Wellness

The Best Healthy Food, Gyms, and Places to Go Outside in the South End

Use our healthy neighborhood guide to stay fit in this always-evolving Boston neighborhood.


South End street

Photo by Julia Kacmarek

Streets lined with brownstones, whimsical places to dine, and a flair for Pride embody Boston’s South End. Bordering Back Bay, it’s sometimes hard to know where one neighborhood starts and the other ends, but there’s no need to head for Boylston to get a good workout in or to grab some healthy fare. Stick to Tremont and Washington streets with these places to stay healthy in the South End.

Where to Workout: 

Burn Fitness Studios: There are no shortage of classes at this Columbus Ave. studio space. If you’re aiming to strengthen your muscles, take the signature Power Burn class, which focuses on lower body, core, and upper body in pyramid interval sets; or take a TRX class using suspension-training straps. There is also a cycling class that is less beat-focused and more interval-driven, vinyasa yoga, and pilates. If none of those tickle your fancy and you want something more individualized, sign up for a personal training session. 547 Columbus Ave., Boston, burnfitness.com

SwetStudio: Take your fitness to a hammock for an anti-gravity yoga experience. This studio offers beginner aerial yoga classes, meditation, deep stretch and restorative classes that all take place in a suspended silk hammock. It’s essentially a loop hanging from the ceiling to allow for inversions and an ultimate stretch of your hips and back. If you’re not ready to fly quite yet, try an indoor rowing class, or group workouts for the core, abs, or full body. If you’re ready to push a little further, use the hammocks as extra resistance in a fitness class or learn new positions in an advanced aerial yoga class. 480 Tremont St., Boston, 617-670-0631, swetstudio.com

Turnstyle:  With classes categorized by what type of music will be playing (for example, Cardi B vs. the Chainsmokers), you’ll never have to suffer through boring music ever again at this spin studio. First-time riders can take advantage of the three-for-$29 class special, and Turnstyle offers shoe rentals free of charge. The space also offers bootcamp classes where you don’t ever touch a bike. 310 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-531-8922, turnstylecycle.com

Where to Eat: 

Jugos Supremo: This counterpart to the Back Bay location offers more of a sit-down experience as opposed to the to-go bustle of the Back Bay station location. Enjoy an açaí bowl blended with strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, banana, and coconut water, or munch on multigrain toast piled high with almond butter, berries, seasonal apple, local maple syrup, and cinnamon. Or, lean into being basic and opt for the avocado toast topped with lemon, olive oil, and chili flake. 502 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-536-9700, visitjugos.com

Myers + Chang: Remember when we told you that you can make healthy choices anywhere? At some places it might be harder than others, but Christopher Myers and Joanne Chang, who also own the Flour Bakery empire, make it a little easier. When you get a hankering for Chinese food but don’t want the nasty bloat from heavy sauces and an overabundance of salt that typically accompanies takeout, consider this neighborhood favorite. New chefs Ashley Lujares and Veo Robert use locally sourced, fresh produce whenever possible and are inspired by Taiwanese soul food and Southeast Asian street food throughout the mix-and-match menu. Come by for cheap date nights on Monday and Tuesday and choose from dishes like green papaya salad, Ming’s market greens, and red curry shrimp and grits, all priced at $45 to share. Myers + Chang even has specially curated menus for those following a gluten-free, vegetarian, nut-free, or shellfish-free diet. 1145 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-5200, myersandchang.com

Anoush’ella: At this casual neighborhood eatery, choose from dishes filled with the complex flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean. The name, which means “may it be sweet,” is an ode to the pride owners Nina and Raffi Festekjian feel when someone enjoys their food. Most of the dishes begin with m’anoush flatbread prepared to order, topped with an assortment of different ingredients like eggs, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, olive oil, and pomegranate. For dessert, try the labne yogurt bar, where you can top the tangy treat with things like fruit and nuts. 35 West Newton St., Boston, 857-265-3195, anoushella.com

Anoush'ella food

Anoush’ella / Photo by Heath Robbins provided

Where to Get Outside: 

Southwest Corridor Park: Stretching 4.1 miles from the Back Bay to Forest Hills, this park connects the South End, Back Bay, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain with green space, bike paths, 11 playgrounds, two spray pools, seven basketball courts, five tennis courts, two street hockey rinks, and two amphitheaters. There’s certainly no shortage of places to partake in some activities, and if you just need some fresh air, take to the six miles of trails, or just enjoy a quite moment away from the street. The closest access point to the South End is by the Mass Ave. MBTA station. 393 Mass. Ave., Boston, 617-727-0057.