Seasons 52 And More Healthy Eating In San Diego
The best healthy restaurants San Diego has to offer
Maria Desiderata Montana
Our resident food expert scoured San Diego and found these top healthy places to eat that'll ensure a hearty meal for everyone. Let's get to know these best healthy foods in San Diego.
Considered a “fast-casual organic restaurant,” Tender Greens is a great healthy place to eat to experience slow food at an affordable price. A significant hallmark for Tender Greens is its established partnerships with local ranchers and purveyors, as well as a handful of small local farms that use sustainable farming practices.
“Using natural ingredients is like breathing to us,” said Pete Balistreri, executive chef of the Point Loma location. “We do it without even thinking about it. It’s part of our existence. It’s what we are.”
Popular favorites include the Happy Vegan Salad, roasted Roma tomato soup and herb-brushed albacore. Tender Greens has several locations in the Southern California region, with plenty of tasteful and nutritious meals available for dining in or taking home.
Also Read: Top 5 Gluten Free Restaurants in San Diego
Located at Westfield UTC mall, Seasons 52 provides guests with a healthy dining experience, enabling them to celebrate living well. The menu is inspired by the seasons and the fresh appeal of the farmers’ market—52 weeks a year. The food is inspired from many different countries around the world. The chefs start with the freshest ingredients and use natural cooking techniques such as a wood-burning grill to enhance the flavors instead of high-calorie additives. This allows them to keep each menu item under 475 calories, while still maintaining great flavor. Enjoy grilled jumbo shrimp penne pasta with lemon-basil sauce, spring asparagus and Dungeness crab salad, or my favorite vegetarian tasting with quinoa citrus salad, soft taco, chili relent, vegetables, cedar-roasted tofu and mango chutney. Seasons 52 currently operates 30 restaurants in 15 states across the country.
Top of the Market
Awarded “Best Seafood Fine Dining 2013” by the California Restaurant Association, Top of the Market is led by Executive Chef Ivan Flowers, whose passion for healthy cooking came from his father, the chef and owner of Rendezvous Restaurant in New York. Flowers learned that a good chef lets the food do the work with respect to flavor and presentation. Though his food is influenced from countries around the world, he combines a love for French and Italian cuisine with a passion for Mediterranean into what he likes to call “global fusion.” Flowers prides himself on offering a healthy yet diverse menu, featuring organic products whenever possible with vegetables and herbs. His menus change to capture the best of each season, where he creatively combines his inspiration with the finest foods available. Don’t miss the lobster bisque espresso with spiced sorbet oyster slider, fresh New Zealand green lipped-mussels or the Oregon Dungeness crab cioppino.
Oceanside’s 333 Pacific is North County’s best upscale dining destination, complete with a breathtaking view of Southern California’s shoreline from every seat in the house. A stellar California coastal menu effectively highlights local seasonal ingredients and wholesome preparations that are executed with meticulous care. Diners have a variety of options to choose from, including raw bar and sushi offerings, soups, salads, pasta, seafood, steaks, chops and vegetarian choices.
“We have a number of purveyors who we source from local farms,” Executive Chef Brian Hyre said. “During the summer months, we even have a guy who grows special vegetables and herbs just for us.”
With its mystical décor, fresh flavorful food, stunning architecture and fine-dining service, RAMA is an extraordinary culinary getaway emphasizing the refined and serene culture of its far-east homeland. Chef and partner Alex Thao uses local fish and produce whenever possible, incorporating spices and unique sauces into his cuisine. From fresh spring rolls to spicy curries, cooking healthy is standard in his Thai culture. He utilizes fresh ingredients and limited oil in his stir-fry dishes, while incorporating the grill and fresh salads along with flavorful vinaigrettes. The papaya salad is a fresh example of complementary flavors, blending sweet fruit notes with green beans, cherry tomatoes, roasted peanuts and Thai chili and garlic, and leaving your taste buds tingling. One of my favorites is the spicy basil lobster, with chopped lobster tail meat gently stir fried with basil, onions, bell peppers and fresh Thai chili. An excellent vegetable choice is the tender stir-fried eggplant with basil, garlic, bell peppers, chili and onions.
Terra American Bistro
A unique farm-to-table restaurant with a casual atmosphere, the cuisine at Terra American Bistro has been labeled “New American” with an emphasis on ingredients and preparation styles from North, South and Central America. The restaurant is designed with reclaimed materials, including stunning woods, coffee bags covering seat pads, and a captivating chandelier over the chef’s communal farm table. A casual menu boasts flatbread pizzas, Carlsbad mussels, shareable appetizers, salads and entrees.
“We try and use anything local whenever possible, including chicken and pork, and I handpick our fish three to four times per week,” said Owner and Chef Jeff Rossman. In addition, the bar features seasonal fruit and herb-infused vodkas, as well as local craft beers and a wine list that offers more than 80 bottles of mostly California wines.
Whisknladle La Jolla
Whisknladle serves farm-to-table cuisine; think gourmet comfort food infused with Mediterranean influences. Whisknladle in La Jolla was the first and only restaurant opened in 2008. At present, there is a string of sister Prepkitchen restaurants, including locations in La Jolla, Del Mar, and Little Italy. Offering his own unique cooking style and distinctive philosophy, Owner and Corporate Executive Chef Ryan Johnston takes an honest back-to-basics approach, offering a constantly evolving seasonal menu that highlights fresh local produce and ingredients made from scratch.
After being diagnosed with diabetes, Johnston’s commitment to working exclusively with quality organic produce that he handpicks from local growers has become a trademark and the focus of his restaurant kitchen. From baking bread and making pasta, to curing and aging meats, and even churning his own ice cream, Johnston ensures everything is made in-house.
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