When you were little, you probably spent countless hours sitting in front of plates of spinach you refused to eat. But now, as Miami embraces a new health trend, there's no escaping your favorite leafy greens. Luckily, the Magic City does "clean eating" well by offering a handful of local restaurants and organic eateries that make being healthy a breeze.
From hidden homestyle cafeterias and simple salad shops to innovative restaurants with refined vegan cuisine, here are Miami's best healthful spots.
10. Organic Bites
Organic Bites is a seasonal restaurant located on Miami's Upper Eastside that offers affordable fare to health-conscious customers. Serving mostly organic food in an outdoor and casual setting, it strives to adhere to its slogan, "All food was organic once upon a time." Chef Gonçalo Costa created a menu that doesn't sacrifice flavor, featuring items such as edamame hummus ($8), smoked salmon ($11.50), and a signature beef burger with sweet potato fries ($14).
9. Poké 305
Nestled next to American Social in Brickell, Poké 305 brings a traditional Hawaiian dish to the Magic City. This fast-casual eatery allows you to build your own salads, burritos, or bowls using variations of raw fish, eclectic mix-ins, and homemade sauces. The ingredients are fresh, and the service is fast.
8. Jar+ Fork
Jar + Fork offers fast, healthful meals to countless office workers in downtown. Open only Monday through Friday, it caters to busy patrons who can dedicate only a few minutes to sit and eat. In its effort to serve only fresh fare, the restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients: Produce comes from Homestead's Verde Farms, bread from Zak the Baker, and bacon from Babe Froman Fine Sausages. The menu includes a $12 grab-and-go option that offers a soup and salad, as well as Paleo-inspired plates that come with a reasonably sourced protein and two veggie-based sides (prices vary by protein). Curry and rice bowls are also available and can be topped with salmon, steak, shrimp, tofu, chicken, or veggies.
7. The Lunchbox
Chef Carlos Dorado, the mastermind behind the food truck Arepabox, opened the Lunchbox last year in hopes of operating the first zero-waste restaurant in Miami. Printing no paper menus and relying on repurposed furnishings, he began to prepare food in a way that is good for both the body and the environment. The Lunchbox offers "neo-traditional" fare with Spanish flair and uses only local and seasonal ingredients. The menu includes tapas such as prosciutto with melon ($12) and shrimp taquitos ($10), as well as heartier dishes like chicken or steak paillard ($15).
6. Noa Café
Noa Café is a hidden gem on NE Second Avenue that's waiting to be discovered. The neighborhood restaurant, which began as a catering company, offers delicious, homestyle meals to customers on a budget. Located in a little white house, Noa is a charming spot that specializes in Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The menu changes according to the season, but some signature staples are Middle Eastern mezze ($14), a salmon burger ($16), and flourless chocolate cake.
5. Della Bowls
After being named New Times' Best Food Truck in 2016, Della Bowls has continued to attract customers to its home at the Wynwood Yard. Its customized bowls ($9.50) allow you to create your own healthy meal using a base of brown rice, quinoa, or greens and a plant-based protein such as tofu, chickpeas, or tempeh. The secret behind the delicious taste of the bowls lies in the sauces, which add spice and flavor to the dish. The food truck also offers crowd-pleasing desserts, including chocolate and vanilla macaroons ($4) and spicy almond butter cups ($4).
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4. Green Gables Café
Cozy and charming, this Coral Gables eatery offers organic food with Latin flair. Signature items include turkey picadillo ($12), turkey vaca frita ($15), and a deconstructed turkey burrito bowl ($13). A side of oven-baked sweet potato fries should be added to any order, along with a cup of freshly made apple juice. It may be difficult to find a table during the restaurant's rush hour (around 12:30 p.m.), but the fresh food is well worth the wait.
Chef Nicole Votano offers fast-casual dining in a bright and airy environment at Dirt in South Beach. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, customers can order from Paleo-friendly, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-sensitive menus depending upon dietary restrictions. Dishes change seasonally, but some crowd favorites are almond butter and jam toast ($6) and the nourish bowl ($12), which is made with farro, sprouted chickpeas and lentils, roasted curried cauliflower, and caramelized onions.
2. Lilikoi Organic Living
Lilikoi Organic Living is the newest healthful eatery to hit Miami's restaurant scene. Located in SoFi's South Pointe, it offers a relaxing environment to enjoy fresh food and organic ingredients. Head chef Manuel Torterola worked in the Michelin-starred Fat Duck in London, leading him to add a refined touch to his healthful cuisine. The menu includes vegan and vegetarian options, along with a range of hearty entreés using hormone-free meats. The vegan burger ($16) is one of the most popular dishes, but a gluten-free pizza ($15) and veggie nachos ($8) are also crowd pleasers.
1. Plant Food + Wine
Experience the culinary mastery of Matthew Kenney at his new vegan eatery in the Sacred Space Miami. Using seasonal and local produce, the vibrant menu caters to modern, health-conscious customers who wants to eat clean without sacrificing a quality experience. Signature items include kimchee dumplings with ginger foam ($14), heirloom grains with mustard-sesame dressing ($17), and a raw zucchini lasagna ($21). Cocktails based using seasonal ingredients, along with nonalcoholic fruit spritzers, are available to enjoy on the swanky patio.