The world of healthy food has been dramatically changing over the years. As I do major updates to this listing, it occurs to me that most if not all "traditional grocery stores" now carry at least a small selection of organic fruit and vegetables and natural products. I had previously organized this by city/town, but instead I will list the major players where you can find the largest selection of healthy foods and their locations plus the local independent treasures that I know of. Please let me know if there are others. Bon Appetite!
Trader Joe's is my favorite grocery store, so I'll list them first. While they don't only carry organic produce, they do have a good selection, if perhaps unpredictable at times. However, even more importantly, their prices are the lowest I've seen anywhere. They also have many specialty foods and prepared foods, a lot of their own Trader Joe's brand of products and a superb chocolate aisle (salted dark chocolate almonds, anyone?). Two of their Boston-area stores also sell cheap wine and beer (Memorial Drive in Cambridge and Brookline). Their Boston-area locations are: 899 Boylston St, Boston; 748 Memorial Dr, Cambridge; 1317 Beacon St, Brookline; 211 Alewife Brook Pkwy (Fresh Pond), Cambridge and 1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington.
Harvest Co-op continues a fine tradition that began way back in 1971 on the Boston University campus as a pre-order bulk food buying club. There are benefits to being a member (the stores are member-owned), but they're open to the public. I don't know how this excellent independently-owned cooperative food store has managed to hang on, but bless them. You'll find all kinds of healthy food at their two stores. They specialize in organic, natural and wholesome foods, with fresh local produce in season, fresh fish direct from the local pier, local and imported cheeses, naturally raissed meat, a big bulk spice department, bulk products, wines and beers and more. They support sustainable agriculture, certified organic, fair trade and local and small family farms. Locations: 580 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square) and 3815 Washington St, Jamaica Plain.
It is with great reluctance that I include Whole Foods, since their prices are beyond the pale and beyond the means of myself and most everyone I know to be one's primary grocery store. However, I know of no one else that carries the full line of Yogi teas, thin brown rice noodles, organic baby kale, sesame ginger salad dressing — you get the idea. Here are their Boston area locations: 181 Cambridge St, Boston; 348 Harrison Ave, Boston; 15 Westland Ave, Boston; 51 Austin St, Charlestown; 413 Centre St, Jamaica Plain; 340 River St, Cambridge; Fresh Pond Mall, Cambridge; 1028 Beacon St, Brookline; 15 Washington Street, Brighton; 116 Prospect St, Cambridge and 2151 Mystic Valley Pkwy, Medford.
Technically a juice bar, Cocobeet also offers healthy organic breakfasts, all-day raw energy foods, side dishes, salads and sandwiches. They're located at 100 City Hall Plaza in the Financial District. Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-8pm; Sat 9am-8pm; Sun 10am-8pm. 857.263.8598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This isn't actually a physical food store, but rather an organic grocery delivery service. They buy organic foods from farms, dairies and bakeries and will deliver to a home or office. They deliver groceries year round and they say they're "flexible," in that you pay as you go. They offer produce boxes, organic bulk items, seasonal and local specialty grocery items such as bread, cheese and eggs. They have delivery areas around the greater Boston area and beyond. Visit them for more information and to sign up.
A decent smaller natural foods and specialty foods store, located next to their garden center on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. I knew more about this place when I lived in Somerville (which is now more than 10 years ago). However, the Pemberton Farms Grocery seems to be alive and well, so I'll list it here. I see mentions of coconut water (even the Lynn Shaws carries coconut water now), chickpea chips, designer olive oil and caramel sauce, so pretty much as I remember it. Some fresh produce, lots of specialty foods, sauces and such, beer, wine and spirits. And you can pick up your garden supplies and seeds as well, while you're there. 2172 Massachusetts Avenue, North of Porter Square. (617) 491-2244. Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-10pm; Sun 7am-8pm.
The store carries some organic produce, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan items. Boston area locations: South End: 1421 Washington St, Boston (617) 266-9911; South Boston: 230 West Broadway, South Boston (617) 269-4700; also 75 Leonard St, Belmont and Duxbury. Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-9pm; Sun 9am-8pm
I know nothing about this store whatsoever, but apparently they carry organic produce, bulk food, packaged foods, food to go and natural remedies. 98 Commonwealth Ave, West Concord (978) 371-7573. Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-6:30pm; Thurs 8:30am-8:30pm; Sun 10:30am-6pm.
I'll go ahead and include this Quincy health food store, since if you live in Southie or South Boston, Quincy isn't really that far away. They offer organic produce, groceries, gluten-free products, bulk foods, vitamins and nutritional items, beauty and cosmetics, sports supplements, books, gifts and cards. 1630 Hancock St, Quincy (617) 773-4925. Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 10am-6pm.
