From the trendy Oxbow Tavern to the more traditional Café Luxemborg, there’s no shortage of fine dining establishments on the Upper West Side. While we enjoy a succulent steak-frites with a robust glass of wine, our waistline (and doctor!) would be happier if our diet included healthier dishes more often. If you are searching for lighter fare or plant-based meals, there are plenty of healthy eateries on the Upper West Side to satisfy.
Peacefood Café – Vegan Café and Bakery
Address: 460 Amsterdam Ave.
Open since 2009, Peacefood Café was founded on the belief that a vegan lifestyle has the power to improve the lives of farm animals and the environment, as well as our health. Their vegan take on popular café fare has earned them a devoted following – leading to the opening of a second location in Union Square in 2013.
Appetizers include their award-winning chickpea fries and quinoa salad, while main dishes include paninis, pizza, and quiche. Treat yourself to a slice of raw cacao mousse pie or a mini brownie for dessert – we won’t tell!
Land Thai Kitchen
Address: 450 Amsterdam Ave.
Featuring dishes rich in vegetables, lean proteins, herbs and spices, Traditional Thai cuisine is a great choice for health-conscious diners. Nestled between 81st and 82nd streets on Amsterdam Avenue, Land Thai Kitchen delivers traditional Thai cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.
Begin your meal with their popular Green Papaya Salad – spicy thai bird chiles are tossed with fresh papaya, cashews, tomatoes, and long beans. Mains include traditional dishes like pad thai and drunken noodles with chicken, as well as a selection of specialty dishes featuring fresh seafood. Vegetarians will want to try the Jungle Curry with Steamed Tofu – a spicy mixture of string beans, eggplant, broccoli, cashews, and tofu tossed in a green peppercorn sauce.
Blossom on Columbus
Address: 507 Columbus Ave.
Blossom started in 2005 with the goal of elevating vegan cuisine. With two locations – one in Greenwich Village and the other in the heart of the Upper West Side, Blossom offers creative vegan dishes using fresh, organic ingredients. They are also fully Kosher-certified by the International Kosher Council.
Blossom on Columbus features a full bar with organic and local wines and beers. Dishes range from their wildly popular lasagna (pasta layered with vegan cheese and seitan) to seitan piccata served over mashed potatoes and spinach. In the mood for brunch? Blossom’s Huevos Rancheros is an innovative rift on the classic. Scrambled tofu is paired with refried beans, melted cheese, fresh guacamole, and salsa for a satisfying dish.
Address: 706 Amsterdam Ave.
Serving vegetarian meals rooted in the Indian practice of Ayurveda, each dish served at the Ayurveda Café is designed to promote health. Using only ten ingredients, every meal is balanced and includes six tastes – salty, sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, and pungent.
The menu is fixed, but rotates daily. Typical dishes include vegetable pakora, spinach with tofu, and black dahl. Diners can sip on authentic an authentic mango lassi, or chai tea with their meal.
VanLeewen Ice Cream
Address: 448 Amsterdam Ave., 253 Columbus Ave.
With locations throughout New York City, including two on the Upper West Side, VanLeewan’s has been dishing dessert since 2008. We’ll be the first to admit that including an ice cream shop on our list of healthy eateries might seem suspect, but hear us out. In addition to their decadent classic ice creams, VanLeewen has an impressive selection of vegan flavors that are dairy, and in some cases, gluten-free.
VanLeewen offers a mix of seasonal flavors that rotate throughout the year, as well as a handful of permanent flavors. Vegan bourbon vanilla apple crisp and vegan chocolate peppermint blondie are seasonal offerings, while mocha latte and chocolate chip cookie dough can be enjoyed year-round.
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