Fresh food on the run

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Where New Yorkers can find healthy options for a quick snack


  • In the Meatpacking District, the Gansevoort Market is like a food court, but with nutritious choices. Photo: Liz Richards

  • Gansevoort Market offerings. Photo: Liz Richards

  • Salads from Sweetgreen. Photo: Michael Sheehan, via flickr

  • Dig Inn choices. Photo: kennejima, via flickr

  • Photo: kennejima, via flickr

Healthy eating in the city can seem like a challenge, especially when we’re always on the go. For better or worse, convenience foods and fast-food stops certainly make our busy lives easier. Luckily, New York is full of “good junk foods” to grab before a meeting, after a gym class or on the way to the next adventure. Good fast food in the city runs the gamut from dishes with wholesome plant bases, to open markets with a variety of fresh and fun selections, to quick-moving salad joints tailored to your tastes. A look at some of the best fast foods in the city:

Blossom du Jour

Blossom du Jour is the perfect culinary combination — delicious fried food that is one hundred percent vegan. With locations in Chelsea, Midtown West, and the Upper West Side, there’s no place in town where they aren’t accessible. The menu includes smash hits like buffalo cauliflower bites (with Caesar dressing) and butterfinger milkshakes. From mac n’ cheese to Philly fries to Sloppy Jack (BBQ jackfruit sandwich), everything on the menu is plant-based, making this grab-and-go junk food with a conscience. And they have much more than fried food. If you’re looking for something fresh and fast, the menu includes a good selection of grain bowls and salads. For dessert, don’t forget to pick up a chocolate chip cookie or date-based brownie. Blossom du Jour is a one-stop-shop for plant-based goodies on the run.

Gansevoort Market

The Meatpacking District is a cultural hub in the city. It’s packed with museums, galleries, restaurants and the stunning High Line, which is perfect for a sunny stroll — if you have the time. But if you work in the Meatpacking District, you’re likely to be constantly on the move, running from place to place for meetings or conferences or classes or events. You probably don’t have time to sit in one of the many beautiful restaurants in the area and order a full meal. Thankfully, there’s the Gansevoort Market to the rescue. Think of the Gansevoort Market like a food court, but unlike your hometown mall, the choices are diverse and all of the ingredients are fresh. Lunch options include Burger, Inc. burgers, Gotham Poke, Luzzo’s Neapolitan Pizza and Mission Ceviche. Talk about variety: each choice is packed with flavorful, nutritious cuisine that you can take on the road with you. And don’t forget to stop by Dana’s Bakery on your way out for “not your ordinary” macarons.


Fast casual isn’t just for Chipotle anymore. Sweetgreen is slowly taking over the city, and for good reason. With an overwhelming eighteen locations sprinkled throughout the city (and two in Brooklyn!), Sweetgreen is a fast and fresh place for salads. Their menu is seasonal and boasts recommended combinations like the classic Kale Caesar salad, Guacamole Greens (mesclun, avocado, chicken, red onion, tomato, tortilla chips, lime cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette), Rad Thai (arugula, mesclun, bean sprouts, cabbage, spicy sunflower seeds, carrots, cucumbers, basil, citrus shrimp, spicy cashew dressing) and more. They have a wide variety of warm grain bowls if you aren’t in the mood for salad. And you can always build your own bowl or salad, for the perfectly tailored lunch on the go. The only real criticism of Sweetgreen is that they don’t take cash in any of their locations, which could come across as a smidge elitist, but hey, who carries cash anymore?

Dig Inn

For fast, fresh, seasonal ingredients and a well-rounded menu that provides options for everyone, Dig Inn is the place that stands out. Dig Inn has fourteen pickup locations, one delivery location and three to come in Manhattan. What’s fun about Dig Inn is that it’s easy to pick and choose what you’re looking for, whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free or just looking for quick and tasty roasted chicken. The foods they use to prepare their fast and friendly meals are seasonal and nutritious. Food here is sourced mindfully and conscious of the time and year. At the same time, it’s priced affordably and offers a great quick lunch. Try their grain bowls or salads, or go for the instant classic — the Farmer’s Favorite Market Bowl — where you get to skip the main and load up on any three sides you want.

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