13 Dallas Spots for Healthy Foods That Don't Suck

Categories: Eat This

Company Cafe's beautiful burrata
Every once in a very long while I like to make believe I have a little something called willpower. And like most other folks on this planet, I get a surge of confidence in my nonexistent willpower right around January 1.

See also: Our Best of 2012 Winners

Now, I have this thing that tends to ruin most of my plans for healthy eating: zero patience for non-delicious food. Hence I have coined the term "disappointing salad" for those times I attempt to be "good" and order a salad at a restaurant, but end up a hungry, sad bitch after I push around Mount Arugula and shriveled currants around with my fork for 20 minutes. (I'm talking to you, SWIG.) But do I give up? Never. And thus for the year 2013 I've found you a solid baker's dozen of places in town to score a healthy lunch that still tastes great, for days when the words "New Year's resolution" don't taste like acid in your mouth. Oh, and they're all $12 or less.

Ease into health with this burger
13. Start
Sure, the menu at this Greenville Avenue "slow food served fast" drive-through or sit-down joint can pack a few disappointment land mines, but the quinoa salad and the burger tend to be solid choices for those of us on a calorie budget.

12. Dream Cafe
Good ol' Dream Cafe has a healthier option called the Square Meal that I can count on to keep me full with its tasty tahini sauce. And with brown rice, grilled veggies and choice of lean protein, you can leave without wanting to hang yourself from the cafe's monkey bars.

11. Greenz
Greenz makes salads, soups and sandwiches using fresh, healthy ingredients, but I'm most impressed by their 400-calorie meals. Combine a cup of one of their lighter soups (I'm a big fan of the turkey chili with its three bean combo and heavy-handed spice) with a smaller portion of salad (my faves include the chicken riviera and the grilled steak salad) with a side of fruit for under 400 calories.

10. Fullosophie
For the ultimate in lazy resolutions, make your healthy food come to you. Order up a meal or six of Fullosophie's weekly clean, healthy choices, available vegetarian or even gluten free. This week the girls have a red beet whole wheat pasta with sunflower seeds and goat cheese dish that sounds delightful.

Give it to me raw
9. Nazca Kitchen
The very new South American spot on the block, Nazca features lighter fare like fish tacos wrapped in butter lettuce leaves, colorful ceviche and a broccoli-filled quinoa salad that'll keep you full and happy.

8. Salata
Don't be fooled by the mediocre likes of Snappy (crappy!) Salads, Sweet (rotten!) Tomatoes or heaven forbid, Souper (pooper!) Salad (shudder), a salad bar-based restaurant can be both healthy, delicious, and yes, even classy. When customization is a priority, head to Salata, where someone will fill a giant shiny metal bowl with a number of quality ingredients of your choosing until it becomes your perfect salad. Just do your best to skip the delicious breads and get your dressing on the side and you'll have a feast fit for a rabbit king.

7. The Gem
Juicing is a fucking mess. I know this because I own a juicer that I use precisely once a month when I'm feeling particularly resolute. But when I'm feeling slightly less resolute, but still resolute enough to drink juice instead of eating, I like to head to The Gem, where they juice things all day for you, without the mess. One special bonus? You can shop for home goods while you sip. Double bonus? They also have solid food. Their menu changes often and you can get a trio of healthy treats (think kale salad, green pea hummus and quinoa) for around $12.

Le yes to all of this goodness.
6. Le Jus
Le Jus is kind of like The Gem only much more French and much more gorgeous. Oh, and they serve incredible coffee. If you like your lunch sans carbs, dairy-free and served with a side of incredible beauty, Le Jus is por vous. I particularly recommend sampling the sampler plate ($18), and am particularly fond of the Coco soup and egg salad. Oui.

Location Info

The Gem

7721 Inwood Road, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


4814 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Urban Taco

3411 McKinney Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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do these places serve non gmo organic foods? 


I think a great satisfying "diet" dish is a tofu vermicelli bowl from a Viet place. If you're being extra good, you can take out some of the noodles. Just don't order those 2 extra egg rolls with it.


For low fat and calories, the fresh shrimp cocktail with red cocktail sauce from the new location for T.J.'s Seafood & restaurant.  You can select any fish in their case, have it grilled, with very little butter or oil, steamed broccoli with no butter just a squeeze of lemon, or on top of their house salad with Wasabi dressing on the side.  Healthy but delicious.


What a stretch. Apparently, there's so much more and better in Richardson.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

God Dammit, this is the second fucking article today where it takes 3 clicks to finish the story, I think we are over page breaking today.  Okay, I feel better now


Where is Be Raw Food N Juice - in Preston Center - used to be Bliss

The place is awesome


I still haven't actually encountered anyone who likes Velvet Taco - too many weird things paired together (Brisket and blue cheese? I made that mistake once. Never again.) and so expensive.

Southpaw would be a nice addition to this list. Fantastic food, and I love that I get fruit as a side!

Gerald Parrish
Gerald Parrish

How did Kalachandji's not make the list? Not a worthy list without it.


@sarahjfrost I know a few people that legitimately LOVE the velvet. I'm like, there are better tacos out there...for less money.

I *DO* however love that I can get said tacos on lettuce wraps, saving me like 100-150 calories per taco, since we're talking healthy.

I stick with the #1 and #2 because everything else is a little to...weird.


Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

@ewanmacdonald it's the ci ci's of soup n salad.


@mdd0124 @sarahjfrost Southpaw is good, but not good enough to make the cut. I'm definitely a fan of food you could make at home if you had the time and ingredients, but a place should do a little bit more than stuff some run-of-the-mill turkey in a pita with mustard, lettuce and tomato and call it a sandwich. They do get points for their solid chowder though.

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