New York City has some of the best restaurants in the world, which can make it hard to choose when you’re heading out for lunch. Plus, if you are watching what you eat, you have to be super careful about your choices because eating out for every meal has the potential to really sabotage your figure. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to; the trick is knowing where to go and what to order. Below is a list of some Healthy with Nedi approved restaurants that serve the best lunches in NYC. I’ve even included the most delicious, figure-friendly dishes on their menus.
Healthy with Nedi Approved Lunch Spots in New York City
Miss Paradis – this relatively new SoHo restaurant has a great menu for the health conscious. My favorite dishes here are: Roasted Cauliflower with Labneh Cheese, Tataki Tuna Salad, Zucchini Tagliatelle with Kale & Basil Pesto, and the Chilean Sea Bass Miso with Cauliflower Purée.
ABC Kitchen – tucked inside the beautiful ABC Home in Flatiron is an exceptional eatery by Jean-Georges. All of the dishes on the menu feature local and organic ingredients and are beyond delicious. My favorite items on the menu include: Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli, Raw Fluke, Tuna Sashimi, Summer Squash Salad, Roast Carrot and Avocado Salad and for a decadent day: Pizza with Mushrooms, Parmesan and Farm Egg.
Cafe Clover – this West Village cafe offers a warm, inviting atmosphere with a creative and healthy menu. Their menu is almost all local, seasonal and organic, which is amazing! Some of my favorite dishes include: Celery Root and Apple Salad, Cumin Carrots, Sweet Potato Carpaccio, Octopus a la Plancha, Teff Papardelle, Chickpea Spaghetti and the Cauliflower “Steak.”
Sant Ambroeus – this Italian eatery has three New York City locations (and one in Southhampton) and offers delicious traditional options that allow you to steer clear of a pasta-centric lunch. My favorite dishes at Sant Ambroeus are: Steamed Asparagus with a Hard-Boiled Egg, Tuna Tartar, Artichokes with Arugula, King Crab Salad with Fennel, Lentil Salad, Grilled Dover Sole, Branzino with Mushrooms and Braised Leeks and the Eggplant Parmigiana if it’s a day for indulgence.
Cipriani Downtown – Cipriani is generally known to serve heavy, carb-loaded meals, but don’t believe what you hear. Some of their best dishes are Healthy With Nedi approved and actually quite figure friendly. For starters I like to eat the Tuna Tartar, Dodge Salad, Cucumber Salad, Beet-Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad and my absolute favorite: Braised Artichokes. For my entrée, I usually order either the Grilled Branzino or the Chilean Sea Bass with Zucchini and Black Olives. I always skip the rice that comes with the main and ask for broccoli rabe or sautéed spinach instead. If I am feeling a bit naughty, then I will share a pasta with everyone at the table. My favorite pastas at Cipriani are: Baked Tagliolini with Ham and Tagliardi with Veal Ragu.
Extra Virgin – this West Village café is a cute spot for a nice lunch outside when the weather is pleasant. Menu items to try include: Extra Virgin Salad (I usually skip the grilled bread), Roasted Artichoke Parmesan, Shrimp Cobb Salad, Pan Seared Ahi Tuna and Chardonnay Steamed Mussels. When I am looking for something more decadent then I go for the Chickpea Fries with Cucumber Yogurt, Rigatoni Bolognese or Wild Mushroom and Pumpkin Risotto.
The PokéSpot – I like to stop by this Union Square eatery during my breaks at NYU for a quick lunch. My poké bowl usually consists of a base of zucchini noodles topped with cilantro, avocado, seaweed, edamame, green onion, salmon, roasted seaweed and wasabi shoyu sauce.
JaJaJa – This lower east side gem is perfect for those who are on a plant-based diet or simply like to enjoy some vegan food. It is a Mexican restaurant that serves delicious nachos and tacos (trust me, even your meat-eating friends will love it). I recommend the Hearts of Palm Ceviche, Nachos, Guacamole, Chorizo Burrito, Mescal Mushroom Tacos, and Tumeric Cauliflower Rice Bowl.
Estiatorio Milos – this beautiful Midtown eatery brings the joys of Grecian cuisine to New York City. I find true pleasure in creating my own menu each time I dine here as their selection of fresh fish changes daily. I usually order the lunch special menu, which includes a choice of appetizer, main and a dessert. My favorite dishes at Milos are: Greek Ceviche, Tuna Sashimi, Greek Salad, Grilled Octopus, Shrimp Saganaki and Grilled Lavraki with Steamed Vegetables. Must-try indulgences are Milo’s Special and Lobster Pasta.
Candle Cafe – this is the quintessential uptown café for plant-based food. Everything on their menu is vegan and made fresh with organic ingredients. I like to start with the Spicy Cilantro Refresher and continue on with the Avocado Tartar, Seitan Chimichurri, Grilled Kale Salad, Spaghetti & Wheatballs, Live Lasagna, Herbed Portobello “Steak” or Butternut Squash Risotto.
The Mark Hotel – if I am having a light lunch at The Mark I prefer to sit in their cozy lounge. However, if I know I will be eating more than just the Crispy Sushi (which happens to be the best item on the menu) then I will ask for a table in the dining room. The Mark’s is another excellent menu created by chef Jean-Georges. My favorite dishes from the dining room are: Crispy Sushi with Serrano Peppers, Chargrilled Octopus, Market Beets, Steamed Shrimp Salad, Kale Salad, Chicken Paillard, and Tuna Burger (I usually eat this without the bun). If I’m in the mood for an indulgence, I’ll order the Angel Hair with Shiitake Mushrooms.
Freds at Barneys – located in Barneys on Madison Ave., this modern day bistro has some of the best salads in the city. It is the perfect stop for a bite after a day of shopping. My favorite dishes at Freds include: Tuna Tartar, Roasted Mushrooms Over Arugula, Fred’s Kale and Vegetable salad, Roasted Shrimp with Lime and Ginger, Roasted Asparagus, Mark’s Madison Avenue Salad, and Palm Beach Shrimp Salad.
Amaranth – this uptown Mediterranean restaurant is my go-to for a ladies lunch. My friends and I love enjoying extended mid-day meals here. We usually order several dishes to share including: Tuna Tartar, Arugula Parmesan Salad, Lentil Salad, Zucchini Carpaccio and the Truffle Focaccia. I usually remove the top layer of the focaccia to cut down on carbs.