Taking a Bite Out of The Big Apple


New York City is referred to as “The Big Apple”, but sometimes it seems as if finding an apple to eat in that city is slim to none. If you’re planning a trip to Manhattan or Queens, you’re likely to be swept up in all of the good eats the city boroughs have to offer. After all, NY is home to the best pizza, the best hot dogs, amazing soft pretzels, and is the food truck capital of the U.S. Not to mention, every deli on the corner knows how to make a mean pastrami “sammich”.  So what if you’re trying to keep your waistline slim for the duration of your stay? Maybe you prefer a healthier lifestyle, or don’t want the kids getting filled with too much junk. Whatever your health conscious reasoning, there are ways to eat healthy while visiting the food hub of the east coast.

healthy food alternative

There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a slice of pizza for the day, or trying out that local sub sandwich shop for the night. However, if you don’t want to check yourself into a cardiologist in Queens, it’s probably best that you don’t overindulge your arteries. Eating healthy and doing it on a budget really is possible, even on a vacation somewhere as food-driven as the boroughs of NYC.

The key to finding the best healthy eateries in Queens, Brooklyn, or Manhattan is…research! It’s simple as that. Technology offers us the world at our fingertips. If you’re someone who doesn’t already have a smart phone or tablet, get one. These tools are especially helpful if you’re someone who enjoys traveling and exploring often. Learning new local eateries or popular hang-out spots is as simple as a click of a button. Before you know it, you’ll be able to indulge in that healthy dinner at the perfect restaurant. These days, there are vast amounts of websites and applications that can help you find that vegan eatery to keep your heart ticking healthy.

Yelp.com is one of the biggest review websites on the web. You can give a description of what you’re looking for, and where you want to look for it (I.E. vegetarian restaurant in Queens, NY). What comes up are tons of criteria that match your search, all of which have been reviewed by past customers. This is a great feature because it allows you to see the overall customer rating of a place before you even go there. Get pricing estimates, links to the establishments website, their hours of operation, and location. Most results offer photos as well, making your food experience a much easier choice!

Thinking of staying in for the night, but don’t know where to order from? With the invention of such websites as grubhub.com and eat24.com, you can search for whatever delicacy you’re in the mood for and get a list of available restaurants near you that offer take out. The best part? You can order directly from the website! No phone calls, no jumping through hoops. You can view the menu of your chosen health eatery right on the site, place your order in your electronic “cart”, and check out! Most of these sites give you the option of paying with credit card online, or waiting to pay in cash upon arrival of your food. The entire process is simple, quick, and caters to your taste buds’ desires!

Aside from these direct websites, the internet as a whole should become your best friend when dealing with unfamiliar food choices. Using any search engine to find your healthy food alternatives can generate tons of results at your convenience. In this day and age, it may seem like a no-brainer to use the world wide web in order to get answers, however if you’re someone who prefers the much more old-school methods, there is still hope! Don’t give up on your health conscious ways just yet! Although New Yorkers have a stereotype of being a bit boisterous, they are always glad to help when it comes to food! Taking some time out of your vacation to ask anyone where you can find local, healthy eateries can lead you to something new. Ask around and see what the locals say is the best spot. Find a map or list of restaurants from a hotel, welcome building, or any other tourist attraction. The greatest finds are usually the ones that are less advertised, so don’t be afraid to try a health-conscious restaurant that may look less inviting on the outside…they can have the best food!

Before you put your heart in jeopardy and overdose on pizza and hot dogs, remember that the vast food mecca of New York offers much more than they’re known for.  You don’t have to give up on your health just because you’re vacationing. With a little research, exploring, and reaching out to locals, you can end up at a delicious and healthy café on this side of the Hudson in no time.
About the Author:

Frank is a New York transplant and loving every minute of living in the big city. He especially enjoys experimenting with different cultural cuisines, his favorites are Thai and Ethiopian food.

Photo credit:  milspa 

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