by Marene Gustin

Constant dining out can be as hard on your waistline as your pocket book. Whether you are on a steady diet of filet mignon and lobster drenched in butter, or, more likely, a daily dose from your favorite Tex-Mex joint, it’s not exactly healthy.


Luckily there are plenty of places that offer healthy choices, from vegetarian to juices and Mediterranean.

The Hobbit Cafe

2243 Richmond Ave.

Back in the day, when Houston dining choices pretty much revolved around clubby steakhouses, cheesy Tex-Mex joints and a few American-Italian eateries, The Hobbit Cafe was the go-to spot for vegetarians and health fans. Today, after 43 years The Hobbit is not only still going strong, it’s also added some meat, egg and cheese items to the menu.


While hardly popular with the trendy food set and foodie bloggers, this spot has been visited by Mama Cass, Peter Max, Neil Young, Governor Connally, Jack Nicholson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Depeche Mode and Woody Harrelson. And plenty of Houstonians flock to the shaded wooden deck for weekend brunches of poached eggs, migas and pancakes. Yes, there are still plenty of vegetarian dishes, like the veggie enchiladas and black bean burger. All very healthy and tasty to boot.

Baba Yega

2607 Grant St.

Another long-time favorite for healthy eats is the Montrose neighborhood legend named for, of all things, a Slavic witch. Baba Yega has been serving Houstonians since 1975, focusing on fresh ingredients and vegetarian dishes. But at this converted old bungalow you can also choose from Tex-Mex, burgers and Cajun dishes. Often awarded best-of and top-ten lists for its brunches and fabulous garden patio, it’s a truly lovely spot.


There are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menus with dishes including the famous Hippie Meatloaf, a gluten-free, vegan dish made from quinoa, black beans, herbs and vegetables topped with gravy, served with vegan mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach and garlic.



214 Fairview St., Suite 2

Flow, a juice bar from the folks that bought us The Tasting Room and Max’s Wine Dive, is a fairly newcomer to the health craze but it’s making waves, and expanding to other cities. Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., this sleek, modern spot offers fresh juices and smoothies to boost mental and physical health, for detoxing and weight loss. Try the delicious 24 Carrot Glow, an anti-aging and immune boosting drink of fresh sweet potato, carrot, pineapple and mango.


You can also pick up cleanse packages to take home and some healthy seasonal snacks that are vegan and gluten free like the cranberry chia bar, sesame noodle bowl and crunchy Asian cabbage salad with a rice wine vinegar.


The Doshi House

3419 Dowling St.

Third Ward The Doshi House is the kind of place neighbors drop in for an early morning locally roasted Greenway coffee or herbal tea and wind up staying for a healthy vegetarian lunch and maybe coming back latter to hear local musicians or literary talks.


Even meat lovers will like the spicy Thai red curry and white rice dish offered as Tuesday evening special. Yes, there are plenty of tonics and smoothies — the Pink Panther is a nice pick-me-up of strawberries, banana, beets, aloe, organic cold pressed apple juice and agave — but also plenty of soups, salads and a few vegan sammies.


Field of Greens

2320 W. Alabama St.


In an a little strip center in Upper Kirby, just down from a nail salon, you’ll find an amazing spot that features macrobiotics and raw foods that are healthy and tasty.


Field of Greens offers vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and a very few fish dishes. Do try the vegan chocolate tofu pie. If you don’t know what it is, you’ll think it’s divine.

Aladdin Mediterranean

912 Westheimer Rd.

Even the august Mayo Clinic says that the Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy eating plan. And one of best places to indulge in this food is at Aladdin Mediterranean at the corner of Montrose Blvd. and Westheimer Rd. The lunch buffet features all your favorites like lamb kabobs and veggies and at dinner it’s BYOB with no corking fee. Enjoy.