One of the toughest aspects of following a paleo diet is finding somewhere that serves paleo-friendly meals.
In fact, by the time you’ve scoured the online menu of multiple restaurants and worked out whether or not there are any suitable options out there for you, you may be feeling as though you were better off just cooking for yourself!
But, it doesn’t have to be this way and there are a surprising number of restaurants that offer both paleo options. This is especially true in New York City, where vast food options are available for every type of dietary requirement.
So, whether you’re looking for a delicious grass-fed paleo burger, something sweet from a paleo bakery, or you’ve got a craving for some paleo BBQ food, you’ll find it all in NYC! But, the real question is where?
New York City is pretty big afterall, and nobody has the time to research these things too much.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you! Below, you’ll find a list of the best paleo restaurants in NYC. This is an in-depth look at 15 options for strict paleo and paleo-friendly meals.
By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll have multiple dining-out options. The only problem you’ll face now is deciding which to try first!
Strict Paleo Restaurants in New York City
If you’re following a strict paleo diet, you do have slightly fewer options when it comes to dining out. It’s not impossible to find somewhere to eat, though. Below, you’ll find a selection of the best strict paleo restaurants in NYC.
78 5th Avenue (Near 14th Street)
The first restaurant on our list is Hu Kitchen. This place is pure paleo heaven. In fact, if you’re visiting the city briefly and you’ve only got time to visit one restaurant, Hu Kitchen would be the one to go to.
Here you’ll find a vast diner-like menu that features paleo breakfasts, soups, bowls, and organic fresh juices. There are even deli-style prepared foods that give you that real NYC feeling.
The entire menu at Hu Kitchen is gluten-free and the majority of them are strictly paleo. All menu items are also dairy-free and grain-free unless otherwise stated.
You can also make adjustments to certain menu items as well if you like, such as adding quinoa to some of their bowls.
Hu Kitchen only uses grass-fed, pasteurized meats, and organic poultry and eggs. All of their seafood is wild as well, and every single one of the ingredients they use to make their delicious meals are non-GMO and organic.
But what about sweeteners? Anything on the menu that needs that extra hit of sweetness is provided by organic coconut sugar, unfiltered honey, or maple syrup. There isn’t a single piece of processed sugar in sight.
You’ve also hit the jackpot at Hu Kitchen if you’re following a paleo vegetarian or vegan diet, and they have many options available to suit these needs. This makes it one of the most paleo-friendly restaurants in all of New York City and one that should be at the top of your list!
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Hu Kitchen Include:
- Paleo Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potato, Onion, Parsnips. Carrots, Organic Celery, Turnips. Organic Tomatoes, Garlic, and Pimenton Spice.
- Organic Baked Chicken Tenders with Almond Meal, Organic Eggs, Smoked Paprika, and Cayenne Pepper.
- Organic “Crack” Coffee made with Organic Coffee, Organic Coconut Oil, and Organic Grass-Fed Butter.
1st Avenue at 12th Street
This small, storefront window restaurant sells homemade paleo bone brothers that are created from scratch.
Brodo originally started life as an add-on to the Hearth restaurant which is located right next door, which we’ll take a closer look at a little further down the page.
It was founded by Marco Canora, who also happens to be a chef, who has been following the Paleo Diet for the last five years himself in a bid to improve his overall health.
At first glance, the menu at Brodo may seem simple, but it’s certainly delicious. They offer 3 base bone broths that are made using either beef bones or poultry bones. In addition to these 3 bone broths, they also sell specialty “off-menu” broths including seaweed and vegetable, which is suitable for vegetarians.
Once you’ve chosen your bone base, you’re given the opportunity to mix and match flavors by adding in extra ingredients. These include such things as fermented beet juice, roasted garlic puree, and bone marrow.
The possibilities and flavor combinations are vast and virtually limitless, and this is where the menu starts to lose that feeling of simplicity.
One way of looking at Brodo is as a paleo-friendly fast food restaurant. You’re able to pick and choose your ingredients and flavors combinations and create something that you know you’ll love.
It’s also quick and easy, making it a great choice for somewhere to grab a fast, paleo-friendly lunch when you’re in the city.
Be warned, though. The popularity of Brodo precedes itself and it’s not unusual to find queues of people lining up first thing in the morning to grab a cupful of bone broth and start their day on the right track!
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Brodo Include:
- Heart Bone Broth made with Whole Stewing Hens, Turkey Legs, Beef Shin, Chicken Feet, Water, Onions, Carrots, Celery, Whole Tomatoes. Parsley, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Bay Leaves.
