“I don’t care” should never be your answer when someone asks you where you want to go out to eat. While it is always healthier to cook at home, some popular American chains are notorious offenders for serving up drinks and meals that are ridiculously high in fat and calories. For example, the Louisiana Chicken Pasta at The Cheesecake Factory has 80 grams of saturated fat, which is four times your daily recommended value. Get a specialty cocktail and a slice of cake for dessert and you are really heading into dangerous territory. Red Lobster’s Lobsterita is almost 900 calories, and a personal pizza from Uno’s has enough sodium for a week. More chains are starting to incorporate healthier choices and calorie-restricted meals. We did some research so you didn’t have to, and went ahead and identified the top 10 healthiest chain restaurants out there.
- The Protein Bar
As the building blocks of life, we all need our protein! “We do healthy..tastier,” is this healthy restaurant’s motto and is focused on making food nutritious for busy people on the run. With various locations in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Colorado, The Protein Bar is dedicated to serving quality food to their customers. Items like salads packing the most nutrient rich greens, burritos made from whole wheat flaxseed tortillas, blended drinks with no added concentrates, and more makes The Protein Bar one of the healthiest chain restaurants in America. So go check out the site and see all the healthy options!
- Lyfe Kitchen
Lyfe Kitchen makes healthy food and drinks look good. They have a pretty big menu of different items, and they are ALL under 600 calories! From gluten free protein packed flatbreads, to vegan salads, wraps and burgers, you’ll be guaranteed to find delicious wholesome entrees here. They believe that their nutritiously filled food ultimately “connects us to the people that matter and restores our souls.” Who wouldn’t want that? They have 16 locations in California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Illinois and Tennessee. So if you haven’t tried Lyfe Kitchen we recommend you do, to “Feed. Your. Self.” for your health!
Cali, DC, Boston, MD, New York, Philly, and Virginia all contain this “sweet” healthy restaurant chain. Serving their customers local and organic foods, Sweetgreen is challenging the typical fast food demeanor. Provided by farmers, they make sure all of their items are made fresh from foods in season. You can customize your own salads, or order a pre-made grain bowl. Menu items include a Spicy Sabzi salad containing ingredients like spinach, organic tofu, broccoli, raw beets, and quinoa sprouts with a carrot chili vinaigrette. If you want to stick with grains, you could go for an Earth Bowl containing organic chickpeas and arugula, roasted chicken, tomatoes, corn, spicy broccoli with a pesto vinaigrette. Talk about healthy and YUMMY!
- Tender Greens
Los Angeles birthed this healthy restaurant with the aim to have everything made locally. From partnerships with farmers, ranchers, wineries, breweries, and more, fresh produce is key. Tender Greens is a very relaxed atmosphere dedicated to serving customers the healthiest chef inspired dishes. Cali’s other locations include San Diego, Bay Area, and Orange County but they all have similar menus. Protein packed plates include chicken, steak, and albacore. They have an abundance of salads filled with dark leafy greens, healthy fats and delicious vegetables. Feelin’ cozy? Try their roasted tomato soup that’s sure to bring your stomach comfort and nutrients!
- The Veggie Grill
You just can’t go wrong with veggies. Maybe this is why The Veggie Grill serves mostly that. The more vegetables the better is what the doctor always says. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, anti inflammatory effects and more. The Veggie Grill, located in CA, OG, and WA, fills its menu with veggie packed salads, sandwiches, bowls and plates. Bowls containing supergrains, steamed kale, cannelloni beans, almonds, coconut milk, and hemp seeds are just the beginning. They voice that saturated animal fats, and trans fats have “no place in our food” and only use the most real wholesome nutrients. You’ll never be disappointed with the numerous veggie options at The Veggie Grill.
- Just Salad
Just salad is exactly how it sounds: just salad. But don’t fear, they are all far from boring. “Serving local, organic, and fresh ingredients,” there are a variety of healthy options to choose from here. The Salads are filled with nutritious produce, like the Roasted Turkey Health Cobb, which fills you with healthy protein, fats, and carbs to fuel your day. Greens include kale, spinach, organic arugula, romaine, red cabbage, and organic mesclun. Essentials on the menu include vegetables like banana peppers, beets, edamame, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, red onions, black beans and so much more. Located in NY, Chicago, Hong Kong, and UAE, Just Salad is a great place for all salad lovers!
- Au Bon Pain
According to a new website called Grellin, who ranks the Nation’s restaurant chains according to healthiness, Au Bon Pain was a winner. Part of Au Bon Pain’s vision is to provide “flavorful, healthful, fresh and distinctively delicious food and beverage” to their customers. With this in mind, they use plenty of good things for ingredients and flavors in their food. They even have an advisory board made up of nutritionist experts to ensure that they’re up to par. The menu ranges from healthy sandwiches, salads, breakfast and beverage options. For an energized start to your morning, try the protein packed superfood blueberry chia hot oatmeal or a turkey and swiss sandwich for lunch. This health smart restaurant can be found at around 302 locations around the U.S.
- True Food Kitchen
This health conscious chain restaurant is dedicated to “give your body nutrients and your palate something memorable,” with its delicious food. True Food Kitchen’s trendy dishes are filled with healthy ingredients that will fuel your body throughout your day. They offer different vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian dishes, like pizzas, salads, sandwiches, drinks, and seafood that will satisfy any health nut. Try their kale and avocado dip or a grass-fed bison burger! With locations throughout Austin, Dallas, Houston, California and more, the nutritious options are endless at this hip kitchen.
- Seasons 52
Talk about fresh! Seasons 52 is a perfect restaurant for any health lover. As a “lighter” grill and wine bar, it elegant atmosphere and menu will surely foster health conscious decisions. Offering cuisines like grilled sea scallops and lobster lettuce wraps, anyone can see that Seasons 52 is dedicated to giving its customers a delicious but healthy experience. They also have a variety of wines to choose from that you’re taste buds AND heart will thank you for. Wine has been shown to lower cancer and diabetes risks, have anti aging effects, improve bone strength and more. I mean, do you need anymore reasons to get your wine on?
- Zoes Kitchen
Are you a Mediterranean food lover? If so, Zoe’s Kitchen is a great pick. This is an excellent choice for anyone looking for nutritious, balanced, and fresh plates. They have many locations across the Nation and their menus are tainted with a colorful assortment of foods. With gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options, Zoe’s Kitchen gets delicious and healthy right. They infuse their dishes using a variety of fresh herbs, lean protein, olive oil, and fruits and vegetables. From grilled shrimp kabobs layered between zucchini, to Mediterranean baked feta’s, you’ll think your in Greece! At Zoe’s you’ll be sure to find no trace of fried foods as well as no microwave! Find a Zoe’s near you and enjoy the beautiful wonders it does to your taste buds.