Dining out can be a challenge when wanting to eat healthy and nourishing foods. Even more so when you live with all males like I do. I want to eat well and also satisfy the teenage boys’ (and a husband who can eat like a teenage boy) cravings and appetites. If you find yourself in the same situation, I have compiled a not-totally-comprehensive list of my favorite healthy restaurants in Kansas City.
Like I said, healthy eating and teenage boys don’t always go hand in hand, especially when dining out. These four restaurants are all local to Kansas City, have healthy choices and use locally sourced ingredients (and organic for some!) that pleases me and my health desires (read more about my health journey here). However, they also offer items that are sure to please the burgers-and-fries crowd, aka the rest of my family.
All of these places very clearly notate on their menus what items are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, etc. This makes eating out so much easier for anyone who has some dietary constraints.
This local Kansas City restaurant has been a healthy go-to for a few years now for us. It is owned by Sheridan’s frozen custard so you know it’s good. I love the fact that it feels like a fast food restaurant as you walk up and order. Then wait for your buzzer to go off at your table when your delicious food is ready. The best aspect of Unforked is that all of the ingredients are locally sourced and organic when possible.
My family will always get the tacos or burgers however, my favorite healthier dishes from Unforked are as follows:
Tacos- Citrus Crunch Chicken and Cali fish (tip- order in a lettuce wrap instead of tortilla if that floats your boat!)
Harvest Crunch Salad– the dressing on this is perfection. You can add protein if you like.
The Pure Burger– enough said.
And be sure to try their seasonal items that changes every few months. They are some of the best dishes. My current winter favorite are the Diablo Noodles with shrimp, pictured above.
After seeing Billie’s Grocery talked about all over social media, I took a little drive to visit this new healthy Kansas City restaurant and it quickly moved to the top of my list. If only it were closer to my house, I would probably live there. If I could describe what I think heaven looks like, it would have a gluten free baked goods case, like Billie’s Grocery. This is from the same owner as Unbakery in Brookside (another personal favorite). According to their website, Billie’s Grocery “brings mostly organic, nutrient-dense whole eats and treats to the community’s ever-growing health food scene”. And I am here for it.
Here is what my husband and I sampled:
Lazy sushi bowl– so many flavors and textures. It’s just like sushi, but lazier.
Reuben with French fries– My husband is a (self-proclaimed) Reuben expert and this one ranked pretty high for him.
From the gluten-free bakery case– sugar cookie (legit the best sugar cookie I have ever eaten. And I have eaten a lot of cookies.), Boujee poptart, cheesecake and oatmeal cream pie. All of these were seriously so good and even your gluten loving friends would never know. They do have a large selection of vegan (dairy and egg free) desserts as well.
I cannot wait to go back! It is a gorgeous space to hang out and eat good, nourishing food.
Enjoy pure foods
This healthy Kansas City restaurant has been a staple in my dining out lunch routine for as long as they have been open, almost 5 years. I love to stop in for a quick smoothie or juice to go or stay for lunch with a friend. They expanded and more than doubled their space and it is absolutely beautiful. They also have plenty of outdoor seating for the warmer months.
My boys will usually get a smoothie bowl or sandwich while I go for some of the other dishes. I love that they use organic ingredients when possible. Plus, there is something for everyone and have plenty of options for any sort of dietary constraints.
It is hard to narrow down my favorites at this point, but here they are in no particular order:
Mighty Mojo smoothie– just trust me on this one. So good and filling.
Roasted Brussels sprouts– this is a seasonal item and absolutely delicious. This can make Brussels spouts haters into lovers.
Chicken and veggie soup– incredibly light and flavored with ginger and lemon. This is what I crave on a cold day.
Fit Caesar salad– the addition of capers is key here and something I am going to steal for my own salads at home. Plus the dressing is creamy, tangy and dairy free.
Terra Bella– this one really got me in a good way. I have had some not-great veggie lasagnas and this blew my mind, even being dairy free. The marinara on top is bright and garlicky while the layers of veggies and cashew cheese made me not miss the meat. I will order this again and again.
Try any and all of their desserts! I haven’t had a bad one.
Oh, Caffetteria, you have a special place in my heart. I will drive across town just to dine in your cheery space and eat your delicious and healthy fare. This is another one of the great healthy restaurants in Kansas City that gives you so many options for nourishing eats and can also satisfy my teenagers (or mine let’s be honest) cravings for a burger and fries. Or their steak sandwich. Oh, and the best sweet potato fries in KC.
They have done a fantastic pivot in the crazy pandemic world (as so many restaurants have done!) and have coolers filled with ready-made meals, sauces, snacks and cocktails to take home with you.
Here are some of my favorites:
Sweet Potato Fries with honey mustard dipping sauce- I crave these.
Polynesian Poke Bowl– for anyone who loves sushi, this is a fun and delicious take on it.
Chicken Larb Bowl– a Thai food classic done so well and so full of flavor. I felt so satisfied but not stuffed afterwards and I ate it all.
Build Your Own Plate– this is amazing for when you just want to make your own plate the way you want it. You pick your protein, a sauce and 1-3 sides. My typical plate is salmon with chimichurri with sweet potatoes and whatever veggie I’m feeling that day.
Steak Sandwich– what could be bad about this? The answer is nothing. So, so good.
My list of healthy Kansas City Restaurants will continue to grow
This is just the start. I know I have already left some places off and will be adding to this list. Please leave a comment and let me know your favorite place to get some good and healthy food. My favorite hobby is trying new restaurants. Maybe I should try getting a hobby that doesn’t involve eating but that probably won’t happen.