Sponsored Advertising Content: Southern Living has partnered with Virginia.org to form a guest blogger network. Today’s post is provided by guest blogger Kath Younger of Kath Eats Real Food. Check back every Monday and Thursday for new ways to explore the state of Virginia.
As a Registered Dietitian living in Charlottesville, I better know where the most nutritious meals are. I love dining out, but know that restaurant food isn’t always the healthiest option. These five spots serve some of my most favorite healthy lunches in town, so be sure to check them out when you are planning your next trip to Virginia. I keep them all on regular rotation!
New to Charlottesville last year, Roots is a popular spot on the corner for DIY salad and grain bowls. They have a full menu of their best recommendations too. You can choose kale as your base to lean to the salad side, and you can choose any toppings you like – from beans to avocado to their amazing BBQ tofu. My favorite on the menu is the Roots salad with sweet potatoes, goat cheese, and crunchy pita chips.
The Juice Laundry
We finally have a hip juice bar in town! Located near downtown on Preston Ave., The Juice Laundry offers organic freshly pressed juices, oatmeal, smoothies, salads, and soups. Everything is super healthy! You can even get your smoothies served in a bowl with house-made granola on top. My favorite smoothies are the Coco Verde, made with coconut milk and greens, and the CB&J – a cashew butter delight. The Gentle Green is my favorite juice, and the Strawberry Shake is almond milk gone wild. If you’re really lucky, you’ll stumble upon the strawberry chia pudding – the best.
A Charlottesville classic, Revolutionary Soup has a diverse menu with salads, soups, wraps, quesadillas, and more. You can always find something healthy, and they offer lots of vegetarian and vegan options. The Gulf Salad is my favorite, which comes with shrimp, hard-boiled egg, and avocado. There are two locations – one downtown and one on the corner near the University.
Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
This funky downtown spot, known for its tea, has a lovely healthy menu as well. My favorite dish is the Bazaar Salad topped with wild Alaskan salmon. It’s a hearty salad of mixed greens tossed in ginger-miso vinaigrette, with feta, pear, candied walnuts, raisins, cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes. It also comes with warm herby pita triangles that are out-of-this-world good! They also have dahl and rice, hummus platters, and wraps. The Goatherder is a platter with hummus, veggies, herby pita, cheese, olives, and dried fruit. It’s big enough to share, and SO good! Get a pot of the Moroccan Mint tea with lunch – it’s the perfect ending to a meal.
A bit off the beaten path up on Hydraulic Road, at Nude Fude you’ll find creative, seasonal, fresh real food. The menu changes with the seasons, but some of my favorite dishes have been the Wheatberries with Sautéed Kale and Butternut Squash and the Sweet Potato Agridolce (sweet potato with orange and raisins). Entrees come with two sides, which I think are the restaurant’s shining stars! The Smoked Potatoes are DELISH, and the Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad is awesome too. Make sure to enjoy a local kombucha with your meal!
A few additional honorable mention dishes to note around town:
The Beet Salad or Beet Veggie Burger at Citizen Burger
Lumi Juice, which you’ll find all around town
The smoothies at Integral Yoga
Blue Ridge Country Store’s downtown salad bar
The Catfish Salad at Whiskey Jar
The Kale Salad at MarieBette