October 21, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Fast and casual dishes level up in big ways at these healthy Miami hot spots

Dry January may be over, but some of last month’s resolutions to upgrade healthy habits shouldn’t disappear like day-old leftovers. These casual Miami eateries are making the case for fast food that is as ingredient-conscious as it is delicious.


The Liv Wrap from Carrot Express.
The Liv Wrap from Carrot Express.

One of the fastest growing chains in South Florida is also a top spot for all specific diets ranging from paleo and keto to vegan to vegetarian. Operating since 1993, Carrot Express has plans for seven more locations in 2021 alone, including Boca Raton and Las Olas, taking their relatively guilt-free options to more of the eager and hungry masses. Highlights of the menu include a wide range of salads, smoothies, bowls, wraps, fresh pressed juices and smoothies. Newer dishes were launched in 2020 and feature avocado toast topped with tuna or salmon tartare, healthy burger bowls and a vegan picadillo bowl. Can’t shake that sweet tooth? Indulge in the homemade carrot cake, which tastes much more decadent that should be allowed at a health food joint.



Photography by Deyson Rodriguez.
Photography by Deyson Rodriguez.

An immediate hit with locals, Poke OG opened its first brick and mortar in Downtown Miami over the summer and managed to find success with colorful sushi offerings, even in those dark days of Summer 2020. The Hawaiian-meets-California hub—a chef driven concept using all local ingredients and also works closely with local farmers to source ingredients— doles out an array of fresh poke bowls including the popular vegan watermelon, traditional Hawaiian, and a lobster with a truffled white soy from their Downtown and Wynwood spots alike. And then there’s the signature Sushi Box. Monday night dinner is looking real fresh right now.



Pura Vida’s popular Pesto Chicken Sandwich.
Pura Vida’s popular Pesto Chicken Sandwich.

Founded by husband-wife team, Omer and Jennifer Horev, Pura Vida serves up an array of nourishing and refreshing yet simple menu items inspired by the pair’s travels, as well as recipes shared from friends and family. The famous Acai Bowls, loaded with anti-oxidant-filled ingredients like raw organic Brazilian acai, vegan gluten-free granola and a variety of refreshing fruits and toppings, have become major draw for diners. Other standout options include the Mango Salmon, Spicy Tuna and Vegan Lentil Bowls, all of which are also gluten-free. Fans of the brand which just opened its tastes and largest location on West Avenue in Miami Beach, also covet the All-Day Breakfast that includes items like the Avocado Smash, Perfect Egg Sandwich and Overnight Oats, for those late mornings after not-so-healthy-but-fun Miami nights.


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