Located on the waterfront on the Nags Head-Manteo Causeway, this healthy oriented cafe is a health freak's dream. The restaurant was inspired by the healing journey of the husband-wife team Steven and Tungaa Gawlinski. A few years ago they both started having health issues so they decided to completely change the way they ate. Soon enough, Steven had lost 65 pounds and Tungaa had lost 40. They both felt great, and said to each other, "We can't go out to eat at restaurants, so let's create our own restaurant!" Their goal was to create a restaurant that would help you eat better, increase energy, and reduce stress. Freshfit Cafe was born.
They have options for everyone — vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free — and most recently even ketogenic. You can find ketogenic pancakes and bagels there, and soon they will have ketogenic buns. Have specific dietary needs? They can cater to them. Try one of their Buddha Bowls, their most popular item, which allows you to build your own bowl. You get a choice of protein, greens, and healthy dressings, as well as a choice of four sides that include vegetables, beans, all kinds of homemade salads, and grains. You can also find a variety of fresh juice, smoothies, organic coffee, healthy breakfast options, as well as all kinds of salads, wraps, and sandwiches. Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Outer Bean Cafe
You know a restaurant is healthy when they have a salad called Nutrition 101. This cute, cozy little health cafe, located in Kitty Hawk and Duck, is a staple for healthy food on the beach. Dine in or take out, they have tons of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At Outer Bean they go the extra mile and really care about the ingredients they put into the food. They source locally and organic as much as possible, and use only 100% olive oil and Non-GMO label oils. They serve delicious organic, fair trade coffee, and have a variety of fresh juices and smoothies.
For breakfast, I recommend trying one of their bowls, like their Green Granola Bowl, which is a green smoothie, topped with granola, topped with fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. They also have a quinoa breakfast bowl, topped with all kinds of fresh fruit, nuts, and cinnamon. For lunch and dinner, they have a variety of salads loaded with superfoods and proteins, as well as sandwiches and paninis. They have more classic sandwiches as well, so its a great place to go if your partner and/or kids want to get something they will like, while you can enjoy the splendors of Nutrition 101. A win/win for everyone! Open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.
Greentail's Seafood Market and Kitchen
This seafood market and kitchen, located in Pirate's Quay shopping center might not seem like the obvious choice to go on the list. While you won't find any acai bowls or green juice here, when you are at the beach you have to try the seafood, and if you are looking for something fresh, delicious, and locally sourced, this is the place to go. I hate to break it to you, but not all the seafood you get at the restaurants here is locally sourced. That's why it's important to know the places that make it a priority to serve local seafood. Greentails is one of those places.
And, not only is their seafood local, their produce is too. They source all of their produce from Somerset Farm, and in fact, their menu rotates depending on what local ingredients they can get from the farm. They especially love using ingredients that are indigenous to the Outer Banks, which are lesser known and more unheard of. For example, this week they used pole beans in their special, which is a bean from the area. They also make all of their breading and shrimp wontons fresh each day. Try their fresh poke bowls over rice or their amazing crispy shrimp noodle bowl. They also have fish tacos, softshell banh mi sandwiches, and a host of fun, unique specials that rotate daily. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day — except for Monday.
Bonus: For a healthy(ish) grab and go desert stop by Surfin Spoon and try one of their delicious organic, vegan, allergen free ice cream sandwiches. Because sometimes you have to treat yourself!