10 Healthy Places to Eat in Richmond, VA
I can’t believe it’s almost March! We’re getting farther away from New Year’s resolutions. Did you make any promises to eat healthier? According to my reader survey, a lot of you did! Luckily for those of you who live in the Richmond, VA area, there are lots of options to eat healthy and still enjoy an exciting meal.
Local blogger Katie Brown of Real Food with Gratitude put together a guide of healthy recommendations in RVA. I can’t wait to start crossing some off my list! Let’s see what she’s got:
This local favorite has quick and easy protein and veggie bowls. Goatacado started as a food truck about six years ago and grew into brick and mortar at the end of 2016; located in the heart of The Fan!
Meal Pictured: The Vietnamese Bowl: seared Portobello mushrooms, pickled fresh veggies, shaved red cabbage, cucumber, fresh herbs, crunchy peanuts—zesty carrot top aioli, peanut sauce, toasted sesame seed and avocado. You can add free range egg or organic chicken to any bowl.
2. Sen Organics
Sen Organics is a quaint, French inspired Vietnamese café open for lunch and dinner. It has been open about six months and is located across from the Byrd Theater at the end of Carytown.
Meal Pictured: Organic Bun Cha Gio (Vegan) (or Shrimp option): Lettuce and glass rice noodles base with pickled veggies and four vegan egg rolls surrounding the bowl. The dish is topped with shaved carrots, taro, peanuts and shallots on top. It comes with a vegan sauce to pour over top (hot or mild) made of blended apples, the rind of a pineapple and garlic. There are also Pink Himalayan sea salt grinders at every table, which is a very healthy alternative to the traditional table salt!
Zzaam is a fresh Korean Grill located at the beginning of Carytown. Think of it like the korean version of Chipotle. You can make your own bowls with a salad, rice, or noodle base. After you pick your base, you can pick your protein, toppings, and sauce. A location is opening in Midlothian in 2017!
Meal Pictured: Brown Rice Bowl with spicy chicken, zucchini, roasted onion, roasted carrots and corn with the Z Kick sauce (spicy) on top.
Also pictured: Steamed Veggie Mandoo (vegetable dumplings). There are multiple protein options including tofu, chicken, spicy chicken, beef and many different veggie and sauce options to choose from.
4. Ellwood Thompson’s
Ellwood Thompson’s is a local, independent grocery story that has been serving up locally sourced goods since 1989. It is located at the beginning of Carytown. It was recently awarded the Best Grocery category in the Richmond Magazine Best and Worst of 2016.
There are many different food and drink options here–something for everyone. Ellwood serves breakfast, lunch and quick dinners. There are a number of ways to eat healthy here: The hot bar is filled with many proteins and veggies, a salad bar, premade entrees and sides, a fresh seafood counter, a Made-to-Order bar for breakfast and lunch, and a coffee/smoothie bar (Green & Grind counter selling Blanchard’s Coffee) and of course, regular grocery shopping. Both dishes pictured here are from their Made-to-Order station.
A few special things about Ellwood: they have Blue Ridge Kombucha on tap, their own Ellwood Pressed Juices for sale and they have a Certified Health Coach on staff.
Meal Pictured Above: Harvest Hash Bowl: Roasted sweet potatoes, local apples, onions, bussels sprouts, kale, organic walnuts and cinnamon topped with cherry tomatoes, avocado and a local free range fried egg.
Second Meal Pictured: The Green Goddess Bowl: Organic red quinoa, chickpeas, shaved zucchini, spring greens, bell pepper medley, grape tomatoes, microgreens, sprouts, lemon pita chips with a basil tahini dressing.
5. Ginger Juice:
This juice bar is located in the Village Shopping Center near the University of Richmond. Ginger Juice has cold pressed juices, acai bowls/smoothies and wheatgrass shots. You can walk in and order a made to order smoothie bowl or reach for one of the daily juices. There are no preservatives, so they only last a day or so. They are always marked with dates to show freshness. Though juice is Ginger’s specialty, the ladies there make their own nut butters and almond milks with locally sourced ingredients.
You can also order juices online and find Ginger Juice’s kiosk in downtown Richmond. If you want to give a cleanse a try, consider the cleanse subscription (1, 3 or 5 days) and pick it up at the beginning of the week. Be sure to let them know a few days in advance.
