The Best All You Can Eat Restaurants That Are Actually Healthy
The Debrief: Suck it January
You might spend most of your time post-Christmas telling friends that you’ve 'eaten sooooooo much over Christmas' and that you plan for a 'restrictive' diet for 2015, but, seriously - who are you kidding? Let’s be honest, the ultimate dream is to eat as much as you possibly can (depending on who your mealtime company is), whilst being able to emerge without feeling as though you need to head to the gym pronto (or at least attempt a weird American YouTube workout). So in aid of the new-year new-ish you, here is our pick of the healthy places for you to eat like a queen, without the fetching food paunch.
Ethos, Eastcastle Street, London W1
The words 'self service' may conjure up images of that skanky Chinese restaurant where every dish came with a side order of impending diarrhoea, but that is soon to change once you’ve experienced lunchtime at Ethos. With a variety of fresh vegetarian dishes such as Beetroot and Goats cheese risotto and a pudding of bliss named 'peanut butter bombs', Ethos is a modestly priced eatery of genius. Here’s the deal; you pile your plate up (large-sized crockery provided, so go wild) and are then charged according to the weight of your plate. Obviously, the more ambitious you are, the more expensive, but prices are fair so feel free to go back for seconds. And thirds… And fourths?
Foodilic, North Street, Brighton
There isn’t much you can buy for £6.95 these days. Oyster top-up? Bottle of Echo Falls? The entire contents of Aldi’s chilled section? Although these may well be sound investments, I present you with a far more worthy contender for your tube fare. At Foodilic, you simply grab a plate, load up and go back for more of the good stuff as many times as you like. Salads to devour include cous cous with spring onions and tomato in a golden syrup & lemon dressing; blueberries and raspberries with red chard and organic pui lentils with cherry tomatoes, anchovies and capers. And don’t worry, this ain’t no veggie joint. Get involved with the beef and pork bourguignon, finished off with a naughty helping of Coq au vin. Job done.
Fig & Olive, Upper Street, Islington
Another one for the exotic salad lovers, this intimate cafe slash restaurant offers both buffet and a la carte options to prevent food FOMO atrocities. Think of a delicate mix of Ottelengi’s fresh, exciting and colourful recipes and Wagamama’s prices / ambience (or lack there of). Choose from the starter or main course salad buffet options (main course, obvs) and then add your choice of fish or meat – all for just under a tenner. The best bit? Basically the best pudding selection in the world - double chocolate brownie cheesecake, baked caramel and hazelnut cheesecake and chocolate gateau. I mean, you pretty much earned it after all that salad.
The Egg Café, Bold Street, Liverpool city centre
Are Sundays not Sundays without a fatboy plate of roasted goodnesss piled high with all the trimmings? Liverpool’s Egg Café is the perfect place to overeat on God’s day without consuming about 50 million calories in one goose-fat fuelled sitting. Hidden between a barber’s and a bong-shop, like all good vegan restaurants. This cafe offers it’s veg-loving customers the king of homemade nut roasts, accompanied by sweet potato mash, roast parsnips, broccoli and all the other (non-bad-for-you) trimmings. What’s more, this healthy scran is an absolute steal at just £5.95. And if “nut roast” screams hemp-wearing hippy to you, opt for the nutritional delights of the set menu (highlights include lentil and fennel bake and freshly made hummus) for only £9.75. The minimal wooden décor gives off a bohemian, stylish vibe – with not a single tie-dyed furnishing in sight.
Zakuski at Broadway Market, Hackney, London
Although technically not a café or restaurant, this Russian food stall / general food paradise more than makes up for what it lacks in furniture and upholstery. Inviting bowls of vibrant chargrilled, stuffed, creamed and grilled vegetable combinations line the tables of the Eastern-European stall. Commit to one particular dish with an entire handsomely sized pot - costing you just three of your English pounds. If you’re torn (it’s pretty much the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life) - DON’T PANIC. Go for a big boy £6 pot and the obliging staff will shove in as many dishes as you want. Or, get two or three pots, because, you know, it’s healthy.
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