Here are our top picks for healthy restaurants in our area.
Whether you're trying to stick to your New Years Resolution to eat better or are simply health-conscious by nature, you don't have to stop eating out this year. The Observer's top 7 restaurants have feature a variety of vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes that won't blow your diet. Some of them might even be located in your neighborhood.
Here they are, listed from north to south. Bon appétit!
Foccacia — Palm Coast
"Straight from the heart of Rome to sunny Florida, Alexia Tarantino and Dario Carbone, the creators of Focaccia, bring you pizza like you’ve never had before. Pizza al Taglio or "Pizza by the Slice" which originates from Rome is a unique style of pizza, created using unique techniques and an all-natural dough that is left to rise for up to 72 hours. End result being a highly digestible, light and fragrant pizza!
"A mixture of locally sourced fresh ingredients and imported ones, are prepared daily in house. Their 100% vegan dough is made
with specially selected flours (never bleached or bromated) and 100% extra virgin olive oil (no cheap oil blends!). Their ever changing pizza toppings ensure that there is always something for everyone whether you are vegan, vegetarian, non-dairy or a meat lover."
— Alexia Tarantino, owner
What to try: Parmigiana pizza, made with homemade plum tomato sauce, mozzarella, eggplant and parmigiano cheese.
Location: 85 Cypress Point Pkwy. #1, Palm Coast
Hours: 11. am. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Vessel Sandwich Co. — Flagler Beach
"Vessel Sandwich Co. is a casual chef driven restaurant in the heart of Flagler Beach. The menu is primarily lunch with a Friday Night Dinner special weekly. We believe food is at its best when it is made fresh and from scratch with the perfect balance of flavors and simplicity.
"Our kale salad is freshly washed raw kale that is briefly
massaged with a house made preserved lemon dressing. The lemons are preserved in salt for at least 30 days which we do in house. The lemon rind is then combined with other ingredients to make for a sweet, sour and salty dressing that breaks down the kale and compliments it perfectly. It is then garnished with golden raisins, house made croutons and freshly shaved Parmesan. You can have it as is or add various types of protein or avocado."
— Haley Kirk, owner
What to try: Above-mentioned kale salad as well as avo toast, made with multi-grain toasted bread with freshly smashed avocado, marinated tomatoes and freshly-shaved parmesan.
Location: 213 S. 2nd St. #4, Flagler Beach
Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday
Wild Rabbit Bistro — Ormond Beach
"All our ingredients are non-GMO and we choose local and organic vegetables when possible, rotating our menu to highlight what is in season. You won't find artificial sweeteners, commercial preservatives, food dyes or the like in our kitchen. We only purchase hormone/antibiotic free chicken, organic/non-GMO tofu, family farm eggs and certified organic legumes/ grains. What we serve to you is what we would feed to our own family."
— Laura Hannan, owner
Wild Rabbit Bistro also has a bakery with vegan cookies at less than 200 calories each baked with fruit purees instead of butter for a healthier option. All of their bowls, with protein, total a maximum of 500 calories.
What to try: Buddha Bowl, made with black beans, roasted roots, avocado, colorful veggies, seasonal greens, oil-free turmeric tahini dressing and with the option to add chicken, tofu or fresh salmon.
Location: 48 E. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach
Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, now open for dinner on Thursday and Friday from 5-9 p.m.
Eden Fresh Café — Ormond Beach
"Eden Fresh Café offers the widest selection of salads and sandwiches in Ormond Beach. Eden Fresh Café prides itself on challenging people who think that they must compromise on taste, to eat healthy. Our quarter-pound black bean burger can be served vegan and gluten free, or with cheese and avocado. We do not deep-fry any food.
"Even our delicious sweet potato fries or spicy fires are over
baked and crisped. Our daily lunch specials are mostly $9.99 and feature a different fish or pasta entrée prepared fresh with wholesome side dishes. Our most notable dish is the all balanced 48 ounce Poke bowl featuring either seared tuna steak or salmon. We post pictures on our Facebook page daily and offer gift cards, as well as free deliver and easy online ordering via our website."
— Shaya Fogel, owner
What to try: Poke bowl, made with your choice of seared tuna steak or salmon, brown rice, carrots, edamame, cabbage and ginger.
Location: 142 N. Nova Road, Ormond Beach
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday
Jerusalem Grill — Ormond Beach
"Jerusalem Grill serves the finest authentic Kosher Mediterranean and Israeli dishes. Jerusalem has been serving the Ormond Beach community since 2001. It specializes in healthy dishes such as protein packed chicken and turkey entrees, delicious salads, falafel, and their world-famous hummus is scrumptious and a terrific metabolism booster. Jerusalem does not only offer a great dining experience, but excels at catering parties from 5 to 500 people.
"Once you let the staff know that you are looking for healthy options, they will provide you with more healthy choices than you could have wished for. Delicious food that is healthy, kosher, and many options starting at just $5, Jerusalem offers something for everyone!"
— Shaya Fogel, owner of Eden Fresh Café
What to try: Their signature hummus, made with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and cumin.
Location: 366 W. Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday
The Dancing Avocado Kitchen — Daytona Beach
Angela and Mario Stemberger opened for restaurant in June 1998 and its menu is 40% vegetarian, 30% vegan and 30% carnivore-friendly with items like "The Famous Dave Burger." Their philosophy is to be a health concept eatery with short waits for real food. They have a fresh juice bar catering to new juicers and the "serious kale heads," and real fruit smoothies.
Some of their notable items include vegan bacon, which is egg-
plant based and made entirely from scratch. All their baked goods, including muffins, sconces and cookies are made in-house. They're open nights during all festivals and street parties.
What to try: Vegan Jerk Jack, made with jack fruit, peppers and onions on a bed of island coconut rice with peas, served with soft fried Jamaican dusted plantains.
Location: 110 S. Beach Street, Daytona Beach
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Kale Cafe — Daytona Beach and Port Orange
"Kale Cafe is a vegan restaurant and juice bar with big influence on Jamaican cuisine, since both owners Omar Brown and Camille Holder-Brown, husband and wife team are both Jamaican.
"With their signature kale salad dressing, freshly made green
smoothies and in-store made veggie burgers that are only $5 every Tuesday, they are quickly becoming well known. With its original location in Daytona Beach, For the last four years it's also been located in Port Orange on Dunlawton. They offer the same menu with daily seitan specials and core favorite like Mac n' cheese, gluten free quinoa salad, rice and peas, yams and curry chana."
— Camille Holder-Brown, owner
What to try: Organic veggie burger, made with pan-seared mushrooms and onion piled on top of a veggie burger with sliced tomato and our seasoned kale.
Locations: 116 N. Beach St., Daytona Beach and 1812 Dunlawton Ave., Port Orange
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday