No-Cheat Guide to Chicago

Christina Valhouli is a writer based in New York City. During her trip to Chicago she explored some #healthyeats. Here’s what she found!

Mention that you’re heading to Chicago, and people will automatically ask you if you’re planning to eat deep dish pizza and steak. While the Windy City is famed for those meals, there are plenty of options if you want to stick to clean, green meals. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

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Cindy’s Rooftop Bar

Get here early to beat the crowds lining up to get into Cindy’s, located on the roof of the buzzy Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. The open air spaces offers views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. While the cocktail menu looks tempting (watermelon margarita, anyone?) there are plenty of delicious nonalcoholic options. The Renamimator is made from blueberry, ginger, demerara, lime, and activated charcoal or cool off with an iced matcha latte. Food is served family style, on platters, so you and your friends can tuck into a baby spring squash salad with spiced pecans, red quinoa, burrata, dandelion greens, arugula, and yogurt, or scallops a la plancha, served with artichokes bariguole, fava bean and pistachio gremolata.


Protein Bar

Fuel up at the Protein Bar before hitting some of the biggest attractions near Millennium Park, such as the Art Institute and the Chicago Architectural Foundation (don’t miss the Tiffany glass domes). The concept is fast, healthy food in a sleek setting. Kick off your day with El Verde Mañana Scramble, with scrambled eggs and poblano, Greek yogurt chipotle, and spinach topped with fresh avocado. For a snack on the go, try the Avo-Matcha, a mix of avocado, matcha green tea, almond milk, and vanilla protein.


Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

Chicago is filled with donut shops that look tempting but if you want to satisfy a sweet tooth with less calories, pop into Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. The décor is stylish and the ingredients used are top notch. We fell in love with the Buttermilk Frozen Yogurts that are perfectly tart and made with organic yogurt from Seven Stars Farm in Pennsylvania. Flavors include Pink Grapefruit, Lemon and Blackberry, and Key Lime. Jeni’s also serves up sorbet.


Goddess and Grocer

This stylish marketplace and café has a few outposts around Chicago. Check out the Bucktown location if you want to combine a quick meal with some window shopping. In a hurry? Pick up kombucha or a freshly pressed carrot and beet juice to go, or head upstairs to tuck into a chilled coconut and melon soup.

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