Three Cold Pressed Juices Pictured: Grace: Carrots, Apples, Ginger, Cinnamon; Glitzy: Apple, Pear and Pineapples; Giving: Beets, Pear, Ginger, Lime
6. Shore Dog Café
Shoredog is a hidden treasure in the Westhampton area of Richmond serving local Lamplighter coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and local Homestead Creamery ice cream! The Shore Dog owners pride themselves on always using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Bagels are delivered from the almost famous Davidovich in New York. If you can’t do bagels, they have vegan and gluten free alternatives and can always substitute egg whites.
Meal Pictured Above: Fresh Fruit Bowl: fresh local apples, honeydew, half a banana, strawberries and blueberries.
Second Meal Pictured: Superfood Bowl: Sautéed kale, quinoa, sautéed tomatoes, with a free range fried egg topped with your choice of parmesean cheese or goat cheese.
Mezah is a mediterranean chain that came to Richmond about two months ago. It is located in front of Short Pump Town Center Mall. All of the grill’s food is created in house each morning. At the counter, you can create your own bowl. You start by choosing either a salad or rice bowl and then move on to selecting a protein, sauce and add as many veggies as you want, including fresh/homemade hummus, beets, pickled carrots/onions. Mezah’s protein is cage free/grass-fed with no added hormones or preservatives. Sauce options include homemade tzatziki, tahini or a feta vinaigrette all made with minimal ingredients. You can stay on track by using the nutritional calculator available.
Meal Pictured: Salad Bowl with Chicken: spinach and romaine based with cucumbers, corn, green pepper, broccoli, pickled veggies, zucchini, and shaved red cabbage with a Harissa sauce (spicy) on top.
8. North End Juice Co.
North End Juice Co. is a walk up smoothie bar in the heart of the museum district. You can find fresh pressed juices, smoothies, acai/smoothie bowls, fresh made empanadas, on-the-go items and wheatgrass shots. On-the-go options include a Kale & Couscous Salad with a honey curry vinaigrette and a house-made hummus (original, beet, basil pesto or sriracha) with veggies and or fresh pita on the side. North End also makes Bulletproof coffee (Coffee + Coconut Oil + Grass-Feed Butter!) As you wait just a couple minutes for your smoothie or bowl to be made, you can stand under heat lamps attached to their doors to keep you warm during the winter months!
Meal Pictured: Ernie McCrackin Bowl: Acai and mixed berries blended with a cold pressed apple juice topped with banana, mango, house-made granola, coconut, almond butter, chia seeds and gogi berries.
9. The Daily
This trendy sit down restaurant is pefrfect for brunch, lunch or dinner in the heart of Carytown. The Daily is Known for their organic, free-range, local, vegan and gluten-free menu. The restaurant’s healthy side options are some of the best in town–chickpea salad, quinoa tabbouleh, ginger steamed kale, grilled asparagus, brown rice or brussels sprouts. The Daily’s sodas are all corn syrup free. The back of the menu lists all the local and nearby farms, markets and business the restaurant gets its ingredients from.
Meal Pictured Above: Chicken Lettuce Wraps: organic chicken, vermicelli noodles, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro and topped with peanuts – served with a trio of sauces.
Second Meal Pictured: Curried Lentil Bowl: Quinoa, sweet potatoes, zucchini, spinach and tamarind sambal sauce with a mint chutney on top. This is vegan and gluten-free.
Third Meal Pictured: Lump Crab Stack: heirloom tomatoes, avocado, dill and large chunks of fresh crab meat with a cucumber avocado sauce on the side. This is paleo and gluten free.
10. The Pit and the Peel
This Juice Bar and Bistro serves juices, smoothies, acai bowls, made-to-order sandwiches, on-the-go parfaits, premade salads and precut veggie and hummus packs. The Pit and the Peel is located in the VCU area. You can add either whey or plant protein to any smoothie or bowl.
Meal Pictured: Midnight Bowl: Blended acai, banana, dark chocolate, dark cocoa and almond milk and topped with strawberries, banana and cacao nibs.
Where are your favorite healthy spots in RVA? Tell us in the comments!