Friday, February 17, 2017

Healthy & Fresh Eats in Forest Hills

With this post, we introduce one of our new writers, Rebecca Banchik. Rebecca has lived in Forest Hills for two and a half years with her husband after 10 years of living in Manhattan. She traded in her Upper East Side life for the quaint and ever evolving Forest Hills neighborhood and never looks back. She’s a true foodie always searching for delicious and interesting meals in Queens and beyond. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook @Foodieinthefrills. Edge of the City is still looking for more local writers, photographers and contributors. Email for more information!

Around this time of year, you’re either staying strong and committed to those New Year’s resolutions and plans to eat better, drop a few pounds, workout more, yadda yadda yadda or you’re feeling sorry for yourself because it’s cold and nasty outside and you definitely deserve a giant bowl of macaroni and cheese. I fall somewhere in the middle – I know I want to eat well and feel good about what I put into my body…but I still want my meals to be tasty and flavorful. Forest Hills has some good options for healthy eats – here are some of my personal favorites. I hope you give them a try and never forget, it’s always ok to ask for alterations to your selection to make them fit into your healthy lifestyle. So, hold the bun and take a look:

Agora Taverna 70-09 Austin Street

Agora Taverna's Prasini Salad
The Prasini salad is my favorite. It’s simple, but that’s what makes it so fresh and satisfying. The feta Agora uses is a really delicious Greek feta that is creamy and not dry and crumbly. There are herbs that really bring out a nice flavor to the salad and the greens are crisp and refreshing. The salad is tossed with a house-made vinaigrette too – no creamy fatty dressing here.

Looking for protein? The lamb or pork kebab sticks are hearty, simply grilled, and can be ordered with a side of horta – a sautéed escarole green with garlic and oil. Squeeze some lemon on the dish and you have a protein rich, no carb dinner that will warm you on a cold night.

Bareburger 71-49 Austin Street

Burgers and fries probably sound the opposite of healthy. But that’s why Bareburger is a great choice if you know how to order. You can customize anything from their menu. They also have a great selection of salads and greens. They even have some interesting appetizers making quinoa and wholesome grains taste quite delicious. You can feel good about the food you eat here too, almost everything is organic and even the ketchup is homemade.

What to order? Try a burger (pick your protein – for a leaner choice, try the Bison) wrapped in a collard green leaf or for a gluten free option try the tapioca bun. Load up on the veggies and avocado for toppings. Order a side salad or for a more creative salad, order a small-sized main entrée salad. If you need a beverage, try their natural sodas. The ginger brew is my favorite; this isn’t Schweppes. This is natural soda made with real ginger. It’s strong, spicy, and delicious.

Ripe Juice Bar and Grill 70-13 Austin Street

Ripe has been around and they know how to do smart eating. They make a mean smoothie too. For a more treat-like smoothie, try the Pina Colada made with coconut milk, yogurt and honey for sweetness. It has the taste of the islands {ignore the snow mount by the stairs}. The Sunset Beach and the Coco Cabana are also excellent choices.

If you’re making Ripe a stop for a meal {great for a post workout dinner or lighter meal mid-week}, try the Grilled Tilapia platter. The dish is filled with brown rice, simply steamed vegetables, and a nice piece of fish. Ripe is focused on healthy low-calorie ingredients. Don’t expect jam packed flavor. But you can feel good about fueling up with whole foods that aren’t overly salted. For more jazz, the Mexican-Tex Quesadilla is a healthier take on a comfort food staple. Order it with the grilled steak and you have a nice protein rich but yummy dinner.

Roast n Co 100-12 Queens Boulevard

Roast n Co's Rotisserie Chicken
This newcomer to the area has some really delicious rotisserie chicken. You can’t go wrong with a platter of nicely seasoned and slow roasted chicken alongside greens. If you aren’t nearby to walk over, they deliver well and quickly. The chicken is antibiotic free, free range, and non-gmo which makes you feel good about consuming a responsibly raised meat. I enjoyed the sautéed kale and broccoli, but you can opt for a beet salad or ratatouille for something a little more unique. They operate a full service coffee shop as well that I haven’t yet tried – but it looks cozy and worth a stop soon!

Red Pipe Café 71-60 Austin Street

Red Pipe's Breakfast Sandwich on Ciabatta
I can’t tell you how much I love this place. It’s a coffee shop serving organic Counter Culture coffee. Forest Hills needed a high caliber coffee shop and Red Pipe came to answer that need. In fact, the entire place is organic serving fresh, wholesome breakfast and lunch salads and sandwiches. Stay for a meal and you won’t be disappointed. The breakfast sandwich on a multi-grain ciabatta roll with hard- boiled egg thinly sliced, layered with melted Vermont cheddar cheese, a garlic aioli, and avocado is to die for and super filling. It’s no carb or dairy free, but it’s organic and it’s delicious. If you want to go lighter, they have salads and creative vegetarian sandwiches to enjoy. You can’t go to Red Pipe and not feel relaxed. Sip an almond milk latte, linger long enough to order a snack, and be grateful Forest Hills has place for the cool kids to hang.

Honorable mention:

You can find wholesome dishes at other restaurants in Forest Hills. It’s all about being creative, ordering smartly, and exploring your options. To name a few, Nick’s Bistro serves a really great homemade quinoa veggie burger. Have it over lettuce {sans bread} and substitute the fries for some lemon roasted potatoes. Aaheli Indian Cuisine does a nice warming mulligatawny soup and tandoori chicken that’s free of cream and the heaviness that often comes with Indian cooking in America. A Sushi NY has fresh sushi and {insanely} fast delivery if you’re craving sushi but want to keep it affordable, simple, and yummy. Inside Natural you can have them make you a healthy salad with all the mix-ins you can imagine.


  1. Excellent review! I love the ginger soda at Bareburger!

  2. I've been meaning to try Roast n Co. I don't often find myself walking that far down Queens Blvd, but I'm pretty sure it's right down the street from Andre's Hungarian Bakery, which I love!

  3. Thank you for highlighting Aaheli Indian Cuisine on Yellowstone Blvd. The food is exceptional and I wish more people would discover this hidden gem.