Take a vacay from LA with these spots to sweat in OC.
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It's clear by now that there's no shortage of healthy food in Los Angeles. But there are a few local restaurants that take clean eating to the next level. Healthy and truly delicious? Yep, these places check both boxes.
Café Gratitude's extensive menu is filled with plant-based, organic, self-affirming food that will wow your taste buds. From shareable starters to sandwiches, wraps, and large entrées, they've got you covered whether you're popping in for a quick bite or want to settle in and stay for a while. If you're not sure what to get, try the Whole/Macrobiotic Bowl — it's a fan favorite. And with locations the Arts District, Larchmont, and Venice, you can treat yourself no matter where you are.
This charming eatery in Melrose is committed to serving dishes that health-conscious eaters can get behind. That's why they source all of their ingredients from local farmers and don't introduce anything artificial into the culinary creations they whip up. Plus, they've got something to satisfy every craving, from vegan burgers served on a gluten-free bun to all-day brunch bites (like their Matcha Granola). And if you're in a rush, you can grab a pre-made bento box or sushi from the deli.
Healthy food doesn't always mean salads and quinoa. And Tocaya Organica proves just that with their modern approach to Mexican food. They offer a better-for-you take on street food classics (think tacos, burritos, quesadillas), and almost everything on the menu is customizable. If you do happen to be craving a salad, you won't find run-of-the-mill ones here. Dive into their flavor-packed namesake salad with your choice of protein and cheese, and thank us later. Maybe the best news? There are a handful of Tocaya Organica outposts across LA with more on the way, so chances are there's one close to you.
This Silver Lake favorite is an intimate, family-owned spot that focuses on fresh, seasonal food, and it really doesn't get much better than that. The menu changes every day based on chef Kim's farmers market finds, but you can bet it will be delicious (and look as good as it tastes). No matter what you end up digging into, you'll leave full, satisfied, and planning your next trip back.
A peaceful oasis in Studio City, SunCafe is the place for a tasty meal that also happens to be vegan. Their entire menu (that spans brunch, lunch, and dinner) is 100% plant-based, dairy-free, and made from scratch with organic, seasonal, non-GMO ingredients, so no matter what your heart (and belly) desires, you can count on it being healthy. If you want to keep it light, try their Sweet Kale Shake — it's a Fitt favorite. Though, if you're in the mood for something more substantial, you can't go wrong with the BBQ Cauliflower.
Don't let the name fool you — the only thing this Venice restaurant is butchering are veggies. The Butcher's Daughter is an all-in-one juice bar, cafe, and "vegetable slaughterhouse" set up in a gorgeous, relaxed venue straight out of Pinterest. If you go for brunch—and we suggest you do—try The Best Egg Sandwich or the Spicy Kale Caesar. And for the adventurous crowd, be sure to order one of their unique mimosas, which include ingredients like kale and cucumber. Fitt Tip: they also have a food truck, which is available to rent for special occasions.
The brainchild of musician Moby, Little Pine, is a vegan bistro with a cool rustic vibe that will make you feel like you're in a chic ski lodge rather than in Silver Lake. Undeniably, it's the perfect spot for weekend brunch with friends and features tasty dishes like Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes and king trumpet scallops made of mushrooms. And the best part besides the eats? 100% of their profits go to protecting animals. In other words, dining at Little Pine is an all-around win-win.
Nestled in Santa Monica, Del Mar, and Newport Beach, this fast-casual restaurant with hippie vibes makes eating clean and green oh-so-easy. It's all because they don't compromise when it comes to what they put in their food. So, no matter what you order, you can expect it to be made with organic, seasonal, and scratch-made ingredients. Not only that, they cater to palates of all types, offering plenty of vegan, paleo, sugar- and gluten-free options. The kicker? They also offer kombucha on tap!
Botanica was built by two longtime food writers and editors who scoped out restaurants for nearly a decade each before diving in and creating their own. The result? A delightful all-day restaurant and market combo focused on community, sustainability, and lots of local ingredients. And no matter if you stop in for a spot of coffee, a morning snack, or a delicious dinner, it'll be free of refined sugars, processed foods, or any products of industrial agriculture. Find their healthy plates and happy vibes in Silver Lake.
Nestled among the shops at PLATFORM in Culver City, Bondi Harvest serves up Aussie-style beach vibes, and healthy breakfast and lunch eats. From the bowls, eggs on toast, and flat whites to the laid-back feel and hospitality, we'd say it's as close to the Land Down Under brekkie culture as you can get in LA. The breakfast burrito is hands down the all-time fave among locals, but whatever you choose, get ready to celebrate fresh and flavorful fare.
The aromas of healthful (mostly veggie) bowls and gluten-free sourdough toasts inspired by international cuisine fill this little cafe in Echo Park. Behind Honey Hi are two best friends, one of which is a holistic nutritionist who created a menu in collaboration with local farmers and artisans, so there's no denying each dish is made with the utmost care and highest standards. Must-haves include their Miso Bowl packed with Marin Sun Farms pasture-raised shredded chicken, purpose cabbage, rainbow carrots, and ginger chickpea miso dressing and their grass-fed beef sipping broth. A neighborhood mainstay that makes eating "crave-able, sustainable, comfort food" easy? Count us in.
