Healthy Eateries To Feel Fruitful This New Year
Start the new year off right with a detox of health-giving drinks and dishes at these six local spots
The beginning of the new year marks our hopeful fitness goals and declarations of healthier living, cleaner eating and maybe losing a few newly gained holiday pounds! Luckily, Sarasota County's health-focused cafes and eateries are growing as fast as the locally sourced farm produce many source their ingredients/foods from. From freshly blended fruit juices and roasted veggie bowls to more elevated protein-packed dishes with more than a fair share of nutritional benefits, feel fit as a fiddle without sacrificing on taste!
Featuring many vegan-friendly options along with local, pasture-raised beef, Cafe Evergreen down in Nokomis offers health-minded eaters a very nutritious and salubrious place to get their fill. Everything is house-made fresh, from scratch, every day and never out of cans. Aiming to use the best ingredients to keep your food “clean”, expect no preservatives or GMOS and organic ingredients when possible. Start your day off by trying its classic eggs benedict, a healthy omelette with egg whites or a vegan treat.. For lunch try one of the many freshly prepared sandwiches like the Evergreen Club, Chipolte Black Bean Burger or Vegan Roasted Beet Reuben. And if you're just as thirsty as you are hungry, enjoy a great selection of freshly blended fruit smoothies and juices, locally roasted coffee, organic beers and CBD-infused drinks as well.
Downtown Sarasota and St. Armands Circle
With cozy locations, Green Zebra Cafe offers a warm, casual atmosphere with deliciously nutritious foods and drinks. With a focus on pure, wholesome and locally sourced ingredients, enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that are carefully crafted to reflect customers' special dietary requirements. Serving cold-pressed juices, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, raw entrees and desserts, the organic cafe is a haven for those seeking a freshly prepared meal they'll never feel guilty for. Popular items include the Brazilian Acai Bowl, Rainbow Kale Salad, the Santa Monica wrap and many more! For smoothies, try the ever-popular Green Power or Lido Sunset. Refreshing juices include Summer Breeze and Beet the Blues, while wellness elixirs like Matcha Master, Moon Milk and Immune Booster will keep any sign of the flu away!
This newly-opened, downtown eatery prides itself as a farm-to-table establishment that utilizes only locally sourced, organic ingredients. Prepared "the way nature intended," Organic Farmer's Table offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as pressed juices, smoothies, vegan and gluten-free options. Designed by a chef and supervised by a registered dietician with your health in mind, expect only the cleanest ingredients without any hormones, pesticides, antibiotics or additives. Some standout items include the Mushroom Toast on local bakery bread, the Farmer's Club Wrap, the Chia Bowl with dragonfruit chia pudding, the Apple Caprese, Beet Carpaccio, along with many other innovative dishes. Take advantage of assorted press juices, coconut water, kefir, kombucha, wellness shots and smoothies to compliment any meal!
St. Armands Circle and Longboat Key
With a focus on fresh and local, Shore Restaurant's clean cooking and innovative dishes is a testament to its avid following. With two locations – one at the entrance of St. Armands Circle and another at the end of Longboat Key – enjoy your healthful and delicious meal in a fun, modern environment with al fresco dining. With a "Fresh & Bright" section of the menu, order up the Organic Chicken Chinois Salad with fresh papaya and mango, Shrimp Ceviche & Guacamole, the ever-popular Vegan Kale 'Caesar' or the Roasted Red & Golden Beets. An add-on of Faroe Island salmon to any of the salads will ensure you get your portion of omega-3s for the day!
Various Sarasota Locations
Fresh fare, smooth spirits and great fun – what more could you ask for? Gecko's Grill & Pub's are favorites of locals and visitors alike, with four locations across Sarasota. Though a pub-style restaurant, Gecko's serves up American bar fare with a gourmet farm-to-table focus – including fresh, locally sourced seasonal produce from its local, organic farm partner, Honeyside Farms. From zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli and a wide variety of tomatoes, Gecko's plans its menu according to the growing season with Honeyside Ask your friendly server or barkeep what's been harvested just for Gecko's today. Some solid choices include the Gluten-Free Hummus Plate with warm pita, crisp vegetables and feta cheese, Gecko's 1992 Salad, the Power Blend salad or the Ahi Tuna Nachos.
Downtown Sarasota and East Sarasota
First Watch restaurants are a popular neighborhood brunch spot for both locals and visitors alike. With two locations serving up crave-able classics and seasonal specialties for breakfast and brunch, enjoy healthful menu items that don't sacrifice on flavor. Seasonally, there is always a freshly-made juice featured, which you can "boost" with a wellness shot of Vitamins B3, C & D, Zinc, Echinacea & Elderberry. Meanwhile, its always-made-to-order dishes offer quality, farm-fresh ingredients that follow the sun – including the Avocado Toast on thick-cut whole grain artisan toast, a continual fan favorite. The Sunrise Granola Bowl, A.M. Superfoods Bowl, Power Wrap and Tri-Athlete are also standout menu items when craving clean eating.