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Home / Clean Cuisine NYC Dining Recap

Clean Cuisine NYC Dining Recap

Clean Cuisine & More in New York City!!


Although Andy and I are true Floridians both born and raised in Palm Beach County, we do hold a special place in our hearts for the Big Apple. We actually had our first official “date” ice skating in Wollman Center in Central Park over a decade ago and we even moved there for a bit in 2001 two weeks after our son was born so Andy could do his oncology surgical residency rotation at Sloan Kettering. Since then we have been back many, many times for book related media tours, vacation and even a not-so-fun surgery.


You can say what you want about the city, but one thing is for certain….when it comes to food NYC never disappoints. My very first time visiting the Big Apple I was 16 years old and I still vividly remember how exciting it was to have an ice cream sundae delivered to my friends apartment at midnight (those were the good old days when ignorance was bliss and I could eat everything and anything without a worry in the world!) Now that I am in my mid-thirties and have cleaned up my diet and evolved from eating ice cream sundaes at midnight I still love NYC for the food. You can find pretty much anything and everything you could ever dream of eating in NYC…including an abundance of Clean Cuisine-friendly restaurants.


Fresh & Co

One of my favorite quickie lunch spots, Fresh & Co has the most incredible tasting chopped salads (soups too!) I’m particularly fond of their Falafel Chopped Salad with Tahini Dressing. The secret to their sensational salads is that they are chopped, chopped, chopped.  I can’t tell you the difference chopping makes in the taste of a salad. It makes all the difference.

By the way, I noticed the guys preparing the salads at Fresh & Co all chopped their salad ingredients with a super special chopper called a mezzaluna. I have since purchased a mezzaluna for myself and now make my own Fresh & Co-“copy cat” chopped salads at home. Do try this at home: take any favorite salad combination and then use a mezzaluna to finely chop the ingredients. Then taste the difference. You might never settle for an un-chopped salad again….


Pure Food & Wine

Date night at Pure Food & Wine

No visit to NYC would be complete without stopping by Pure Food & Wine, an upscale, sexy gourmet raw vegan restaurant that will blow you and all your meat-loving friends out of the water. The first time I went to Pure Food and Wine I was highly skeptical of “raw” food in general and pretty certain that raw cuisine would a) consist mostly of salad, b) not taste good and c) leave me starving. My first meal at Pure Food & Wine was so over-the-top incredible that I left the restaurant thinking I might want to turn my oven into a shoe rack for extra storage—-that was until I found out how much time and effort it takes to prepare gourmet raw food. It is neither easy nor fast.

After buying many raw food cookbooks and trying my hand at numerous raw-food recipes I now have a very solid appreciation for the extensive time and preparation that goes into true gourmet raw cuisine. Sure, anyone can make a salad and say they are eating raw food but trust me, making Sweet Corn and Cashew Tamales with Chili Spiced Portabella (which is one of the entrees I love most at Pure Food & Wine) with raw ingredients that also tastes amazing is no easy feat.

Since my first visit to Pure Food & Wine I have since researched raw food rather extensively and have learned a tremendous amount about the health (and taste!!) benefits of eating more raw foods . Of course I still eat plenty of cooked foods (and my oven has not been converted into a shoe rack) but I do now make a conscious effort to include more raw foods in my daily diet than ever before. I can thank Pure Food & Wine for this…


Candle 79

I also love Candle 79 , NYC’s premier organic vegan landmark restaurant on the upper east side.  Think vegetarian dining is bland? Dining skeptics would be more than pleasantly surprised to to discover Candle 79 dishes an incredible adventure in flavor and with filling vegan entrees hoovering around $20 a plate. The Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Cake with red-pepper coconut curry is probably one of my favorites.
Candle 79 also offers a wide selection of gluten free menu options and the most decadent dessert menu you can imagine. On our last visit there I was pretty stuffed after polishing off appetizers and entrees and I almost thought we could do without dessert…this was until our waiter suggested we might want to try the Mexican Chocolate Brownie with caramalized bananas, vanilla mole ice “cream” (dairy-free), toasted pecans and chocolate ancho sauce. Appetite regained.


