Boston was recently named one of the healthiest cities in America according to Yes, many different publications and websites make their own rankings but Boston is always in the top. The criteria used for this list included:

  1. Population data about physical fitness (exercise rates, eating habits, chronic health problems and disease rates, access to parks and recreational activities, and more.)
  2. The percentage of doctors in the state that are highly rated according to BetterDoctor’s comprehensive, seven-variable algorithm.
  3. The percentage of residents with health insurance coverage to assess how feasible it is for residents to get medical care.
Naturally since we have to have health insurance in the state of Massachusetts and we have some of the best hospitals in the country, we are ranked number 1 with Minneapolis, DC, San Fran and Hartford, CT (what!?) coming in at 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. New York City was 24th and Memphis, TN was last. [More results here.]
One element I would be interested to know would be what city is the friendliest for health conscious people. If I’m visiting Minneapolis, can I find a good spin class or juice bar? What about an organic or vegan restaurant? That type of a list would make me want to travel to visit a city. One would think if Boston is the “healthiest” city we would have a ton of healthy restaurants… well we don’t, at least compared to LA, SF or NYC who we allegedly beat.
While in LA last week, I enjoyed delicious smoothies and prepared food from places like Earth Bar and Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop.

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I also tried dairy free chia yogurt and raw avocado cucumber soup from Kreation Kafe, which has many locations.

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At the pool in Palm Springs, I had a kombucha instead of an alcoholic beverage! No, Palm Springs is not LA but still – kombucha on tap is rare in Boston, the “healthiest city.” Thank you Life Alive and the few that do.

On ClassPass, there were so many fitness studios to choose from in LA I was totally overwhelmed. It seems like NYC has more fitness studios than taxis these days. Boston is catching up, we are a much smaller city though.

Boston has very few restaurants that are dedicated to people who want to eat clean. If you are a gluten free vegan, good luck! In LA, you have so many options in my opinion. Same with other cities like New York and San Francisco. I’ve found Miami is pretty friendly for health weirdos like me too. Listing healthy cities means nothing to me unless I can benefit from their offerings. Doctors, hospitals and insurance I cannot unless I get hurt while traveling!

If you are visiting Boston any time soon – lucky you, our snow is awesome – and are looking for a healthy meal, here are a few of my favorite places – note many sound like juice bars but ALL have food too. Depending on what neighborhood you are in, there is usually only one show in town. There is little competition. One neighborhood missing from this list is mine!

  1. sweetgreen (Back Bay & Seaport) Salads…
  2. Life Alive (Cambridge) Vegetarian…
  3. CocoBeet (Gov’t Center) Juices, smoothies and raw vegan foods. Try their chia pudding!
  4. Jugos (Back Bay) I don’t love this place but it’s super conveniently located…
  5. Root (Allston) Vegetarians rejoice! Not the lowest calorie place but delicious with gfree & dairy free options.
  6. Mother Juice (Kendall Square) I actually haven’t been yet because Kendall is not convenient for me but their food truck juices were good and the menu looks awesome!
  7. Thirst Juice Company (Downtown along Freedom Trail for tourists!) In addition to juice, serves oatmeal in the AM, acai bowls and soup!
  8. Pret A Manger (Back Bay & Downtown) Few places in Boston give calorie content and offer this many vegetarian options!
  9. Whole Foods Market… sort of a joke but not really. WFM won best salad a few years ago in Boston Magazine lol.
  10. Pressed (Beacon Hill)… The newest to open on the list. I haven’t been yet but can’t wait!
  11. B.Good (Downtown, Back Bay and more!)… I originally forgot to add b.Good. I don’t know why. Their kale and quinoa bowls are amazing!

*None of the above places have waiter service. You order at the counter. There are other places I like, but literally I have 1 or 2 favorite dishes on the menu that I would consider healthy. Flour is a great example. They have a delicious sandwich you can get as a salad with jicama, avocado and roasted chicken!

Sadly we don’t have many sit down healthy places to eat like LA or NYC. When they finally arrive, then I will proclaim Boston is the healthiest but until then, I just think we are a running city with good hospitals and mandatory health insurance laws.

Did I miss your favorite healthy spot in the city?

How Healthy is Your City? Healthy Cafes In Boston

| Boston | 13 Comments
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  • Rebekah Preveau

    New Orleans gets a bad rep for being sooo unhealthy, but we have a few good juice bars, vegan restaurants, and a few sit down healthy restaurant options. We are sorely lacking in studios, and if you don’t live in a certain neighborhood (Uptown), you really don’t have a lot of options. Thankfully, my neighborhood has a great fitness center, healthy food options, and a park nearby (River Ridge). We’re getting there, but I doubt we will ever be like any of the major cities in the country in terms of studios and restaurants.

  • Tori

    This is spot on. We really need some more healthy food places, especially sit down restaurants! Whenever I travel to LA or NYC all I want to do is eat because I want to try every juice bar and healthy restaurant in town haha. Can’t wait to try Pressed -- their food sounds amazing!

  • Mia

    B.Good has some decent healthy offerings but doesn’t hold a flame to places like the Protein Bar in Chicago. There’s also

  • Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner

    My city is most definitely NOT a healthy city. In fact it has been named the most alcoholic, uneducated city in USA. Pretty sad but I will say that I have met a great group of friends that love to work out and some really good healthy restaurants. I will say that when I visited Boston I was super impressed at how active everyone was. I just love that city!

  • Jenny

    Sarah -- I am visiting Boston next weekend (from Portland ME) with a friend from Seattle. This is a fabulous list of places to grab a quick eat and stay on track with healthy eating. Thank you! I’m having a hard time finding (via Google) restaurants for dinner that will please both the meat eater and the vegan and be fun for girls night out (fun atmosphere, great drinks, etc). Am I being too picky? I have plenty of recommendations in Portland for this type of place. Any in Boston? (We will be in Back Bay.) Thank you!

    • Sarah

      Vegan dinners in Boston (back bay) is gonna be hard but not impossible. I’ve never been for dinner but friendly toast has vegan options. Barcelona in south end is close and a good option likely as well. I feel like Lolita (Mexican) probably has a few options and fun atmosphere. I love Kava neo taverna in south end and think they have good options too as it’s Greek. South end buttery too has a few good options. Check out those menus!

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