This post is written by Simi Botic. Simi is a Columbus-based certified holistic health coach, a healthcare attorney, and co-creator of The Micro Harvest, an online magazine. Her health coaching practice focuses on a lifestyle that rejects deprivation and is all about pleasure, femininity, and sexy-fun.
The wellness movement is alive and well in Columbus! Thankfully, our local restaurants are taking note. Healthy dining spots are popping up all over the city, making it much easier to stick to your health goals and adhere to specialty dietary restrictions while you enjoy a bite to eat with friends. More and more restaurants are making an effort to provide high-quality ingredients like local produce and organic meats, creating vegan and vegetarian selections, and ensuring that individuals with food allergies have yummy alternatives.
If you’re looking for a place that provides healthy whole-food options, here are great Columbus-based options:
North Star Café Short North, Clintonville, & Easton
North Star is all about quality ingredients. You can enjoy a meal here and know that you’re nourishing your body with the best of the best. North Star chooses locally grown, organic, and artisan-produced foods. North Star also provides vegan and vegetarian options, and can easily work around food allergies or other requests. Good food, good values.
My order: Gluten-free & dairy-free North Star Burger
Native Cold-Pressed Juice Short North
Columbus has its first cold-pressed juicery! The juices are made from organic veggies and fruits, and they are all so delicious. If you are sensitive to sugar, Native offers a number of low-fructose options as well. Native uses as much locally sourced produce as it can get its hands on, so when you drink the juice you’re supporting local farmers, too!
My order: Strong Greens
This family-run Mediterranean restaurant goes out of its way to accommodate its gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian customers. Mazah even marks each item on its menu according to specialty diet! The service is amazing and it isn’t uncommon to see the owners chatting away with locals as they dine. The veggies are fresh, the dishes are flavorful, and the atmosphere is so cozy. You really feel like you’re getting a (healthy) home-cooked meal.
My order: Baba Ghanoush with chopped veggies (instead of pita) & large Falafel Mazah Salad
Mitchell’s Ocean Club Easton
It is no secret that Cameron Mitchell does an excellent job of giving his customers what they ask for. Ocean Club is no exception! With a wide array of healthy and high-quality seafood and veggies choices, and a kitchen that will make any substitutions you request (think “no butter, no cream… steam not fried”), you are in for a healthy, satisfying, and appetizing meal. If Ocean Club has the ingredients, the kitchen will make you what you request – the possibilities are endless. Healthy eating rarely feels this indulgent! My order: Ocean Club House Salad and grilled fish fillet (prepared in lemon juice & olive oil) with steamed or roasted vegetables on the side
Harvest Pizzeria German Village
That’s right… pizza can be healthy! Harvest has a number of small plates and salads that are veggie-centric and, for the main event, you can enjoy a stellar gluten-free pizza crust! The ingredients used are Ohio-based and Harvest provides links on the website to the farms, creameries, and meat companies they partner with. In Harvest’s own words, “local tastes better.”
My order: House Chop salad and gluten-free Almond Pesto pizza with a fried egg & goat cheese instead of mozzarella (to share)
Whole-Foods Upper Arlington
Lane Avenue opened its amazing (and much larger) Whole Foods, and you cannot go wrong. The prepared foods, salad bar, and hot bar offer a ton of healthy options for when you’re on-the-go. It is a great spot to grab picnic eats or dinner after a late night at the office. Whole Foods does a great job of listing all of the ingredients, so you always know what you’re getting.
My order: a big salad mixed with roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, fresh veggies & a GT’s Raw Kombucha to drink
The ingredients at here are so fresh that the menu changes DAILY. Alana’s is committed to feeding its customers with local and seasonal ingredients sourced from Ohio farms. If you have a dietary concern or allergy, the waiters are extremely knowledgeable and are always able to help you find something you can enjoy.
My order: something gluten and dairy-free! It changes every time!
I don’t know how it could get healthier than Portia’s. Every item on the menu is organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free. Plus, there are TONS of raw food options. No matter how limited your dietary restrictions, you can find something fun here. You will feel amazing after your meal (none of that “I wish I had worn stretchy pants” going on post-Portia’s) and your taste buds won’t be disappointed either. Portia’s does a great job of making healthy plant-based food taste amazing. My order: Dipper ½ sampler with veggies (to share), the Deep Green salad, & the Savory Patty Wrap in lettuce