March is National Nutrition Month and we’ve decided to celebrate by inaugurating a periodic list of healthy spots here in the Triangle. As a lot of foodies are health conscious and vice versa, we know there are a multitude of restaurants accommodating these desires by dishing up some seriously healthy and delicious meals. We will highlight 5 different venues each time, so stay tuned to see if your favorite place will be featured next!
Rex Hospital (4420 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh, NC 27607)
Yes, a hospital made the list. This probably doesn’t shock you, as hospital food is known as the epitome of healthy food. However, Rex Hospital is making moves and shaking up the hospital food game with their innovative, creative and delicious menu offerings. Rex Hospital is an independently run food service operation utilizing the Black Hats Chef program started by Culinary and Nutrition Service Director, Jim McGrody. Along with Executive Chef Ryan Conklin and their extremely talented team, they serve up from-scratch, fresh food catered to meet the needs of their patients, staff and visitors. Menus transition with the season and feature many herbs and produce grown and picked right from their on-site garden!
Mediterranean Deli (410 W Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516)
Mediterranean Deli, also known affectionately as “Med Deli” by Carolina students and Chapel Hill locals alike, is always bustling with action from its central location off Franklin Street. This family-run restaurant was opened by Jamil Kadoura in 1992. Their burgeoning storefront offers dine in, take-out and catering options. With over 60 deli case items spanning the variety of vegetarian, gluten-free, organic and vegan choices, they no doubt have paved the way for healthy, tasty food in Chapel Hill.
b.good (201 Park at North Hills, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27609)
With b.good now open in two Raleigh locations, North Hills and downtown off Fayetteville Street, “real food fast” is now readily accessible to even more Triangle diners. Their menu spans from turkey and veggie burgers, kale and grains bowls on up to decadent milkshakes. With the versatility to customize each dish, b.good caters to many dietary preferences and restrictions. An added bonus to these health conscious menu items is they are all locally sourced. The milk, ice cream, buns, grass-fed beef, chicken, eggs, sweet potatoes and cheese all come from North Carolina farmers and producers.
M Sushi (311 Holland Street, Durham, NC 27701)
Chef and owner Michael Lee has successfully run Sono in downtown Raleigh and now M Sushi in downtown Durham. Despite its name, M Sushi boasts an incredibly fresh and seasonal seafood menu that spans a multitude of cultural and cooking preparations other than sushi. Seafood items rotate regularly according to availability, real grated wasabi is used in all dishes, real snow crab (not crab with a “k”) is used and fresh big eye tuna is hand chopped daily for the spicy tuna mixture. This attention to detail in the freshness of ingredients helps in keeping options healthy and real when you know there aren’t any “extra” things added to the food.
Sassool Cafe (1347 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, NC 27511)
Healthy food always tastes better when it’s made with love, especially when the recipes come from the kitchen of a grandmother. Named and inspired by the matriarch of the Saleh family, Cecilia Saleh, Sassool Cafe is anything but your typical Lebanese restaurant. There is a plethora of dishes for carnivores and herbivores alike. With over 15 regular salad options alone, the bright Mediterranean flavors never are boring or bland at Sassool Cafe.
Tessa Nguyen is a chef and registered dietitian working in the Triangle area. She is an alumna of Johnson & Wales University and Meredith College. When Tessa isn’t traveling and discovering new food spots, she teaches culinary nutrition cooking classes at Duke and works as a consultant in the health and wellness industry. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @