The holidays are a time for indulgence, comfort and merry excess, but just as eventual as nightfall on a sunny day, the post-holiday season is one of new beginnings. In the wake of all that gingerbread, eggnog and challah, winter is a time for rejuvenation and a renewed focus on wellness. Fortunately, health-minded eating doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor, as evidenced by the spate of restaurants and dishes throughout Oklahoma City that thread the needle between comforting and nutritious. From pristinely fresh seafood to bright and beautiful seasonal vegetables, here are some of the best places in the city for healthy dining.  


Bún Box

The latest addition in the Asian District is unlike anything else in the pho-filled neighborhood. Bún Box, a fast-casual takeout-oriented passion project from the owners of Lee’s Sandwiches, is as wholesome as it is delicious — and frankly, quite a bit healthier than its banh mi brethren up the street. The tiny shop on Classen, whose funky open-air motif feels more like Palm Springs than Oklahoma, features a drive-thru and takeout window with a tightly curated menu of herb-packed spring rolls and búns. These hearty bowls are brimming with the likes of grilled lemongrass pork, crisp veggies and vermicelli noodles — at once decadent, fresh and surprisingly lean.  


Bee Healthy

With a smattering of locations throughout the metro, Bee Healthy Cafe is a burgeoning brand that’s built a buzz for its customizable menu of healthy eats. In addition to smoothies, like the aptly dubbed Health Nut Smoothie blended with berries, banana, matcha, spinach and honey, the menu sports entrees like a vegan “Tofudilla” melt, a California Wrap rolled with grilled chicken, a salmon quinoa bowl and banana pecan oatmeal cups. Even the sweets — like the chocolate chip or lemon poppyseed cookies — are vegan and organic.  


Picasso Cafe

Picasso Cafe

Another enduring neighborhood staple, Picasso Cafe has engrained itself in the pantheon of OKC essentials through its widespread menu of inspired cuisines, seasonal ingredients and vegetable-centric offerings. In a lot of ways, such broad appeal has engendered the restaurant as the quintessential “something for everyone” destination, where the plates are just as vibrant as the art on the walls. As evidenced by the rampant success of its monthly prix-fixe vegetarian dinners, which regularly sell out, meat-free options get a lot of focus here. In fact, there’s a whole section of the menu dedicated to vegetarian and vegan dishes, from roasted artichoke ravioli and honey-walnut cauliflower to vegan quinoa tacos and KSM Bowls layered with roasted sweet potatoes, sweet corn, cucumber, avocado, quinoa, heirloom tomatoes, feta and tequila-smoked tomato vinaigrette. 



Recently lauded by Bon Appétit as one of the best new restaurants in America, Sedalia’s also happens to be the kind of hot spot where even the most indulgent meal can still feel downright healthful. Here, oysters, natural wine and crudos take top billing on an ever-changing, fresh-as-can-be menu of shareable dishes and small plates that are huge on flavor. On any given evening, this could include grilled oysters laced with trout roe and pumpernickel crumbs, Japanese madai crudo with sweet potato ponzu, brined clams with kimchi and smoked mussels conserva with black garlic emulsion.  


Tokyo Japanese Restaurant 

Hot on the heels of its anticipated reopening and expansion, Nichols Hills’ beloved Tokyo Japanese Restaurant is a reminder that one of the city’s O.G. Japanese restaurants is still the benchmark. Independently owned since 1987, and richly authentic, the expansive menu runs the gamut and offers something for everyone — from sushi novice to omakase warrior. This means that, while some dishes skew indulgent (e.g. veggie tempura and fried pork cutlet bowls), much of it is reserved for lighter, leaner, bracing flavors fresh from the sea. Case in point: grilled mackerel with miso soup, salmon teriyaki, snapper carpaccio and a whole spread of a la carte sushi items, from albacore tuna sashimi to Korean Dynamite rolls stuffed with octopus, cucumber, green onions, sesame seeds and kimchi sauce.  


