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Sep 7, 2007 09:23 AM

Healthy eats in Boston

I'm going to be in Boston in a couple of weeks, and I'm putting together my culinary agenda. I travel a lot on business (which obviously entails a lot of eating out), so eating healthy is a top priority. I really despise greasy, oily foods and tend to go for places that serve light fresh cuisines...maybe homemade oatmeal or granola with fresh fruit for breakfast, light sandwich / salads for lunch, and I'm pretty much open to anything when it comes to dinner (although I do like a lot of SE Asian and Mediterranean foods). Anyway, I'll be staying in the financial district, but suggestions for any T-accessible places to eat healthy would be awesome. I went to graduate school in Boston, but unfortunately most of my favorite places to chow (ah, Pizzeria Regina) don't exactly fall into the healthy category ;)

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  1. As someone who leads a secret double life of health nut by day, chowhound by night, I asked a similar question a few months ago:

    Favorite new discovery had to be Xinh Xinh (thanks MC Slim JB!), but the thread has a number of great ideas. I'll reiterate Sultan's Kitchen and Boston Kebab House as lunchtime favorites in the area.

    1. Hi,

      A good option, not mentioned in the other thread, is the Other Side Cafe. They specialize in vegan, organic, healthy food. Sort of boston's own hippy granola place, with good food. They are across the street from the Hynes stop on the Green Line, so it would be easy to get to for you.

      Other Side Cafe
      407 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

      1. Three that come to mind that I like a lot:

        -- Pho So 1 Boston, Dorchester (Fields Corner T stop). Excellent Vietnamese food, including terrific pho.

        -- Cafe Barada, North Cambridge (Davis Square T stop). Tasty (and healthy) Syrian and Lebanese food, often served by the owner who is a truly nice guy.

        -- Helmand, East Cambridge (fairly close to Kendall Square T stop). Outstanding Afghan food at reasonable prices.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hiddenboston

          hiddenboston, do you (or does anyone else) have any particular favorites at Cafe Barada? I keep hearing mixed reviews...I'm wondering if it boils down to some dishes being better than others.

          1. re: finlero

            finlero, I have a couple of favorites there. I love the homemade lentil soup--they add some interesting spices to it--and I've always liked the hummus there; very smooth and rich.

            1. re: hiddenboston

              We tend to go vegetarian when we are there. The mujeddara (lentils and rice) is great comfort food and much more than the sum of its parts, as is the ful muddamus, an addictive concoction of brown beans, lemon, garlic and olive oil that is eaten with syrian bread. The olives are wonderful. They also have a list of rotating specials, one veggie and one not. The food is sort of what your Lebanese grandmother would make, not exotic or upscale, but really down-to-earth, and served with gracious humility.

            2. re: finlero

              i believe you hit the nail on the head it DOES boil down to every rest. has some dishes better than others

          2. I'm of absolutely no help on breakfasts and lunches in the financial district - yogurt & salad being my defaults when traveling heavily for work. I did recently try the bahn mi at Mei Sum Bakery in chinatown. If you think that's healthy, I can recommend it as seriously delicious. T Stop: Boylston on the green line, chinatown on the orange line.

            I'm not sure if Parish Cafe's sandwiches are considered light or not, but I really dig 'em: T Arlington on the green line.

            If you're still trying to stay somewhat healthy for dinner and want some Vietnamese, Xihn Xihn in Chinatown (already mentioned on the other thread) or Pho Pasteur would both be good options for pho etc. T Stop: Boylston on the green line or Chinatown on the orange line.

            There's also all of Fields Corner for tasty Vietnamese, but I'm not sure how far you wish to travel. T: Field Corner on the red line.

            Other SE Asian options include the holy trinity in Coolidge Corner: Khao Sarn (slightly upscale thai with a full bar), Dok Bua (casual thai with fabulous larb), and Rod Dee (cafeteria-style thai known for their noodles and curries). T Stop: Coolidge Corner on the C green line.

            My Cambodian favorite is Floating Rock in Revere - in a sketchy area, far out from the city, a bit of a hike. If you feel like an adventure, it's the Wonderland Stop on the blue line, I think.

            I really enjoy the Tuscan menu at Trattoria Toscona in Fenway. Their pastas & steaks are quite good, simple and tasty. Kenmore stop on all green lines except for E.

            The North End also opens up a whole array of Italian options. There's lots to choose from and many opinions on the board.

            Baraka Cafe in Central Square Cambridge offers another twist on Mediterranean foods - Tunisian, I believe. Everything I've had there was outstanding. Central Square on the Red Line.

            That only covers a few of your requests. Be sure to report back!

            1. Cool! Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'm glad to hear that there's good Vietnamese in the area. That'll definitely take care of a couple dinners. The Other Side Cafe sounds good too. Although I'm staying in the Financial District, I'll be working near the Prudential, so that's pretty convenient.

              I'd forgotten about Helmund! I loved that place. It was ~ 10 minute walk from campus (if I remember correctly). Hopefully it hasn't changed much in the last 5-6 years. I also want to try to get out to a couple other favorites, assuming they're still around...Brown Sugar and Zaftig :D

              I've heard a lot about Trattoria Tuscana, so I think I'll check that out one night. Although I love Italian food, I'm usually disappointed in Italian restaurants, as they tend to be overly liberal w/ olive oil. From what I hear, Trattoria Tuscana has some fairly simple, light fare.

              I'm still not sure about breakfasts, but hopefully it won't be too hard to find some decent oatmeal or something. By the way, does anyone know anything about the new Myers/Chang restaurant? I read about it a couple of months ago, but I can't remember when it's supposed to open.

              2 Replies
              1. re: marckenton

                For breakfast, Rachel's Kitchen does a nice oatmeal, amongst other things.


                1. re: marckenton

                  Zaftigs is still around, still popular, and still fantastic.