September 2019

8 Local Restaurants to Grab a Quick, Healthy Lunch

Author: Special to CH2 | Photographer: M.Kat Photography


Gone are the days when a quick lunch meant getting something thrown out a window at you in a brown paper bag. Today’s consumer is looking for fast, healthy options during a 30-minute break from the office, and local eateries are rising to the occasion with an abundance of gluten-free and vegan options, using (get this) REAL ingredients made from whole foods. We thought we’d share our favorite spots to get a quick, healthy lunch around town.

Maggie’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: Healthy Habit
Park Plaza
33 Office Park Rd., Suite 227
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
www.healthyhabithhi.com

I’ve been a regular at Healthy Habit from the first time I set foot in their old location on Mathews Drive. In addition to being super-quick with fresh food options, it was a five-minute drive from our office. Over the years, I’ve made my way through almosteverything on the menu, but the Sedona salad with cilantro lime chili dressing is my go-to most of the time. I really do credit this restaurant for helping me lose 25 pounds a few years ago. Recently, Healthy Habit has added a selection of bowls with natural grains to their menu, in the event you need something a little hardier for lunch. And for you light-mid-day eaters, you can always pick up a smoothie. Check out their new south-end location in Park Plaza!


Ashton’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: PURE Natural Market
1012 William Hilton Parkway, Suite 5
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
www.purenaturalmarkethhi.com

I discovered PURE Natural Market roughly five years ago and have been a regular ever since. Being a “flexitarian” (80 percent vegetarian, 20 percent can’t say no to a good steak), I love all of the creative vegan options they have to offer. However, I usually end up with a smoothie because it is convenient for me to take on the go and drink my lunch while I am driving around visiting my clients. The power house with chocolate plant-based protein powder is my favorite. The brazil nuts, avocado, and banana help fill you up and keep you satisfied until dinner. They have a ton of Jamaican-inspired vegan dishes as well; the Jamaican Jerk Bowl is a must try. Don’t let the vegan menu deter you from trying this amazing restaurant; my husband who is 100 percent meat lover is also a regular at PURE Natural Market!

Caroline Nardone’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: Charlie’s L’etoile Verte
8 New Orleans Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
https://www.charliesgreenstar.com/

As a local resident, I like to patronize restaurants owned and operated by locals. I have loved Charlie’s L’etoile Verte for as long as I can remember. For a healthy lunch, my go-to is Charlie’s Chicken Salad. The mix of tender white meat chicken, cranberries, apples and celery really makes for amazing tastes and textures. As a momma of three, trying to control my weight by increasing my protein intake and lowering my carbs, this salad keeps me satisfied until supper time. I look forward to my lunch dates at Charlie’s. The location on New Orleans Road is convenient for me too, since I run around on the south end quite a lot! Charlie’s will always be a favorite of mine!

Kandace Wightman’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: First Watch
1121 Fording Island Rd.
Bluffton, SC 29910
https://www.firstwatch.com/

Most people who know me know that “healthy” foods are not always my first choice; but I absolutely fell in love with First Watchand have discovered some delicious options that lean towards the healthy side. I was excited to have a new breakfast/lunch restaurant in Bluffton that’s so close to home. Since they opened last year, they have already had to expand. The biggest upgrade has to be the community bar. I love sitting at the high-top breakfast bar when I want to dine alone. The menu offers a variety of breakfast, brunch, and lunch options including power bowls, salads, and all-natural juices on the healthier side. My favorite go-to item is their avocado toast. It’s toasted to perfection, and I just love the big chunks of fresh avocado. Along with the delicious food, the staff is always friendly and attentive. First Watch has a fun, relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect place for a meeting with clients or friends or just a quick meal by yourself at the bar.

Ella Patrick’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: Java Burrito
The Village at Wexford
1000 William Hilton Pkwy., Suite J6
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
www.javaburrito.com/

Following a gluten-free and dairy-free diet on the island sometimes limits my dining-out options. However, Java Burrito is the exception. At Java Burrito, I feel comfortable knowing they cater to customers with food allergies or those who are following Paleo and Whole 30 diets. But the best part is, their food tastes amazing. My go-to lunch is a salad with chicken, brown rice, grilled veggies, pico de gallo, a touch of hot salsa, corn—and I splurge on guacamole. To drink, the coconut iced coffee is my favorite. It is refreshing, not too sweet and a nice treat if you want some caffeine but can’t handle any more black coffee.


Kim Conrad Crouch’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: Main Street Café and Pub
Main Street Village
1411 Main St.
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
http://hiltonheadcafe.com/

My mom and I have been going to Main Street Café for at least 15 years, and now we take my kids. I absolutely love everything on the menu, but the Greek salad with grilled chicken is my favorite go-to lunch pick. It comes with tons of fresh veggies, chicken, and pita bread. It’s a gorgeous salad and sometimes so big I can’t finish the whole thing. The kids love the chicken fingers and mac and cheese too, especially the huge homemade chocolate chip cookie that comes with every kid entrée. You know you’re a regular luncher at Main Street Café when the waitress walks up and says, “You ladies want the usual order?” It’s a great location, too—close to home and the office, which makes it very convenient. It’s the perfect neighborhood café!

Kaila Jeffcoat’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: The Juice Hive
Bluffton Village
14 Johnston Way, Suite B
Bluffton, SC 29910
https://thejuicehive.com/

The Juice Hive is my weekday go-to, whether it’s to jumpstart my morning with a bulletproof coffee, to grab a mid-morning pick-me-up with a smoothie, or to stop in for lunch. The staff is friendly, efficient and knowledgeable, and they offer plenty of fresh, healthy options and all-natural foods. In the heart of Bluffton Village, The Juice Hive offers breakfast and lunch, and has continued to increase their menu to include healthy sweet treats, smoothies and more. If you stop in when Lizzy is working, she is sure to put a smile on your face with her Southern hospitality and awesome recommendations. I am not a fan of spicy foods or drinks, but Lizzy makes a killer hot shot that will rev up your metabolism. You can’t go wrong with any of the menu items at The Juice Hive, but here are my favorites:

Bulletproof coffee: if you like coconut milk, this is a must-try!
Monkey Bee Smoothie: for the peanut butter lover.
Mediterranean Zoodles: a nice change from a salad, zoodles are zucchini noodles with a complementary vinaigrette and mixed veggies. The multigrain wafers served with it are the best!

Hunter Kostylo’s Go-To for a Nutritious Lunch: Al’s Aloha Kitchen
Circle Center
70 Pope Avenue, Suite O
www.alsalohakitchenhhi.com/#/

When you walk into Al’s Aloha Kitchen, you feel like you’ve been transported off the island and onto a buzzing West Coast street along the beach. Surfboard chalkboards, Hawaiian music and the fresh menu give it the perfect ambiance. In December, I traveled to Hawaii, where I fell in love with poké bowls. Al’s bowls are the only authentic bowls I have found in this area since visiting Hawaii. I usually order mine with brown rice, ahi tuna, avocado, seaweed salad, carrots and ponzu dressing, but you can customize yours any way you like! It is the perfect stop if you are working on the south end, running errands, or heading to the beach. Located on Pope Avenue near Coligny, it is my go-to lunch stop. 

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