- Organic Chicken Bone Broth made with Organic Chicken Carcasses, Onions, Carrots, Celery, Parsley, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Bay Leaves.
- Gingered Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth made with 100% Grass-Fed Beef Bones, Onions, Carrots. Celery, Tomato Paste, Fresh-Pressed Ginger, Thyme, Parsley, and Bay Leaves.
Paleo-Friendly Restaurants in New York City
While there are only a couple of strict paleo restaurants in NYC, there are plenty of places that offer paleo-friendly food. Let’s take a look at some of the best below.
286 Madison Avenue (near 40th St.)
Located in midtown NYC, Local Thyme is a casual eatery that offers paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan meals.
There’s no guesswork when it comes to figuring out what you can eat either, as each menu item is clearly marked with a GF, V, or R. Even better, each menu choice comes with its complete list of ingredients so you know exactly what you’re getting.
Local Thyme is the ideal place to visit at any time of day and they offer a variety of paleo-friendly drinks, breakfasts, locally sourced salads, plates, treats, and coffees. Every single ingredient they use is also non-GMO, soy-free, and lactose-free. They are also totally free of any processed sugar.
Something else that we love about this NYC paleo-friendly restaurant is that they work locally and seasonally. This means that everything on your plate is at its very best for the time of year, and getting it to the restaurant has left a far smaller carbon footprint. This includes the pasture-raised meat from local farmers.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Local Thyme Include:
- Roasted Shiitake and Crimini Mushroom with Flat Leaf Parsley, Olive Oil, and Truffle Salt.
- Market Grass-Fed Steak “Local Plate”.
- Raw Chocolate Brownies with Dates, Cacao Powder, Apricots, Raisins, Avocados, Walnuts, and Honey
11 Locations throughout Manhattan including:
57th & Lex
709 Lexington Avenue (Between E 57th Street and E 58th Street)
It’s pretty easy to find a Dig Inn Seasonal Market as they are in many locations through Manhattan. Their style is based around the farm-to-table concept, and it’s an excellent paleo-friendly place to grab a quick meal when you’re in NYC.
While Dig Inn is paleo-friendly, it was never created with this in mind, but there are many options that fall into the paleo category. You can also make adjustments to certain menu choices as needed.
For example, you can order a plate with a base of greens or a base of grains.
All of the food at Dig Inn Seasonal Market is made to order, so you don’t have to worry about it being pre-cooked, stored for days, and warmed up again. Put simply, if you order a steak, the steak is cooked right then and there.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Dig Inn Seasonal Market Include:
- Charred Chicken Plate on a Bed of Spinach.
- Serious Green Juice Raw and Pressed In-House with Romaine, Cucumber, Apple, Kale, Spinach, Celery, Parsley, Lemon, and Ginger.
- Wild Sockeye Salmon Plate.
95 E Houston St (At Bowery)
103 Warren Street (At Greenwich St)
If you’re following a paleo diet there’s quite a strong chance that you’ve visited a Whole Foods Store.
But did you know that inside two downtown NYC Whole Foods Stores (Bowery and Tribeca) you’ll find a paleo-friendly burger counter?!
As their name suggests, Whole Burger sells grass-fed burgers that can be ordered with a lettuce wrap instead of a bun.
They also come with a number of delicious, paleo-friendly vegetable toppings such as tomatoes, onions, and avocado.
The meat used to make these burgers is sourced from suppliers who are dedicated to improving the lives of animals, too.
This doesn’t only make them paleo-friendly but means you’ll be supporting farmers who treat their livestock with the respect they deserve.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Dig Inn Seasonal Market Include:
- 100% Grass-Fed Beef Burger (Single or Double) served in a Lettuce Wrap
113th West 10th St.
When Gingersnaps Organic first opened, their intended audience was people who were looking for fresh juices and nut milk. However, over time, this cafe has become a favorite spot for people looking for paleo-friendly meals and treats.
Located in NYC’s West Village, you’ll find dishes such as Zoodles (zucchini noodles), kelp noodle ramen, beet chips, homemade guacamole, and several other paleo-friendly delights.
They also didn’t have to work too hard to achieve such a paleo fan base either, as most of the choices on their menu were already considered paleo-friendly.
There are, of course, certain dishes that aren’t suitable for people following a paleo diet but they are more than happy to let you sub-out certain ingredients (such as sprouts, brown rice vinegar, and nutritional yeast).