Oh! and if you can’t make it to NYC to dine at Candle 79 you can try some of their recipes in their cookbooks! 



Another great Clean Cuisine-friendly dining hot spot is Alta,  a tappas style restaurant near Union Square with a tremendously diverse menu…and lots of vegetable, gluten-free, dairy-free and fish options too. This is a good place to go with a group (we went with friends in the photo above) because everybody can share plates and taste a bit of this and that. Although we ate so many different delicious dishes, for whatever reason the Warm Vegetable Salad with Artichokes, Haricot Vert, Asparagus and Truffle Dressing is the most memorable dish. When I get two seconds to think straight I’m going to try making this at home…I do love truffle oil (and by the way, Roland brand “Black Truffle Oil” is pure magic and can transform just about any dish into a culinary sensation.)


Anatolia NYC

For ultra-fresh, casual Mediterranean Clean Cuisine at a super fair price Anatolia NYC is the place to go. Most of the items on the menu are grilled and you can get an abundance of salad, hummus, vegetables, beans and seafood. One thig is for sure, you won’t leave hungry! The Branzini is considered the best on the Upper East Side and the robust simplicity of their bean salad is brilliant. I’m also crazy about their babaganush, char-grilled smoked eggplant with tahini, a touch of garlic and olive oil. Mmmmm….

Bean Salad

Bronzini at Anatolia NYC


Not exactly a restaurant, Liquiteria is New York City’s original & cold pressed juice bar. I can’t leave this one out because I partially attribute my quick healing from a major surgery to my daily Liquiteria greens drink fix. Like an ice-cream shop, you can get an enticing assortment of fresh-pressed juices but I pretty much stuck to my “vanilla” order of  ALL GREENS made with kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, celery and cucumber. As much as I love the Big Apple, I never feel as fresh and clean in the city as I do on the beaches in Florida but I will say having a Liquiteria greens drink does wonders for helping me feel renewed and refreshed in the not-so-clean city.

Also, a BIG thank you to my friends Tara Quinn and celebrity trainer Jeff Bell (of BellLeon Body Fitness) for bringing me my daily Liquiteria while recovering from my surgery at The Hospital for Special Surgery. And for cheering me up too 😉  XOXO

Liquiteria sure beats hospital beverages!


Open since 1971, Souen is an organic macrobiotic restaurant serving home-spun, nourishing food in a neighborhood-style restaurant. With three locations (USQ, Soho, and the East Village), Souen is a favorite of locals who love good, simple healthy food. The word “macrobiotic” intimidates a lot of people but really, the food is not fringe or strange in anyway. The menu features warming dairy-free soups, an abundance of  vegetables and salads (including a variety of seaweed salad), plenty of seafood entrees (the black cod is to die for), beans, home made whole grain corn bread, brown rice, sushi and plenty of enticing and creative vegan dishes. If you aren’t familiar with what macrobiotics is all about you can read more about it HERE. Oh, and not to worry, dessert is on the menu! My favorite is the dairy-free cocoa creamy parfait. YUM!!

Dessert at Souen: Dairy-Free Creamy Cocoa Parfait

Dinner with friends at Souen in Soho


One place I have yet to try is  Angelica Kitchen for their much-talked about organic plant based cuisine. I’ll be making it a point to go there next….

If you have a favorite NYC Clean Cuisine-friendly restaurant suggestion I’d love to know!! Feel free to leave a comment and make a recommendation. Thanks so much!!

Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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sandy axelrod

Friday 6th of May 2011

It looks like we have a lot in common. I live in Wellington, Florida by way of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. My husband and I were born and raised in Philly. I attended the University of Pennsylvania for Medical Technology although that was a lifetime ago and I haven't worked as a med tech since before our son was born, and he's 38. I am a semi-retired chef who owned and operated Affairs to Remember Catering for 17 hears until hurricane wilma put us out of business. Now I write a food blog, teach healthy grilling and cooking and I am working on two memoir/cookbooks. So nice to stumble on your blog!

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