Food & Drink

The Best Healthy Lunches in the Loop

Maggy Boyd Published On 02/25/2016 Published On 02/25/2016

Who wouldn’t enjoy a nice midday pizza- or Italian beef-induced coma? People who are Downtown working and can’t risk going into a meeting with meat sweats, that’s who. We’ve got you covered with these top healthy Loop lunches that will give you the energy to finish out the workday without all the heartburn.

Eastman Egg Company

The Eastman Egg Company

23 N Wacker Dr

Still craving brunch for late lunch? Egg sandwiches until 4pm will help with that. Eastman Egg sources fresh, all-natural ingredients, and creates almost everything in house from sauces to granola. The noteworthy items include “The Fairfax” egg sandwich topped with sautéed bell pepper, wilted spinach, house green goddess sauce on a seven-grain roll or “The Scoundrel” egg bowl composed of smoked turkey, white cheddar, and house spiced mustard in a bowl.

Protein Bar

Protein Bar

221 W Washington St

With lots of Loop locations, online phone ordering, and quick service, you can’t miss out on this healthy staple. Grab a protein-packed smoothie for a snack (Millennium Perk), signature grilled bar-rito (Buffalo Bar-rito), warm savory bowl (Thai Coconut Curry), or any of their signature salads with house-made dressing.

Epic Burger

Epic Burger

550 W Adams St

This mindful burger joint provides health-conscious options, including all-natural turkey burgers, grilled chicken, and Portobello mushrooms with the option to go without a bun. Order one of these burgers bun-less (i.e., wrapped in lettuce) and regret nothing.

Farmer's Fridge

Farmer's Fridge

Block Thirty Seven, 108 N State St

Stop by this health vending machine for faster than “fast” food. The kiosk gets produce delivered fresh every morning and everything is made from scratch. Their menu items include savory salads (avocado BLT salad), breakfast items (almond butter oatmeal), and snacks (chocolate trail mix).

SNAP Kitchen

211 W Adams St

Have it your way: gluten-free, low-carb, sodium-conscious, non-dairy, paleo, or vegan. SNAP has a delicious array of flavorful menu options, from grass-fed lamb lasagna to chicken and green chili enchiladas to fettuccine and vegetable alfredo.

Flickr/Anna Aran

Blaze Pizza

24 S Clinton St

Healthy pizza may seem like a contradiction in terms, but walk into this fast-casual pizzeria, select a signature thin-crust pizza, and watch it bake in their wood-burning and believe. Get a pizza and split it with a co-worker or save half for your lunch tomorrow. Try the “Green Stripe” pizza with pesto and grilled chicken for only 130 calories a slice!

Maggy Boyd/Thrillist

Native Foods Café

218 S Clark St

Native Foods’ delicious sans-meat cuisine creates fantastic and filling vegetarian plates. Don’t forget to add their lavender lemonade and sweet potato fries with organic ketchup to complete your healthy showstopper order.

Roti

10 S Riverside Plaza

This “Chipotle-style” Mediterranean restaurant lets you create your own sandwich, rice plate, or salad. With lots of fresh ingredients, you can’t go wrong as long as you’re steering away from too much fried falafel or pita bread.

Be Leaf Salad

Be Leaf

29 N Wacker Dr

A boutique salad restaurant with creative and seasonal menu items, including fresh salads, hearty grain bowls, soups, and the option to turn any salad or bowl into a spinach or whole-wheat wrap.

Kitchfix

KitchFix

324 N Michigan Ave

In case you work in a sad floor of cubicles where desk-lunches are mandated, Chicago’s gluten-free and paleo food delivery service is here for you. Custom order your meal online and pick it up at the KitchFix official store, a hub around the loop, or have it delivered to your home or office. You can’t go wrong with the sloppy j, curried sweet potato soup or guacamole.

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Maggy Boyd is a Thrillist writer who lives a constant battle between craving bacon-maple long johns and Jimmy John’s unwhiches. Follow her next craving @NutritiousF

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1. The Eastman Egg Company 23 N Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606 (Loop)

Your favorite rolling breakfast sandwich truck has a permanent storefront on Wacker. Choose from handcrafted egg sammies like The Scoundrel (farm egg, smoked turkey, white cheddar, wilted spinach, honey mustard, pretzel roll), two kinds of parfaits, and an assortment of sides and sips that range from bacon gingersnap cookies to cold pressed orange juice and Filbert’s soda.

