I personally love eating healthily as I really notice a difference in my mood and feel less sluggish and more alert.

Luckily there are plenty of tasty, great affordable healthy restaurants in NYC that offer more than a boring old Iceberg lettuce salad and actually make kale taste good!

Some of my favourites on this trip have been:

Le Botaniste

I love Le Botaniste for comforting, hearty, organic plant-based dishes. Everything is designed to nourish the body, which is why they refer to their menu as ‘Prescriptions’. I can recommend the Tibetan Mama Rice Bowl with creamy coconut curry peanut butter sauce, earthy brown rice, zingy kimchi and steamed greens as well as the 3 bean chilli bowl with turmeric onions, soft quinoa and a good dollop of sour cream.

The Butcher’s Daughter

Famous for its beautiful botanical interior as well as its veggie food, The Butcher’s Daughter was a tasty, healthy spot for a late lunch in Nolita. I opted for the Surfer’s Breakfast, a mushroom burrito with eggs, avo and sour cream whilst Marc had some sort of huevos ranches breakfast and we were very impressed at how speedy and upbeat the restaurant was.

Bluestone Lane Coffee

My old L’Oreal pal and native New Yorker Eden knew how much I loved avo on toast and recommended Bluestone Lane to me. There was a small branch by our flat in Fidi where they offered a delicious avo on toast with creamy feta, salty prosciutto and juicy cherry tomatoes on wholegrain toast, for under $15. Though I don’t drink it myself, I have heard really good things about their coffee too.

Dig Inn

Dig Inn is more of a lunch place but does stay open until the evening too if you fancied a relaxed dinner. You can build a bowl by choosing a base (usually market greens, brown rice or faro), a protein (I’d recommend the chargrilled chicken) and two market sides (the roasted sweet potatoes are insanely good)! It’s healthy, filling and less than $15 with all tax and tips included.

Sweetgreen

Perhaps the ultimate build your own salad bar! There are plenty of Sweetgreen branches around the city and like Dig Inn, they cater mostly for the lunch and early evening crowd. The salads here are huge and really tasty and if you don’t fancy salad leaves, you can build your own with a different, heartier base.

Juice Generation

Blogging babe Hayley from Frock Me I’m Famous told me about the acai bowls here and I’m so glad she did! There are about 6 acai bowls to choose from, which is such a dream as London doesn’t quite seem to be on the acai bandwagon just yet. I went for the most popular almond butter acai bowl which was cool, refreshing, creamy and fruity without being too sweet. Not a shabby breakfast at all.
(You can check out my own easy acai berry bowl recipe here!)

Chalait

Chalait first caught my eye on Pinterest thanks to their green matcha specialities so I made sure to stop by their Chelsea Market cafe. I first tried their quinoa lunch bowl but the dish that won me over was their avocado on wholegrain toast with smoked salmon, boiled egg and radish. The avocado was so zingy with lashings of rich smoked salmon layered on top – I didn’t want it to end.

Jack’s Wife Freda

Every blogger seems to have heard of or be recommending Jack’s Wife Freda and it’s popularity means that it can be hard to get in without queuing for up to an hour. After abandoning it two weekends in a row, my brother and I actually managed to grab a table straight away on a Thursday morning and I opted for the Breakfast Bowl with quinoa, kale, eggs, spaghetti squash, grilled tomato and avocado. Now don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, filled me up for ages and was a very friendly restaurant but I’m going to be controversial and say I don’t quite get the huge hype that is flying around this place. Am I choosing the wrong dish?

Two Hands

Two Hands is an airy, modern restaurant specialising in healthy food. I met Irish blogger Stephanie O’Quigley here for brunch one weekend morning and we luckily managed to beat most of the line that had started forming by 11am. The service was friendly, food tasty and the atmosphere trendy, ideal for a girly catch up.

Flat Iron is known for doing one thing and one thing well: steak.

As I try and eat veggie most of the time it means that a steak night is a real treat. And when a friend from the North came to stay with us this week, it seemed like the perfect time to treat ourselves.

