The farm to counter concept is gaining popularity. The farm to counter concept is gaining popularity. The farm to counter concept is gaining popularity. (Photo: Courtesy Dig Inn)

Fast-casual food goes gourmet around the world

Eating healthy on the go just got a little easier with these restaurants.

Tired of eating the same old turkey sandwich at your desk? Too exhausted to make a nutritious dinner at the end of the day? Healthy and organic fast-food restaurants are popping up around the world, giving you new options to eat well without paying a fortune. Whether you live in one of these cities or need something quick and healthy to sustain you during your travels, these innovative restaurants will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions intact.

Dig Inn / New York / United States

A kale date granola plates is a popular dish at the New York eatery.A kale date granola plate is a popular dish at the New York eatery. (Photo: Courtesy Dig Inn)

At Dig Inn, you’ll find healthy, farm-to-table food at a budget-friendly price. With 11 locations in New York City, Dig Inn is elevating the old school "meat and three." “Dig Inn was born out of the idea that you shouldn’t have to break the bank to enjoy great food,” Adam Eskin, the founder and CEO of Dig Inn, said. “Our model aims to democratize the farm-to-table movement, and create a model accessible to the masses.” At Dig Inn, you’ll choose a protein, like wild sockeye salmon, and pair it with two sides over a bed of either grains or greens. Decadent but nutritious sides include kale and curried delicata squash or roasted carrots with kale-pumpkin seed pesto. All of the nutritional information as well as the manner in which the food is prepared is readily accessible, making it easy for you to eat a balanced meal.

Liv Restaurant / Tel Aviv / Israel

This salad is part of the healthy take on the cafeteria concept.This salad is part of the healthy take on the cafeteria concept. (Photo: Courtesy Liv)

Liv Restaurant in Tel Aviv is a fresh, healthy twist on the classic cafeteria concept. At Liv, you’ll be greeted by bowls overflowing with nutritional goodness, like farm-fresh salads, whole grains and marinated roasted chicken. “Liv recognized the need for healthy and fast food in order for people to keep a balanced diet and maximum productivity at work,” Michal Lautzker, manager of Liv, told From the Grapevine. “All of the ingredients in the restaurant are natural with no processed ingredients and no preservatives. Everything is received on a daily basis from our suppliers.” The team at Liv hopes that people will view it as an extension of their home – a cozy place to eat good food and take a break from the workday.

Honest Burgers / London / United Kingdom

Honest Burgers offers a high quality take on a fast food classic.Honest Burgers offers a high quality take on a fast food classic. (Photo: Scott Grummett)

If you find yourself across the pond this winter, be sure to check out Honest Burgers. “Like many things, it started over a few beers in the pub 'round the corner from where we worked in Brighton,” founders Tom Barton and Phil Eeles told From The Grapevine. “From day one we wanted to focus on good, quality ingredients served in a casual environment with no ‘bill shock’ at the end of your meal. We get our beef from The Ginger Pig Butchers in Yorkshire, we focus heavily on developing a culture within our team, and we serve chips [the British term for fries] with our burgers so your meal is all-inclusive.” The most popular menu item is the Honest Burger, served with red onion relish, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, pickles and lettuce. Condiments are also a cut above, with creative concoctions like chipotle mayonnaise and bacon ketchup.

Sweetgreen / Various locations around the United States

Organic butternut squash soup is a favorite item at the restaurant.Organic butternut squash soup is a favorite item at the restaurant. (Photo: Courtesy Sweetgreen)

If you’re a young professional trying to eat healthy in a hurry, you’ve likely come across Sweetgreen in your travels. Starved for healthy cuisine while still in college, the founders opened their first location in Washington, D.C. with the idea of creating a farm-to-table experience for eating on the go. Expect to be delighted by seasonal menu items like the kale caesar and comforting butternut squash soup. If you’re passionate about knowing where your food comes from, Sweetgreen is a place to check out, as they work closely with local farmers to source their ingredients. If you make a purchase with the Sweetgreen app, 1% of the proceeds go to the Sweetgreen in Schools Initiative, which educates kids about nutrition and sustainability.

Bisaleh / Tel Aviv / Israel

A dish of salmon with nut crust from Bisaleh in Israel.A dish of salmon with nut crust from Bisaleh in Israel. (Photo: Tal Sivan Tziporin)

Too busy to cook for yourself but want to eat a nutritious dinner? Bisaleh, a deli in Tel Aviv, has delicious prepared food to grab when time and budget are tight. “Bisaleh was an idea that came to us while having dinner with friends who told us they have no time to prepare good food that is also healthy food for their children and toddlers,” Daphna Belkin, co-founder of Bisaleh, told From The Grapevine. The goal of Bisaleh is “fresh, healthy, high-quality food for the entire family, immediately accessible and widely affordable,” Belkin said. The dishes are labeled with an ingredient list and the nutritional contents. Examples of ready-to-heat-and-eat dishes include a waistline-friendly version of shawarma made from turkey and an Indian stew with red lentils and tomatoes.


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Related Topics: Chefs & Restaurants, Healthy eating, Travel