We all eat out, it’s something most people look forward to, no cooking, no cleanup, and the food prepared by a real chef taste pretty fabulous too. But dining out shouldn’t be our excuse to eat unhealthy.
Many dishes prepared in restaurants have added sauces and oils that have turned them into an unhealthy version of the food. By knowing what to choose and why you have all the information you need to make a healthy choice. Use the guide below to select a healthy dish at one of our favorite Kansas City restaurants. It's a great step to take in your journey to a lifelong healthy eating routine.
Don't miss the bonus material at the bottom of this list. It includes our recommended restaurants that cater towards healthy eating and are our personal favorite spots to eat out.
251 E 55th St, Kansas City, MO
Simply prepared, butter lettuce has nutrients like vitamin A and is a good source of hydration. It is a less green tasting version of green lettuce which sometimes is nice, served with a light vinegar based dressing, as well as tomatoes and walnuts. Pair this with a fish entree for a complete meal.
Saumon Grille or Truite Saumonee Poelee Aux Amandes
It is so hard to get simply prepared, quality fish in KC, but these dishes give you your weekly dose of omega-3’s, with either Salmon or Trout. They also come with a side serving of veggies, and a perfect potion of starch to fill your belly.
This salmon salad makes for a great lunch because you get your greens and lean protein + omega 3’s from salmon and shrimp all in one.
Grand Street Cafe
4740 Grand Ave, Kansas City, MO
Seared Tuna Superfood OR Grilled Salmon Salad
A mound of greens is always a healthy choice, and the ingredients in these salads make it a hearty meal and while still being exciting. Ask to hold the dried cranberries, they can be a concentrated source of added sugar when there is already plenty of fresh natural sugar found in the salad from the blueberries, grapes and dressings. Dressings on the side as usual, or request olive oil and vinegar dressing.
Pan Roasted Salmon
This salmon dish is unique as it it served with lentils as its source of starch. Lentils are so nutrient dense we should eat them all the time, high in fiber, protein and a long list of vitamins and minerals. This dish is served alongside roasted artichoke hearts, which are a power food as it contains a decent amount of protein for a veggie and contains a good serving of antioxidants.
LuLu's Thai Noodle Shop
2030 Central St, Kansas City, MO
Thai Lettuce Wraps with Chicken, Sriracha Shrimp, or Tofu
Dishes like this that are veggies plus protein are ideal. You get your protein from two sources both the chicken, shrimp or tofu as well as the peanuts. These wraps are topped with bean sprouts. Mung beans are small, bright green beans, and bean sprouts are the sprouts that grow from those beans. Bean sprouts are a good source of protein, vitamin C and folic acid. Don't go heavy on the sauce that is served with this dish that's where you would add unhealthy elements.
Thai Cashew Chicken
This dish is simply prepared to maximize the health benefits. Only serve yourself a small amount of rice - we recommend your fist size serving when it comes to rice. And don't be shy and ask for extra veggies!
6229 Brookside Blvd Kansas City, Mo
A bowl full of veggies in a simple, flavorful broth - you can't go wrong here.
Italians prepare simple salads with greens, a fruit, and usually protein from cheese or Italian meat. Order the dressing on the side so you can only use what you need.
Peas and Pancetta
This dish is green peas cooked in Italian pancetta, you can add this to your salad or if doing carry out this is great to flavor anything you have at home to cook like a egg.
Scallopini de Pollo
This dish is a simply prepared protein options that is reflective of authentic Italian home cooking without weighing you down with heavy pasta. It's served with capers which provide a salty flavor minimizing the sodium needed to be added to this dish. One side note that when alcohol is added to dishes most of it is cooked off but not 100% there will be small amounts included, depending on how long it's cooked there can be as much as 40% remaining.
Like the Scallopini de Pollo this is a simply prepared protein options that is reflective of authentic Italian home cooking without weighing you down with heavy pasta. This dish comes with asparagus that's packed with nutrition. Just 1 cup of cooked asparagus has 40 calories, 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and 404 milligrams of potassium. Potassium is good for blood pressure and asparagus also contains asparaptine, which helps improve blood flow and in turn helps lower blood pressure.
Louie’s Wine Dive
7100 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO
Amalfi Coast Caprese
This dish has simple ingredients like olive oil and maldon salt, with a serving of veggies. The simpler the better typically. Caprese isn't always served with greens but this one comes with micro-greens which is even better. Micro-greens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs. These "baby" greens contain more nutritional value than their mature counterparts.
Grilled Sesame Crusted Tuna
You can't go wrong with this protein and veggie rich dish. It can be even healthier if you ask for olive oil/balsamic vinegar as your dressing instead. Although rich in omega 3s, tuna should be consumed in moderation due to mercury, recommendations are to limit to one time a week.
This salad needs tweaking but has great potential if you do it. Ask to swap the bacon and deviled eggs for something like nuts and hard boiled egg or simply extra veggies! And hold the focaccia please if you don't see it you wont even know you missed it this dish is so filling.
Tandoori Chilean Salmon
Great pairing of salmon and quinoa which are both complete proteins. Cucumber is an amazing veggie, it helps keep you hydrated and assists in flushing toxins from your body. Ask for this dish “naked” or light on the sauce to make it work for you. You also get to pick your side and this pairs really well with the crispy pecan brussels sprouts.
Tavern in the Village
3901 Prairie Ln, Prairie Village, KS
Fresh tuna is a great protein rich in omega-3s. This dish is served on top of raw veggies, one of which is celery root that otherwise is hard to get in your diet but a great root vegetable. Variety in your diet especially in the vegetable category provides you with a multitude of health benefits so keep experimenting with items you've never tried before. Ask for light sauce here.
