A Chicken Finger Addict Tries Clean Eating in NYC

We’ve all been there, 3AM dollar slices, takeout Tuesday’s, shamelessly ordering Insomnia Cookies on a Wednesday night, it happens. New York City, with all of its delicious guilty pleasures to choose from, can be a tough place to find healthy food options.    

About three months after moving into an apartment in Murray Hill, a place where pizza and chicken fingers reign supreme, I started to notice that my eating habits were catching up to me. I literally felt like a bag of milk. I looked washed up, helpless, and terrible. I had to do the impossible; clean it up and start eating healthy. That is a lot easier said than done when arguably the best chicken finger spot in the world, Sticky Finger’s Joint, is right down the street and even worse, thanks to seamless, you don’t have to leave your couch to get your fix of fried tendys.

Since realizing that I had lost the plot, I’ve started branching out a little bit and one of the things that I’ve realized is that eating healthy in New York isn’t impossible after all. Here are a few of my favorite spots that offer healthy menu options as well as a good all around great experience. In fact, you could even bring a picky friend and find something for yourself. Enjoy!

Brunch/Casual Dinner

The Fat Radish / Lower East Side - This trendy eatery serves a veg-centric modern British fare using farm fresh ingredients. I never thought I would ever say this but the roasted carrot app (heirloom carrots, avocado, crispy kale, and hijiki) is out of this world good, as is their fresh-pressed juice infused cocktails. You can also indulge in their delicious pan seared fish options for dinner.

Lunch To-Go

Fields Good Chicken / Midtown - Fields Good is a new healthy fast-casual chain--think chipotle but chicken--that has taken the city by storm. This place is all about healthy, great tasting, grilled chicken. You can choose one of three ways to have your chicken served, all three are as equally delicious as the next. You can get it in a bowl, on a salad, or on a platter with a few vegetable sides. You’ll be fielding good no matter what option you choose.   


Risotteria Melotti  / East Village - This authentic Italian restaurant is home to one of the most delicious menus in the City. The restaurant offers a wide range of 100% gluten free rice-based dishes to satisfy even the healthiest of health nuts. Their gluten free pizza truly “doesn’t taste gluten free” and you’ll be able to smell the inviting aroma of freshly baked gf breadsticks from across the street. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here.

Upscale Dinner

Blue Hill New York / Greenwich Village - One of the best farm-to-table options in the city, Blue Hill really is more of an experience than a restaurant. The menu changes daily and it always consists of locally sourced organic ingredients. You can choose from the four-course “tasting menu” or opt for the “Farmer’s Feast,” a six-course tasting inspired by the week's harvest.  

Poke Bowl Mania

Maui Onion / NoMad - If you haven’t noticed, Poke is everywhere now. Maui Onion is the latest in the wave of poke places that has hit the city and it just might be the best. Portions are decent, prices are reasonable, the staff is nice, and they also have juices. Each dish is simple, easy and fresh.

Sea's the Day!

Written by: Parker Thelander

caroline danehy