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2. Protein Bar 221 W Washington St , Chicago, IL (Loop)

This national mini-chain with outposts in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Colorado serves highly nutritious food for high-impact, active lifestyles. Options include their signature quinoa based burritos, blended drinks, breakfast sandwiches and smoothies. The efficient, counter-service spot is an ideal option for packing in a quick, but majorly delicious, meal on the go.

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3. Epic Burger 550 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

Epic Burger's a Chicago hamburger mini-chain with an eye towards a "more mindful" approach to sliders 'n fries. Inspired by the clean food movement and a desire to eat sustainably, Epic's fare is made without the preservatives, additives, nitrates or hormones typically found in other chain restaurants. It's still fast food, but food for thought. The menu includes the namesake Epic burger, vegetarian options and turkey and chicken sandwiches.

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4. Farmer's Fridge at Block 37 108 N State St, Chicago, IL 60602 (West Loop)

Located in Block 37, a West Loop shopping center and food court, this Farmer's Fridge outpost has all the greens you know and love from the Chicago area chain. These "Veggie Vendors" sell gourmet salads that are pre-made and packaged in handy, portable mason jars, and dispensed from a free-standing, card-scanning kiosk. The salads are made from scratch daily from farm-fresh greens and delivered to ready to eat to kiosks each day.

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5. Snap Kitchen 211 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60606 (West Loop)

SNAP Kitchen on W Adams offers a wide variety of health conscious fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. SNAP makes it easy to eat well on not a lot of cash with their colorful, bistro inspired plates and detailed nutritional information on every item. Choose from a selection of gluten-free, low sodium, paleo, and/or vegan options, most clocking in at under 300 calories a piece.

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6. Blaze Pizza 24 S Clinton St, Chicago, IL (West Loop)

Blaze Pizza's a national 'za shop with locations across the Midwest, East Coast, and California. Their West Loop outpost offers all of their signature pies, plus the popular "build your own" option-- we like ours with Blaze's famous spicy red sauce and piled high with meat and veggies.

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7. Native Foods 218 South Clark, Chicago, IL 60604 (West Loop)

Native Foods Cafe is a fast-casual vegan resto in the Loop. By using non-GMO, nut and wheat-based ingredients, the folks at Native Foods reimagine American comfort food classics and make 'em healthy. Bowls and burritos make up the bulk of the menu. Sandwich wise, the Native Chicken Run Ranch Burger is a customer fave, hitting all those tasty and tangy sweet spots in every bite.

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8. Rōti Mediterranean Grill 10 S Riverside Plz, Chicago, IL 60606 (West Loop)

You are the architect of your own meal at Roti, a fast-casual chain where Mediterranean food gets the customizable, Chipotle-like treatment. You start by choosing a foundation -- be it a pita sandwich, laffa wrap, basmati and wild rice plate, or mixed green salad -- then add proteins (chicken kebob, falafel, salmon), vegetable sides (quinoa cauliflower tabbouleh, cous cous, cabbage slaw), and sauces (tahini, roasted red pepper dressing). Roti's sheer amount of dish combinations will have you singing the praises of a Mediterranean diet after just one meal.

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9. Be Leaf Salad 29 N Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606 (West Loop)

Be Leaf on N. Wacker Drive in Chicago's West Loop is a boutique salad and veggie spot. The counter service spot allows you to customize and DIY your meal from a variety of toppings, proteins and salad bases. You can also make your meal into a bowl or a wrap, or choose from a selection of seasonal and signature dishes on the menu. Fresh and affordable, Be Leaf's a solid choice for healthy lunching in the Loop.

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10. KitchFix 324 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL (Loop)

Sad desk salads get the boot, courtesy of KitchFix. This boutique food delivery service will bring you organic, artisanal fare no matter where you're located in the city. Just log onto their site and enter in your order details and start customizing your meal from a selection of pre-determined menu options. You can also pick your portion size and when you want your grub delivered. How's that for a happy meal?

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