It should come as no surprise that South Florida has an abundance of health-conscious restaurants.
After the New Year’s resolutions and trend diets fade, when colder parts of the country return to the calorie-laden comforts of veal parmesan and pasta carbonara, we remain in year-round bikini season. And sometimes that means having to choose salad over steak.
Thankfully, South Florida restaurants that serve cold-pressed juices, gluten-free baked goods and other sorts of clean, sustainable, plant-based food have made that choice easy and delicious.
And with so many options in just about every neighborhood, your next acai bowl is closer than you think.
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Brickell & Downtown
1. Ten Fruits: The only restaurant on its block that won’t clog your arteries beyond repair, but that’s not the only reason it’s a welcome presence in the neighborhood. Between its acai bowls, smoothies, fresh-pressed juices and salads, Ten Fruits is a one-stop shop for healthy goodness that nourishes your body and your taste buds.
143 NE Third Ave., Miami; 305-373-7678
2. Bryan In The Kitchen: A health-conscious delight that serves organic grain salads, pressed panini and an eclectic rotation of soups, like coconut broccoli spinach and butternut squash. Gluten-free quinoa cookies and honey-sweetened cupcakes are baked fresh daily, finally rendering “healthy indulgence” less of an oxymoron.
104 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-371-7777
3. Freshko Gourmet: If you’re looking for a bowl of leafy goodness or a nutritious sandwich, make your way to Freshko Gourmet. Its mango arugula salad pairs freshness with sweetness and is as reviving as a cup of its meticulously brewed coffee.
228 SE First St., Miami; 305-415-2001
4. The Juicery Bar: The Juicery’s acai bowls and quinoa bowls are a healthier alternative to a Chipotle burrito bowl. The “A Little Bit of Everything” bowl, to which you can add hum mus, chicken salad, tuna salad or grilled chicken for a punch of protein, should be your new go-to.
635 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-350-2277
5. Jar + Fork: Food fads and diet trends come and go, but flavor stands the test of time. Witness that phenomenon for yourself by partaking in one of Jar + Fork’s paleo-inspired plates.
270 E. Flagler St., Miami; 305-364-5643
6. Pura Vida Miami: Pura Vida got a facelift recently, making it feel fresher than ever. New offerings include tuna nicoise salad and wild salmon sandwich, among other items within its pared-down new menu.
110 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-535-4142
7. Dirt: This new clean-eating oasis lives up to its self-proclaimed “fine food served fast” concept, serving a seasonal menu of farm-fresh vegetables, sustainable proteins and fair-trade coffee. It’s a flavorful, albeit pricey, amalgamation of every politically correct food trend you’ve ever heard of.
232 Fifth St., Miami Beach; 305-239-3000
8. Sunset Juice Café: Located in the Sunset Harbour pocket of Miami Beach, Sunset Juice Café is within walking distance of Flywheel, Barry’s Bootcamp, Green Monkey Yoga and SoBe Kick, making it the perfect post-workout pit stop. Try the curry chicken salad, which is topped with apples, nuts and celery.
1940 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-763-8530
9. Under the Mango Tree: This inviting, unassuming vegan eatery is as quaint as its name. For a brief departure from acai-bowl mania, opt instead for Mango Tree’s dragon bowl, made with the ultra-pink pitaya fruit you may have come across on your Instagram feed.
714 Sixth St., Miami Beach; 786-558-5103
10. Carrot Express: Faced with a menu as diverse and as extensive as Carrot Express’, diners may be overwhelmed. But once the server arrives with your your citrus-y mahi mahi platter, for example, a wave of excitement is sure to wash over you.
1755 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-535-1379
Wynwood & Edgewater
11. Jucy Lu: Jucy Lu’s vegetarian foods will make you wonder why you’ve ever craved a steak. The veggie burger, which is served “naked” (no bun), gets rave reviews from even the most avid carnivores.
2621 NW Second Ave., Miami; 786-536-3575
12. Salad Creations: As its name suggests, Salad Creations is a build-your-own spot where the food is as good and reliable as the service.
