The capital of the United Arab Emirates is a place of many things, one of which is good food. A resident can decide to live on tacos and fries if he/she wants but can also enjoy a long life by choosing the healthy way.

In Abu Dhabi, healthy eating does not mean eating drab or dull food but having a pick of organic, sugar and glutten-free meals that are sure to bless your palate.

Recent years have been favorable to the restaurant business and some of these establishments have dedicated their services to providing healthy dishes to the fitness geek or just the average person who craves a healthy diet.

That being said, there are several restaurants for healthy eating in Abu Dhabi and some of the best have been listed below.

1. Foodshed

The moment Foodshed opened in 2018; the restaurant was already catering to healthy meals with their vegetarian and vegan-friendly meals made with wholesome and local ingredients. The little homey café is decorated brightly and serve their amazing meals generously. The best meals you can enjoy include cinnamon-spiced vegan pancakes, vegan burger, chia pots, and homemade beans on toast, vegan banana muffin and gluten-free deserts.

2. Nolu’s

If you want food made from organic ingredients fresh from the farm, Nolu’s is your place. There are three branches across the city and they provide an array of healthy cuisines such as sandwiches, pasta and burgers with signature Afghan meals such as kebabs with Afghani brown rice and a host of other Afghani main dishes that include saffron chicken.

3. Guiltfree Cafe

The sibling-run establishment is the first vegan food truck in Abu Dhabi and has been making waves since it was established. In order to improved the diet of Emiratis, the brother-sister duo has put in effort into providing veggie pizza, quinoa, vegan sushi and a masala Buddha bowl made with curried chickpea gravy, warm kale cabbage and masala sauce. The food truck is now permanently located across from Al Bahar at Corniche.

4. Marl’s Organic Kitchen & Cafe

Another family owned restaurant on the list, Marl’s Organic Kitchen & Cafe is the product of the desire of couples; Rana Luqman and Mo Al Shaibana to open a 100% organic café. When they started, it was in a shipping container at Al Bahar at the Corniche, after which the permanent location was opened in Masdar City. The dream is to open grab-and-go outlets at gyms and yoga centres around the city. The options provided include almond-battered crispy chicken breast with banana plantain chips with homemade beetroot ketchup or quinoa beetroot falafel.

5. Organic2go

What started as a personal experiment expanded to catering to family and friends and now, Aliki Christina Georgakaki has opened here first branch of Organic2Go to make healthy meals available to everyone in the city. The dishes on the menu include quinoa sourdough, gluten-free brownies with hazelnuts, Greek salad and more; all sweetened naturally.

6. Moni’s Café

Moni’s Café started as a brainchild of Monica Braga who used to make herself energy balls as a post-gym snack. The idea became bigger as she started making a variety of healthy meals and snacks to be sold in local supermarket. Today, the physical manifestation is located at the Club House in Al Bandar where people can enjoy glutten-free bread and cookies, chia and oat puddings, smoothie bowls, soups, salads and the signature avocado on toast.

7. Soulfull

The chain of fluorescent pea green cafes are all over Abu Dhabi and serve lunches of high nutritional value. The menu contains dishes such as salads, protein bowls, grilled meats and juices that are sweet and fresh.

8. Boroughs

Boroughs was established with its target consumers already in place and mind. The restaurant was established at the bottom of the Yas Marina building where it can lure in the crowd of post-workout clients. It has since then became an important fixture with its healthy smoothies, protein balls, sweet potato-topped snacks and gluten-free muffins.

9. Bodyism

Bodyism is all for healthy lifestyle starting from the brand new health club located in Jumeirah at Saadiyat Islands to the café that is due to be opened within the premises. For now, the hotel’s Majlis Café provides five signature dishes and five smoothies; each exceptionally put together to give a rich and filling flavour. Just imagine a smoothie bowl with banana, strawberry, raw almonds, chia seeds and roasted pumpkin seeds and you know you have to get to the café.

10. Muscle Fuel Healthy Eating Restaurant

This restaurant is different from the traditional ones as it is mainly a meal plan and delivery service. The small restaurant located in Al Muroor district is opened for diners to watch meals being freshly prepared in the open kitchen. The healthy menu consists of meals for every time of the day from quinoa bowls with scrambled egg for breakfast to lentil soup, bean and apple salads for lunch, and burger steak and peri-peri chicken every day.

11. Bear Bowls

Although Bear Bowls does not have a permanent location yet, the arrival of the food chain through Zomato was celebrated in Abu Dhabi. This is due to the healthy option for a hearty meal of salads, meat and veggie bases, couscous, quinoa, greens or cauliflower rice.

12. Market

Market is the healthy restaurant accompanying the new Abu Dhabi Edition hotel and it offers a bunch of signature healthy dishes and juices in a clean and inviting environment. There is also a to-go counter where you can grab a salad and a bottle of juice before you dash out.

13. The Raw Place

The main deal at The Raw Place is their cold-pressed juices that are as nutritious as you can get in the city. They are served with a side of nut milks, vegan brownies and salad. They bottles the drinks come in are also chemical-free ensuring you get an overall healthy service.

14. Healthy Juicery

As the name implies, Healthy juicer is a bar dedicated to making healthy juices, smoothies, shakes and shots as well as fruits and acai bowls. The bar is located in the Boutik Mall on Al Reemisland.

15. Cho Gao

This Japanese restaurant caters for a healthy clientele and has a list of healthy options on its menu but the Goma Wakame is a must-eat. The seaweed is packed with so many health benefits and is usually dressed with lemon and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

16. Gossip Café

An interesting name for an interesting café, Gossip Café caters for a host of healthy breakfast options such as fruits, seeds and edible flowers all arranged and packed in the most beautiful ways ever. A taste of blueberries blended with strawberries, raspberries, acai, banana, almond milk and almond butter is sure to be the highlight of a day.

17. Filini Garden

A surprising appearance by an Italian restaurant, Filini Garden caters for the basics as well as more-healthy options such as its classic octopus Carpaccio. The octopus Carpaccio is thinly sliced with lemon dressing, crushed black pepper and rocket leaves.

18. Flooka

Flooka is a paradise for fish lovers with the variety of options it presents. It includes grilled, baked and barbecued specials in all shades of culinary expertise. The best might just be the fish taouk, marinated in a lemon, garlic and olive oil dressing.

19. Spaccanapoli

Salad is not just salad in Spaccanapoli as a taste of their classic insalata di caprine is sure to make you swoon. The dish is mix with walnuts, apples, spinach, lettuce and goat’s cheese, finished with a balsamic salad dressing to make the best salad you’ve ever tasted.

20. Pearl Lounge

Although quinoa bowl is a staple on a healthy dietician’s list, the meal is given a tastier outlook in Pearl Lounge with the perfect combination of cured organic salmon, edamame beans, sesame seeds and poached eggs with extra protein boost to keep you ahead of the day.