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Healthy Heart Taco Salad at Urban Fresh (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Foodie 15: Best Healthy Lunch Spots in Tucson

Updated March 5, 2024

It can be tough to eat healthy on the go. Not everyone has time to meal prep or pack a lunch to ensure all of the proper recommended dietary boxes are checked, and not every restaurant provides choices that are adequately nutritious.

So we’ve put together a guide of our favorite healthy lunch spots in Tucson. These restaurants offer menus that will fill you up without requiring a nap afterward and are full of vegetarian, vegan, and overall health-forward options.

Enjoy!

Learn how we create our guides here.

Berry Greens Juice Bar (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Berry Greens Juice Bar

Offering a range of fast, healthy acai bowls, fresh juices, smoothies, and more, Berry Greens is a great place to refuel without the guilt (or need for a post-lunch nap). They provide a comfy cafe setting with bar seating, a lounge, and takeout options, plus free WiFi so you can catch up on emails or social media while detoxing.

You can start by trying the Classic Acai Berry, Sweet Tooth Acai, or Maui Dragonfruit. All winners in our book.

an overhead picture of pastries
Pastry Empanadas at Bombole Eatery (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Bombolé Eatery

At Bombolé Eatery, it’s all about scrumptious Indian empanadas that won’t break the bank. They’ve got something for everyone with both veggie and meaty options.

You can’t go wrong with the Bombo Combo, but the Aloo Matar Samosa and the Butter Chicken empanadas also get thumbs up from us. And don’t miss the Honduran slaw and mango jicama salad!

Cafe Desta (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Cafe Desta

If you’re looking for authentic Ethiopian food in Tucson, Cafe Desta is a great place to start. They pride themselves on organic ingredients straight from Ethiopia, and their fresh homemade injera – a sourdough flatbread staple in Ethiopian cuisine – is a must-try.

Rather than a fork, it’s tradition to use your fingers and injera to scoop a colorful rainbow of meats, veggies, beans, and spices in any variety your heart desires. Going with a group? Their combo platter “The Works” is huge and hearty. Even with five us, we couldn’t get all the way through it.

a close up of a plate of food
Jackfruit Taquitos at Charro Vida (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Charro Vida

Charro Vida is the perfect eatery if you’re looking for a unique food experience that caters to all kinds of diets.

Enjoy the dazzling selections from their largely plant based Mediterranean-meets-Mexico menu. Tapping into the widely touted health benefits associated with Spain’s Mediterranean diet, Charro Vida links the Mexican cowboys with the original charros of Salamanca, Spain. Make sure to try their delicious specialty dishes featuring vegan queso, jackfruit carnitas, and other vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and keto-friendly options.

Flower Child (Photo courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts)

Flower Child

Flower Child has a menu that is stacked with hearty, healthy options that will leave you feeling good inside and out. Choose from a diverse range of fresh meals that are packed with grains, fruits, and proteins, catering to the preferences of vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike.

Try the Forbidden Rice Bowl or the Glow Bowl, or design your own combination of entrees and sides. We suggest washing it all down with their seasonal lemonade or rotating kombucha on tap.

Vegan Burger at Goodness Fresh (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Goodness Fresh Food & Juice Bar

You might be surprised to hear this, but the foods and juices at Goodness are both fresh and good. Hearty salads, vegetarian and vegan burgers, and award winning smoothies are just some of the healthy options on their colorful menus. They’ve got breakfast and brunch options, too.

a bowl of food on a plate
Vegan food at Govinda's Natural Foods Buffet (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Govinda’s Natural Foods Buffet

Offering a buffet of American, Indian, and International vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes, Govinda’s is an easy pick for healthy food in Tucson. In fact, they’ve been serving gourmet vegetarian cuisine since 1992, with fresh garden veggies, whole grains, and freshly-ground spices being the stars of their menu.

Istanbul Mediterranean (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar

Craving a taste of the Mediterranean? Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine is where you’ll want to head. The Esar family, who moved to Tucson six years ago, have been sharing their love for Mediterranean food with Tucsonans ever since. Chef-owner Kamran Esar and his family bring fresh, authentic Turkish cuisine right to the heart of the city, with his father’s 45 years of experience as a butcher adding a unique touch to the dishes they serve..

They’re one of the only spots in town serving up Halal chicken (among their other meats) so even when your body wants something not veg-based, you won’t feel zapped of energy afterward.

a plate of food on a table
Sushi Roll (Photo courtesy of Izumi)

Izumi

If you’re into fresh fish, sticky rice, and warm miso soup, head to Izumi during your next lunch break. Be sure to check out their specials – the combos and bento boxes aren’t just delicious, they’re great deals, too.

a picture of food
(Photo courtesy of Lemongrass Restaurant)

Lemongrass Restaurant

Lemongrass is a cozy nook in downtown Tucson, serving up a blend of organic Thai and Nepalese cuisine. The whole menu is home-cooked, and health-centric, and it includes poultry, salmon, shrimp, and lamb, alongside vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and organic options.

We suggest the Vegan Rice Bowl and Grilled Tofu Rice Noodles.

a picture of food in a bowl
Poke Bowl at Pure Poke & Prep (Photo credit: Adam Lehrman)

Pure Poke and Prep – Grant Road

Dive into the vibrant flavors of the islands at Pure Poke & Prep, where fresh cubes of premium-quality fish are cut daily and tossed in scratch-made marinades. Top your bowl however you fancy, and finish it off with a splash more sauce for that ultimate poke indulgence.

(Photo Courtesy of Queen Sheba Restaurant & Market)

Queen Sheba Restaurant & Market

Step into the vibrant world of Eritrean cuisine at Queen Sheba Restaurant & Market, a hidden gem of Tucson. Owned by Welday Gezehen, an Eritrean native, the restaurant’s menu shines a bright light on the rich culinary traditions of his homeland.

Dishes such as red lentils, shiro, and potatoes are brimming with flavor, and if you’re up for a hearty meal, the Meat and Veggie Combo is a great choice. Plus they’ve got patio seating, so you can enjoy your lunch outside for extra wellness points.

Create your own salad at Salad Nation (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Salad Nation

Salad Nation is a refreshing stop for those on the hunt for a healthy Mexican meal. The menu reflects a fusion of Mexican, Japanese, and American cuisines, ensuring there’s something to tickle everyone’s palate – vegans and vegetarians, this includes you too. Despite the name, it’s not just about salads; the menu also includes a variety of offerings including wraps and paninis.

a sandwich filled with meat and vegetables
Urban Fresh (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Urban Fresh

Established in 2012, this vegan haven serves up health with a side of happiness via 100% plant-based food offerings. Open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., it’s perfect for an intention-packed lunch. Choose from options like the Pad Thai Wrap, Green Goddess Wrap, Pot Pie, and Tofu Mushroom Burger. They even have smoothies, all of which are made with milks that are made in-house daily.

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