‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. Is one of yours eating healthier? That goal can be hard to achieve when your focus is also on your family’s busy schedule. Enter the healthy fast food restaurant. We’ve scouted out these local joints that offer salads, soups, and even burgers with a better for you bend:
Photo: Beefsteak via Yelp
Get in your greens on the go at Beefsteak, a new spot for a nutritious nosh in the DMV. The brainchild of gourmand Jose Andres, Beefsteak offers diners the chance to mix and match countless combinations of their favorite grains and veggies or try one of the restaurant’s speciality salads, bowls, or sandwiches (including the namesake Beefsteak Tomato Burger). Fear not, carnivores: Beefsteak also serves smoked salmon and chicken sausage to amp up your meal.
Four Locations in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Md.
At Elevation Burger, you can enjoy fast food favorites like burgers and fries without the side of guilt. From offering 100% organic, grass-fed beef to serving up shakes and sodas in sustainable cups, Elevation’s mission is to make the world a better place “one bite at a time.” Looking for lighter fare? The restaurant also offers vegetarian and vegan versions of their burgers (on bread buns or wrapped in lettuce) as well as fresh fruit and salads.
11 Locations in Washington, D.C., Md., and Va.
Colorado-based Modern Market made its DMV debut in 2016, and the restaurant is quickly becoming a favorite for those looking for healthy options any time of day. Early birds will enjoy egg scrambles and whole grain waffles while their superfood salad and squash soup are great for a noontime nosh. Modern Market also offers a kids menu with a build-your-own salad selection as well as the standard pizza and mac and cheese (made with organic cheese, of course!)
4930 Elm St. (Bethesda, Md.)
Photo: Ayren Jackson-Cannady
South Block Juice Co.
Looking to hop on the juicing train? Look no further than South Block Juice Co. Their eight locations in D.C. and Virginia offer locally-made cold-pressed juices in flavors ranging from Easy Greens (apple, celery, spinach, parsley and lemon) to Glow (apple, lemon, aloe, pineapple, lemon and mint) as well as smoothies and acai bowls. Whatever option you pick, you’re guaranteed to get in your daily dose of fruits and veggies. Not in the mood to sip your supper? Cafe locations also offer made-to-order salads, sandwiches, and bowls.
Eight locations in Virginia and D.C.
The Little Beet
Billed as “100% guiltin’ free,” Little Beet offers locally-sourced, seasonal fare that makes you feel good about going out to eat. This time of year, you’ll find items like sauteed kale, salmon with ponzu sauce, and golden cauliflower on the menu. Try out one of the Beet’s special “rolls and bowls” or pick and choose to create your own plate. An added bonus: every option is gluten-free.
1212 18th St., NW (Washington, D.C.)
Satisfy your sweet tooth and stay on track with a falooda from Toli Moli. This Union Market establishment offers falooda, Burmese take on a milkshake, without all the added sugar. Mango, pomegranates, and nut milks are what make up these delicious drinks. Toppings include seeds, homemade syrups, and if you’re feeling indulgent, marshmallows.
1309 5th St., NE (Washington, D.C.)
What is your favorite healthy eating spot? Let us know in the comments section.