“I want to go out to eat, but I want to go somewhere with healthier options. Does that even exist?”
Something we hear from patients all the time is that they’re bummed about having to give up Friday nights out on the town or Sunday morning brunch. I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to!
We’re fortunate to live in a place where the majority of people place a big emphasis on eating good tasting, and good-for-you food. It’s led to a massive increase in these types of restaurants all throughout the metro area. Keep reading to learn about a few of our favorites!
Tao Cafe and Herbery
A beautiful space that combines good food and a retail space for herbs with house-made herbal blends, Tao Cafe and Herbery is located in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, just a short walk away from the Lake of the Isles. Their philosophy as described online is to “support the health and wellness of our community and our earth through our commitment to the Taoist philosophy: Health achieved through a simple, balanced life in harmony with nature.”
Their menu consists of good food, which is sustainably sourced, low allergenic and organic. Try their coconut curry bowl on a cool, fall day or a super greens smoothie on a warm, summer day!
Key: Organic, Low Allergenic, Sustainably Sourced, Gluten Free Options
RELATED: 5 foods that can boost your mood.
Another amazing find in the Uptown neighborhood, BRIM features a menu that is organic and always gluten-free. They highlight their use of only extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil and avocado oil in their menu items—no more asking the kitchen to skip the vegetable oils! Their tagline, “We believe the best food is real food. Mostly plants. Always organic” supports a healthy lifestyle balance while still being able to enjoy Sunday brunch. Next time you’re there, get their Seared Salmon & Dill bowl or the Breakfast Tacos!
Key: GF, Organic, Plant Based
Olivia’s Organic Cafe
This gem, located in Burnsville, takes better-for-you cuisine to a whole new level. Olivia’s Organic Cafe is a family-owned restaurant inspired by the owner’s daughter who faced her own health challenges and was often left out from being able to enjoy meals outside the home. Her mom, Melanie, has made it her mission to create a space where those who have celiac disease, autoimmune diseases or those who simply want to prioritize whole, real foods can come together.
Their entire menu is gluten-free, dairy-free, organic, and non-GMO, and they prioritize locally sourced ingredients. They’ve got a little bit of everything: breakfast, soups, salads, you name it! We love their wide variety of breakfast foods that taste even better than your average diner food.
Key: GF, DF, Organic, Non-GMO, Locally Sourced Ingredients
Peoples Organic Cafe
An option with multiple locations throughout the metro area, Peoples Organic Cafe focuses on “nutritious and organic food, pure water and healthy beverages.” Their menu features a wide variety of options to cater to those who are gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan! Their focus on using in-season produce allows them to support local farmers and maintain a menu with ingredients that are 100% non-GMO and majority organic.
With locations in Uptown, Edina, Eden Prairie, and Downtown, most anyone can add this to their list of must-try restaurants!
Key: GF, Organic, Non-GMO, Locally Sourced Ingredients, Vegetarian, Vegan
This Twin Cities staple has locations in both Edina and Roseville, making it accessible to the majority of the metro area. Good Earth focuses on supporting local growers and farmers who don’t use factory farming, hormones or antibiotics. There is even a section of their website that highlights some of their suppliers.
They offer options for larger gatherings including event platters for larger groups and family style dinners (at their Edina location) for mid-sized parties! They’re also one of the only better-for-you restaurants that offers heartier, dinner style dishes. We recommend their Good Earth Beef Stroganoff or their Butternut Squash Pizzeta!
Key: Non-GMO, Locally Sourced Ingredients
Agra Culture Kitchen
Last, but certainly not least, Agra Culture Kitchen is a well-established restaurant with locations in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Edina, as well as a cafe located inside of Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA). Their inspiration is to be an extension of your own kitchen by offering real, whole foods and a menu that is entirely void of trans fats; hydrogenated oils; artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives; hormones; antibiotics; and refined sugars. They have a variety of options that can cater to almost any dietary philosophy: organic, vegetarian, GF, DF, vegan, and paleo.
We love that you can take a peek at their full menu online and filter by dietary choices or sections of the menu. In 2016, Agra Culture Kitchen introduced a School Lunch Program to partner with local Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools by bringing healthier options into the lunchroom. We love their mission to bring good food to kids in our area!
Key: GF, DF, Organic, Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo
Quick Service Options (Takeout)
And for those who are in need of healthier alternatives but don’t have time to sit down or order out, check out some of these quick-service options:
- Whole Foods has a great self-serve hot bar featuring a variety of marinated veggies & easy protein options to keep you full all day.
- Your local co-op likely has a hot bar, or at least grab & go options. Our favorites are Lakewinds and Eastside Food Co-op (just down the street from our office!).
- Crisp & Green is one of the most widely available chains in the greater metro area, there is a high chance that you’ll be close to a Crisp & Green on your next busy day of errands!
- Sweetgreen just opened in Edina in the Galleria.
Save this post so that the next time you get to pick the restaurant, you can choose an option that you know will satisfy you but also keep you on track to meet your goals! Did we miss any of your favorite better-for-you options? Share below!
Katie is our champion of member experience. You’ll meet her at our admin desk, or chat with her over the phone answering all your questions and making sure your patient care with us is seamless. When she isn’t running our office, she’s buried in a good book, shopping local vintage stores & baking delicious treats!