This post was written by Madeleine Holloway.

As a nutritionist, I encourage clients to eat more homemade meals. I also strongly believe you can always make a healthy choice eating out. Sustainable nutrition is all about balance which most certainly includes eating out. Truth be told, one of my favorite parts of helping clients with their weight loss and healthy eating journey is embracing the process of learning how to make healthier choices eating out. I get nerdy reading menus, love trying different foods, and am always coming up with ways to not feel sluggish after eating out.

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places to eat in the Bay Area. The food scene has always been amazing in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley; but closer to home, here are some of my favorite restaurants in Pleasanton, Dublin, Danville, Walnut Creek and Lafayette. From salads to pizzas, acai bowls to shrimp and grits, these are places you’ll find me eating out (not you’re average dietitian)! What are your favorite spots in the East Bay Area for healthy, delicious eats?

Pleasanton, California

The Press

Coffee, artisan bread, salads – oh yes. Favorites include: avocado & egg toast and seasonal selections of sandwiches and salads.

Pleasanton Farmer’s Market

Not a restaurant, but honorable mention. You can’t miss this farmer’s market Saturday 9am-1pm in downtown Pleasanton. Not to be missed: Roli Roti rotisserie chicken, seedy breadsticks, seasoned almonds and produce galore.

Dublin, California

Urban Plates

The slow-food, fast-food concept is one of my favorites – a nutrition trend I hope lasts. My go to order is the Asian chicken salad without wontons and with dressing on the side. The peanut sauce dressing is drool worthy. Other favorites: tomato coconut soup and grilled steak salad.


Hands down the best sushi in my book. Expect a wait for dinner, but fully worth it. Skip the tempura shrimp in rolls and stick with fresh fish. Favorites includes: grilled edamame, sashimi salad, hamachi kama, California deluxe roll and cherry blossom roll.

Danville, California

Danville Harvest

Offers a farm-to-table menu with a distinctly southern twist. I enjoy sharing rich dishes and splitting entrees. My go-to order is shrimp & grits (totally indulgent, but oh so delicious and not to be missed), peaches and ham, 1-2 seasonal salads and the fish entrée.


Always a go-to for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Favorites include: huevos rancheros, bruschetta (way above average) and Thai chicken salad.

Walnut Creek, California

True Food Kitchen

Swoon over this anti-inflammatory, whole foods centric menu. Pro tip that isn’t mentioned anywhere, but do-able at all locations: order ½ portions of salads and entrees. If you can’t decide (or like me, just love variety) order a ½ and ½ meal. Long list of favorites include: seasonal salad, chicken salad, spicy panang curry, teriyaki bowl and grilled salmon entrée.

Tender Greens

Clearly, I have thing for good salads. Don’t be dissuaded by the line, it always moves fast. Favorites include: grilled salmon plate with baby arugula salad and seasonal veggies, shrimp salad and grilled chicken Cobb.

Lafayette, California

Vitality Bowls

Not just for breakfast, acai bowls are a refreshing lunch or dinner. Be weary, not all smoothie bowls are created equal (high sugar!). Add a green and skip the honey to make a wholesome bowl. Favorites include: regular vitality bowl with added spinach and no honey, the Immunity Bowl and Acerola bowl.

Pizza Antica

Thin crust, bubbly, almost burnt pizza – YES. With a diverse menu that’s not just limited to pizza, this spot (also in Danville) offers yummy salads, anti-pasta, entrees and pastas that change with the season. Favorites: meatballs, salads with added chicken and fennel sausage mushroom pizza.

Do you eat out often and want to make healthier choices? Schedule a complimentary 15 minute call to see how we can help here.
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