If you’re trying to eat better for the new year or cut out animal products for ‘veganuary’, then the USA might not be an obvious choice for a holiday destination. But while the country is famous for its fast food and large portions, it’s also home to plenty of destinations where healthy eating is easy. Whether you’re going vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free or just want to eat sustainable, local or organic food, you’ll find plenty of options in the USA. Here’s our pick of some of the best places in the USA for healthy eating.
Go seasonal in Arizona
There’s a thriving healthy food scene in Arizona
, right, with farmers markets and restaurants conscientiously serving local, organic, vegan, unprocessed, sustainable food and more. Dining out? It’s easy to get your five a day at True Food Kitchen
. Its menu is based on the best local seasonal ingredients available to their chef and caters for nearly every food preference including gluten-free, naturally organic, vegetarian and vegan. Meanwhile Phoenix restaurant Farm & Craft
offers a seasonal ‘Wellness Menu’ with sustainable, gluten-free, organic and hormone-free ingredients. Customers are invited to build their own bowl, so they can select their protein and whichever sides they want.
Farm to fork in Virginia
Healthy eating has really taken off in the state of Virginia
, with fresh market and food hall concepts popping up all over the state. You’ll be able to check out the local foodies’ most interesting food concepts at the new Fredericksburg’s Dominion Public Market
, which opens in summer 2019 in the city of Fredericksburg. This market and food hall on the first floor of a 35,000-square-foot historic building will be home to restaurants and stalls selling the best in local fresh produce. The space will also serve as an incubator and test space for entrepreneurs. There’ll also be a teaching kitchen on another floor, as well as an outdoor music venue, bar and event space on the rooftop. You can sample fruit and veg straight from the field at Commune
, meanwhile. The restaurant is Virginia Beach’s first farmer‐owned restaurant, is the true definition of farm‐to‐table. Not only does this welcoming ‘delicious and conscientious’ eatery in the city’s ViBe Creative District
serve sustainable locally-sourced food, it’s also a zero‐waste business and has an on‐site herb garden. For a seriously homegrown foodie experience head to owner Kevin’s farm. New Earth Farm
is a working, sustainable and educational farm in the local Pungo farming community - where you can hit the 'Food Lab' for cooking, pickling and fermenting classes.
Eat straight from the tree in Visalia, California
Want to see and taste some of the USA’s best fresh-from-the-farm oranges, pistachios, tangerines, almonds, and peaches as well as grapes, milk and beef? Head to the city of Visalia
in the Central Valley of California
. Set in the largest agricultural producing area in the United States, this gateway city to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, is a great spot for sampling healthy local produce. To discover the area’s best fresh produce, go to the Saturday Visalia Farmers Markets on Mooney Blvd, where you’ll find fresh flowers, plants, honey as well as fruit and vegetables. There are plenty of other places to stock up on local food, like Watson’s Health Food Store and Veggie Garden, where you can browse the aisles, then order lunch to eat in the garden, or Naturally Nuts
which offers farm-fresh, top quality nuts - the farmer owner John Oneto co-developed the pistachio roasting technique that is the industry standard today. Fancy a treat? Head to Panini Nut House, on Main Street, where the ice cream is all free from preservatives, artificial colour and corn syrup, including their famous dairy-free orange ice cream.
Eat a rainbow in California
Going vegan is no chore in California; healthy eating is more than just a craze in this state so everywhere you go, you’ll find restaurants serving seriously tasty vegan food. For fine dining vegan try Oliver’s of Montecito in Santa Barbara, where Chef Craig Riker serves imaginative dishes including artichoke ‘crab cakes’ and chickpea niçoise salad, and cauliflower bucatini and wild mushroom tostada. Or head to Sonoma County, California for Lowell’s, which serves delicious and stylish vegan and vegetarian dishes including salads and macrobowls made with local vegetables. In Greater Palm Springs
, Wildest Greens is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant where all the food is designed to made customers feel healthier. Diners can choose from eight different food and drink outlets under one roof. Pick from burritos and grain bowls packed with veggies to guilt-free burgers and freshly made juices.
Snack on a vegan treat in Portland, Oregon
is famous for its pioneering foodie scene; you’ll find every diet catered for here, with restaurants, street food trucks and farmers markets allowing you to try out the best of the area’s farms, orchards, and vineyards. You can eat farm to fork, but you can also go fork to farm - local farms offer ‘farm dinners’
where you can enjoy fresh produce on the farm where it’s grown. Proving that you don’t have to deprive yourself when you’re eating well, Doe Donuts, right, is Portland’s
first dedicated vegan donut shop. Their imaginative animal product-free doughnut flavours include grapefruit and rosemary, sour blue raspberry and the ‘Couch potato’ with chocolate, salted kettle chips, peanut butter and stress-relieving cannabis extract CDB. Portland is also home to the world’s first vegan mini-mall where visitors can enjoy vegan dining, shopping and even vegan tattoos.
Meatfree in San Francisco
A number of towns and cities in the USA have introduced the idea of ‘Meatless Mondays’, including Aspen, Colorado, but San Francisco
was the first to make it official. This bohemian city has long been into trying out the latest healthy-eating craze, and is said to have the most vegetarian restaurants in the USA, so visit to try out the latest innovations in raw, vegetarian and vegan eats. There are no less than 50 farmers markets in the city where you can sample the best local produce - and experimental new food trends. Find it all in one place at the Ferry Building Marketplace
, which is home to the region’s very best small, regional producers.
Try vegan fast food in Colorado
Love American junk food but trying to go healthy? Head to Santana’s Vegan Grill in Colorado Springs
. ‘Vegan’ and ‘grill’ are not two words often seen alongside each other, however Santana’s Vegan Grill brings a whole new meaning to vegan fast-food dining. The only vegan drive-thru in Colorado Springs, Santana’s Vegan Grill serves vegan versions of tasty fast-food drive-through favourites, including plant-based alternatives for bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and buffalo chicken strips.