If You’re Pressed For Time, Try These Fast Casual Restaurants
People decided that they wanted healthier dining options on the go, and the restaurant world listened. Fast casual restaurants are the new face of fast food, and they’re often far healthier. Think whole foods, fresh ingredients, and far less processing than your average fast-food burger. There are tons of options, but these are some of our favorites, and they also have some of the healthiest choices!
Sure, you can order the sinfully tasty Wisconsin Mac and Cheese, but Noodles also has a number of far healthier options. Every dish is made to order, giving you ultimate flexibility when deciding that you’re going to fuel your body with. If you’d like to forgo the pasta consider trying one of their new “Buff Bowls,” where the noodles are replaced with the green goodness of spinach. An added bonus is that this national chain was started right here in Colorado.
Protein Bar can only be found in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Colorado. If you’re able to get to one, this fast casual chain is solidly nutritious, and it’s perfect for busy people on the go. Their bar-ritos have fewer calories than traditional burritos, thanks to a quinoa blend instead of rice. The low calorie whole wheat wrap is also a great stand in for the traditional flour tortilla. Other tasty menu items include quinoa bowls with a variety of fresh toppings, and cold pressed juices.
Six states in the U.S. are lucky enough to have Garbanzo, and Colorado is one of them. This casual eatery is inspired by Mediterranean food, and you’ll be immersed in a wonderful world of falafel, hummus, pitas, and more. Their plates are a great value, and here’s a secret—if you want your steak or chicken and falafel, ask for “falarma,” which gives you half meat and half falafel. If you fall in love with the fresh food here, be sure to grab a loyalty card. For every 12 full-size entrees you purchase, you’ll get one entree completely free. Now that’s incentive to eat healthy.
If you order with your health in mind, this chain is surprisingly convenient and healthy. 11 states are lucky enough to have this quick and easy option, and it’s incredibly kid friendly. If you’re trying to keep your calories in check, they even have 100 combinations that are under 600 calories
It’s easy to overindulge in sugary sweet smoothies, but it’s also a breeze to get some veggies in at smoothie shops like Jamba Juice. You can even add in whey, vitamin boosts, and more. This chain isn’t just about smoothies anymore, though. Oatmeal, breakfast wraps, and bistro sandwiches are also on the menu.
A list of healthy fast casual restaurants wouldn’t be complete without mention of Chipotle. This Colorado-native chain is arguably one of the most popular and well-known options around the country. Burritos are a fan favorite, and you’ll have endless customization options so choose wisely with lots of veggies rather than extra sour cream. Remember to ask for fajita veggies with your burrito or burrito bowl! They’re free, and they give you an extra dose of nutrients.