Top Spots: 10 of the best diet-friendly restaurants in Columbus


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — When you’re trying to eat healthy, going out to eat can be a struggle.

Whether you’re concerned about finding vegan options, locally grown food or just finding something that’s easy to track in a calorie counting app, Columbus has many options to keep you on the right path when it comes to your diet. We asked NBC4 viewers what their favorite healthy restaurants were in the Capital City, and here’s what they said.

CoreLife Eatery

The CoreLife philosophy is simple: The food you eat determines how you feel, look and perform. That’s why the restaurant chain focuses on bringing clean, unprocessed, healthy food to customers every day. All ingredients are free of GMOs, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, additives and trans-fats, and chicken and steak products come from sustainably raised livestock that are never given antibiotics or hormones.

Jason’s Deli

Love deli sandwiches but not the artificial stuff packed into most deli meat? Jason’s Deli is the place for you. All menu items are free from artificial trans-fat, processed MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, dyes, artificial colors and artificial flavors. Plus, the menu offers half, lighter portion and whole versions of most sandwiches, and it features a ton of other healthy items like wraps, vegetarian options, soups and salads.

Panera Bread

Sure Panera has its fair share of menu items that will derail your diet, but the café chain has tons of low-calorie options as well. Plus, Panera was the first national chain to include calorie information on the menu, and they remain committed to providing ethically raised food and clean ingredients. Bonus: Most calorie tracking apps include Panera menu items.

NorthStar Café

Focusing on locally grown, certified organic food, Northstar Café is a Columbus favorite. All food on the menu is local, organic and sustainable, and many of them are naturally gluten-free. Dishes are made-to-order, and there are a ton of vegan and vegetarian options.

Acre Farm-To-Table To-Go

Much like Northstar, Acre sources ingredients from Ohio producers. The restaurant seeks to high-quality, wholesome foods accessible to everyone, and show that fast, casual food can still be good for you and the environment. Meals include whole grains, fresh produce and quality, well-seasoned meats, and all sauces are made from scratch in house. 

Portia’s Café

At Portia’s Café, they believe good food is the foundation of a healthy life. This vegan eatery offers a variety of food made with GMO-free, organic, local ingredients. Customers rave about the Pad Thai, the Garden of Eden salad and the Cheezecake.   


The brainchild of registered dietician Alexis Joseph and food systems strategist Abed Alshahal, Alchemy offers an innovative health-food eatery for diners with a myriad of dietary preferences. From delicious and approachable juices to amazing breakfast items to a slew of nutrient-rich sandwiches, salads and snacks, there are tons of options to choose from all day long. Viewers rave about the avocado toast with pesto and the Cookie Monster smoothie bowl.

Market 65 

With a focus on salads and wraps using Ohio-grown produce, meats and cheeses, it’s no surprise Market 65 is a lunchtime favorite for those who work downtown. You can choose from their signature offerings or create your own. Pro-tip: If your heading there for lunch, beat the rush by ordering ahead.

Clean Eatz Columbus

If you’re like a lot of people who are watching what they eat, you’re probably frustrated by the massive portion sizes at most restaurants. Newcomer Clean Eatz fights that frustration with properly portioned meals that feature a nutritionally balanced array of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Even though the restaurant has only been open for a couple of months, it’s becoming a fast favorite. Customers not only love the freshness and quality of food, but they also love the affordable price point and the fact that the nutritional information is listed right on the menu, making it a breeze to log in calorie-counting apps. Clean Eatz also offers meal plans for those who want to stay healthy but don’t have the time to meal prep.

Comune Restaurant

Another newcomer to the Columbus restaurant scene, Comune offers a plant-based menu that even omnivores feel welcome at. Their menu offerings are seasonal with ingredients sourced from local growers. Customers rave about the Dan Dan Noodle Bowl and the Sweet Potato Torta.

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