Like most of London, it doesn’t take bookings (why??!!) so I headed to the Denmark St branch on the cusp of Soho/Covent Garden at 5pm to pop our names down on the list for a 6.30pm table. Apparently I was a little too early for the waiting list, so was told by a friendly member of staff that they would try and keep a table for us for when we came back.

After a beer-stop in the nearby Craft Brewery Company, we headed back over for 6.30pm. At first we were told by a different member of staff that the waiting time was 2 hours (say whaaattt) but after mentioning the earlier conversation I’d had, were seated the next minute at a table by the bar.

Flat Iron has that kind of intimate, pop-up feel to it that London does so well, with low-lighting, exposed brick walls and wooden furniture.

Flat Iron Soho

Flat Iron Denmark St

The menu is very simple to understand – a signature Flat Iron steak with house salad is £10, then you can add on sides for an extra £2ish each, including dripping cooked chips, seasonal greens and an aubergine stack (that so many people at work have since recommended to me). They also run specials, which for us was a burger with hollandaise sauce and a different cut of steak.

Flat Iron menu

Marc and I decided to share, so ordered a Flat Iron steak, a burger, seasonal greens and the chips. And oh my goodness, it all tasted SO GOOD.

Flat Iron London

Flat Iron reviewFlat Iron steakFlat Iron burger

My medium cooked steak was tender, juicy and tasted just as a steak should (my mouth is watering just now remembering it), the cabbage was cooked in a little butter and was really tasty and all I can say about the burger is that it was just so deliciously indulgent. I found the chips a little greasy for my liking but otherwise, the meal was one of the best ones I’ve had in London.

There are now three Flat Iron branches in London and I would definitely recommend swinging by for a relaxed steak night, just make sure you pop your name down on the waiting list or be prepared to wait!

Selfridges’ winter rooftop restaurant Le Chalet has had a blooming summer transformation into Forest on the Roof.

Housed on the 5th floor of Selfridges Oxford St (there is a special lift by the Chanel beauty counter that takes you there), the restaurant offers a seasonal menu, cocktails and views across central London.

As I loved the girly brunch I had at Le Chalet so much, I decided to meet fellow blogger Hayleigh JM there for a catch-up dinner one Wednesday evening. I was a little early for our 6pm booking, which was perfect because before you even get to the restaurant, you are met with a blooming display of artificial flowers that guide you down the corridor to the reception desk and just screamed to be Instagrammed.

Forest on the Roof SelfridgesSelfridges restaurant on the roofSelfridges Forest on the Roof London

The restaurant has an upmarket-yet-relaxed atmosphere, with parquet flooring, snuggly blankets thrown over the chairs and a fairy-lit roof which even pulls back when the sun is shining (rare in England, granted).

Restaurants in central LondonCentral London restaurantsBar at Forest on the RoofForest on the Roof

The menu is small and hearty – not for the health conscious! I opted for the Cornish cod with shaved asparagus, peas and lovage with a side of truffle chips, whilst Hayleigh went for the forest beef burger with crisp onions, tomato chutney and seasoned chips on the side. Oh, and two cocktails that the friendly staff made especially for us once we told them what spirits we preferred. (Rum, obvs).

Forest on the RoofForest on the Roof menuGood restaurants in central LondonWhere to eat by Bond St

The food was delicious and even though mine looked quite light on the plate, it was super filling, although this could have been because of the amount of truffle chips I devoured! I guess my one downside is that I found my dish a little oily/rich which sat on my stomach a bit later that night but otherwise, it was delicious. And rightly so, as dinner here doesn’t come cheap, with most mains around the £20 mark.

Forest on the Roof is a fab spot for dinner in central London and the prices perhaps make it best as a spot to take the parents or for a special girly catch up.

Has anyone else been? Anything else on the menu that you would recommend?

Central London is packed full of culinary choice when it comes to lunchtime and I like to think that after working in Soho for nearly two years, I have a better idea of some of the best places for lunch in central London. (Especially as I never seem to stick to my resolution of bringing packed lunches in #fail.)

