My Top Five: Healthy Date-Night Spots in Philly

Local health coach Jessica Baumgardner dishes on her favorites.

Charlie Was a Sinner. | Photo via Facebook

Charlie Was a Sinner. | Photo via Facebook

On the hunt for spots around Philly that have both good date-night vibes (no fluorescent lights, please) and eats that will leave you feeling great? We’ve got you covered. We asked local health coach Jessica Baumgardner (she’s also the gal behind the @healthcoachphilly Instagram, by the way), to dish on her top five healthy date-night spots around the city, and her picks — from El Vez to Amis — are pretty unexpected. Below, she spills on her favorite healthy date-night restaurants in Philly, plus what to order to enjoy your meal — zero regrets.

El Vez
121 South 13th Street, Midtown

“The food, fun drinks, and outdoor seating in the summer make this one of my favorite restaurants for date night,” Baumgardner says. “Start with the original guacamole to give your body the healthy fat it longs for. Low-fat is so 1995. Then, split the tacos for two, skip the cheese and crema, and ask for corn tortillas! Corn tortillas should contain just one ingredient: corn. Flour tortillas will always have more than just flour involved.” Editor’s note: This spot also offers a skinny margarita. (Because you know you’re going to order a margarita.)


412 South 13th Street, Midtown

“Start with the escarole salad with apples and radishes. This light, tasty salad starts you off on the right foot without compromising flavor. I always like to start my meals with something green —without a creamy dressing! — so that I start to fill up on the good stuff,” Baumgardner says. “For an entree, I like to split one of the fresh fish options and a pasta, specifically, the jalapeño bucatini. It’s amazing. By splitting, you get to try the amazing, fresh pasta without leaving the restaurant feeling like you overate. And, if you’re going to have pasta, it’s worth having a quality, freshly made pasta like this. When it comes to restaurant vibes, you can watch all of the action through the open kitchen.”

110 South 13th Street, Midtown

“This is another favorite of mine and it’s super cozy. It’s a little harder to find my version of healthy foods here but I always like to start with something light, like a fresh, seasonal salad. And remember, unless it is a main component of a dish or integrated in a sauce, you can usually always ask the chef to hold the cheese!” Baumgardner says. “Truthfully, when I’m here, I like to have the fresh gnocchi, and this is not a horrible thing to do! In addition to ordering typical healthy foods, it is also healthy to allow yourself to have a good relationship with food. That might mean I start my meal off with something light, and then I savor every last bite of this gnocchi. As long as I’m eating mindfully, it’s all good!”


Talula’s Garden
210 West Washington Square, Washington Square

“Especially in the summer, Talula’s Garden is the perfect date-night location. The farm-to-table, seasonal menu makes healthy ordering easy,” Baumgardner says. “I start with some greens — shocker. The shaved fennel and arugula salad is fresh and light and probably not something you are having every day, normally. I pretty much exclusively order their salmon as my main dish. The salmon is always on the menu but the accompaniments change every season. I love salmon because it fills me up, is loaded with healthy fat, and well, it always tastes delicious here. Plus, the sides on this one tend to be on the lighter side as well.”

Charlie Was a Sinner.
131 South 13th Street, Midtown

“First of all, the ambiance here is so amazing. It has an intimate speakeasy kind of feeling. It’s also a vegan place, so everything must be healthy, right? Not necessarily. Some vegan restaurants fry everything — it makes me crazy — so you have to be careful,” Baumgardner says. “Start with the chilled cucumber gazpacho or the vanilla citrus salad. Those both have great, fresh flavors without a ton of ingredients. Then move on to some of their small veggie plates, like the grilled asparagus or smoked cauliflower. And finally, round it out with a heartier rutabaga pave. You can even get a wheatgrass cocktail. Veggies, veggies, everywhere!”


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