Tasty and Healthy Restaurants in the Bay Area
Eating out can have a sigma of being high calorie and not as healthy as cooking your own meals at home. And, to a certain extent, when you cook at home you have a lot more control over the ingredients and types of dishes you make. But we’re all CRAZY busy, right? Not everyone has time to meal prep, at least not every single week. Or maybe you’re in a rush and accidentally forget your lunch at home (gasp)! Well, don’t fret! We’ve traveled around the Bay and found some of the best healthy food in the San Francisco Bay Area!
Healthy Food in the San Francisco Bay Area:
1) Mendocino Farms
Mendocino Farms has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants ever since they started opening locations in the SF Bay Area. Not only is it healthy, but holy cow (logo pun intended), it’s SO tasty! The ingredients are always beyond fresh, and the recipes are crafted perfectly. We couldn’t be happier that they’re finally up in the city as they’re a mind blowing addition to all the healthy food in San Francisco.
I would 110% recommend everything pictured above, but especially the Avocado & Quinoa Superfood Ensalada and the Pork Banh Mi sandwich. The Quinoa in the salad is super crispy, and because they’re small and naturally spread throughout the whole salad, it adds a nice crunchy texture to every bite. They have locations from the South Bay up to SF with plans to expand up as high as Sacramento! Read our full post about Mendocino Farms here.
2) Mina Family Kitchen
2022 update: Mina Family Kitchen was a takeout concept operating during the pandemic in the location of Michael Mina Restaurant. They have since opened a new concept in the location called Estiatorios Ornos. Mina Family Kitchen is now operating out of 301 Mission St. You can order here.
Obviously, from looking at the photo, not everything at Mina Family Kitchen is healthy, but they’re worth mentioning because of the incredible quality and the healthy options they do offer! Michael Mina has several incredible higher end restaurants around the Bay Area, but the majority had been temporarily closed during the pandemic until recently. This location is special because they’ve consolidated bits and pieces of their other menus into their Michael Mina Restaurant location and named it Mina Family Kitchen! The menu is super extensive including whole sections dedicated to barbecue, Italian, Asian fusion, seafood, and more. What’s really awesome is just the fact that you can get fine dining food at home, and the quality is still just as good as if you were eating in the restaurant.
3) Home Cafe
Home seriously feels like a home away from home (too many homes?). The owners are legit the nicest people ever, and their menu items are as cute as they are nomtastic and healthy! Their food mainly consists of various styles of toasts, and unlike some other places, they use those thick slices, similar to some honey toast places. Not all their toasts are all that healthy (the Milk and Cereal toast contains condensed milk and Lucky Charms cereal), but some of them definitely are such as the ones picture above.
There are three avocado toasts that, for sure, have a place in our list of healthy food in San Francisco. The Br-avo is topped with avocado, radish, and bacon crumbles, but you can ask for no bacon if you’d like. The radish adds a nice crisp texture, which is nice and satisfying. The Seoul Much Avo consists of avocado, spicy kimchi, and mixed seeds. This one is probably our favorite because we love kimchi, but it’s also great for your digestive system! Finally, the Let’s Avo-Cuddle is made up of avocado, baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, and red pepper, which is more of a traditional sandwich vibe, but the red pepper adds a nice kick. Read our full post about Home here.
4) Burma Superstar
Burma Superstar is an amazing Burmese restaurant located in the Richmond District that has super flavorful, yet healthy food! Their most famous dish is their Tea Leaf Salad, which is gluten free and they can make it vegan upon request. For how simple it is, it’s literally an explosion of awesomeness in your mouth, and just by looking at the photo above of all the ingredients you can tell that all the varying textures keep the dish exciting. They have many other dishes that are gluten free like the Chicken with Fresh Mint and the Pork Belly with Mustard Greens, and even vegan ones like the Burmese Curry. Give them a try!
Lale is a fantastic Mediterranean restaurant located in the Inner Sunset in SF. The staff was super friendly and unbelievably helpful with the menu and suggestions. The flavors of everything we tried were spot on, and it all tasted crazy fresh. They get crowded during brunch time – not at all surprising given the awesomeness they serve – so make sure you get there early and leave with enough time to find parking, which can be difficult in that area.
Their menu is quite extensive and straight up incredible. Two of our favorite healthy options were the Cold Sampler and the Feta Cheese and Watermelon Salad. The Cold Sampler includes pita bread for dipping, hummus with garbanzo beans, tahini and spices, tabouli with parsley, green onions, tomatoes, and bulgur, yogurt-cucumber dip with dill and lemon zest, roasted eggplants and red bell peppers, garlic, and almonds, and yogurt with beets, walnuts, and garlic. It amazed us how so many ingredients and flavors could mesh together so well, but Lale found a way to make it happen.
The Feta Cheese Watermelon Salad was ultra refreshing and, like the strawberry salad above, the cheese and watermelon work together in perfect harmony to balance the flavors. We totally recommend this one for a warm day, or if you’re looking for something more refreshing and not so heavy. Read our full post about Lale here.
Lemonade, like Mendocino Farms, is another chain from LA and is a healthy person’s paradise. You can choose your own ingredients for bowls and plates, and the majority of the options are super healthy! Poke bowls are always an exceptional choice if you’re looking for something quick and healthy because of how customizable they are.
We had a Poke Bowl with white rice (although you can definitely get brown rice instead), seaweed salad, ginger, furikake, and tuna poke. On the side, we got their Squash Salad and the Arugula and Kale Salad with Seasonal Fruit. When we eat healthfully, sometimes we don’t feel full enough at the end of a meal, but this one completely filled us up. The ingredients are all health-conscious and light, so we didn’t feel heavy even after scarfing everything down. Read our full post on Lemonade here.
7) Little Chihuahua
Last, but not least, we wanted to include The Little Chihuahua. They definitely offer some menu items that are not the healthiest, but if you steer away from the typical go-to’s at Mexican restaurants like burritos and tacos, you can find some incredible, filling, healthful options. The Little Chihuahua is a bit more upscale than many of the similar spots in the city, and their preparation reflects that.
The Tostada Salad is their signature salad and is the perfect option if you’re looking for healthy food in San Francisco that’s still hearty. It is made with organic mixed greens, black beans, avocados, pico de gallo, queso fresco, cucumbers, mango salsa & roasted bell peppers with a lime-cilantro dressing served on top of a crispy tortilla shell. So ridiculously good. If you’re really looking to keep things healthy, you can ask for no tortilla shell, too!
Healthy Food in the San Francisco Bay Area has definitely improved over the last several years, and these are some of our top picks. We hope these help you make more health-conscious decisions when you’re out and about! Till next time, Nomsters!
Be sure to check our the rest of our SF Bay Area posts here!