store