Healthiest and Worst

The Healthiest (and Worst!) Things to Eat at HipCityVeg

Want to eat well at HipCityVeg? Here's what to order.


Photo courtesy HipCityVeg

We’ve never been very good at hiding our love of HipCityVeg. I mean, it’s burgers and fries — but like, a little healthier because everything is plant based. How could we not love that?

That said, every restaurant menu has some items that are better, healthier choices — while others are maybe not so great for us. To sort between the two, we asked our resident restaurant sleuth and registered dietitian Amy von Sydow Green to take a look at the menu.

While HipCityVeg doesn’t list nutrition info — like calories, grams of fat and sugar, etc. — for their menu on their website, a phone call to the eatery tipped us off to the fact that HipCityVeg’s nutrition stats can be found on MyFitnessPal.

As a general disclaimer, Green says that just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Don’t forget: Vegan doughnuts are a thing, you guys. And that’s why, as you’ll see from her recommendations below, fried foods don’t make the “healthy” cut.

“When you’re checking out any restaurant menu to find healthy and reasonable choices, you will do best if you try staying away from foods described as crispy, crunchy, crusted, or breaded, whether the food is vegan or not. These words usually mean that the food has been deep fried, and signal that the food is high in calories,” says Green. “You should definitely splurge on the fries once in a while, but maybe share with a friend, and don’t make it an every day habit.”

So without further ado, here are Green’s picks for the healthiest — and least healthy — ways to dine at HipCityVeg.

SANDWICHES

BEST: Curry Tofu Wrap
Nutrition facts: 350 calories, 20 grams carb, 21 grams protein, 22 grams fat, 340 mg sodium
Why’s it good? “The curry tofu wrap is a fresh, flavorful, and super-healthy lunch choice! In fact, it was my choice at HipCityVeg today, and I loved it. The 21 grams of protein kept me full for the afternoon, and at only 20 grams of carb, it’s a low-carb choice for those of you out there looking for that. The sodium content (340 mg) is unusually low for a restaurant sandwich. Curry contains plenty of anti-inflammatory spices, such as turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin. The wrap also contains a cilantro and white bean puree which provides fiber, B vitamins, protein, and protective plant nutrients.”

WORST: The Philly Steak
Nutrition facts: 550 calories, 78 grams carb, 24 grams protein, 15 grams fat, 1,010 mg sodium
Why’s it bad? “Certainly a healthier version of the Philly cheese steak than you’d find at Geno’s or Pat’s! However, this sandwich is still high in carbs and sugar. The sodium content is high as well (1,010 mg). The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,400 milligrams per day, and ideally about 1,500 milligrams per day. Still got your eye on the cheese steak? Ask them to skip or reduce the ketchup to get rid of some of the sugar.”

SALADS

BEST: Udon Noodle Salad
Nutrition facts: 410 calories, 36 grams carb, 23 grams protein, 20 grams fat, 490 mg sodium
Why’s it good? “The arugula, carrots, cabbage, and daikon make this salad nutrient dense. Daikon, by the way, is a mild-flavored radish (perfect for those of you who find the red radishes too spicy), and it is very rich in vitamin C. Cabbage provides plenty of fiber, vitamin, K, and folate. The carrots get their pretty orange color from beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. On top of this, the salad provides a nice 23 grams of protein, which will make sure that you feel satisfied with your lunch. I find that I often need to remind my clients to add some protein to their salads — otherwise they will be hungry soon after lunch!”

WORST: Arugula Taco Salad 
Nutrition facts (without tortilla strips): 250 calories, 27 grams carb, 8 grams protein, 470 mg sodium
Why’s it bad? “This salad is just too low in calories and protein to sustain you for the afternoon. The nutritional information listed is without the tortilla strips — but they won’t add much protein to this dish. If you’re tempted by the taco salad, how about asking for an extra serving of black beans to boost the protein, fiber, and energy?”

DRINKS

BEST: The BFG Smoothie
Nutrition facts: (taken from the “Groothie” on MyFitnessPal) 210 calories, 53 grams carb, 3 grams protein
Why’s it good? “A smoothie made with leafy greens and fruit is a great way to get those greens in. A smoothie is going to be higher in fiber compared to most juices, and this is why us dietitians usually recommend smoothies over juices. This one packs in seven grams of fiber — you’re well on your way to the 25 grams I’d recommend you get every day. This smoothie would not make a good breakfast on its own, because it lacks sufficient protein.”

WORST: Organic Iced Green Tea
Nutrition facts: (Unknown)
Why’s it bad? “The tea is sweetened with raw organic agave nectar. Even though this one is raw and organic, it’s a highly-refined syrup that is high in fructose. I would recommend trying to get used to drinking iced tea unsweetened. I promise, it may take some patience, but your taste buds will adjust after about two weeks!”

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