The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Lunch in Boston
In a perfect world, we’d all do meal prep and bring a healthy and nutritious lunch to work. In real life, having time to dry your hair in the morning means it’s going to be a good day. Thankfully, it’s easy to find a healthy lunch in Boston. Below, we highlight 30 places in and around the city where you can find a good-for-you-lunch that’s sure to hold you over until gym time.
Angora Cafe: Angora Cafe has a full menu of salads, but its selection of low-calorie flatbreads and wraps sets it apart. The feta portabella flatbread clocks in at only 243 calories, and a carb-controlled veggie and hummus wrap is 286.
Cafe Angora, 1024-A Commonwealth Ave., Boston; angoracafe.com.
Root: Root offers a full (healthy) food menu in addition to its fresh, mainly locally-sourced juices. Juices come in both fruit- and veggie-heavy varieties, and the food menu boasts offerings such as an eggplant caprese sandwich and a sweet potato quesadilla.
Root, 487 Cambridge St., Allston; rootboston.com.
Fruitata: A Prudential Center hidden gem, Fruitata has a menu of unique juices and smoothies (think non-traditional ingredients like dates and sweet potato) with the option of adding “nutrition boosters” such as hemp protein, chia seeds, and even bee pollen.
Fruitata, 800 Boylston St., Boston; fruitata.com.
Jugos: With juices and smoothies available in every combination imaginable, variety will keep you coming back to Jugos. Plus, if you’re in the mood for something solid, there’s also a good selection of açai bowls and salads.
Jugos, 145 Dartmouth St., Boston; visitjugos.com.
Lucy Ethiopian Cafe: In keeping with traditional Ethiopian food, many dishes at Lucy are vegetarian. Try the Addis Combo: red lentils in a spicy sauce, split peas in a garlic ginger sauce, and spinach simmered with potatoes and spices.
Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, 334 Massachusetts Ave., Boston; 617-536-0415.
Pavement Coffeehouse: Not solely a place for your morning caffeine fix, Pavement just introduced a new lunch menu filled with healthy options such as the kale salad with beets, quinoa, chickpeas, and carrots.
Pavement Coffeehouse, locations on Boylston, Newbury, and Gainsborough streets and Commonwealth Avenue; pavementcoffeehouse.com.
Smoothie King: Smoothie King offers a variety of smoothies and a snack selection of nuts, protein bars, and veggie chips.
Smoothie King, 314 Newbury St.; smoothieking.com.
Snappy Sushi: If large quantities of white rice made you swear off sushi, Snappy Sushi is your new best friend. The restaurant uses only minimally-processed whole grain brown rice in its rolls, and offers a healthy selection of vegetable-based rolls as well.
Snappy Sushi, 108 Newbury St., Boston; snappysushi.com.
Sweetgreen: Everyone loves Sweetgreen, and it’s got the line to prove it. If you have the time to wait, the salad spot offers a wide range of delicious, fresh salads made with local, seasonal ingredients.
Sweetgreen, 659 Boylston St., Boston; sweetgreen.com. *Additional locations in Fort Point and Chestnut Hill
Tossed: Step away from the Pru’s high-traffic food court, and head to the underutilized wing near the Sheraton where you’ll find Tossed, a salad bar that offers a vast menu and a great create-your-own selection.
Tossed, 800 Boylston St., Boston; tossed.com.
Bon Me: A refreshing alternative to greasy take out, Bon Me uses fresh ingredients—many made from scratch—and offers an extensive vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free menu. Try a noodle or rice bowl to satisfy cold day comfort food cravings.
Bon Me, food truck location varies, brick and mortar location at 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge; bonmetruck.com.
Chutney’s: Described as the Indian Chipotle, Chutney’s is a great place to fulfill your mid-day spice cravings. Not everything on the menu is healthy—sorry, dumpling lovers—but options such as the tofu and mushroom or chicken and spinach bowls make up for it.
Chutney’s, 36 JFK St., Cambridge; chutneysma.com. *Also locations in Back Bay and Longwood
Life Alive: Life Alive will be your lifesaver if you have dietary restrictions. The café has options for vegan, vegetarian, raw, gluten-free, and macrobiotic eaters in the form of unprocessed, organic wraps, salads, soups, smoothies, and hot entrées.
Life Alive, 765 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge; lifealive.com.
Mother Juice: The juice truck turned brick and mortar has a lengthy menu of of juices, smoothies, salads, and breakfast bowls at its new Kendall Square location. Try the “Hangover Cure” (watermelon, tomato, lime, fennel, and basil), or some “Unicorn Blood” (beet, carrot, celery, fennel, and pineapple) juices.
Mother Juice, 625 West Kendall St., Cambridge; motherjuiceboston.com.
B. Good: It may be known for its burgers, but B. Good is also a place you can find a lighter lunch with kale and quinoa bowls, veggie and turkey burgers, fresh juices, salads, and more.