2001 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-576-5333
13. Jugofresh: Jugofresh, a local pioneer in the acai-bowl frontier, has a number of Whole Foods outposts across South Florida, but its Wynwood location has enough seating to accommodate more than a handful of its legions of followers. The raw power smoothie, accentuated by its cinnamon undertone and bits of cacao, is as addictive as any dessert you’ve ever dug into.
222 NW 26th St., Miami; 786-472-2552
14. Dr. Smood: Food and drinks with purpose. Dr. Smood categorizes its items into six groups: immune, energy, general healthy, beauty, detox and super power. If you’re on the go, grab an already-made salad or juice to get your daily dose of nutrition — doctor’s orders.
2230 NW Second Ave., Miami; 786-334-4420
15. Freshii: Fresh, wholesome staples like salads, wraps, sandwiches and a variety of juices, which you can assess on a per-calorie and nutrient basis on the restaurant’s website. The spicy lemongrass soup is the perfect precursor to the “Metaboost Salad,” a filling combination of ingredients like kale, mangoes and goat cheese.
2300 NW Second Ave., Miami; 786-534-9659
16. Green Berry: Wholesome meals at an affordable price: Nothing costs more than $10. After a weekend of partying, stop by for a green goddess smoothie (kale, celery, cucumber, green apple, pineapple, ginger) to detox for a fraction of what you spent on drinks Saturday night.
305 Alcazar Ave., Coral Gables; 305-403-6660
17. Veganaroma: Veganaroma is a — you guessed it — vegan restaurant that bills itself as a “healthy and affordable culinary oasis," and, on that count, it delivers. Every item on Veganaroma’s menu is a blend of nutritious ingredients, like the sweet potato and vegetable stew, and the average check comes in around $12.
3808 SW Eighth St., Coral Gables; 305-444-3826
18. GreenLife Miami Organic Bistro: GreenLife features a rotation of daily “fit meal” specials, an array of acai and dragon-fruit bowls, as well as salads and sandwiches. Its two varieties of avocado toast — made with coconut shavings or blueberry and crumbled feta — come highly recommended.
104 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables; 786-671-7603
19. Choices Café: Choices Café is a vegan eatery that offers, well, choices. All menu items can be wrapped in a gluten-free or whole-grain wrap or blended as a salad or quinoa bowl. Regulars rave about the lentil wrap, which tastes as healthy as it does appetizing.
2626 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables;786-600-1975
20. Green Gables Café: Green Gables accommodates all kinds of dietary restrictions, offering an array of gluten- and dairy-free menu items, as well as vegan-friendly options, like the raw garden wrap. For a veggie option that doesn’t skimp on protein, consider the black bean burger, which comes with a side of diced and roasted sweet potato.
327 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables; 305-445-7015
Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach & North Miami Beach
21. Basil Park: For a brunch experience that will delight without sending you down a calorific shame spiral, pop by Basil Park. Its kitchen, headed by Tim Andriola of Italian restaurant Timo (located next door), regularly dishes out classics along with modern eats like parmesan kale chips and duck lettuce wraps seasoned with sriracha.
17608 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach; 305-705-0004
22. Miami Juice: Miami Juice’s spiral-booklet menu offers an array of appetizers, salads, platters, fresh-squeezed juice and smoothies. Parking will be challenging and there probably will be a short wait for a table, but it’ll all be worth it if you’re looking for fresh, quality food.
18660 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach; 305-945-0444
23. Raw Republic: At Raw Republic, everything from the acai bowls to the cold-pressed juices, which you can combine into a multiday cleanse, to the raw desserts (mini hemp carrot cakes, cinnamon rolls, pitaya cheesecake) is made fresh daily on-site. Every trip there feels like the first because new items, like the quinoa patty melt, regularly debut, making Raw Republic an everyday option you never get tired of.
20804 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305-705-4226
24. Miami Squeeze: Driving down West Dixie Highway, it’s easy to overlook Miami Squeeze, which rests among an eclectic mix of businesses. Pair the “Kelly Green” juice, which gets points for the one-two punch of flavor and nutrition, with the “Millionaire’s Salad,” topped with tender, grilled chicken strips, and you will feel like a million bucks.
18315 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach; 305-935-9544
Debora Lima: @dtdlima