On the Table

The City's 9 Best Raw Food Spots

In the thick of a steamy day, we recommend chilling out at these restaurants, all of which offer raw, mostly vegetarian dishes.

By Alice Levitt and Katharine Shilcutt July 18, 2016 Published in the August 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Beet box lttzao

The Carrot Cake smoothie at Beet Box Blend Bar tastes as good as it sounds.

Beet Box Blend Bar

More than just a juice bar, this welcoming spot also dishes up fruit-filled açai bowls and a variety of salads. That said, the Matcha Libre (a blend of kale, banana, avocado, dates, matcha green tea powder and more) will keep you as full as any meal, while the Carrot Cake smoothie makes a compelling dessert replacement.

Garden Kitchen

If you think raw food dishes are painfully plain, the artful plating alone at this Willowbend destination may change your mind—and that’s before you taste its creative veggie sandwich on tomato-sunflower seed bread, Vietnamese spring rolls with tangy satay sauce, and raw pizza. Yes, raw pizza. We’ll let you ponder that for a while.

Green Seed Vegan

Even resolute carnivores may be swayed by the Rockin’ Tacos, tangy coconut tortillas filled with arugula, avocado and cumin-scented “chorizo” made from a chunky blend of walnuts and sunflower seeds. Kelp noodles stand in for conventional ones, while collard leaves can be subbed for sandwich buns.

Unknown 5 wzu5is

Straight from JuiceLand's grab-and-go case

Image: Alice Levitt


Sharing space with Black Swan Yoga’s studio, this place is ground zero for feeling good. The grab-and-go taco salad is surprisingly filling thanks to walnut “chorizo” crumbles. A freshly squeezed watermelon-and-mint libation is just the ticket on a sizzling day, but we can’t resist paying tribute to Beverly Cleary with a carrot, beet and grapefruit juice named for the centenarian children’s author—one of many cutely christened blends on the menu.

True Food Kitchen

Sticking to Dr. Andrew Weill’s anti-inflammatory diet and keeping cool are resolutely delicious when dining on a kale-avocado dip with grapefruit that could make you give up guacamole altogether, or a colorful plate of crudité with tzatziki and olive dips, both made in-house. For a decadent-tasting pick-me-up, try the Matcha Horchata with almond milk, cinnamon, cloves and matcha powder.

Just Juice

Offering beverages with names like Pleasant Disposition, Bright Outlook and Right Standing, this jovial spot clearly wants to kick-start your day. But it’s not just the juices that are packed with the good stuff: Try the kale salad, filled with organic produce and topped with a light, zesty dressing.

Kale avocado dip x1xabk

Kale-avocado dip at True Food Kitchen

Pat Greer’s Kitchen

Look for the papaya tree and pomegranate plants—there’s no sign, only ample greenery denoting this crack house turned “cracker house,” as Houston raw-food grande dame Greer jokes. There are indeed crackers and cookies, fudge and pecan pie, but nary an ingredient has touched heat. Don’t miss the “barbecue” burgers with Cowgirl Slaw or the Green Burrito, a collard-green wrap stuffed with fresh vegetables.

Salad Extraveganza

Ordering the $9.25 74-ounce Mega Salad allows diners to choose from more than 70 ingredients to create their perfect light summer meal, with guaranteed leftovers. Most of those options, including basics like kale and carrots and more exotic ingredients such as flaxseeds and chile mangoes, are raw, though there’s a full range of cooked proteins as well. Sweet açai bowls and daily pressed juices complete the package.

Rawenchiladas khwd2w

Vegan enchiladas and salad at Sunshine's

Image: Alice Levitt

Sunshine’s Health Food Store & Vegetarian Deli

A warehouse on Old Spanish Trail isn’t the first place one would expect to find raw food, but chef Arga Bourgeois’s fans will follow her anywhere. In addition to juices and smoothies, she offers flavorful salads, including one with intensely garlicky kale and another with a base of curried bean thread noodles. Veggies wrapped in seasoned nori benefit from an addictive basil-ranch dipping sauce.

Show Comments