You've spent the last few weeks overindulging in sweet treats and booze. It's time to hit the gym, take up running and do that 30-day cleanse all of your friends are talking about on Facebook. But being health conscious doesn't mean being anti-social while you work off the holiday calories. Dine out with none of the guilt with these healthy and delicious restaurant dishes around Atlanta.
Pop into this Shops of Buckhead Spanish stunner and dine on tapas to your heart's content. While you may want to take down a New York strip complete with a side of manchego cheese and chorizo, try these satisfying alternatives to keep your diet in check. Get your taste buds tingling with a refreshing mixed green salad topped with serrano ham, pistachios, olives and sherry-tomato vinaigrette. Then order up grilled octopus paired with roasted cauliflower and quinoa for a protein punch. Soothe your sweet tooth with bubbly cava at only 77 calories a glass.
3035 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30305, 404-939-9840, www.gk-atl.com
Barbecue doesn't have to mean racks of ribs slathered in sugary sauce. Enjoy the lighter side of 'cue at this Buckhead bbq joint. Instead of your usual Delta Double with pulled pork, brisket, mac 'n' cheese and waffle fries, chow down on smoked turkey lettuce wraps with Carolina red sauce and chilled farro and green bean salad with smoked almonds and mint yogurt dressing. Still eyeing your friend's plate of fries? No need to cut out the carbs with Smokebelly's gluten free and vegan jalapeno cornbread cakes made with sweet corn, edamame succotash.
128 E. Andrews Drive NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30305, 404-848-9100, www.smokebellybbq.com
Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Substitute that double Grindhouse-style burger with cheese and house sauce for a protein-packed, double quinoa, black bean veggie burger topped with grilled onions and avocado. Pair your healthy choice with a side of sweet potato fries. Wash it all down with a pint of Strongbow hard cider at only 210 calories, and appease your sweet tooth and beer cravings in one fell swoop.
1842 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30324, 404-254-2273; 209 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303, 404-522-3444, www.grindhouseburgers.com
Across the Street
You've taken up a gluten free, paleo or vegetarian lifestyle as part of your healthy resolution but are mourning the loss of tacos and cheese dip. Never fear, Across the Street restaurant was created with dietary restrictions in mind. ATS has dedicated fryers and work spaces for gluten-sensitive and vegetarian diners so you can nosh on chips and salsa worry free. Vegetarians can also enjoy healthy choices like goat cheese or sweet potato enchiladas with mango chutney and meat-free black beans. Gluten got you down? Try the blackened salmon with cucumber noodles or steak, chicken or fish fajitas with black beans, sauteed veggies and fresh corn.
668 Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30312, 404-781-0931, www.acrossthestreetatlanta.com
If the thought of one more salad in your mouth makes you cringe, just remember, every diet has built-in cheat days. While everybody loves "The Hank" piled high with cheese, pickles and Illegal's special sauce, sadly it could lead to bad decisions and disappointment in your new, healthy lifestyle. Treat your cheat day and your diet right with a grilled chicken burger and fresh, side salad or The Banh Mi with zesty pork, pickled veggies and fresh cucumber and jalapenos. Crush your soda cravings with a spicy ginger ale at just 124 calories a pop.
1044 Greenwood Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30306, 404-254-2141, www.illegalfoodatlanta.com
While much on the menu here leans toward the light and healthy side, you can always find a few dishes that might tip the scale in the wrong direction. Start your meal off with an order of summer rolls stuffed with shrimp, pork and herbs wrapped in rice paper rather than crispy (and fried) spring rolls. For your entree, skip the Vietnamese curry for chicken or shrimp Com served with jasmine rice and pickled vegetables. Pair it with a bright and beautiful papaya salad topped with apples, mango and Thai vinaigrette to round out your meal. For dessert, opt for a cup of Vietnamese coffee brewed table side with sweet condensed milk.
935 Marietta St., Atlanta, Ga. 30318, 404-439-9850, www.lefatatl.com
Basketball and hockey season are in full swing. Cheer on your favorite team while sticking to your diet with Hudson Grille's "Healthy Path" menu and entrees of 600 calories or less. Super hungry after a great workout this morning? Order up a 6-ounce grilled sirloin steak with steamed broccoli and cucumber salad at only 563 calories over the 12-ounce rib eye with potato salad and cheese grits. Go even lighter with pan-seared salmon cake and mango salsa at only 489 calories over the crispy catfish sandwich and French fries.
942 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30309, 404-892-0892, www.hudsongrille.com (check website for more locations)
Farm to Ladle
Billed as a European cafe and farmstead, this counter service, food stall in Ponce City Market carries everything from house-made soups to fresh salads to a made-to-order omelette service in the mornings. Begin your day with a steel-cut, cinnamon and nutmeg oatmeal bowl topped with honey, dried cranberries and almonds. For lunch, there's nothing more satisfying than a bowl of white bean chicken chili and a spinach salad mixed with artichokes, granny smith apples, carrots and tomatoes. End a long work day with a lemon pepper turkey sandwich with dill Havarti on sourdough and a spicy, vegetable medley salad containing asparagus, corn, roasted mushrooms and sriracha balsamic vinaigrette. Most menu items are vegetarian, gluten free or vegan, making Farm to Ladle a friendly food option for those with dietary restrictions.
Ponce City Market food hall, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30308, 404-874-1414, www.farmtoladle.com
Table and Main
Well known for their delicious fried chicken, shrimp and grits and extensive bourbon bar, Table and Main has also become known as the place to dine on Wednesday nights for those on the paleo diet. Yes, this Southern tavern and bar offers up healthy and delicious paleo options like honey-satsuma glazed and roasted chicken on sauteed beets and greens or meatloaf with grass-fed beef and Brussels sprouts or pork breakfast sausage, scotch egg and coffee-roasted beets and greens. This is what happens when Southern goes paleo, y'all; and we like it. Reservations highly recommended.
1028 Canton St., Roswell, Ga. 30075, 678-869-5178, www.tableandmain.com
Need healthy at home lunch or even light dinner options? Try one of these recipes to keep your New Year's resolutions in check.