The Cali bowl at Detox Kitchen.

The Cali bowl at Detox Kitchen. (Jeff Cianci)

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With the New Year, come New Year’s resolutions which more often than not are commitments to make healthier lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, going out to eat while trying to stick to your health-conscious resolutions can be a challenge. Thankfully, the Bay Area is home to numerous restaurants committed to serving a menu of health-conscious dishes prepared with satisfying and nutritious ingredients. Have no fear, food can both be healthy and full of flavor! Here are five popular restaurants south of San Francisco, perfect for enjoying tasty dishes prepared from healthy ingredients you can feel good about eating. If we missed your favorite, please be sure to share it in the comments.

Lime basil shrimp with peanut sauce at Asian Box.
Lime basil shrimp with peanut sauce at Asian Box. (Jeff Cianci)

With a fully customizable menu, Asian Box is a great option for healthy, made-to-order dishes that are inspired by Asian street food. Asian Box is committed to using all natural ingredients free of any additives, antibiotics, hormones, or pesticides. Additionally, all the sauces and marinades are prepared in-house from scratch. Customers can build a rice, salad or noodle bowl to their liking or pick from a selection of specialty boxes. If you’re a vegetarian or just looking for a meat-free option, the Garden Box is a delicious option with tofu and steamed vegetables over brown rice with a sweet and mild coconut curry sauce.

The Garden Box at Asian Box in Mountain View.
The Garden Box at Asian Box in Mountain View. (Jeff Cianci)
Inside Asian Box in Mountain View.
Inside Asian Box in Mountain View. (Jeff Cianci)

Asian Box
Multiple locations [map]
42 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
Ph: (650) 584-3947
Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-9pm
Facebook: Asian Box
Twitter: @AsianBox
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

The Calafia vegetable burger.
The Calafia vegetable burger. (Jeff Cianci)

Opened by the former Executive Chef at Google, Charlie Ayers, Calafia Café has become a popular neighborhood eatery in Palo Alto. The restaurant has a large menu serving California cuisine and is committed to using organic, locally sourced ingredients. Calafia has an extensive vegetarian menu with entree salads and noodle bowls, as well as sandwiches and other vegetarian specialties. Equally tasty as a vegetarian dish or just a change of pace from the standard hamburger, Calafia’s vegetable burger is prepared with a hearty but wholesome blend of roasted beets, mushrooms, carrots, and lentils. Topped with melted cheddar, grilled onions, roasted mushrooms, and a chunky tomato jam, the hefty burger is filling and full of flavor.

Inside Calafia Café at Town & Country Shopping Center in Palo Alto.
Inside Calafia Café at Town & Country Shopping Center in Palo Alto. (Jeff Cianci)

Calafia Cafe
855 El Camino Real #130 [map]
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Ph: (650) 322-9200
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30-10:30am 11am-9pm; Sat-Sun 9am-2:45pm 4-9pm
Facebook: Calafia
Twitter: @calafiapaloalto
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

The Cali bowl at Detox Kitchen.
The Cali bowl at Detox Kitchen. (Jeff Cianci)

The newly opened Detox Kitchen & Juice Bar in Belmont is a perfect destination for anyone committed to healthier eating. The trendy eatery serves a dishes of wholesome and filling bowls prepared with fresh, unprocessed ingredients. For those who are following special diets such as Paleo or Whole 30, which eliminate grains, added sugar and other restrictions, Detox Kitchen offers a number of dishes which cater to those diets. The Cali bowl which features riced cauliflower topped with kale, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and crunchy sunflower seeds, is an impressively filling and guilt-free option.

The spaghetti squash bowl at Detox Kitchen.
The spaghetti squash bowl at Detox Kitchen. (Jeff Cianci)
Inside Detox Kitchen in Belmont.
Inside Detox Kitchen in Belmont. (Jeff Cianci)

Detox Kitchen & Juice Bar
1200 El Camino Real [map]
Belmont, CA 94002
Ph: (650) 264-8211
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat-Sun 9am-2pm
Facebook: Detox Kitchen & Juice Bar
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

The Davy salad at Sprout Café.
The Davy salad at Sprout Café. (Jeff Cianci)

A healthy menu of large salads, soups, and sandwiches makes Sprout Cafe a popular lunch option in downtown Palo Alto. Health-conscious customers can build their salad as they chose with a large selection of ingredients such as quinoa and farro, roasted vegetables, and wholesome proteins such as herb crusted salmon and grilled chicken. A large menu of signature salads is also available with plenty of healthy options such as The Davy which features orange and miso-glazed salmon over a bed of arugula with sweet corn, shaved fennel, avocado, red onions, candied walnuts and white cheddar with a sesame ginger dressing.

The autumn salad at Sprout Café.
The autumn salad at Sprout Café. (Jeff Cianci)
Inside Sprout Café in Palo Alto.
Inside Sprout Café in Palo Alto. (Jeff Cianci)

Sprout Cafe
168 University Ave. [map]
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Ph: (650) 323-7688
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm; Closed on Sundays
Facebook: Sprout Café
Twitter: @SproutCafe
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

A hot stone pot with chicken and vegetables at Sunny Bowl.
A hot stone pot with chicken and vegetables at Sunny Bowl. (Jeff Cianci)

Sunny Bowl serves a menu of Korean-style hot stone pots and colorful salads, making it a popular and healthy lunch option. The salads are wholesome and filling with a heaping mix of red and green cabbage, steamed rice, shredded carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and kimchi. The salads can be topped with Korean-style rib eye or short ribs, chicken, shrimp, or Hawaiian poke. The signature dish at Sunny bowl is the sizzling hot stone rice bowls which are topped with spinach, carrots and bean sprouts. A fried egg and your choice of meat provide the protein sources.

A salad bowl topped with Hawaiian poke at Sunny Bowl.
A salad bowl topped with Hawaiian poke at Sunny Bowl. (Jeff Cianci)
Inside Sunny Bowl in Mountain View.
Inside Sunny Bowl in Mountain View. (Jeff Cianci)

Sunny Bowl
1477 Plymouth St [map]
Mountain View, CA 94043
Ph: (650) 625-0361
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-9pm; Sat 12-9pm; Closed on Sundays
Facebook: Sunny Bowl
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Author

Jeff Cianci

Jeff Cianci is a freelance food writer based in San Jose. While studying journalism in college, Jeff’s curiosity landed him at a busy California bistro where he experienced a crash course in culinary training over two summer breaks, learning on the job with a very patient chef as his mentor. Around the same time, Jeff married his journalism degree to his appreciation for the restaurant world and determined food writing would be his career path. In his work Jeff most enjoys profiling chefs and learning their background, finding a new favorite restaurant and sharing his experiences with others through his reviews and social media. In addition to KQED's Bay Area Bites, Jeff writes restaurant reviews for Metro Silicon Valley and new restaurant guides for Eater National. Follow Jeff on Twitter @Cheffreycianci.