Tacos, sweets, and pizza all have their place in my weekly meal plan, but a healthy diet is all about balance. And balance means occasionally swapping a decadent cookie for some extra greens and veggies.
While date night can be an indulgent feast, it’s easy to lighten up any meal with the multitude of healthy restaurants right here in Orlando. Whether you’re looking to fuel your day, are committing to a weight loss plan with your partner, or just want to add some healthy restaurants to your rotation, healthy date nights are plentiful.
You don’t need to be vegan to enjoy the “real, damn good food” being served up daily at The Sanctum. Meat eaters, vegans, and vegetarians alike come here for the consistently good food, drinks, and service. I’m a huge fan of the Sedona bowl (coincidentally their most popular bowl on the menu), which is packed with healthy nutrients from roasted sweet potatoes and beets, organic beans, organic brown rice, onion, jicama, cilantro, slaw, organic greens and more. The Sanctum also has an impressive drink menu of cold pressed juices, smoothies, coffee & tea (the dirty chai is out of this world), and cocktails. For a laid-back date, check out the weekly Zen Hour happy hour Monday-Thursday.
Create Your Nature
Create Your Nature, a newcomer to Winter Park, specializes in acai and oatmeal bowls to be enjoyed any time of day. If you’re scratching your head wondering what acai is, it’s a superfood complete with antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. The bowls, which come adorned with toppings like fresh cut fruit and shredded coconut, are almost too pretty to eat. I recommend the coastal bowl, which is loaded with tropical fruits. It pairs wonderfully with the warm Florida weather. No matter what you choose, this is a date night you can feel good about.
Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux
Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux–B3Cafe for short–is an inviting cycling-themed café and beer/wine bar in one. The menu changes seasonally and is inspired by cycling events around the globe. Expect to find hearty breakfast options alongside lighter options for lunch and dinner. Not everything on the menu is healthy, but there is an impressive selection to choose from. And when you’re ready to take your healthy lifestyle beyond the plate, join in on fun weekly events at B3 like the running group (Mondays at 6:30) and recovery rides (Sundays 7:30am).
Farm & Haus
Farm & Haus got its start delivering healthy meals around Orlando, but they’ve since expanded their business to include a brick & mortar location within East End Market. The avocado toast is a particularly good way to start the day, or you can opt for a seasonal salad among other lighter options for lunch or dinner. If you’d rather have your healthy eats at home, order online by 3pm Monday-Thursday for same day dinner delivery. The menu rotates weekly and can be viewed online.
Also located in East End Market, Skyebird serves juices, smoothies, and raw meals. It’s a suitable option for both health nuts and adventurous diners looking to get out of their comfort zones. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try the Mac n Treez with spiralized zucchini, cashew/hemp cheese, cashew parmesan, spinach, and cherry tomatoes. A word of warning: it’s up to you to resist temptation as you pass by Gideon’s Bakehouse on the way out. Stay strong!
Market on South
Market on South provides vegan fare in a friendly market atmosphere in the Milk District. Pick up lunch, kombucha, and goods from 25+ local vendors under one roof. Dixie Dharma offers a plant-based menu full of re-invented favorites like tacos, mac & cheese, and chili dogs. The infamous Valhalla Bakery vegan donuts are, however, not in the health food realm. But your secret is safe with me should you choose to indulge in one or two for cheat day.
Organic tea, healthy vegetarian eats, and a bright interior are all staples of Infusion Tea in College Park. Take your pick of feel-good breakfast dishes, sandwiches, wraps, paninis, fruit-filled salads, and even pizza (with a multigrain crust). This neighborhood favorite is also budget-friendly; even the dinner combo is under $12. Don’t forget a cup of tea to go with your meal – there are over 50 varieties to choose from.
All images by Stephanie Patterson