HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Healthy But Hearty Restaurants Downtown

My fiance and I looove to eat out and enjoy great food but with our wedding coming up in a few months, I have been sticking to an uber healthy diet. Can anyone recommend any good restaurants in downtown (but anywhere in Manhattan really) that has great healthy food that is not bland. We're into all sorts of food and are willing to try anything. It doesn't have to be vegan or vegetarian or organic or anything like that. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Check out "Heartbeat" at the W Hotel.

    1. When Hearbeat first opened, Chef Michel Nishan was in charge of creating the menu. I remember him appearing on t.v., demonstrating some of his healthful creations. While I never tried the restaurant, when I looked at the menu, the focus of his cuisine was very obvious. However, he is long gone and looking at the current menu on their website, it has morphed into a Latin-style cuisine that appears to bear no resemblance to the restaurant's original raison d'etre.


      I suggest you go to Devi. The superb Indian cuisine served there is not only packed with delicious flavors, but I think many of the dishes -- particularly the vegetarian ones -- are healthful.


      You could also try Pure Food & Wine, the upscale vegan restaurant on Irving Place. If you go, my advice would be to have the seriously delicious "lasagna," perhaps start with a salad, but avoid everything else. Also, wait until the weather warms up and sit in the gorgeous back garden.


      The Greeks really know their way around fish and seafood, so I highly recommend you go to Ethos, where they specialize in whole fish which you can select from their pristing display on ice at the rear of the restaurant. It will be grilled perfectly, and your server will filet it tableside. It's accompanied by very tasty roasted lemon potatoes and, usually, green beans. Start with a few mezzes or a salad. Just skip the dessert sweet that comes on the house, and you will have a wonderful, healthful meal.


      1. Some possibilities:
        Spring Street Natural
        Soy (it's not a vegetarian restaurant, there's meat too, for the non-tofu-lovers)

        But really, you can go to any Chinese restaurant and order from the "diet" dishes - or ask that a specific dish be prepared steamed, with the sauce on the side.

        1 Reply
        1. re: piccola

          I second Hangawi, which is vegetarian. I hate the idea of vegeterian restaurants in general but hangawi is hearty and very good.

        2. Leela Lounge near NYU uses only healthy ingredients and is very tasty.
          Also, any good sushi place should fit your bill.

          1. Red Bamboo on West 4th street is a vegan restaurant with a lot of fake meat dishes, stir fries, salads, etc. The food is great and the price is right.

            1 Reply
            1. re: zoeterry

              As much as I love Red Bamboo, I don't think anyone could call dishes like the soul chicken "healthy". A lot of their food is fried.

            2. If you are into Chinese food or dim sum, I willl recommend Dim Sum Go Go in Chinatown. Their dim sum, especially the assortment of steamed dumplings, are much lighter and less oily compared to the rest in Chinatown. They also have a vegetarian dim sum platter and seafood/meat dim sum platter if you don't want to think too much about choosing. These dumplings, while light, are quite filling. I always like to have a mix of their seafood and vegetable dumplings. As long as you stay away from the fried food (like spring rolls), this will be a hearty healthy meal for you!

              1. Rickshaw Dumplings on 23rd

                  1. re: nyccookie

                    As I've said before on this board, I would never recommend Zen Palate because the food I had the one time I tried the 9th Av. location was horrible!

                    1. re: RGR

                      Not a big fan of Zen Palate either. It may be vegetarian but it's really oily.

                  2. I would eat lots of seafood - Le Bernadin's my favorite.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: bronwen

                      Souen on 13th and University. Macrobiotic Japanese. Virtuous and delicious.

                      1. re: sriracha

                        I have not been to Souen since I was served a rice flour waffle that was a dead ringer for a styrofoam cup. What should I have eaten?

                      2. re: bronwen

                        Although seafood sounds like a healthy option, the amount of butter and "hidden" fat may surprise you. That's why it tastes so good!

                        If you want seafood "unprocessed", you may be better off with sushi and sashimi.

                        1. re: bronwen

                          Just a question, since I haven't been there in many years: Do they use a lot of butter?

                        2. I'd look into Moustache and Gobo (Village), as well as Josie's on the UWS. But honestly, almost any restaurant will have some healthy, but hearty options. You just have to be careful what you order. In general, Vietnamese might be a good cuisine for you.