Gingersnaps Organic even has some paleo-friendly dessert options and every single ingredient used across their menu is gluten-free, vegan, and sustainably sourced.
This is another restaurant that you should definitely include on your must-visit list if you’re looking for a paleo-friendly meal in NYC.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Gingersnaps Organic Include:
- Cappuccino with House-Made Almond Milk (created using only organic almonds and filtered water).
- Cauliflower Soup made only using Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Onions, Garlic, and Sea Salt.
- Zucchini Almond “Hummus” made with Almonds, Zucchini, Tahini, Lemon, Olive Oil, Garlic, Cumin, Coriander, Sea Salt, and Black Pepper.
- “Doughnut” Holes made with Almond Flour, Maple Syrup, Date Paste, Dried Coconut, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Sea Salt, and Nutmeg.
Online Only, although previous locations include SoHo, Gowanus/Park Slope, and Bay Ridge Brooklyn.
First things first, we did hesitate a little before including Ivy Bakery on this list of paleo restaurants in NYC as, technically, you can’t visit one. Ivy Bakery recently transitioned to a custom order and catering only bakery, serving the New York City Area.
But, in the end, we felt the need to include it as they offer such a fantastic range of paleo-friendly sweet treats. And, if you’ve been on a paleo diet for a while now, you’ll know that this is something that’s often in short supply!
Ivy Bakery’s chef and owner follows a paleo lifestyle themselves and, as such, can easily provide catering for a paleo event.
They are also able to accommodate a huge range of dietary needs including Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan.
Their paleo desserts are created using raw nuts, organic coconut oil, and they even render their own animal fats.
The sweetness is added using either organic maple syrup or raw unfiltered honey, and their famous ginger cookies are sweetened with organic blackstrap molasses.
As we’ve mentioned above, you can’t physically visit Ivy Bakery but it’s easy enough to place an order with them.
You can order online, but the bakery suggests contacting them through email or over the phone if you have any specific dietary requirements.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Ivy Bakery Include:
- Paleo Chocolate Cupcakes
- Paleo Lemon Bars
- Paleo Cherry Coconut Cookies
135 W 50th St. (between 6th and 7th Ave)
The Little Beet is one of NYC’s hidden gems, and it’s an excellent place to find some paleo-friendly meal options.
Certified gluten-free, all of the ingredients used in each of their meals are disclosed on the menu, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body.
They also work seasonally and locally, and state that their menu is “inspired by local, seasonal, and natural ingredients”. This means that you’re likely to find something new and delicious every time you visit.
The Little Beet also states that “all ingredients are carefully sourced from farmers and purveyors we trust”. This includes Northern Harvest., Prairie Grove Farms, Murray’s Chicken, and the Center for Discovery CSA.
These are all names that most people following a paleo diet will be familiar with.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at The Little Beet Include:
- Steak with a Side of Charred Broccoli.
- “Wake Up Call” Cold Press made with Fresh Squeezed Spinach, Mango, Pineapple, Avocado, and Lemon Juice.
- Salmon with a Side of Charred Kale.
403 East 12th Street (at 1st Avenue)
Another farm-to-table concept restaurant started by Marco Canora (who also founded Brodo) Hearth has been serving seasonal, locally sourced ingredients with an Italian influence for the past 12 years. However, within this time.
Marco Canora went through a personal health journey, which consisted of him following a paleo diet. As a result, an increasing number of paleo-friendly meal options were added to Hearth’s menu.
Ever since, the way Hearth looks at food has changed and since 2016 they have started to completely remove highly-processed oils, flours, and sugar from their list of ingredients.
They also focus on making sure that every other ingredient including vegetables, grains, fish, butter, oil, and alfalfa come from the very best sources.
Another fantastic thing about Hearth is that all the chefs and servers are very well trained.
This means that they’ll be able to answer any questions you may have about the menu choices, and suggest what to switch certain ingredients for if necessary.
Just like its sister restaurant, Brodo, Hearth is definitely one of the best paleo-friendly restaurants in NYC.
So, whether you live in the city or you’re just visiting, make sure to pay Hearth a visit if you’re looking for some delicious, paleo food.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Hearth Include:
- The Variety Burger: a Bunless Patty made with 100% Grass-Fed Brisket, Chuck, Heart and Liver served with Caramelized Onion and Sweet Potato Fries.
- Grilled Beef Neck with Market Vegetable Escabeche in Beef Brodo (Bone Broth).