 Some of these appeared on my 10 Good Affordable Restaurants for Dinner in Central London post but without furtho ado, some of my favourite lunch spots are:

The Detox Kitchen

Like most healthy food restaurants the prices here can add up (approx. £3 for a protein portion and £6 for a medium salad) but the portions are generous, tasty and filling. There are a few deli branches but the Mortimer St branch is the biggest and has the most seating.
Top tip: If you get any of the snacks, you must try the coconut protein ball. Squidgy, chocolatey with a hint of honey/lime zest – just delicious.

The Detox Kitchen Mortimer StThe Detox Kitchen foodThe Detox Kitchen

Mildreds

This vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Soho is cosy and very popular, so give yourself enough time to wait for a table. Dishes range from the hearty – like mushroom pie, sweet potato curry and my personal favourite black bean burrito – to the light selection of salads you can mix and match. They also have lunch options to take away too – as much as we say we will bring our own lunches in, my colleagues and I find ourselves taking away salads from here more times a week than we care to admit…
Prices: £5.25 for a medium sized salad to go.

Mildreds saladsMildreds Soho

Muriels Kitchen

Muriel’s started out as a cute, cosy café in West London and now has two fab restaurants in central London. The seasonal, healthy and reasonably priced menu and fresh, wooden decor makes this place great for anyone. I would definitely recommend the Quinoa and Sweet Potato patty with beetroot hummous – it’s a starter but is so filling it could well be a main! Also, I have to give a shout-out to the lovely staff here.

Muriels Kitchen SohoMuriel's Kitchen

The Riding House Café

This has got style and substance. The interior is a moody mix of dark industrial wood together with vintage touches that makes it perfect for any occasion, whether it be a date, friendly gathering or family catch up. The lunch menu here is hearty but I love the Superfood Chicken Salad as it is SO tasty and filling! For something heavier, don’t miss the Beef Wellington. Absolute melt-in-your-mouth meaty goodness.

Riding House CafeRiding House Cafe

Savage Salads

I love Savage Salads and have written a whole post on them before! Don’t let the salad part fool you, this is tasty, filling, hearty grub for just £6 per box. Think pan fried chicken with sweet potato & quinoa, roasted peppers with couscous, spinach/tomatoes/butterbean/croutons, pitta bread with yoghurt and, er, cabbage. Sold on Broadwick St Market, go early to avoid the queues!

Savage Salads

Savage Salad the best salad box in London

Le Comptoir Libanais

The hummous here though *preach hands*. This Lebanese inspired restaurant has a relaxed souk feel to it and serves tasty food at very reasonable prices. I usually go for the Sharing Mezze for One (around £9) which comes with falafel, hummous, baba ghanoush, cheese sambousek and tabbouleh. *Can I get another preach hands*.

Best Lebanese in LondonLe Comptoir de Libanais

Bao

 There is always a queue for this intimate Taiwanese café in the heart of Soho. They specialise in steamed milk buns for around £3.50 each (you may have seen them as one of Instagram’s most ‘grammed food last year). Great for a quick bite, if you can get past that queue.

Bao steamed bunsBao Soho London

Cookhouse Joe

My friend Sophie recently took me to Cookhouse Joe in Soho and I was so impressed at the value for money here! On their lunchtime menu you can get a chicken, falafel, halloumi or kofta wrap with chips for just £5. I usually go for the falafel wrap, which is stuffed to the brim with salad and pickles, and can never finish all of it. Much better than nearby Yalla Yalla IMO. You can either take away or sit in the small, chilled restaurant although it does get busy as soon as 1pm hits.
Cookhouse JoeCookhouse Joe London
Ethos

This newish healthy vegetarian restaurant has a fresh, Nordic style and a tasty buffet of healthy food, plus THE nicest white wine I have ever tasted! (Cotes de Gascogne, in case you’re wondering). Just be warned, price is determined by weight and it’s not the cheapest.

Ethos London reviewEthos interior

Are there any other good restaurants in central London that I should know about?

Typical English weather means you can never rely on eating outdoors but the good news is that London has plenty of spaces that bring the outdoors, in! Below are some of my favourite London restaurants with greenery:

Petersham Nurseries

I have blogged about Petersham Nurseries here before, a garden centre-come-restaurant in beautiful Richmond, West London. A favourite with models and old stars, you can dine here surrounded by vines, leaves and garden trinkets. It can also be used as a wedding venue too.