Grilled Vegetable Salad
These grilled vegetables will make you love veggies with their char marks and sweet roasted flavor. Add a protein to make this a meal. Request olive oil and balsamic vinegar for your dressing because the vinaigrette has lots of added sugar which you don't want.
Grilled Salmon and Kale Salad
Salmon and kale are two nutrient dense foods to include in your diet regularly. Some people see kale as a fad but this dark leafy green is nutritional powerhouse that isn't going away. To name just a few of it's benefits, it is high in iron and antioxidants which both keep your body running like it should. This dressing is flavorful and simple, just ask for it on the side so you don't over do it.
Note of the Entrees
Their entrees are set up perfect for making substitutions that would make them so much healthier. If you find yourself ordering an entree ask for light or no cream sauce and swap out the starch that comes with the meal for a more nutrient dense veggie side.
4950 Main St, Kansas City, MO
You can choose one of the many offered here. The ones with more veggies listed the better, like the 8 Color Salad. Ever heard the expression eat the rainbow, well 8 colors accomplishes that goal. Color in veggies usually translates into more nutrients so the more color the better. Ask for these "naked" and with olive oil/vinegar on the side. You can also make these more substantial by adding thin-sliced roasted chicken or (on the occasion since it is a preserved meat) sopressata salami.
If you are in the mood for pizza, try a flatbread for 1 since it is a simpler version of a pizza but still very gratifying! Pair it with a side salad. If avoiding gluten, try a petit gluten free MIA pizza, and add a veggie as a topping.
501 W 75th St, Kansas City, MO
Vegetarian Fajita Burrito Bowl or Salad
We all need a fast go to. Chipotle is a great option with a bowl full of seasoned veggies (and this is a great idea to replicate at your house!). Skip the rice as it's a starch you don't need. Add black beans or pinto beans as your protein (if your stomach is sensitive to beans then choose an alternate protein!), fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa, corn salsa (will count as your starch here instead of rice), lettuce, and guacamole OR sour cream for a little creaminess and fat to keep you happy. Ask for the guac or sour cream on the side because sometimes they are a little generous here.
Breakfast, The Most Important Meal of the Day
301 W 47th St, Kansas City, MO
Low Carb Veggie Scramble
A balanced plate of veggies that are nutrient dense but still has some carbs! Eggs for protein, and feta cheese for a little flavor and fat to keep you full. A great formula to start the day.
Bountiful Bran Oatmeal
A filling, light bowl of fiber if you’re feeling like keeping it simple on your stomach. This dish includes a bigger serving of carbs which makes it a good choice if you have an intense workout planned the day you eat it.
Tomato Eggs Benedict
Poached eggs are so healthy, paired with tomato and pesto make for a great nutrient combo. Traditionally pesto is made with basil, which is said to be one of the healthiest herbs, an anti-inflammatory which can help keep you feeling your best. Ask for Hollandaise sauce on the side (barely use it) and sub homefries for fresh fruit.
Diver Scallops or Atlantic Salmon
A great option for the dinner crowd this dish has a good serving of protein, omega 3s, and comes with vegetables. Diver scallops comes with spinach and chickpeas. The spinach is one of those leafy greens that is packed with nutrients and needs to be a part of your regular diet. Chickpeas are high in protein, good fats, fiber, and carbs keeping you satisfied longer. The salmon is served with seasonal veggies, which is always a great way to keep those veggies on rotation. Ask for light on the leek cream sauce with salmon or none at all.
409 W Gregory, Kansas City, MO
Eggs Benedict Rocky Mountain or Love those Veggies
Poached eggs require no cooking oil to prepare them so it’s always a healthy choice! These two versions come with smoked salmon OR veggies, you can always go crazy and ask for both. Request hollandaise sauce on the side or ask for none at all. Swap out the English muffin for a slice wheat toast so you can include some whole grains.
2 Eggs Loaded Veggie Omelet/Scramble
An ideal way to go is with loaded veggies and eggs to start your day. This dish is quite filling believe it or not because of the all of the fiber from the vegetables. Ask for no cheese to skip the fat you don't need since you will be getting just the right amount of healthy fat from the eggs.
Oatmeal isn't always the healthy choice at a restaurant because typically the portions are huge. This dish is an appropriate serving of and comes with fresh fruit on the top! They also include brown sugar on the side, add a pinch or two to bring a hint of flavor to the oatmeal without too much sweetness.
5107 Main St, Kansas City, MO
Salmon and Goat Cheese Frittata OR Crepe Salmon and Goat Cheese
By now you know how much we like to recommend the Salmon option for it's Omega-3s and healthy fat. But we haven't recommended goat cheese yet. Goat cheese is an easier to digest cheese since it is made from goat milk, not cow’s milk. It has fewer allergenic proteins and causes less inflammation, which means most people feel better after eating goat cheese than traditional cheeses. For the crepe, ask for no sauce and a side of fruit.
Eggs Benedict Florentine
I would ask for this dish “bare” or “naked” and more of the good stuff like avocado (for a filling healthy fat) and spinach (a top leafy green with lots of iron) that comes with it. Pick fruit for the side for the right amount of starch.
This dish comes with corn tortillas, which are gluten-free, and served with eggs, onions, tomatoes, and avocados. The extra toppings like sour cream and salsa come on the side, which is a plus! Be sure to ask for no cheese since there is already plenty of protein and good fats in this dish. This is also a great dish to bring home and make in your own meal prep!
Bonus Kansas City Restaurants Focused on Healthy Eating
Go crazy have whatever sounds good here!
We are constantly heading to these places and are always happy to share our favorites. Connect with us and we'd be happy to share!