With all the stresses and challenges of our modern lives, we need all the help we can get. So with that in mind, I present to you the juice bars of the greater Boston area.
"Boston's original organic juice bar." All ingredients are raw, vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free, organic, and locally sourced. They're located at 100 City Hall Plaza in the Financial District (Boston). Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-8pm; Sat 9am-8pm; Sun 10am-8pm. 857.263.8598 or email@example.com.
420 Commercial St (North End), Boston. Hours:?
Organic juice and smoothies. Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St, Boston (617) 982-6147 Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-8pm; Sun 8am-6pm
Energy bowls, juices and smoothies. 700 Commonwealth Ave, Boston (Boston University) (617) 358-5813. Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat-Sun 11am-6pm.
145 Dartmouth Street (Back Bay), Boston (617) 418-9879. Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30am-8:00pm; Sat 8am-7pm; Sun 9am-6pm.
33 Boylston St, Suite 3320, Boston; Chestnut Hill (coming soon). Serves juices and superfoods. Hours: Mon-Wed 10am-7pm; Thurs-Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 12pm-6pm.
66 Cross St, Boston (North End) (617) 936-4010. Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm; Sat 8am-6pm; Sun 10am-5pm.
Serves juices, superfood shakes, various healthy foods. 120 Charles St, Boston (857) 350-3103. Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-6pm; Sat-Sun 9am-6pm.
The menu features only whole-foods and plant-based items. They serve cold-pressed and centrifugal juices, as well as smoothies, fruit sorbet bowls, Aeropress coffee, and a variety of date-derived "Dateorades." 150 Huntington Ave, Boston, (857) 233-4313. Hours: ?
Smoothies, enhancers, supplements and snacks. 314 Newbury St, Boston (617) 236-4443. Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-9pm; Sat 9am-9pm; Sun 11am-7pm.
420 Commercial St (North End), Boston. Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm; Sat 10am-4pm; Sun closed.
Take-out juice bar offering health-conscious smoothies, salads, grain bowls & wraps. 1644 Beacon St, Brookline (617) 396-8383. Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7pm; Sat 9am-6pm; Sun closed.
Serves cold-pressed juices (as well as booster shots) plus kosher and herbivore-friendly fare, including sandwiches, soups, and salads. 326 Harvard St (Coolidge Corner), Brookline (617) 487-8948. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-9pm; Sat closed; Sun 8:30am-9pm.
Cold press juices, coffees and teas. 325-355 Main St, Cambridge (Kendall Square/MIT). Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat-Sun closed.
Serves smoothies and signature bowls. 1440 Massachusetts Ave (Harvard Square), Cambridge (617) 588-9955. Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-8pm; Sat-Sun 8am-8pm.
100% organic, cold-pressed juice & raw vegan snacks. 625 West Kendall Street, Cambridge MA (617) 945-7357 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm; Sat-Sun closed.
Gourmet wrap sandwiches, soups, salad bowls, breakfasts, smoothies and juice bar. 424 Highland Ave (Davis Square), Somerville (617) 629-7641. Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-10pm.
More than two dozen signature juice and smoothie offerings. 1257 Highland Ave, Needham, (781) 444-5842. Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm; Sat 8:30am-6pm; Sun closed.
Serves juices, smoothies and B'nice Cream Bowls. 23A Bow St (Union Square), Somerville (617) 254-8001. Hours: Mon-Sun 8am-8pm.
Salads and wraps, bowls, burritos, soups, frozen yogurt, juices and smoothies and breakfast items. 185 Dartmouth St, Boston (Back Bay) (857) 277-0200 Mon-Sun 7am-8pm; 1 Iron St, Boston (Channel Center) (857) 496-0656 Mon-Fri 7am-4pm; Sat-Sun closed; 100 High Street, Suite 100, Bosto (857) 233-2674 Mon-Fri 7am-4pm; Sat-Sun closed.
Serves juices, smoothies and cleanses. (888) 99-JUICE. Locations: 15 Channel Center St, Boston Mon-Fri 6am-8pm; Sat-Sun 9am-3pm; 441 Stuart St, Boston Mon-Fri 6:30am-8pm; Sat-Sun 9am-2pm; 17 Playstead Rd, West Medford Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat 9am-3pm; Sun closed.
First, a little disclaimer here: There are an infinite number of restaurants in Boston. If I mentioned *only* the absolutely fabulous ones, I would never get this web site online. Therefore, I'm only mentioning a few I've gone to and really enjoyed.
