Updated: Feb. 25, 2022
Happy New Year! Time to make those resolutions and set those goals. At the top of everyone’s list: eating healthy, or at least healthier. Everything in moderation.
Whether you’re going vegan or vegetarian, low-carb, keto, or Paleo, chances are, there’s an Edmonds restaurant for that.
Farm-to-table eateries abound here — from sea to shore — offering up healthy options that never sacrifice flavor, sourced as locally and seasonally as possible.
It doesn’t get any healthier, or tastier, than Mediterranean food, which focuses on the fruits of the earth: whole grains, legumes, and beans, seafood, fresh produce, and of course, red wine.
Eating Mediterranean is an easy, fun way to go, and can cover a broad spectrum of cuisines from Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Morocco, and Lebanon.
Eating Mediterranean in Edmonds is even easier.
Caravan Kebab is as Mediterranean as you’re going to get. Pakistani Chef Shahzad lovingly recreates dishes from the Mediterranean where he honed his craft, Europe, and Asia. “Tutored by Greek ‘Yia Yias,’ his menu is a collection of memories, experiences, and flavor. Shahzad’s goal is to provide customers with healthy, delicious, and affordable worldwide cuisine [website]” — and man, does he deliver!
Skip the Stroganoff and Polish Dumplings, and make a meal of the salads, soups, spreads, and appetizers, instead — all vegetarian.
Try the classic Greek salad, with Roma tomato, cucumber, olives, green bell pepper, onion, and sheep’s milk feta, tossed in lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and Greek oregano, in half and full portions. Eggplant Rolls — Chef’s favorite, roasted Florina Peppers, Dolmades, and Gigantes (giant white beans in warm tomato-herb sauce) look good, too. Or how about soup, hearty, healthy Munk’s Favorite, a traditional red lentil dal kissed with a touch of cream, roasted garlic, coriander seeds, and other spices?
Caravan Kebab also devotes an entire main course section just for vegetarians: stews, biryani, paneer, kofta, and masala.
Chef Shahzad’s kebabs will appeal to the gluten-free crowd, with Tandoori Chicken and boneless Chicken Boti.
Kafé Neo, the local Greek chain, offers vegetarian gyros, grain bowls, and salads that serve as meals. Pick up a Neo Power Bowl, loaded with marinated garbanzo and baby lima beans, filling veggies, like roasted beets and sweet potatoes, and your choice of grilled chicken, gyro meat, or falafel. The Greek dressing is made with tahini and yogurt. Vegetarian, Mediterranean, keto soups and salads galore.
If you’re low-carb, give the pita to a friend, or ask for your Greek Chicken or Caesar salad without.
Demetris WoodStone Taverna’s fresh sheet contains two vegetarian-worthy tapas, a small cheese board and the beet risotto, as well as blackened salmon or grilled chicken under Surf & Turf, which low-carbers can work with. See if you can swap out the extra carbs for steamed veggies or a salad. Add some oysters on the half shell, oyster shooters, and spicy mussels — all under Sea Starters. Paella and Seafood Cioppino are usually safe Mediterranean bets for gluten-free eating, minus the bready accompaniments.
Fire & The Feast makes eating healthy a snap, and opulent, too. Chef Micah’s seasonal, local menu will appeal to every taste. The food is gorgeous, which doesn’t hurt. Hearth Roasted Carrots, Cipolla Pizza Piccola for the veggie lovers. Roasted Vendura E Fagioli (lacinato kale, mizuna, beet, roasted carrot, pepitas, charred lemon, white balsamic) for vegans. Vongole and Vino. Orange and Arugula Salad. Beet Carpaccio. The list is endless. The creations, inventive.
Lunch is usually the best and busiest time to eat at Chanterelle, a chic little European-esque bistro perfect for vegetarian, Mediterranean, and low-carb. Get creative with your Brie and Pear Quesadilla and Black Bean Burrito by tossing in a side Quinoa Salad. Dispense with the carby pleasantries and dive into a piping hot bowl of Cioppino — hold the garlic toast. Choose from six different salads; Dungeness Crab Avocado, Chanterelle Chicken, and NW Chop Chop get high marks from frequent diners.
