With the disappearance of Fraiche on campus (let’s all take a moment of silence, please), campus is feeling a little short on nutritious and delicious dining options that extend beyond Coupa and CoHo.
Thankfully, even though campus may seem a bit lacking in healthy options, you can find out of your dining hall or row house that options off campus are expanding. With the start of the school year comes a new crop of new dining options, offering nutritious and seasonal fare.
Hungry, but want something fast, relatively inexpensive and healthy? You aren’t asking for too much. Here’s a list of both classic favorites and some awesome newcomers to the Palo Alto restaurant scene.
This East Coast favorite has finally made it out West and is thankfully putting down some roots in the Bay Area. Sweetgreen places a heavy focus on seasonal menu items and ingredients. Everything from the falafel to the drinks is made in-house from scratch daily. All of their veggies are locally sourced from farms nearby, and if you’re curious just where they’re from, you can check them out on their chalkboard inside. In a hurry? You can order online, and it will be ready for you to pick up right when you get in the store.
What to try: The new “Chicken + Brussels” salad, full of roasted sweet potato, roasted Brussels sprouts, chicken and a cranberry vinaigrette; or the “Shroomami,” which has organic wild rice, shredded kale, raw beets, bean sprouts, basil, spicy sunflower seeds, roasted sesame tofu, warm portobello mix and a miso sesame ginger dressing.
Lemonade rocks their assembly line format… The only problem is getting to the end of the line and realizing you ordered pretty much everything they had to choose from. Choose from seasonal salads, hot soups and stews, different proteins and, of course, over seven types of lemonade. No fear for people with dietary sensitivities — all food allergies are labeled on the selections as you go through the line.
What to try: Load up on their avocado, cherry tomato, lime and pine nut salad. Feeling indulgent? Their mac and cheese is awesome. And obviously, you have to try their lemonade (blood orange is sure to be a big hit!).
- Tender Greens
This nice-casual newcomer at Stanford Shopping Center offers a mix-and-match menu of healthy veggies, salads and delicious different protein options. Choose from any of their big salads, or build a plate complete with a protein, mashed potatoes or a veggie side, and a choice of one of their simple salads.
What to try: The chicken. Anything with their chicken. But for all you veggies out there, their “Happy Vegan” salad, which has green hummus, farro wheat with cranberry and hazelnuts, cucumber, beets, quinoa and tabbouleh is to die for.
- Bare Bowls
Chances are you’ve already tried Bare’s acai bowls (or at least have heard a lot about them), and they make the perfect breakfast or light lunch. Choose from nine different bowl options, filled with homemade nut butters and homemade nut milk and topped with all different kinds of toppings, like gluten-free granola, coconut, goji berries, berries … you name it. You can also choose from a variety of different smoothies or pick any of their awesome health products and snacks on display.
What to try: “The Unplugged,” which is a cacao acai bowl topped with crushed almonds, granola, cacao nibs, banana and honey. It’s basically chocolate ice cream in a bowl. You won’t believe it’s actually good for you.
PokeLOVE puts a spin on the traditional poke bowl by adding a diverse variety of mix-ins to their menu. The average bowl contains fewer than 500 calories, and they don’t skimp on the portion sizes. You can pick a base of healthy grains or greens, top it with a variety of fresh, lean, protein-filled poke, add in as many veggies as you want and mix it with a bunch of different homemade, gluten-free sauces. You can even choose avocado and soft poached eggs as toppings if you’re feeling a bit fancy.
What to try: If you aren’t feeling a BYOB (build your own bowl), try their “Protein Fix,” which is organic quinoa topped with tuna poke, sesame salmon poke, sriracha tuna, teriyaki tofu, slaw, edamame, organic corn, pickled cucumbers, soft poached egg and the PokeLOVE shoyu.
- Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle is known for more than their awesome and very SF-hipster-approved coffee — they know how to do great food, too. You can choose from an awesome variety of both savory and sweet breakfast items, salads or sandwiches.
What to try: The avocado toast with poached eggs. It isn’t so #basic when it’s topped with radish and sesame dukkah. Plus, somehow Blue Bottle really just understands what it means to poach a perfect egg.
- True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen, which opened just last week, offers an extensive menu for brunch, lunch and dinner, along with a huge, beautiful restaurant space at Stanford Shopping Center. True Food has become the perfect place for any group meal or reasonably priced nice meal out. Their menu is produce-based, featuring many vegetarian options and also grass-fed meat, poultry and sustainably sourced fish. As an added plus, everything on their menu can be made gluten-free.
What to try: The charred cauliflower, which is served with harissa tahini, date, dill, mint and pistachio. Still trying to figure out how they get cauliflower to taste that good. Also, try the Scottish steelhead “salmon,” the butternut squash pizza and certainly the Thai grapefruit martini.
Contact Maggie Harriman at mpharrim ‘at’ stanford.edu.