(Seafood) 15 1/2 Boston Fish Pier South, Boston. (617) 338-7539 or (617) 423-2705. Hours: Mon-Sat 11 am - 10 pm; Sun 11:00 am - 9 pm. Forget Legal's, forget the over-rated and over-priced Anthony's Pier 4 — No-Name Restaurant rules for seafood. Unpretentious and casual atmosphere. No-nonsense baked, broiled, sauteed or fried seafood; salads; fish rolls; chowda. Small but satisfying menu (nothing too fancy, but everything is excellent). Overlooks Boston Harbor. If you want after-dinner entertainment, you can walk around the back to the pier and feed the seagulls your leftovers.
Christopher's Restaurant & Bar
(American/Mexican) 1920 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. (617) 876-9180. Mon-Wed 11:30am-1am; Thurs & Fri 11:30am-2am; Sat 10:30am-2am (lunch w/brunch specials 10:30-3); Sun 10:30am-1am (brunch 10:30-3). Fairly decent sized place, but still dark and cozy. Nice atmosphere, with local artwork gracing the walls. Christophers also offers a decent selection of vegetarian entrees; both American and Mexican-style food (highly recommended, especially the Chimachungas); sandwiches, soups, salads, fish and meat dishes. Bonus Points: they have a lit fireplace in the winter months and they have purified water (by request, for a little $, but not much). They serve lunch and dinner Mon-Fri, and have Sunday (and Saturday) brunch until 3 pm, with live entertainment (usually a solo guitar or light jazz).
Hong Kong Restaurant
(Chinese) Harvard Square's Hong Kong sometimes gets mixed reviews for their food, but they're a long-standing fixture and extremely popular among the late-night party crowd. They've been in the same location since 1954. They have a ginormous menu and a pretty big establishment as well. The restaurant is on the ground floor, a lounge is on the second floor and a dance floor is on the third, where they also host The Comedy Studio six nights a week. 1238 Massachusetts Avenue (Harvard Square), Cambridge (617) 864-5311. Hours: Mon-Wed 11:30am-2am; Thurs 11:30am-2:30am; Fri-Sat 11:30-3am; Sun 11:30am-2am.
(Organic Vegetarian & Vegan) Life Alive is an amazing vegetarian (and vegan) oasis serving salads, bowls, snacks, grilled wraps, soups, juices, smoothies, lattes. 765 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge (Central Square) (617) 354-5433. Also has locations in Salem and Lowell. Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-10pm; Sun 11am-9pm.
(take a wild guess) 472 Massachusetts Avenue (Central Square). (617) 492-1886 (take-out; restaurant number). Hours: Mon-Wed 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thurs & Fri 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m. On Sat and Sun, they serve a Middle Eastern style brunch with veggie omlettes, belgian waffles, and fruit (who knew?). Surprisingly good food for a club, but then the Middle East is no ordinary club (see also Middle East, in the club section). Lots of superb hot veggie (and non-veggie) dishes, a mean falafel sandwich, and great late night munchies like hummos with pita bread and stuffed grape leaves. Used to be a great hipster hangout. Probably still is.
Wok & Roll
(Chinese) Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (across from Porter Square). (617) 497-8638. Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-12am; Sun 12pm-10pm. Wok & Roll is a small place, but with great food. Luncheon specials until 4:00 p.m. Excellent hot & sour soup. Yes, they have a liquor license (beer & wine).
(American w/occasional esoteric stuff - serves breakfast & lunch) 198 Holland Street, Somerville. (617) 623-2727. Hours: Wed-Sun 7:30am-1:30pm. Renee's is a wonderful place for breakfast or lunch. Great breakfasts and very reasonable prices, but can be wildly crowded on the weekends (no waiting list, so people just line up outside). Also can be quite noisy, as it tends to be a very young crowd, but the food is worth it. Interesting omlette specials on the weekends. Check out the Veggie Supreme omlette! Terrific home fries and coffee, too. Cash only.
(Thai) For some excellent Thai food in a tiny, unassuming location, try Thai Hut. Excellent food, at very reasonable prices. They also have a small selection of packaged Thai foods and drinks. Take-out only. 93 Beacon Street, Somerville (617) 492-8377; 492-8534. Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-10pm, Sun 3-10pm.
They sponsor vegetarian events and educate people about vegetarianism. Their site includes Boston-area vegetarian restaurants, recipes, information about their legendary food festivals and vegetarian resources. P.O. Box 38-1071, Cambridge, MA 02238-1071 (617) 424-8846.
They're in Western Mass., but they have many interesting programs, a summer conference, and they sell macrobiotic foods by mail order. 198 Leland Road, Becket, MA 01223 (413) 623-6457 or (800) 975-8744.