Phew! How are we already four months into the new year? I feel like 2021 is flying by as I’m still trying to stash away my holiday decor.
With most New Year’s resolutions revolving around health and fitness, it is no wonder that one of my most-asked questions as of late has been, “Where can I find healthy food in Williamsburg?”
We are all striving to be better versions of ourselves each and every day; what we put into our bodies most certainly can play an important role in that.
Since I’m nine months pregnant, I have stayed health-conscious throughout my pregnancy in order to support the growth of our baby and feel energized.
As much as I consider myself an expert in this field, Visit Williamsburg has an even more in-depth catalog of restaurants and cafes throughout Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown on their “Restaurants” page. If ever you are searching for a new spot to satisfy your appetite or an adventure to fill your day, that is undoubtedly the best place to look.
Whether your goal is to drop a pant size, develop your palate, or fuel up for a more active lifestyle, this guide is for you.
Today, I’m taking a deep dive into five specific cafes and restaurants that I personally love and recommend in Williamsburg. Even better than that, I’ll give you a cheat sheet for what to order at each location to satisfy your appetite without ruining your journey toward a healthier lifestyle!
Without further ado, let’s get the morning started at Free Range Juice, a bright and airy cafe inspired by a trip to California.
Free Range Juice
This breakfast shop and juice bar boasts a bohemian, laid-back atmosphere where you can grab cold-pressed juices, smoothies, toasts, soups, salads, and bowls, in addition to wellness lattes.
From house-made nut milks to wellbeing shots, cleanses, and more, this is the closest you’ll get to the trendy LA scene in Williamsburg.
Personally, I could easily stay put in this beautiful cafe for hours on end while writing from my laptop in one of their rattan chairs and trying out their bright orange, green, and red juices. Who knows? Maybe this will be my cafe of choice during maternity leave as I make a go at fitting back into my old jeans.
Before you head out with your healthy treats in hand, don’t forget to grab a photo in front of their oversized menu wall with the giant palm tree (yes, it’s real!) peeking into the frame for your Instagram feed.
ORDER THIS: Gluten-Free Smashed Avocado Toast, Iced Golden Turmeric Latte, Hot Green Matcha Latte
Usually, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, I like to wander over to Merchants Square in Williamsburg to enjoy a long walk with my husband, Sam. On our way toward the cobblestone-lined streets, we always grab a smoothie and/or latte to keep us going.
What sets Lokal Cafe apart from the various other cafes and restaurants in this area is that they work with local farmers to get the freshest products for each season and make everything else on their menu from scratch (ketchup and mustard included). They even brew their own kombucha and bottle raw honey to be sold.
Their menu is plant-based and wide-ranging. Not only should you indulge in their acai smoothie bowl (perfect for a particularly warm day), but if you are looking to travel beyond your comfort zone, you should also test out some of their innovative vegan creations like their porcini mushroom and fava bean burger!
On any given day, you can count on their compact cafe being stocked with freshly made chocolate banana bread, CBD, wine, sourdough starters, and so much more.
ORDER THIS: Tropical Greens Smoothie, Acai Bowl, Nourish Bowl
With the Farmers Market open again on Saturdays, stopping at Lokal Cafe (a stone’s throw away) to fuel up for your weekly grocery haul is the perfect excuse to soak up the outdoors while getting your steps in.
Carrot Tree Kitchens
You may have heard of this charming spot from raving Virginians around the Williamsburg area. As incredible as the Carrot Tree Kitchens’ made-from-scratch carrot cake is, their warm sugar-cured ham biscuits with mango chutney dressing are equally as unforgettable.
Possibly as notable as the scratch-baked desserts, the story of how Carrot Tree Kitchens came to be in 1995 is one that locals know well. To make a long story short, in 1984 the owner's then-manager challenged her to make a carrot cake that was better than the one served at the restaurant she worked at. So, at midnight, she called her grandmother for the recipe, bought the ingredients, and stayed up baking until 3am.
The slogan on their website says it best: “We will bake good cakes, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always good cakes.” If this isn’t a true representation of how this wholesome, family-run restaurant operates, I don’t know what is.
I could happily order every last item on their menu, from their wraps rolled in sun-dried tomato basil tortillas to their salads overflowing with fresh garden vegetables, and not feel one ounce of remorse.
In short, if you are searching for a quaint cafe to cure both your savory and sweet tooth cravings without worrying about the quality of the ingredients, Carrot Tree Kitchens is your solution.
ORDER THIS: Ham Biscuits, Chicken Mushroom Tart with a Fancy Greens Salad, Captain Wingfield Wrap, Carrot Cake
Kephi Greek Kitchen
When I think of healthy cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is vibrant colors. Admiring a plate of lively green, yellow, and red ingredients that fuse together flawlessly for a punch of flavor is my favorite way to enjoy Mediterranean tapas.
At Kephi Greek Kitchen, you’ll find an expansive selection of traditional and contemporary Greek dishes like Taramasalata, Spanokopita, Gyros, and more. As your taste buds guide you through the hills of Santorini and the sea’s edge in Mykonos, your body (and heart, in particular) will be thanking you for the nutritious whole grains, vegetables, and lean meats.
Whether you are popping by to lounge in their bar area with hot and cold tapas, or you want a more elevated dining experience while enjoying the various entrees and homemade desserts, there is no question that your plate will be filled with robust flavors and lively colors.
ORDER THIS: Kephi Kalamari, Feta & Olives, Arniso Boutaki Me Meli
Food for Thought
A unique dining experience, Food for Thought’s walls are covered with a diverse gallery of inventors, scientists, and leaders alongside thought-provoking quotes used to set the tone for quality dinner table conversations.
Among the creative dishes they offer, Food For Thought has vegan and gluten-free options as well as kombucha, homemade hummus, and inventive salads. There is truly something for everyone on this menu (even the pickiest of eaters!).
Now, before you pass judgment regarding the grilled cheese in my order suggestion below, you should know that this Coastline grilled cheese is unlike any other. Not only is it stuffed with lump crab meat, but it also has a healthy serving of fresh asparagus and sliced tomatoes to round out the flavor-packed bite.
Whenever I am craving rich comfort food, Food for Thought is my go-to spot to indulge without the heaping side order of guilt that I may experience elsewhere.
ORDER THIS: The Coastline Grilled Cheese, Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque with Cashew Cream, Fork Tender Pot Roast
While this guide has come to an end, I cannot help but look forward to our next delicious meal in Williamsburg already. Whether you are a VA local or booking your next getaway, hopefully this post can serve as a first-hand guide to healthy cafes and restaurants in Williamsburg.