Petersham Nurseries cafe

Petersham Nurseries

Hamyard Hotel Rooftop

Bang in the middle of Soho, central London, Soho Hotel is not only a great place to celeb spot (seems like Rosie HW and Jason Statham are fans) but it also has a beautiful rooftop overlooking London. Fear not, the rooftop does have a canopy with heating for those drizzly days.

Soho Hotel rooftop

Ivy Chelsea Garden

A new-ish restaurant to grace the designer-trod streets of Chelsea, the Ivy Chelsea Garden has a beautiful (and big!) conservatory room lined with flowers, fairy lights and french doors that look out onto the garden. I recently went here to meet the lovely Amelia Liana and was so impressed with the friendly service that I shall definitely be coming back.

Ivy Chelsea Garden

Sky Garden

Firstly let me tell you that the Sky Garden is free. Yep, completely free. You have to sign up in advance but just head to the ‘Cheese Grater’ building in the City, head up to the ‘garden’ and admire the incredible views across London. I reviewed my breakfast at the Sky Garden here and would love to go back on a sunny day.

The Sky GardenSky Garden London

Bourne & Hollingsworth

The Greenhouse at Bourne & Hollingsworth is a beautiful conservatory style space filled with greenery. It has space for up to 20 people, perfect for big tables and private parties. It’s my mission to try brunch here this year!

Bourne and Hollingsworth London

Dishoom (Shoreditch)

It is nigh on impossible to get a table at Indian restaurant Dishoom but that didn’t stop me walking into the Shoreditch branch to take a look. The cool indoor-outdoor restaurant area is even better looking in real life and would be awesome in the summer.

Dishoom Shoreditch

Boundary

Another Shoreditch restaurant, this time a rooftop restaurant located at the top of a converted Victorian warehouse. It has a heated orangery lined with a variety of citrus trees and views across East London.

Boundary rooftop - Long Table

Blixen

Blixen can be found in Spitalfields Market, an area filled with a wide variety of restaurants and bars, and the interiors alone make you want to go in there. Think wooden canopies strewn with vines, exposed white brick, retro seating and reclaimed wood walls.

Blixen SpitalfieldsBlixen London

Shoreditch House

Not only does Shoreditch House have a cool industrial, greenery filled rooftop restaurant but it is also one of the few places in London that has a rooftop pool. The main snag is that you  have to be a member to go inside. Doh.

Shoreditch House rooftopShoreditch House rooftop pool

Wringer and Mangle

It’s California-chic meets Hackney cool at Wringer and Mangle, a bar/restaurant in London Fields that embraces it’s industrial laundry building heritage.

Wringer and Mangle Hackney

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There are so many restaurants in London that trying to choose where to eat for dinner can be a bit overwhelming!

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of my personal favourite dinner spots in central London. I wanted to pick places with good food, affordable prices and atmospheres that would suit both guys and girls. So here it is, my initial roundup of the best good, affordable restaurants for dinner in central London…

The Riding House Café

I was disappointed with RHC for brunch but their afternoon/evening menu is a different story completely. Last time I visited I went for the superfood chicken salad which was just SO TASTY. I honestly wish I could eat it every day. They also do an incredible Beef Wellington, with tender meat and crumbling pastry, and a lobster lasagne that is indulgent but so delicious. The inside is very cool, with a brasserie bar, chunky wooden tables, retro inspired chairs, panelled walls and hints of white brick and steel, making it perfect for guys as well as girls.

Riding House Cafe

Riding House Cafe

Riding House Cafe London

Mildreds

A cosy vegetarian café with delicious food, even if you aren’t a vegetarian you should pay Mildred’s a visit. Though the menu changes, it usually offers a selection of leafy salads, soups, quiches and then heartier dishes like the black bean burrito (which I love), portabello, wild mushroom and ale pie (a favourite of my colleague’s) and sri Lankan sweet potato curry with roasted lime cashews (a friend’s favourite). The side of chargrilled cauliflower with tahini lemon dressing & pomegranate seed is also meant to be awesome. Just know that the Soho restaurant is small so there can sometimes be a wait.