- Grilled Cauliflower with Smoked Bluefish, Capers, and Sunflower Seeds.
10 Downing St
Located in New York City’s West Village, Cafe Clover is a smaller cafe that focuses on serving local, organic produce and grass-fed meats.
Their ethos is simply to create delicious meals by combining simple, organic ingredients that speak for themselves in both flavor and quality. This is why it’s such an excellent choice for anybody looking for a paleo-friendly meal.
The staff at Cafe Clover are well trained and highly knowledgeable when it comes to certain dietary requirements as well.
So, if you ever had any questions about anything on the menu, or you wanted to know how to make a non-paleo meal paleo-friendly, they’ll be more than happy to help.
However, it’s really only the sauces that you’ll need to enquire about here as most of the main ingredients used throughout the menu are paleo-friendly.
Cafe Clover also has a high-end ambiance, so it’s a fantastic place to eat if you’re on a date or hosting a business meeting. Likewise, it’s equally as good if you’re treating yourself to a well-earned night out and a bit of self-care!
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Cafe Clover Include:
- Goffle Road Farm Pounded Chicken (although you may need to request certain substitutions in the sauce).
- Cauliflower Steak (again, certain sauce ingredients may need to be substituted to make this 100% paleo-friendly)
- Whole Branzino a la Plancha (check the sauce for non-paleo ingredients and substitute where necessary)
58 Park Avenue (at 37 St)
If you’re looking for a really special, sophisticated night out in a restaurant that serves paleo-friendly meals, look no further than Smorgas Chef.
Located on New York City’s iconic Park Avenue, this restaurant serves Scandinavian cuisine and offers grass-fed, pasture raised meats alongside locally sourced, seasonal produce.
Even more impressively, they grow and raise their own sustainable ingredients on Blenheim Hill Farm in the Catskills. This includes pasture raised meats, free range eggs, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey.
They even produce their own syrup by tapping into maple and birch trees.
It’s really easy to find a paleo-friendly meal on Smorgas Chef’s menu as everything is given a designated symbol, including vegetarian and vegan options.
The only thing you need to be aware of, as with many restaurants, is that some of the sauces they create may not contain paleo-friendly ingredients.
Luckily, the staff are well-trained and highly knowledgeable so they’ll be able to tell you what choices are best, as well as what you can substitute to make your meal paleo-friendly.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Smorgas Chef Include:
- Blenheim Burger with Pasture Raised Beef, Lettuce, and Tomato (ask to remove the bun and the cheese).
- Icelandic Cod with Rutabaga, Sauteed Kale. Cherry Tomatoes, and Rutabaga Citrus Salad (confirm paleo-friendly sauce ingredients with your server).
- Blenheim Farm Greens Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers, Cucumber, and Avocado (request a paleo-friendly salad dressing).
Paleo-Friendly Fast Food Options in New York City
Sometimes you just want to grab a quick bite to eat, settle into your apartment or hotel room, and watch some trashy TV. But, where can you find paleo-friendly fast food in NYC? There are actually a couple of excellent options.
Based in 6 locations throughout NYC including:
413 Greenwich St
Sweetgreen serves a la carte salads that are ideal for anybody following a paleo diet. It’s an especially good place to grab a to-go meal from if you have specific dietary needs such as AIP or Wahls.
This restaurant is dedicated to working with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms, the majority of which are organic.
This really makes it stand out from the crowd as far as other fast-food salad restaurants are concerned.
Sweetgreen also has a huge range of ingredients to choose from when you’re creating your own salad including vegetables, herbs, and nuts.
These can also be added as extras to pre-made choices, giving you even more power to adapt your diet however you like.
The only thing to be aware of when doing this, however, is that some of Sweetgreen’s ingredients (such as cooked vegetables and cooked proteins) have been reported as having sauces that contain non-paleo ingredients.
The staff are very well trained though, and they’ll be able to guide you through what is and isn’t suitable for a paleo diet.
Another thing that we love about Sweetgreen is that you’re offered the option to build a customized salad dressing. You choose from a variety of ingredients including lemon juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Some of their pre-made salad dressings are paleo-friendly too, including their famous Lime Cilantro Jalapeno Vinaigrette.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Sweetgreen Include:
- Organic Mesclun, Tomatoes, Red Onion, Avocado, Toasted Almonds, Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Lime Cilantro Jalapeno Vinaigrette.
- Organic Arugula, Organic Mesclun, Carrots, Shredded Cabbage, Cucumbers, Basil, Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice, Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper.
