If there’s one thing Austin has no shortage of, it’s great food. So much of Austin’s culture revolves around sharing meals around the city with friends and family. With the uptick in takeout availability and convenience in the last few years, many Austinites are cooking less and ordering in more. While this offers the opportunity to try a lot of delicious meals from the comfort of your home, it can be tricky to find options that are nutritious and fit into your overall fitness goals. Check out some of these top Austin spots for healthy takeout options!
CAVA may be blowing up around the country, but with six locations in the Austin area, plus many more in surrounding areas, it’s a readily available, fresh option for a quick lunch or weeknight meal. Specializing in bowls with fresh Greek flavors, you can easily customize meals to suit your tastes and nutritional needs. CAVA offers salad bases, rice bowls and the higher-protein, lower-carb Right Rice, with protein options ranging from lean meats to vegetarian options like falafel and roasted vegetables. The toppings are delightful (the pickled onions have a cult following), and you can choose as few or as many of their Greek dips and sauces as you’d like. They also offer pita options in addition to their bowls.
An Austin staple for delicious Korean BBQ bowls and ssäms, Chi’Lantro BBQ got the Best of Austin 2022 Best Korean Food vote from The Austin Chronicle for good reason. Always fresh, quick and filling, with multiple locations around town and a firm grip on the ACL crowd, keeping them fed each year with their delicious kimchi fries. If you’re looking for lighter options, you can build a bowl with a variety of greens, rice or japchae noodle bases, and top it with one of their delicious Korean BBQ protein options, including vegan and gluten-free tofu. Their kimchi is the star of the show and can top any of their bowls with their other roasted vegetable and fresh salad options. If you’re not in the mood for a bowl, their mini ssäms are essentially Korean BBQ tacos and can be packed with all of their fresh ingredients.
An East Austin favorite on the corner of East Cesar Chavez and San Saba Street, Bento Picnic is a wonderful spot for a sit-down meal with great wine. With takeout and delivery options for their from-scratch, healthy and colorful Bento meals, you can also enjoy their fresh and flavorful meals at home or on the go. With a focus on Japanese homestyle cooking and preparing fresh vegetables in every color of the rainbow, their meals are as delightful for the eyes as they are for the tastebuds. You’ll often find owner and chef, Leanne, behind the counter, her calm and friendly demeanor a great compliment to the food she’s serving. Their signature bento boxes can be ordered with greens, rice or soba noodle bases, their fresh market salad sides, and one of their wholesome desserts. They also have filling bowls, available with any of their protein options, from broiled salmon to house-made chicken sausage to handmade tamari-braised tofu. Pick up some of their deli sides to go and enjoy all week long!
There are countless poke spots in Austin, but the front-runner for portion size, freshness and visual appeal is Epic Poke. Nestled in a business off Highway 290, just east of Highland and Crestview, Epic Poke offers extremely fresh and colorful poke bowls in epic proportions. You can order one of their signature bowls, like the spicy Texas Heat or the keto-friendly Po-Ketosis, or you can customize your own. Their base options include greens, rice and sweet potato noodles, and they offer the freshest fish, delicious chicken or tofu as protein options, alongside a full-spectrum assortment of fresh toppings. You won’t find half-thawed mango chunks in these bowls; everything is fresh and delicious!
With locations in Central and North Austin, Honest Mary’s is one of Austin’s favorite self-touted “fast-casual” meal spots. Serving up delightful signature bowls, including rotating seasonal specials, Honest Mary’s is many Austinites’ go-to spot for a quick and healthy meal. With multiple greens, grains and rice (their black forbidden rice is to die for!), you can build a healthy bowl topped with protein, fresh roasted and charred veggies, and a delightful array of crunchy and creamy toppings, with fresh salsa and sauces.
An absolute gem with an award-winning sushi chef, Uroko in Springdale General offers the best temaki to-go in the city. Temaki, a Japanese sushi handroll wrapped in seaweed, is fresh, filling and absolutely bursting with flavor. Uroko offers classic favorites like spicy tuna and hamachi, house favorites like their cured mackerel, and daily specials based on whatever fresh fish they’ve imported from Japan. You can grab a spot on Springdale General’s patio, or pick up your temaki to go for a quick and fresh lunch or dinner. If you have more time, make a reservation for their newly expanded 45-minute omakase dining experience with the chef.
About the Author
Sarah Leahy, CPT is a Minneapolis transplant in East Austin, certified personal trainer, award-winning interior designer and former gym owner. She offers in-person and online training with an emphasis on strength training and building confidence in and out of the gym. Leahy’s passion for strength extends to your business, with a full offering of gym design and business consulting services.