10 Rhode Island Cafes Reinventing Lean Eats

Healthy doesn’t mean boring at these crafty eateries

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Gone are the days of depriving ourselves every January in the name of dropping a few of those pounds we put on over the holidays (no regrets!). If you’re searching for some lighter fare this month and don’t want to skimp on taste and feeling satisfied, allow me to introduce you to these local eateries with lean but luscious eats on the menu.

Alaina’s Guac N Roll

Doubling as a coffee and breakfast sandwich cafe and taco spot, Alaina’s has a delicious selection of light bites. Their build-your-own Guac and Toast is a must try, along with anything with cauliflower rice (my personal favorite)! Watch for acai bowls in fruity flavors, too. Richmond

Apothica Cafe

Formerly Blackstone Coffee Bar, this apothecary-inspired plant-based cafe serves up Super Boost Lattes (like the Morning Ritual with ashwagandha, an herb promoting stress relief) for that little extra pep in your step. How about a Garden Delight Sandwich with herb spread? Cumberland

Auntie’s Kitchen 

This cozy organic restaurant is an ideal destination for their bowl selection alone (including breakfast varieties, hot and cold bowls, and salads), and their house-made soups are not to be missed. Get creative with build-your-own sandwiches, which include both vegan and meat-lover ingredients. Wakefield

Blue Kangaroo Cafe

Ask anyone in the East Bay for their local faves and I’m sure Blue Kangaroo is on their list. This cheery deli earns high marks for their veggie wraps, soups, and salads. Wash it down with a cuppa Nitro Brew iced coffee or a nutritious Peachy Lean fruit smoothie. Barrington

Caf Bar

Nestled next to Rarities Books & Bindery on Main Street, this sweet little full-service coffee bar also prepares crunchy salads, delectable avocado toast, and substantial smoothies. From atmosphere to tasty bites, there’s so many reasons to add them to your January rotation. Wakefield

L’Artisan Cafe & Bakery

This Euro-inspired offers all kinds of prepared foods, including wraps (tuna and chicken for starters) and refreshing salads. Add a cup of their soup of the day (is there anything better on a freezing cold day?) and you have a midday feast that won’t derail your New Year’s resolutions. Providence

Nana’s

This bakery and cafe opened in spring of 2022 and quickly became one of my obsessions. Their egg sandwiches are dynamite and available with a side of greens. Sourdough crust pizza topped with salad is truly a mouth-watering spin on “health food” if you ask me. Westerly

Plant City X

A spinoff of Providence’s Plant City vegan food hall, these scaled-down versions with drive-up ordering and pick-up windows have incredible salads, smoothies (I’m partial to the green Tropical one), and meatless burgers. I’ve motored over countless times for a satisfying nibble. Warwick & Middletown

Rachel’s Cafe

This wife and husband-owned restaurant has a multitude of dishes (acai bowls, egg white omelets, and avocado toast) for the health conscious. If you’re hungry for a salad, they have five amazing ones, including their signature one, a mix of romaine, fruit, and goat cheese. South Kingstown

Shayna’s Place

This darling cafe in the heart of historic Wickford Village gets high marks for their made-to-order juices and smoothies and their vegetarian Peace Train Sandwich (with sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, and sriracha mayo on multigrain bread). You’ll wonder how you lived without them. Wickford

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