Mildreds

Mildreds London

Flat Iron

There are 2 Flat Iron branches in Soho, central London where they specialise in one thing and one thing only: steak. The prices are super affordable here, with the steak and house salad costing £10, and the food is delicious (sides include creamed spinach and dripping cooked chips YUM). The restaurants are cosy and have an industrial pop-up feel to them, with exposed bricks, hints of iron and wood and low lighting. The main drawback is that they don’t take reservations (WHY LONDON WHY??!!) so be prepared to queue or go early to put your name down then go for a drink while you wait.

Flat Iron

Flat Iron Steak

The Rum Kitchen

I reviewed this fully on my Rum Kitchen: Worth the Hype post and would definitely recommend this for a laid-back, easy going dinner. There are delicious cocktails, a Caribbean inspired menu (I was so impressed at how juicy and tasty my Jerk Chicken Rainbow Salad was) and a fun, holiday atmosphere. It can be found upstairs in Kingly Court, just off Carnaby Street, which is such a pretty courtyard filled with buzzy restaurants and bars.

The Rum Kitchen Kingly Court
(Apologies for the poor photo - I only had my iPhone to hand)

Rum Kitchen cocktails

Burger & Lobster

As the name suggests, the menu here consists of two things: burgers and lobsters. Though having a small menu might sound limiting, being specialised means that the restaurant can deliver a solid, good quality meal. Last time I went I had a Lobster roll with skinny fries and it was so tasty and super filling. Each meal costs £20 and the restaurant is always popular with a good buzz about it.

Burger Lobster
Burger & Lobster

Busaba Eathi

I am addicted to Busaba Eathi. An affordable, small chain of Thai restaurants with gorgeous dark décor, their menu offers tasty Thai inspired food at around £10 per main. I love the Chargrilled Salmon which comes with a refreshing, deliciously zingy cucumber and spinach salad and sticky rice. If you only try one thing though, you have to try the Calamari there.

Busaba Eathi calamari

Busaba Eathi London

Muriel’s Kitchen

I first tried Muriel’s when it was just a small restaurant nestled next to Kensington tube station and loved its wholesome, warming, nourishing bowls of simple comfort food, like chilli con carne and lasagne. Now it has a few more branches across London, including a good sized restaurant in the heart of Soho which comes complete with a set of swinging chairs (weee). The menu is seasonal but usually incorporates a range of vibrant salads, fish and bowls of heartier comfort food.

Muriels Kitchen chilli

Muriel's Kichen lasagna

Muriel's Kitchen

The Breakfast Club

Who said breakfast could only be eaten in the morning? The Breakfast Club in Soho serves its all day breakfast menu (as well as evening menu which sees the likes of burgers and salads) until 10pm. This cosy spot is a great place to go for relaxed, laid-back vibes and filling grub. Avoid the burgers (very underwhelming) but do try the veggie burrito; scrambled egg, peppers and mushrooms whipped together in a sizeable burrito with a splash of spicy tomato sauce.

The Breakfast Club

Best Brunches in London

The Breakfast Club Angel

 

Ethos

If health is your thing, Ethos is a new vegetarian and vegan café nestled behind the shopping mecca of Oxford Street. With calm white walls and Nordic inspired influences, it is a lovely spot to refuel and healthy, nourishing food. I have been here many a time (you can read more on my Ethos: The Latest Healthy Eating Restaurant in London post) and would recommend it, although be warned that as price is determined by weight, it can get a little pricey.

Ethos London reviewEthos interior

Bodeans

Not for veggies, Bodeans is a meatalicious restaurant famed for its BBQ meat that advertises itself with a glowing neon pig in the window. Their Soho branch has a more relaxed ‘café’ upstairs and a very American dining room downstairs, where you can order everything from pulled pork burgers to sharing meat platters complete with ribs and wings. This is a good place to take boys or when you need your fill.

Bodeans

Is there anywhere else that you would recommend for dinner in central London?

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