Besides Mediterranean, Edmonds tucks healthy fare into coffee shops, poke bowls, sushi and steakhouses, even Mexican.
Red Twig Bakery and Café prides itself on making sure you eat well, sourcing seasonally-available local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Alongside the Eggs Benedict, Nutella crepes, and cinnamon rolls are light bites…Twig granola, The Grizzly Vegan veggie and grain salad, veggie scrambles, black bean curries, vegan chickpea sandwiches, and sweet grains bowls.
Jaiiya Cafe’s globally-inspired food fit for a chic coffee shop is a huge draw for those seeking healthy with tasty and beautiful. Owner Chee Wong purposely curated a menu just for Edmonds “that is not only fun to eat, but also that you can feel good eating [website].” The fruit and granola açaí bowls have their own fan club, as do the cold-pressed juices (bottled in-house using 100 percent recyclable glass bottles), power smoothies, and wellness shots — 100 percent vegan-approved.
Las Brisas serves more than your typical tacos and chips. Their food is also locally sourced, from the grass-fed, grain-finished Painted Hills beef to the organically raised chicken, with, yes, vegan options and servers available to take your custom orders. A sampling: Avocado Corn Salad, Whole Black Bean Soup, Ensalada de Asada, Chicken Brochetas, Fajitas, Jackfruit Tacos, Macho Vegetarian Burrito.
Presided over by master sushi chef Ryuichi Nakano, SanKai Sushi is a cut above, a Pescatarian dream. Visit during 4-6 p.m. Happy Hour for the best deals on the freshest sashimi. Sushi recommendations: Negitoro, veggie, Brackett’s Landing yellowtail/avocado rolls, and salmon, geoduck, sea urchin nigiri.
Charcoal moved into the new Graphite Arts Center, downtown Edmonds, last year in Nov. Owner/chef Jake Wilson describes the steakhouse vibe as “new modern American…focused on an Argentinian-style charcoal and wood-burning grill…Northwest favorites, with seasonal twists and stylish plating [Edmonds Beacon, Nov. 4, 2021].”
The menu is a breathtaking playground for foodies watching their waistlines: Charred Broccoli, Roasted Brussels Sprout Caesar, Grilled King Salmon with all the fancy fixings, including Pinot Noir Gastrique…Pan Seared Scallops with jalapeno tartar, swiss chard, Romanesco, pancetta for oomph, and golden beet puree…
Steven Ono of Ono Poke in Westlake makes some of the most authentic poke bowls this side of Kahalu’u, where he’s from. He comes by his poke expertise naturally, his uncle Reuben was a commercial fisherman who taught him to cut fish into those bowls of soul-satisfying goodness. Check out his Facebook page for menu updates, as the catch changes often, depending on the weather and the season. Then, put together your own poke bowl, depending on your mood. Vegans get some love, too. Highlights: Traditional Ahi, Miso Masago Bay Scallops, Spicy Salmon.
On Feb. 25, Shubert Ho's Feedme Hospitality & Restaurant Group announced its new Grassfed Eatery project, revamping the menus of four of its restaurants to serve the plant-focused diets of its growing clientele. Starting March 1, Bar Dojo, Fire & The Feast, The Market – Fishmonger & Eatery, and Salt & Iron: Oysters and Steak will offer a menu of three or more plant-based dishes, which can be adjusted according to each customer's preferences.
Dishes include tofu poke tacos, hoisin cauliflower, "No Bones" cauliflower rice bowl, vegan curried carrot soup, vegan pesto, black lentil "bolo," stuffed portobello mushroom with basil salmeura, and vegan Caesar salad.
Caravan Kebab images by Matt Hulbert
Feature photo: When you're dining at Caravan Kebab, you'll want to order everything. Go ahead!
Additional photos: Caravan Kebab Chef Shahzad cooks with love... For low-carb Mediterranean — Demetris WoodStone Taverna’s market-fresh Seafood Cioppino... New plant-focused dishes from the minds of Shubert Ho's Feedme Hospitality chefs at Bar Dojo, Fire & The Feast, The Market, and Salt & Iron.... For vegans — Fire and The Feast’s Vendura E Fagioli and Jaiiya Cafe’s açaí bowls and cold-pressed juices,