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Jul 18, 2013 04:23 PM

Healthy restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area?

I live in the South Bay and I am trying to eat healthier. Can anyone recommend some restaurants that serve delicious, but generally healthy, cuisine? I live in the South Bay, so in that area would be nice, but all around the bay is good too. I like Mediterranean food, Asian food, Italian food, Mexican food, pretty much everything! Do you guys have any suggestions?

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  1. Garden Fresh is one of my favorite spots in mountain view and palo alto. great vegan chinese. like, really great. plenty of other suggestions around this board for vegan fare in the East Bay, but probably too far for a regular dinner.

    1. People have different ideas about what's healthy, can you be more specific?

      8 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Places that serve low calorie, low fat, high nutrient (whole grains, etc), not a ton of extra oils. I don't really have a specific definition. Just looking for some tasty food to replace the greasy, "bad for you" takeout my family has been getting

        1. re: Kvavava

          YOu can make healthy choices at almost every place, even fast food - salad without dressing. Grilled chicken without the bun. At healthy places you can make poor choices - there isn't any restaurant that will protect you from yourself - just some that make it easier than others ;)

          1. re: estnet

            generally the healthiest (and cheapest) move is to cook at home with mainly vegetables, some lean proteins, low dairy, and brown/complete vs white carbs. but this isn't a healthy eating site, so i wasn't going to get into it :)

            1. re: hungree

              I also agree with estnet and hungree. Getting good quality food and preparing it at home is the healthiest way to go on a number of different levels. And ultimately, it's the most satisfying. But if you're careful, you can do OK in restaurants, at least up to a point.

              Otherwise, as mentioned, what that specifically means to you dictates a lot.

              Oren's in Palo Alto has simple, healthy, delicious Mediterranean food with lots of organic ingredients.

              Walia in San Jose has terrific Ethiopian food with lots of good, healthy ingredients. If you want to keep the oil content down, particularly the butter, just tell them and they'll accommodate you or guide you to the preferable choices along those lines. It's gotten really popular, so weekend evenings can mean waiting for a table.

              If quality of oil matters, as the OP suggests (it does to me) a lot of places that use plenty of veggies and such drop a few notches in the level of healthiness. That's something to watch for.

              1. re: hungree

                This site pitches a big tent around deliciousness. If you'd like to continue in that direction, check out these boards.

                Vegetarian & Vegan

                Special Diets

                Home Cooking

            2. re: Kvavava

              I agree with estnet and hungree, especially where it concerns eating at home. How often do you guys eat out? It sort of sounds like your family is eating out for more than half its meals. Cooking at home assures that you have greater control over what goes into your kids' stomachs. It's probably even more crucial if your kids are also eating school meals, most of which are not very healthy at all.

              On the other hand, if only you're eating out, say, once a week, then what the heck, you may as well let your kids have pizza, in all its cheesy, glutenous glory.

              1. re: dunstable

                We don't eat out very often, but my mom, who lives with us now, is not at all health conscious and often brings home unhealthy, greasy takeout. She always goes for the most unhealthy options and loves to eat out and I would like to present some healthier options to her

                1. re: Kvavava

                  Perhaps you'd be more successful asking her to bring home specific items from the places she frequents rather than trying to get her to go to different places (altho if you could get her to stop at Costco for a rotisserie chicken - well except for the sodium and a box of tomatoes and some lettuce you'd have a healthy meal for next to nothing). Even at KFC you can get grilled chicken instead of fried, etc.
                  It sounds like your problem is modifying your moms buying habits more than finding new places. Some education about the damage she is doing her family's health is likely to be more useful than going to a restaurant where she may or may not make 1 good choice

          2. Lyfe Kitchen in Palo Alto is healthy and very good. They have a lot of very creative recipes and lots of vegetarian and vegan options as well as healthy dishes with meat.

            1. The eggplant salad at Gyros House in Mountain View is amazing. Of course, if you are going for low carbs as well, then you need to throw away the pita bread that comes with it.

              If carbs are not so much of a concern, I recommend the vegetarian wrap at DishDash in Sunnyvale. It has great smoked eggplant, and perfect sauce made with a little olive oil.

              Continuing with the higher-carb but low fat option: you can get a vegetarian sandwich without the cheese: The hot veggie sandwich at Specialty's Cafe is good.

              1. Sushi is generally pretty healthy if you stay away from the mayonaise/filler rolls. Sushi Tomi in Mountain View and Akane in Los Altos are pretty good. Order sashimi if you are trying to be low carb and get a seaweed salad.