With a new year comes a fresh start. Resolutions or not, many of us feel the pressure to eat more healthfully by the time the new year begins. After weeks of decadent holiday treats, eating clean can feel surprisingly good. But in a city known for its indulgent food, it can be difficult to stop feasting. Luckily, New York has plenty of clean eating options that don’t sacrifice on flavor or taste. Whether you’re giving up rich foods completely or simply want to introduce a couple of healthy alternatives into your routine, here are some of our favorite places for clean and delicious eats.
Going out for a meal at Nix feels more like a celebration than a sacrifice. The culinary brainchild of chefs John Fraser and James Truman, this vegetarian outpost recently received a Michelin star for its ability to turn fresh vegetables into innovative and haute cuisine. What’s more, unlike other Michelin-starred restaurants, the food at Nix is never fussy or pretentious. Instead, you can expect healthy dishes that are jam-packed with flavor and satisfy every craving. Highlights include their bold and rich hummus, warming tandoor-roasted beet salad, falafel tempura, and brilliant shiitake based “cacio e pepe” with haricots verts and creamy polenta.
One of the hardest parts of eating clean for the new year is abandoning old routines. If brunch is a part of your weekend lineup, you can keep the tradition going at The Butcher’s Daughter in Nolita (just a thirteen-minute cab ride from The Wagner). Though there may be a long line outside (even during snow-filled months)—don’t let the wait deter you. Inside you’ll find the best of both worlds when it comes to tasty, yet healthy breakfast delights. Choose from dishes like their gluten-free matcha pancakes, spicy kale caesar salad, and veggie and black bean burger. Just don’t forget to order a glass of one of their signature green juices to go with it.
Restauranteur and chef Matthew McKinney believes in the power of plant-based food. By redesigning the dining experience at each of his successful restaurants around the world, McKinney aims to bring forward-thinking culinary art and plant-based nutrition together. The focus of XYST, his restaurant in Chinatown, is on the versatility of flavor of vegan foods. If you’ve never tried tree nut cheese before, this is the place to start. Come here to get adventurous with your tastebuds, but don’t worry—we bet you’re gonna like it.