Healthy Restaurants in Jacksonville, FL & The Beaches
If you truly want to control your diet, then the only way to accomplish this is to prepare all of your own meals and snacks everyday. However, this is nearly impossible for the average American. Life is just too busy. So, for convenience we often eat out, grabbing a quick breakfast or lunch at a fast food (McDonalds, Subway) or chain (Fire House Subs, Chili’s) restaurant. While these places are convenient and relatively inexpensive, their food quality is poor and often packed full of fillers, fat, sodium and too much meat protein.
Eating out doesn’t always have to be unhealthy – you can eat out and still find nutritional food choices. It may surprise you to know that there are many different healthy options for healthy dining in the Jacksonville area.
Below are my favorite local Jacksonville restaurants that offer healthy food choices:
Kairos Nutrition & Juice Bar
Location: Jacksonville, FL on Beach Blvd between Hodges and San Pablo
Kairo’s offers fresh smoothies and juices, PLUS wraps, salads and protein bowls for breakfast and lunch. Everything here is made using fresh, whole food ingredients and is made-to-order.
My favorite food items are the collard wraps with eggs and chicken and the Kairos bowl with grilled chicken, beans, guacamole and all the veggies 🙂
All of the smoothies and juices are made using fresh fruit and vegetables, with a good selection of quality protein powder, if you desire. Kairos also offers their version of a Flu Shot – a juice made from ginger, turmeric, green apple and lemon
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL
Happy Cup serves a variety of unique and delicious healthy meals, snacks and smoothies; offering both dine-in and grab n’ go options. Best of all, everything is prepared using all natural and/or organic ingredients. So, no overly processed food or ingredients.
Happy Cup offers both Breakfast and Lunch options:
- Breakfast – egg wraps, oatmeal, greek yogurt bowls
- Lunch – salads, wraps and protein/grain bowls
Smoothies are made using only fresh ingredients and you can even add a scoop of protein powder, if desired. And, Happy Cup is one of the only places offering a legit Acai bowl.
If you stop by, tell them Patty sent you…and, ask for the Fitness By Patty Greek Yogurt Bowl – it’s 3 scoops for organic Greek yogurt + organic hemp granola, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, coconut, cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup. Delicious!
3 Locations in Jacksonville, FL:
- Mandarin on San Jose Blvd
- Baymeadows Road at the 295 Intersection
- Jacksonville Beach
Native Sun is home to an awesome deli with great wraps and seasonal salads, a hot bar featuring cooked meals, side dishes and soups AND their fresh juice bar is one of the best in Jacksonville. Everything they prepare is made using organic produce and all natural ingredients. If you’re a busy person that is constantly on the go, Native Sun is a great place to load up on fresh veggie sides…you can buy multiple sides and take them home with you to accompany meals or eat as a snack.
Native Sun is definitely one of the most convenient healthy dining options in Jacksonville, as the food is grab-n-go AND you can take care of all your grocery shopping needs while there.
Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Delicomb in Jacksonville Beach, offers an eclectic menu for breakfast and lunch. Serving: breakfast bowls and wraps + lunch wraps, sandwiches, salads and soups; as well as Acai bowls and great coffees. Delicomb does not serve sodas or french fries…only fresh, whole food entrees, veggie sides and drinks. Try their homemade Kimchi…it’s a super healthy, great tasting addition to any salad or sandwich.
Location: Jacksonville, FL in Riverside – 5 Points
Great deli that offers sandwiches, salads and soups, as well as a juice and smoothie bar. All ingredients are fresh and either organic, all natural or local. Here you can eat lunch, then stock up on groceries for the week.
Green Erth Bistro
Location – Jacksonville, FL in San Marco
Green Erth Bistro is a Middle Eastern restaurant offering a wide variety of meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes, such as: Marinated kabob plates, various Middle Eastern salads, wraps and flatbread pizzas. My favorite menu item here are the kabobs…just substitute the rice for a side salad. Also, their hot black tea is very tasty & a much healthier choice than soda.
Location: Atlantic Beach, FL
Soup’s On is one of my favorite lunch spots. Soup’s On offers a great variety of soup and salads, ranging from vegan and vegetarian, to seafood and meat recipes. The soup menu changes weekly and they primarily use only local produce…so, it’s always fresh and they’re always offering something new and unique.
My suggestion – choose one of the vegan or vegetarian soups with a salad topped with their roasted turkey and balsamic vinaigrette
You can even purchase already prepared soups and store them in your freezer at home for a quick and healthy dinner.
Best Prepared Meals for Pickup or Delivery in Jacksonville
Happy Cow Cuisine – Facebook Page
Happy Cow Cuisine offers vegan and vegetarian meals, side dishes and snacks for pickup or delivery
Gregory Paul’s – www.GregoryPauls.com
Gregory Paul’s is located in Jacksonville Beach, FL and offers fresh and healthy meal options for pickup at their store. Good for both lunch and dinner, Gregory Paul’s offers entrees and side items.
Kathy’s Table – www.KathysTable.com
offers a la cart ordering and weekly meal plans. Variety of different meals plans to choose from.
JW Culinary – www.JWilliamCulinary.com
Tips for Ordering Healthy Meals At Restaurants
1. Pull up the website and menu ahead of time, so that you can have an idea and game plan in-mind before showing up at the restaurant.
2. Look for the entrees that have a lean grilled meat option (chicken, fish) and couple that with 1-2 side items of vegetables or a side salad with an olive oil/balsalmic or an infused vinegar dressing).
3. Beware of the sauces, oils, juices, chesses and dressings that accompany the meal. If it’s noticeably swimming in a liquid of some sort, use napkins to sop up the extra sauce (etc) or pat the item with napkins/paper towel to remove excess oil, butter, and sauce.
4. If an entree comes with a side of fries, potatoes or rice (for example), and you see that there are other vegetables available in the side dish section, or included in other entrees, request to trade out the side item with steamed/grilled/roasted vegetables or fruit.
5. If the entree you order looks like more than you ‘should’ eat, ask for a to-go box ahead of time, and pre-divide your meal into half to take the other half home to eat at a later time (or tomorrow)
A Healthy Diet Starts with A Solid Plan
If you are trying to decide where to go for lunch, try to keep in mind the daily nutrition tips for a healthy lifestyle. Get the most value out of everything you eat by following these guidelines.