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Healthy Regional Restaurants


I recently started splitting my time between New York City and Los Angeles and I’m loving it. Being on both coasts gives me the opportunity to experience more food and nutrition trends, healthy new products and restaurants, farmer’s markets, and culinary movements. In my LA neighborhood I just spotted the first California location of a cool, budding chain called How Do You Roll, where you pick out your wrap and fillings for made-to-order sushi (mine include traditional seaweed wrapper, a half portion of brown rice, asparagus, avocado, cucumber, green onions, jalapenos, spinach, sprouts, sesame seeds, chili powder and a side of edamame). Pretty cool huh? And I love that you can calculate the nutrition facts online as you build your roll.

But with all the options I have on the east and west coast I still find myself missing some of the regional spots I frequented while living in Tampa (like Tijuana Flats and Mama Fu’s) and Dallas’s Café Express and Taco Cabana. So I thought hey, why not reach out to all of you and find out your favorite healthy regional restaurants or chains. Tweet me your favorites at @CynthiaSass and I’ll compile a list to share in an upcoming blog. This way if you travel for fun or business, or if you move, you’ll have a go-to resource for finding delicious good-for-you options.

Here’s what to include:

The restaurant name and web site (I’d like to include restaurants with web sites that provide nutrition facts and info about menu items for special diets, like gluten-free, vegan, etc.).

Your favorite meal

Why you think it’s healthy

Any inside info (for example: is one salsa hotter than another, is there a best place to sit, should you bring a sweater because it’s super cold inside, etc.)

I’ll sort the restaurants by region but will include national chains too (like Chipotle and Panera Bread), so send me your favorites. I’ll choose my top picks and share all of the entries.

In the next day or two tweet your faves to @cynthiasass and @Shape_Magazine and if you can’t fit everything in 140 characters send your info through the contact form here. I travel often for my work and I love discovering new healthy hot spots—can’t wait to see your selections!

Cynthia Sass is a registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's a SHAPE contributing editor and nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays. Her latest New York Times best seller is S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches.


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