What started as a simple jam operation has sprouted into a full-fledged, highly-coveted Silver Lake breakfast and lunch joint. On the off chance you're not familiar, it's the one with the long line down the block, and for good reason. Their farm-to-table dishes are as tasty and satisfying as they are innovative. The poster child for Sqirl is arguably the Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl filled with local, sustainable, and organic ingredients along with bold flavors. But The Hash and Buckwheat Pancake put up some stiff competition. We don't blame you if you try it all (at once).
Inspired by the philosophy that food should make you feel better, True Food Kitchen follows the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil's anti-inflammatory diet (aka vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free). But make no mistake, at this counter-serve eatery in Santa Monica, Pasadena, El Segundo, and Newport Beach you can indulge in dishes like Grass-Fed Steak Tacos and Lasagna Bolognese and feel good about it. Like some wine to go with your meal? No problem — it's sustainable. And with Oprah's recent investment in the eatery, we'll bet it's only going to get better.
When you're in the mood for an elevated ambiance and upscale vegan eats, head to Plant Food + Wine in Venice. Thought up by well-known chef Matthew Kenney, the intimate gathering space and restaurant chops, slices, and dices up seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients and uses them in creative and innovative ways. The result? A menu of carefully-crafted dishes that are nothing short of perfection. And to top it all off, this spot has an incredible outdoor patio and organic, biodynamic wines.
East Hollywood's Kismet cooks fresh, Mediterranean fare, and they serve it up family-style. The portions are as big as the flavors are bold, and they love to pair them with a good glass of natural wine. What's not to love? Start with something fun like the Freekeh Fritters or Speckled Romaine, then spice it up with Clams in Turmeric Broth or the Fish a la Plancha. Whatever you choose, you're in for a tasty meal and a good time.
I’m celebrating week 21 of pregnancy. Baby is the size of a banana or bell pepper. I don’t know why it’s so fun to compare a growing fetus to a fruit or veggie, but it gives me a much-needed laugh while I make note to avoid consuming bananas for the week. This is also ultrasound week. I’m no longer able to bring my husband and daughter to the appointment, but we understand that these restrictions are put in place to protect us. Like so many pregnant women and mothers across the world, I’m doing my best to adapt to the new norm and changes that COVID-19 has introduced to my already stressful life.
Pregnant women across various metro cities are beginning to face fears of delivering their baby without a birthing partner by their side for the duration of the hospital stay. Family members and friends may not be able to meet baby in-person for quite some time, so those special first meetings happen over FaceTime. New mommy groups switch to virtual meetups. I’m feeling the weight of it all (and I’m not referring to the extra weight I’ve gained from WFH snacking), the heaviness of the unknown that we all carry as we navigate through all of this change.
Tuning into nightly news or googling the latest COVID-19 death tolls is a surefire way to lose sleep, but we do it anyway because we want to stay informed as we wrap our heads around how much this pandemic will change our world. Maybe your anxiety and personal despair grow as you hear from a friend who recently lost their job or read about your favorite restaurant unable to keep its doors open. Canceled events, long-anticipated vacations, and temporarily closed fitness studios are not only inconvenient, but force us to reframe our attitudes.
I can hear my mother’s voice telling me to relax. She tells me that the baby can feel my stress, and that isn’t good for anyone. I begin to feel guilty about my inability to quiet the negative feelings and decide that something needs to change. We can’t change what the media reports, the pressure at work, or predict how long it will take for the economy to recover. But what if we reminded ourselves to do the best with what we have and keep moving forward—one day at a time. Amidst the chaos, we’re becoming a stronger, kinder community, and that is truly a beautiful thing to see.
The journey to my second trimester wasn’t an easy one. I suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I made time for my body and mind to heal after the loss. Float tank sessions, meditation, vinyasa power flow, and frequent facials helped me connect with my body. I can’t say self-care alone healed my depression, but it certainly helped me discover the importance of self-love and repaired my self-confidence.
After many pregnancy tests and negative results, I was at peace with accepting that having another child may not be in the cards for me. Fast forward to age 37. I was shocked to see a + symbol on three pregnancy stick tests. Although I’m medically referred to as a geriatric pregnancy, my OB/Gyn said there was no reason for me to go into this pregnancy with a negative mindset. Eat healthy, stay active, and focus on being POSITIVE. Maybe the pursuit of happiness and path to personal wellness was really that simple.
On my 38th birthday, I celebrated my 20th week of pregnancy—I’ll refer to it as the “Pregnant in a Pandemic Party.” I blew out a candle on a warm chocolate chip cookie that my husband and daughter baked together. They were my only party guests, but I didn’t need a room full of people at a fancy restaurant to feel pure gratitude. People across the world continue to test positive for COVID-19. I was safe in my home with my family. I was right where I needed to be.
Although the past few weeks have brought a wide range of emotions for all of us, I’m choosing to use this extra time to self-reflect and bond with family. I’m mentally recording my five-year-old daughter as she whispers to my stomach and tells her baby sister that August couldn’t come soon enough. This is life. So perfectly imperfect at times, but beautiful in more ways than we know. We may be housebound, down to the last few rolls of toilet paper, and our hair hasn’t seen a salon in over a month. The loss of control and routine over our daily lives can make us feel like failures. Trust me; we’re not. We were never meant to get through this alone. Together, we will get through this—one day at a time.