Healthy Restaurants in Dallas :: The List You Didn’t Know You Needed

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READING TIME: 5 min.

I don’t know about anyone else, but as I stayed home more and more over the past 20+ months—cooked more, gardened more, thought more about what we are putting into our bodies—I kept hearing about plant-forward cooking. Along with many others, I eagerly anticipated the arrival of The Weekday Vegetarians by Jenny Rosenstrach (please go get all of her cookbooks asap). Her honest look at how she and her family of four slowly transitioned to more meatless meals inspired me.

As I cooked her recipes, I tried to utilize my garden as much as possible (tomatoes and peppers were a hit; broccoli and carrots were a dud). I also wanted to take a look at the healthier restaurants in the metroplex. Every so often, I’m tasked with planning a get-together, lunch, coffee chat, or a remote-working situation, and I strive to choose places that are health-focused, so everyone feels welcome and able to find foods that fit their dietary preferences.

With that, I bring you my starter list of healthy restaurants in Dallas, with the hope that you’ll comment with your favorites, and that this guide can expand to be a true resource for those of us ready to make the leap to more plant-based options at Dallas-area restaurants.

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen has several locations in DFW; the one I frequent the most is at Legacy West. I’ve met friends for lunch, hosted birthday outings, stopped by after too-long work happy hours, and held work meetings here. Everyone can find something they love at True Food. They even have a One-Day Cleanse & Reset Package for $50. Stop it; they think of EVERYTHING!

Original Chop Shop

No list of healthy restaurants can leave out the Chop Shop, right? I distinctly remember coworkers openly shaming me for not trying it out yet (I was just busy! I wanted to go there!) pre-pandemic. Obviously, the chopped salads are fantastic, but the dietary filters on their website menu are equally impressive: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Lactose Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan.

Salad & GO

One day after a morning run with a friend, she serendipitously mentioned that a healthy chain restaurant had started opening up “salad drive-thrus” in DFW. Salad & GO is all about making healthy food accessible for all, with salads at $5 plus tax, and drinks at $1 plus tax. I LOVE their mission: making healthy and nutritious food convenient and affordable not just for the few, but for everyone. More and more locations are popping up all over the metroplex.

UP Inspired Kitchen

This amazing restaurant is run by executive chef and mom of three, Erin Leeds. Open for coffee, breakfast, and lunch, with a great kids’ menu, it’s worth the run up to Frisco to check it out.

Modern Market

The Salmon Caesar salad is what hooked me back when I was ordering lunch at my office, but I’ve been back so many times because of the variety and just how PRETTY and DELICIOUS the entrees are. Pizzas, salads, protein bowls, soups, and vino? Yes, please. Plus, kids eat free Mondays after 5pm with the purchase of an adult entree.

Bellagreen

I met coworkers for lunch here last fall and fell in love. Bellagreen has a Dallas location off Central, and a Plano location off Preston. A huge menu, pretty patio, and a boozy brunch make this a great spot for catching up with girlfriends.

Vitality Bowls

Bowls (acai, grain, breakfast, dessert, savory), wraps, smoothies, and raw juices deliver healthy superfoods in every form. Check out their location in Preston Hollow, Frisco, or Plano.

Harvest Seasonal Kitchen

Wow, what an amazing outcome in McKinney. At first, Harvest’s mission was to connect diners with the North Texas food community by sourcing almost all of their food within a 150-mile radius, as well as bring on new Texas farmers weekly. The Seed Project Foundation resulted in this admirable commitment to local sustainability. The food is as fabulous as the motives behind the restaurant, and they have a full gluten-free menu, too.

First Watch

This place came recommended to me for healthy but yummy breakfasts. My sister and I came around 10am on a weekday to the Preston/Forest location, and I was all set to get a salad, but succumbed to the Tri-Athlete plate. They’re also open for brunch and lunch, and it’s hard to decide what to get, from the omelets and frittatas to the griddle faves and power bowls. Their foundation, Project Sunrise, is pretty cool, too.

Flower Child

Positive vibes, yoga mat parking, Instagram-worthy backdrops, plus vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, and sugar-free items on one menu? Sign. Us. Up. Their $44 Bundle is a great family-friendly option to carry out, as well.

Mendocino Farms

Hello, lover. Everything here is delicious: Cheffy Sandwiches, Soulful Salads, Craveable Classics. And their names are super fun: A Sandwich Study of Heat, “Not So Fried” Chicken, Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Reuben. There’s something for everyone, and it’s all amazing.

Currently located off Preston/Royal and in Uptown, Mendo’s newest location opens at Plano’s Legacy West in Summer 2022.

Snap Kitchen

This Austin company offers subscriptions for chef-prepared meal delivery all over the U.S., but Dallasites can place anytime orders for pickup at their store on Skillman. Order breakfast, lunch, dinner, even healthy snacks, drinks, and desserts. (Hint: You can also find Snap Kitchen meals inside select Whole Foods in the prepared food section). Filter their website menu as needed and note dietary info in the description of any selection (milk-free, gluten-free, etc.).

And don’t forget to pour one out for one of Dallas’ OG vegetarian restaurants, Cosmic Cafe. Everyone has their own CC experience, but I distinctly remember going there with Rori as a very meat-and-potatoes 20-something, trying Buddha’s Delight and Pizza Mystica and realizing how DELICIOUS vegetarian food could be.

{Read More: Doing Meatless Monday at home? Try these 6 family-friendly meatless meals.}

What healthy restaurants in the area do you recommend? Let’s make this a great resource for local parents.

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