Saj Lebanese


A relative newcomer, Saj Lebanese cuisine is an Automobile Alley addition peddling authentic Lebanese cuisine inspired by home-cooked recipes and traditions. Fresh ingredients are the through line, lending an air of legitimacy and nourishment to homespun dishes like a silken and smoky baba ghanouj, herbaceous tabouli salad and kibbeh. Key ingredients, like hummus and labneh, serve as the foundation for numerous plates and platters, allowing customers to fill up on wholesome portions rich in fiber and protein. Whatever route you take, be sure and order the cabbage rolls, filled with ground beef and rice and cooked in a fragrant medley of garlic and lemon juice.  


Cous Cous Cafe

Wafting with notes of cumin and cinnamon, Cous Cous Cafe is a homey oasis of Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisines on the NW side, offering real-deal eats that are — by and large — inherently quite good for you. Vegetarian options abound, like a loubiya (white bean) soup, vegan falafel salad and tagines brimming with fresh vegetables in broth over a bed of fluffy couscous. Even the burlier fare, like lamb couscous and ground beef kofta skewers, are balanced, ceding the bulk of the plate to grains and vegetables. To drink, try the Moroccan mint tea, and polish it off with a not-too-sweet Moroccan dessert, like apricot cookies or Moroccan yogurt.  


30th Street Market

It’s smoothies and chia pudding are for breakfast, eggplant sandwiches for lunch and hummus plates for happy hour at 30th Street Market, an all-day cornerstone on the edge of the Paseo Arts District. The definitional neighborhood cafe, this is an ideal go-to for esoteric sundries, like natural wines, tinned fish and fresh baked breads, as well as a recurring fixture for scratch-made seasonal eats comprising a kaleidoscope of color and flavor. The Drink Your Greens smoothie is an energy-boosting blend of peanut butter, banana, spinach, kale, broccoli and oat milk, while smoked trout toast comes with aromatic accompaniments of dill, whipped feta, pickled onions, lemon zest and capers. Later, sandwiches come in both comfort food form (e.g. the pimento cheese sandwich on fluffy milk bread), as well as healthy indulgence (e.g. the eggplant and zucchini medley on country sourdough with red bell peppers, turmeric tahini, lemon aïoli and avocado).


The Drake

The Drake

Billed as an “oysterette,” it would be all too easy to write off The Drake as a posh oyster bar. But while this Uptown gem certainly slings some of the freshest bivalves in town, there’s a whole ocean of flavors to explore across its nautical menu. In addition to an always-changing assortment of freshly shucked raw oysters, the kitchen exhibits precision and restraint on dishes — both chilled and grilled — that pack a wallop of flavor, without feeling heavy-handed. Crispy and roasted artichokes come speckled with parmesan and pistachios, while tuna tartare features crispy rice cakes and avocado mousse. Yellowfin crudo is served with yuzu-soy vinaigrette and puffed rice, and cashew-crusted halibut arrives atop lime risotto and coconut-serrano broth. Sure, there are plenty of ways to indulge (the Southern fried chicken with brown butter mashed potatoes is no joke), but The Drake’s bread and butter is its capacity for restraint, proving that healthier dishes can make for a show-stopping dinner.


The Red Cup

A longstanding pioneer on the vegetarian front, The Red Cup is the kind of kitschy cafe whose sprawling and irreverent menu offers appeal for every craving. Decked out more like a quirky house, complete with zany art pieces, mismatched furniture and a resident rooster roving around outside, the colorful cafe peddles unique pastries like dark-cocoa brownies, cherry pie bars and Backpack Bars, which are essentially decked-out granola bars. The full food menu, though, goes far beyond the call of coffeeshop duty, with a (mostly) vegan, and (mostly) healthy menu of savorous selections. For breakfast, this includes corn cakes with real maple syrup and vegan butter, tofu scrambles with cashew cheese sauce and broccoli, and coconut yogurt with bananas, pecans, maple and raisins. Later, afternoon picks expand to cashew Caesar salads with chickpeas, barley, sun-dried tomatoes and rye croutons, plant-based “meatballs” with pasta and cashew cream cheese and hummus wraps with grilled veggies, greens, herbs, crema and vinaigrette.  


Discover additional dining options in Oklahoma City here.