Living in or even visiting New York is a fast paced life filled with little time to do anything else, especially cooking. We all know about the big American fast food chains from hamburgers and French fries, to deep fried chicken and cheesy pizza’s.
We can all agree that the United States is not acknowledged for its healthy eating. Wrong! New York is notorious for its glamorous parties, chic fashion stores, famous celebrities’, but also for its salad bars, the alternative to costly restaurants and fast food take-outs!
Some Background to the Salad Bar
Designed around a buffet “all you can eat” style restaurant, whereby you can create your own salad according to your likes and dislikes, a salad bar allows you to individually select each component right down to the dressing.
Generally in a salad bar you will find the basic ingredients from various types of lettuce, raw vegetables, croutons, tomatoes to the more adventurous side of things such as cold pasta, beans, eggs, ham, chicken, bacon and so on.
But do not be fooled, if you not a huge lover of vegetables then in these salad bars you can usually find fresh fruits, yogurts and soups.
There is some confusion surrounding when the first salad bar was introduced, but in 1951 the Yellow Pages ran a listing that refers to a “salad bar buffet” at The Cliffs restaurant in Springfield, Illinois. Since those early days, not much has changed and you now can find a salad buffet concept in popular steak house throughout the country, which helps keep the customers happy until their food arrives.
However, the popularity of the salad bar has been largely accredited to Norman Brinker, the restaurant entrepreneur who started Jack in the Box fast foods.
As is typically in NYC, the choices on offer are astounding and nothing is different when it comes to salad bars. Here is a quick rundown of some New York’s best salad bars:
Lifethyme – 410 Sixth Avenue, New York
Here you find one of the best organic markets in New York and the hot and/or cold vegan and vegetarian meals are to die for. After enjoying a savory meal, why not try one of the famous smoothies or fruit juices. Even the sweet side of things are organic.
Deli on Madison – 420 Madison Avenue, New York
With rave reviews, this small, but awesome restaurant can compete with the best that NYC has to offer. All meals are freshly prepared and can be enjoyed upstairs in the comfy and cozy room. This is the ultimate health food deli!
The Vinegar Factory – 431 East 91st Street, New York
Forms part of a group of grocers, bakeries and restaurants, but what stands this place out from the rest is the basic menu of salads, all 35 of them! Here, even the coffee is roasted onsite along with many other great ingredients and produce.
The City Bakery – 3 West 18th Street, New York
With union Square only a few blocks away, this lively NYC salad bar is the perfect place to find something light, wholesome and tasty. Set over various floors, you find an excellent variety of salads, as well as hot dishes from fish to pasta.
Cucina Gourmet – 54 West 56th Street, New York
Not exactly a restaurant, but this take-out venue is not like anything you have come across before. With its maddening crowds that haunt this place during busy lunch hours, they still manage to produce a lovely Turkish health salad. Well worth a try.
With the hectic lives we live, we have little time to look after ourselves, but with these affordable, healthy outlets dotted all over, I think things are about to change for the better.