When looking for nutritious meals at Champaign-Urbana’s restaurants, you have plenty of healthy options (more than just ordering a salad).
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Healthy eating is a term that gets thrown around in many different ways and is certainly relative to each person’s own dietary preferences. At Chambanamoms.com we love sharing local food with you and we are often asked on our Facebook page for recommendations on where to find healthy meals. We are happy to bring you a list of restaurants that offer what would generally seem like healthy meals to most people. We also want this list to go beyond where to find the best salads in town, although salads are often a healthy choice.
As part of a healthy lifestyle (and healthy relationship with food), many people enjoy eating out with a meal that they wouldn’t normally prepare at home (pizza or burger, anyone?). not smothered in cheese sauce or laden with sugar, we bring you the list below. This list will contain references to meals that may overlap with our “where to eat vegetarian or vegan” list, but is intended to cover a variety of diets for our purposes.
We understand and acknowledge that too lots The restaurants in Champaign-Urbana offer a few options on their menus that would fit into the “eating healthy” category. And that you can adapt a dish to your preferences almost anywhere. So keep that in mind as you read through our tips for nutritious, delicious meals.
Sun Singer is known as one of the best places in CU to enjoy a glass of wine with a cheeseboard and some fresh bread, but we never have a hard time finding a healthy option on the menu. The salad specialties are truly amazing – and way better than any salad we would make at home. If you’re looking for something other than a salad, try the steak wrap (hold the cheese if you want), the black bean burger, or the chicken breast for starters. Its roasted beets also make a delicious side dish!
Farmhouse Restaurant at Harvest Market
Breakfast and lunch are a breeze (OK, no cake) once you enter Harvest Market. Try something like the vegetable omelette for breakfast and the flatbread “the plague” for lunch. The Farmhouse also boasts a pretty impressive salad bar, so we know you’ll find what you’re looking for at Harvest Market for healthy options.
New to the CU scene, the on-campus Forage Kitchen is full of healthy options. The bowls of veggies and grains sound the most intriguing (and satisfying!) on the menu, but you can’t go wrong here. Visit on weekends when there is more parking.
King Kuma Poke Bowl
With two locations in Champaign-Urbana (at Broadway Food Hall and The Fields in Champaign), King Kuma offers some fantastic healthy options. Sushi in general offers many healthy options, but the poke bowl concept offers a different twist on similar ingredients. California Love or Hawaiian Heat’s creations are simply gorgeous, but if these don’t sound exactly what you’re looking for, you can create your own. Ordering is just like the old Za’s around town, with the paper forms when you walk in.
Piato To Go food truck
Food that basically comes to you? Yes, please! The pear and apple salad is a favorite, and if you can reach the Piato Food Truck (timetable posted here or on Facebook), the food basically comes to you.
Common Ground Food Co-op
Don’t forget that Common Ground is not only a great place to buy the basic groceries you need to cook healthy meals at home, but they also have a great coffee shop. You can never go wrong with any of his soups. Common Ground usually posts the menu online so you can see what’s available before you head inside. It also has an oatmeal bar!
market on the square (or Market in the Square, during the winter months)
Make sure you mark your calendars for Market at the Square (May-October) and Market IN the Square during the off-season. While this is different than the other stops on our list, you can load up on all the fresh produce, raw local honey, and homemade baked goods your heart desires. Local shopping and simple are two of our favorite things to do when it comes to healthy eating. So, Market at the Square offers you the opportunity to take your items home to prepare. We actually love all of the food trucks there, but healthy options are few and far between. If we had to pick one that stands out, it would be Piato.
As we mentioned above, almost every restaurant has at least one or two items on the menu that are healthier choices than the others. Here are some of our picks at our favorite restaurants:
Billy Barooz, Black Bean Burger
Seven Saints, Salmon Salad, or 4-Grain Power Bowl
Farren’s, Black Bean Tacos, Elaine’s Salad or Strawberry Chicken Salad
Silvercreek, Portobello Steak or Healthy Bowl (Lunch)
Kofusion, Bi Bim Bob (or several other stir-fries)