Updated: Jun 8
It's that time of year again – the gyms are packed, the salad aisle is bare, and everyone is starting the new year with a healthy plan. If you're looking for the best Houston restaurants, anywhere in the city, to support your healthy eating goals, you're in luck. As someone who values both healthy eating and great taste, I've been curating this list of the best healthy restaurants in Houston, TX for a few years now and am excited to share it with you. From nutrition-focused options to plant-based dining, these top Houston restaurants offer something for everyone. Yes, this has been updated as of 4/25/2023!
Now if you want the summarized version here they are, but if you want details of my experience even second recommendations, I suggest you read on after the summary.
Healthy Restaurants Houston & Recommended Plates
Vibrant - Gnocchi, chicken tacos, and roasted chicken panini
Sweetgreen - The Harvest Bowl
Pondicheri - Earth Thali
Lua Viet Kitchen - Lua Beef Soup
Adair Kitchen - Superfoods Bowl with chicken
Local Foods - Crunchy Chicken Sandwich
Picnik - Bibimbap bowl
Vibrant is at the top of my list for the healthy restaurants in Houston- and for good reason! This adorable restaurant in nestled in the River Oaks area and they create delicious foods that are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar free, corn-free, peanut-free & non-GMO. I've tried pretty much everything on Vibrant's menu and I can tell you- you'll never be disappointed!
What to order at Vibrant: I recommend the gnocchi, chicken tacos, and roasted chicken panini.
Although Sweetgreen is a chain and I usually don't like chain restaurants, Sweetgreen has a great menu that is impressively healthy AND delicious. I love to grab one of their warm bowls (Harvest Bowl is my favorite!) when I have a busy day and don't have time to cook. What makes them most impressive is that they list all of their nutrition information online including a breakdown of every ingredients they use bringing them to this list of healthy Houston restaurants. This is very helpful for people with allergens or if you're tracking your macros. Sweetgreen is also conscious of their carbon footprint- which is an added bonus if you like companies with heart!
What to order at Sweetgreen: The Harvest Bowl is my go-to and my second favorite is the Chicken Parm Bowl.
Pondicheri is probably my favorite Houston restaurant (I eat here at least twice/month). Their menu is Indian Fusion and the food is like nothing I have tasted before- so many unique flavors, textures and colors. They have so many vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free & vegan options clearly marked on their menu, so Pondicheri can suit pretty much any dietary needs. I love that they curate many of their recipes using Aryuvedic methods to promote health & wellness. Pondicheri sources many of their foods from local partners who practice sustainable and conscious business practices.
What to order at Pondicheri: I recommend the Earth Thali so you can get a little bit of everything. The Butter Chicken is a classic. I also LOVE their curry crab appetizer and if you're vegetarian/vegan, their "chickfu" (chickpea tofu) is a great source of protein as a side or in a curry.
4. Lua Viet Kitchen
Lua Viet Kitchen has the best pho in Houston! When it comes to finding healthy restaurants in Houston to eat at, transparency is a high priority for me. I love that Lua Viet Kitchen is extremely transparent about where they source their food from. Not only does their food taste amazing, but many of their ingredients are free from GMOs, their proteins are free of antibiotics and hormones, cage-free, seafood sourced from GFSI and ABP certified fisheries, select organics, and farm-fresh produce. They've also got many plant-based options if meat is not your thing!
What to order at Lua Viet Kitchen: Lua Beef Soup (basically beef pho) and the summer spring rolls.
5. True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen is also a chain, but they're another restaurant that I frequent often due their transparency in the ingredients they use. True Foods is another one of the few restaurants that shares their entire nutritional guide online, so that you can get all of the ingredients + macronutrient information. They have plenty of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free & dairy-free options. It's a great place to entertain with friends who might not have the same nutritional limitations as you- everyone can find something they love! I have never had anything at True Food Kitchen that I didn't like. They also change their menu seasonally- which means you get delicious food that is in season- good for your body & the planet!
What to order at True Food Kitchen: Kale Aid (green juice), Ancient grains bowl, or the Korean Noodle Bowl (add shrimp).
6. Adair Kitchen
Adair Kitchen is a great lunch or casual dinner spot in the Galleria area with lots of healthy options. This locally-owned business makes some seriously tasty food and like some of the restaurants listed above, it's a great spot to take friend who might not have the same food restrictions as you, due to their diverse menu. They have a great selection of cold-pressed juices if you want a boost of nutrients, and some awesome leveled-up salads!
What to order at Adair Kitchen: I LOVE the Superfoods Bowl with chicken or another protein added to it.
7. Local Foods
Local Foods is seriously AWESOME. Not only do they have some delicious entrees on their menu, but as the name implies, they source most of their ingredients locally. I have been a long-time fan of Local Foods because they source the highest-quality, SEASONAL ingredients resulting is nutrient-dense, DELICIOUS food that I feel good about eating. Their menu offers many plant-based, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options that all taste incredible. All of their locations have slightly different menus, too- so you know it's extra fresh! My favorite location is the Rice Village location, but they are all awesome.
What to order at Local Foods: Crunchy Chicken Sandwich, Vegan Power Bowl, and of their seasonal brunch items. The Asian Chicken Salad is my other fave!!
I have been waiting for this for a LOOONGGG time- my favorite restaurant in Austin, TX finally opened their Houston location!! I used to always make a pit stop here when visiting Austin, and now it's a 5 minute drive away from me. Picnik is a fully gluten free, refined sugar free, seed oil free and peanut free restaurant. They have a Special Diets Menu that caters to Super Paleo + AIP eaters. It's a cute restaurant with a trendy vibe located in the very "Instagramable" Montrose Collective.
What to order at Picnik: I have not had anything that I don't enjoy here. I HIGHLY recommend the bibimbap bowl (pictured) and add a protein. I also love their chicken tenders (as an appetizer or meal) and their matcha lattes are great in the morning or on the go!
If you're unable to dine out at the moment and while you take your time to try out the top 7 best healthy restaurants in HTX, be sure to check out our collection of easy and healthy lunch and dinner recipes. And if you're looking for some healthy breakfast ideas, don't miss our post on 5 easy high-protein breakfasts to kickstart your day. These dishes are perfect for anyone looking to make healthier choices and boost their energy levels.