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Health coaches’ favorite healthy lunch spots

Healthy lunch spots in Pittsburgh | UPMC Health Plan

With so many delicious lunch spots around Pittsburgh, it is easy to be tempted by unhealthy choices. However, there are plenty of options that prove you don’t have to sacrifice flavor in the name of a healthy lunch! Our health coaches each share their favorite place to grab a healthy bite. Did your favorite restaurant make their list?

1. Burgatory

“Maybe I’m biased (I worked here in college), but one of my favorite spots to eat is Burgatory. It may not jump out as a place where you can have a healthy meal, but they have a build-your-own-burger menu that lets you control everything from the bun to the toppings. With this option it’s easier to skip unhealthy add-ons and instead stock up on the healthier toppings like fresh veggies. They are also really good at catering to vegetarians and vegans and have a separate gluten-free menu, so I know it’s a place where all my friends can find something that works for them. I usually order a bun-less bison burger with spicy cheese, grilled pineapple, BBQ sauce, and, of course, lettuce and onion.” – Christine Jazwinski

2. Hello Bistro

“My favorite lunch spot is Hello Bistro, downtown. I love their food because they have so many choose-your-own healthy adventure options from sandwiches to salads piled with anything crunchy, fruity, and nutritious you can imagine.  My go-to favorite is a create-your-own salad with tossed greens, edamame, avocado, egg, corn, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, quinoa, sunflower seeds and vinaigrette. I always top it off with a mini Eat’n Park smiley cookie because it’s the perfect bite-sized dessert.”- Mandy Budzowski

3. Eat’n Park

“Growing up as a Pittsburgh kid, Eat’n Park was always one of my favorite restaurants to go to, whether it was for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or even breakfast for dinner! My grandparents used to take me there all the time when they still lived in Pittsburgh, and any time they come up to visit we usually stop at Eat’n Park at least once. Still to this day if I’m out anywhere around Pittsburgh and looking for a lunch spot that I know I will not be disappointed with, I will easily be able to find an Eat’n Park. My favorite thing to get for lunch is a sandwich and the salad bar. I’ll get half the sandwich in a to-go box and will usually get a salad and some fruit or cottage cheese from the salad bar, and I can’t resist getting a smiley cookie at the end of the meal. Some things never change.”- Scott Pastorius

4. Istanbul Grille

My favorite lunch spot is Istanbul Grille, located on the Concourse Level in the Steel Tower. They specialize in authentic Turkish cuisine at affordable prices. I’ve never been disappointed, no matter what I get. I usually get the salad lunch, which come with three sides. I love that they have a wide array of vegetarian options, but self-professed “carnivores” will not be disappointed either! There’s always something new to try and everything is made fresh daily. Even the hot sauce is delicious! – Laura Yautz

5. Nicky’s Thai Kitchen

My favorite local restaurant would have to be Nicky’s Thai Kitchen. With locations both downtown and on the North Side, Nicky’s is very convenient for a tasty and filling meal. I normally go for either a stir-fry or curry, both of which come with steamed rice, your choice of protein, and piled high with veggies. My favorite dish is probably a tie between either the pineapple curry or pumpkin curry, with either tofu or pork. The lunch portions are the perfect size to satisfy without making me feel tired and sluggish for the rest of the day, and you can get any dish as hot or mild as you like. It’s the best Thai food in town! – Anne Sobol