Written for Team Woodlot by Elizabeth Hammond
The season of rich foods, boozy drinks, and dietary indulgence is upon us! Not to worry—our city has a host of healthy options that provide a much needed reprieve from holiday fare. Whether you’re touring, visiting family, or just taking a break from cooking, we’ve got some suggestions for healthy (and delicious) spots to try this month.
If you’re a vegetarian or a regular Main Street dweller, you’ve likely tried the award-winning restaurant The Acorn. Opened by the owners of The Acorn, Arbor delivers the same plant-based ingredients in a more low-key environment and menu. Inventive appetizers like the broccoli popcorn and cauliflower nuggets paired with a stacked wine and cocktail list make this an ideal happy hour spot. The holidays can induce a craving for comfort food. You won’t miss out on that at the Arbor with its to-die-for veggie burgers and unique take on the classic mac and cheese. Arbor’s inviting space and thoughtful dishes offer a calm reprieve from the merry mayhem of December.
Virtuous Pie did the unthinkable: they made pizza healthy. Spun out of a desire to create delicious food that’s good for you and the planet, Virtuous Pie serves up a plant-based take on the dynamic duo (aka pizza and ice cream). While the idea of pizza without "real" cheese may seem sacrilegious, each pie uses nut-based cheeses that are entirely drool-worthy. Attention needs to be paid to the Stranger Wings pie for its amazing name and ability to make cauliflower taste alarmingly close to buffalo wings. While take-out is always an option, if you stay, you can enjoy your pizza with a selection of local juices, wines, and beers. Bon Appetit!
If you’re looking for a quick and healthy dinner on a cold night, Harvest is your best bet. Located in the heart of Chinatown, Harvest is an organic grocer that also sells addictive noodle soups. Each bowl is made with homemade broth and organic vegetables and meats. The small but mighty menu offers both seasonal and vegetarian options that will leave you feeling warm and satiated.
Hungover from last night’s Christmas party? Need some energy to brave the mall? Battling a winter cold? Hit up the Juice Truck to solve (almost) any holiday woe! This beloved truck now has its very own storefront that serves up a range of juices, smoothies, and bowls that will help you feel amazing during this hectic time of year. Some must-try menu items include the ever-popular Green juice, the Almost Chocolate smoothie, and the Macro Bowl.
Heirloom offers a vegetarian menu in an elegant setting that would be ideal for visiting in-laws, a holiday dinner with friends, or Sunday morning brunch. Almost every menu item has a vegan modification and are all delicious enough to please even the most devout meat eater (seriously, the owners are converted omnivores). If you’re in a party mood, Heirloom also offers a full list of specialty cocktails along with local beers and wines. When you’re ready to take a break from the turkey, Heirloom will be ready and waiting with some vegetarian goodness.Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season!