B. Good, locations city-wide; bgood.com.
Bailey & Sage: This lunch spot has a huge selection of chopped salads, from caprese to grilled chicken and goat cheese. But, in the off chance you don’t see something you like, the restaurant also has a custom option for only $6.75.
Bailey & Sage, 103 State St., Boston and 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge; baileyandsage.com.
Bean & Leaf Café: Just about every restaurant has a veggie sandwich option these days, but Bean & Leaf has an entire menu section devoted to meat-free sandwiches. Try the super veggie rollup or, if it’s not a sandwich day, the veggie or white chicken chili.
Bean & Leaf Café, 20 Custom House St., Boston; beanleafcafe.com.
Bonapita: Mediterranean food often masquerades as healthy, but fried falafel can pack a calorie-laden punch. At Bonapita, however, the menu is completely dairy- and fried food-free, and patrons can eat their meals as either a pita wrap, a mezze plate, or a salad.
Bonapita, 49 Franklin St., Boston; bonapita.com.
Cocobeet: Cocobeet promises that its range of pressed juices and ready-to-go vegan meals are all organic, GMO-free, raw, gluten-free, and made daily. Flavors range from the “Battle Axe” (pear, cabbage, kale, cucumber, garlic, and tumeric) to the “Watermelon Quench” (watermelon, pineapple, and lemon).
Cocobeet, 100 City Hall Plaza, Boston; cocobeet.com.
Piperi: This create-your-own-style spot lets customers choose a filling (falafel, chicken, steak, or veggies) for a salad, wrap, or mezze plate. Then, you can add up to four toppings such white bean tabouleh, Moroccon carrots, and tomato relish.
Piperi, 1 Beacon St., Boston; piperi.com.
Pret A Manger: Pret A Manger is expanding fast in Boston, and the vast array of healthy options keeps lunch-goers coming back daily. All of the food is made fresh throughout the day, including salads, soups, wraps, sandwiches, and more. Bonus: Everything is labeled with a clear calorie count.
Pret a Manger, locations city-wide; pret.com.
Five Seventy Market: From the outside, Five Seventy Market looks like an unassuming bodega. Don’t let that fool you. A trip inside reveals a menu featuring fresh fruit smoothies, wheatgrass shots, and an impressive array of vegetable juices. Swiss chard celery juice, anyone?
Five Seventy Market, 570 Tremont St., Boston; fiveseventymarket.com.
Flour: Say it with us: I will not order a brownie. Once you’ve overcome that hurdle, Flour does have some great options for a healthy lunch, like its quinoa and tofu salad and hummus and pickled vegetables sandwich.
Flour, 1595 Washington St., Boston; flourbakery.com. *Also locations in Back Bay, Fort Point, and Cambridge
Snaptop Market: Snaptop’s new menu features unique takes on healthy eating like veggie “pasta” (cucumber, sweet potato, and zucchini “spaghetti” served with sauces like the delicious cucumber avocado pesto), collard green tacos, and kale salads. It’s a great option if you can’t bear to look at another traditional salad bar.
Snap Top Market, 303 Columbus Ave., Boston; snaptopmarket.com.
Freshii: Freshii’s menu is a laundry list of healthy options ranging from bowls and wraps to salads and smoothies. Each dish comes vegetarian, but meat can be added for an extra cost. There’s also an incredible frozen yogurt selection if you need a little something extra.
Freshii, 1 Iron St. and 100 High St. Suite 101, Boston; freshii.com.
Nourish Your Soul: Juices are made from a hydraulic press, which ensures that it’s packed with nutrients. There’s also a well-curated flavor list, from pineapple, pear, and mint to detox lemonade.
Nourish Your Soul, 15 Channel Center St., Boston; nourishyoursoul.com.
On-the-Move: Food Trucks
Clover: Fast food doesn’t usually bring to mind chickpea fritters and sweet potato sandwiches, but Clover is trying to change that. The company’s food trucks famously don’t have freezers, ensuring that everything is as fresh as possible, and it makes virtually everything but condiments from scratch.
Clover, location varies; cloverfoodlab.com.
Compliments: One of Boston’s lesser-known food trucks, Compliments sources its ingredients from local farms and makes everything to order. The truck also uses gluten-free frying batter and limits wheat to bread.
Compliments, location varies; complimentsfood.com.
Rhythm ‘n Wraps: Sometimes, the only thing that will quell your lunchtime cravings is a good, old-fashioned sandwich. But instead of that Italian club, try Rhythm ‘n Wraps’ menu of vegan and vegetarian wraps, featuring ingredients like vegan sausage, tempeh bacon, and plenty of veggies.
Rhythm ‘n Wraps, location varies; rhythmnwraps.com.
Taco Party: You won’t find any fatty ground beef on Taco Party’s truck. All of its tacos are vegan, using bases such as sweet potato and tofu instead of meat, and some are even gluten-free. Vegan doesn’t mean tasteless, though—the buffalo tempeh packs as much of a punch as the chicken original.
Taco Party, location varies; tacopartytruck.com.