12 places to eat yourself slim
Still on a health drive? All power to you sister! And now, with my yum, fun and not-on-your-bum suggestions, you can eat out AND hit your fighting weight.
Right now the Muddy office lunchboxes are a virtuous smorgasbord of homemade soups, lentils and salads (well, apart from Katie’s rather off-message jam sandwich yesterday, ahem). However it is possible to be on a new year healthy eating tip and still eat out. We’re not talking Domino’s though (sorry), instead here are our favourite local spots for lard-free dining while we’re still feeling virtuous. If we’ve missed anywhere good near you, do pop a mention in the comment box below. Ready to tuck in?
There are loads of foodie ventures in Westgate if you’re watching the waistline including Sticks n Sushi on the rooftop which my daughter loves (my bank balance not so much), or the more reasonably priced Vietnamese Pho where you can get fried spring rolls or crispy squid for under 200 calories (how is that even possible?). There’s even a whole new menu dedicated to heathy eats including courgetti phở and cauliflower rice bowls, from £9.75. On the lower ground Comptoir Libanais has a new vegan feasting menu for 2019 with Lebanese classics tabbouleh and tagine at the set price of £12.95.
The Green Grocer, Amersham and Gerrards Cross
With three Bucks branches, The Green Grocer offers a selection of six punchy, fresh juices (I’ll have a Lexie with pineapple, apple and mint, please) as well as open sandwiches, toasties and salads from £7.95. There’s also the gluten free and vegan cakes and a range of healthy goodies from their shop.
Organic Deli, Oxford
Tucked away down easily missed alleyway Friars Entry in central Oxford, this is an independent, family-run café and caterer selling organic, fresh produce including salads and grain bowls for under a tenner. They also have an extensive list of pressed juices, shots (immune boosters, not vodka) and kombucha tea.
BRICK, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford
Fancy a side order of contemporary art with your healthy lunch? Of course you do! The free, central Ox gallery serves up a selection of salads (Little Miss Healthy over here tucked into kale, cucumber and carrot!), sandwiches, quiche and soup all made with local ingredients. Open until 5pm Tues – Sun.
Fego, Marlow, Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield
The mini café chain has your health kick covered (as well as a new, stylish look) with a whole section dedicated to clean eating. The breakfast menu offers protein and açaí bowls, from £8.50, whilst for lunch and dinner you can get shakshuka, poke bowls or a superfood salad all around £10- £15. There’s also a great selection of smoothies starting from £3.50 – get that green juice down your gullet!
Cuttlefish , St Clements
Not the cheapest healthy eat on our list but well worth it for the fresh produce and sustainably caught seafood. Starters, like king prawn and samphire salad, start from £7.95 whilst mains range from £10.95 for homemade fishcakes to £38 for grilled lobster. The pretty reasonable set menu (£8.50 for one course, £12.50 for two, £13.50 for three) available Mon to Fri, 11.30am – 6.30pm, also offers a selection of light main courses.
The Banana Tree, Milton Keynes
Looking for something healthy and cheap? Always! The Banana Tree, on the doorstep of MK’s shopping hub, has a light pan-Asian menu with starters like Mekong prawns and sticky Thai wings from £3. Mains, including Bun Bo Salad Bowls and wok-tossed noodles all around £11-£12. There’s also a pretty impressive mocktail menu for all you Dry January types, with the added bonus of being 2 for 1.
Watlington Social, Watlington
Cafe by day, Thai restaurant by night, the central Watlington hangout has a small, refined menu including Thai fishcakes and sweetcorn fritters to start, along with veggie Massaman curry and pad Thai noodles for main courses, all £7-£14.
Not quite in our ‘hood but close enough! Zero Juice and Sushi, just over the border in Berkhamsted, does what is says on the tin with a menu of fresh juices and raw fish ranging from £5.40 for salmon and avo to £13.80 for signature Zero rolls. If sashimi isn’t your bag they also have a small hot food menu with Katsu curry from £5.50.
Happy Friday Kitchen, Cowley Road
The city’s first and only 100 percent vegan restaurant brings Californian comfort food to the Cowley Road, via both its inventive menu and the laid-back cool aesthetic. Pizzas, seitan burgers and Buddha bowls are all around the £12 mark, while you can try a bowl of their vegan mac’n’cheese for just £6. Give it a whirl, if only to annoy Piers Morgan.
Pablo Lounge, Abingdon, Didcot, Witney and Amersham
Pablo Lounges seem to popping up everywhere at the moment with one opening in Abingdon centre a recently, and sites in Didcot, Witney and Amersham. The main menu isn’t healthy eating-focussed per se (step away from the buttermilk chicken burger and chips) but there are some great choices, such as the zesty Mexican superbowl and grilled halloumi & falafel salad. Plus, there’s separate, extensive vegan and gluten-free menus if you’re keeping it super clean and green.