22 locations across NYC including:
201 East 10th Street
If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a delicious, paleo-friendly juice in New York City, it doesn’t get much better than Juice Press.
Scattered across 22 locations, Juice Press offers 100% organic, cold pressed fruit and vegetable juices that you can either order in-store or pre-order and pick up.
You’ll find more than just juice here, though. Juice Press also sells a range of healthy nut milks and coffee products, many of which are suitable for people on a paleo diet.
They do sell food and salads but, unfortunately, these aren’t 100% paleo-friendly. But, with a little clever thinking, you can tweak things by removing certain ingredients and dressings.
And, as menus change in line with developing diets and trends, there’s a real chance that you’ll soon find something designed for the paleo lifestyle appealing on their menu soon. For now, though, Juice Press is an excellent place to grab a paleo-friendly, organic juice on the go.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Juice Press Include:
- “Lucky Seven Juice” made with Carrots, Ginger, Orange, Pear, Pineapple, Beets, and Lemon.
- “Watermelon Juice” made from 100% Pure, Organic Watermelon.
- Almond Milk made with Almonds, Coconut Oil, Vanilla, and Sea Salt.
16 locations throughout New York City including:
313 West 57th St
Bareburger offers both takeout and in-house meals, so it’s an excellent choice if you want to grab a meal to go or if you want to grab a quick bite before heading to the movies.
All of the meats that go into making their burgers are free-range, pasture raised and humanely raised. At no point in their life are they given antibiotics, gluten, or hormones.
There’s also a huge range of meats to choose from at Bareburger including beef, elk, bison, wild boar, chicken, duck, and turkey.
There are also some delicious paleo-friendly toppings on offer such as organic avocados, organic tomatoes, and organic onions.
Whether you choose to make your own burger or go for one of their pre-made options, you can make things paleo-friendly by switching the bun for a collard green wrap.
There are also some great sides on offer including chicken wings, but you’ll need to check with your server to see if the sauces are paleo-friendly.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Bareburger Include:
- Grass-Fed Beef Burger with Collard Green Wrap
- Bison Burger with Collard Green Wrap
- Elk Burger with Collard Green Wrap
354 Metropolitan Avenue (between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts)
If you’re craving BBQ food or you’re simply a meat-lover, you absolutely have to pay a visit to Fette Sau BBQ. This restaurant is super popular with both paleo bloggers and paleo NYC residents and is known as a meat-lovers paradise.
Here, you’ll find different cuts of meat sourced from local farms, all of which are treated with various dry rubs to give it that mouthwatering BBQ flavor.
However, one thing you need to check before you order is whether the dry rub used in the meal you’re thinking of getting had brown sugar in the ingredients. If it does, it’s not paleo-friendly and you’ll need to pick something else.
The meat itself, however, can be considered paleo as their menu states “We exclusively use organic and/or small family farmed heritage breed animals”. You also find 7 local area farms named on the menu, so you’ll know exactly where it came from.
Examples of Paleo Dishes at Fette Sau BBQ Include:
- Berkshire St. Louis Style Pork Ribs (confirm whether dry rub is paleo before ordering).
- Beef Brisket (confirm whether dry rub is paleo before ordering).
- Berkshire Sausage (confirm whether dry rub is paleo before ordering).
As you can see from the options above, there are quite a few paleo-friendly restaurants in New York City. There’s also something to suit every taste, which means you can pretty much eat out every night of the week without getting bored too quickly!
However, one thing you need to remember is that not all of these restaurants offer strict paleo meals, some are only considered paleo-friendly.
This means that you might have to ask some questions and do some menu-tweaking when you’re ordering.
Don’t let this put you off the idea of visiting them though, as you’ll only be missing out on some delicious food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is The Best Place To Get A Paleo-Friendly Meal In NYC?
There are loads of paleo-friendly restaurants scattered across New York City with something to suit every craving.
The number one recommended place to get a strict paleo meal is Hu Kitchen, and Brodo comes in at a very close second.
If you’re willing to make some menu adjustments yourself, however, any of the other restaurants we’ve listed above make fantastic places to get a paleo-friendly meal.
Where Can I Find Paleo-Friendly Fast Food In New York City?
You have a few options here. If you’re looking to grab a quick, healthy, paleo-friendly salad, then we’d highly recommend visiting Sweetgreen.
However, if you’re after something a little more indulgent both Fette Sau BBQ or Bareburger would be excellent choices.