What Wellness Leaders Order When They're Craving Comfort Food

mbg Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."

As winter approaches, we're constantly craving comfort foods that will satiate us, but this year we're interested in warming dishes that'll give us comfort without the food coma. After all, comfort food doesn't have to be synonymous with bad; it doesn't have to be coupled with guilt. True comfort meals make us feel radiant from the first bite and hours after the last one. To get some inspiration, we reached out to wellness experts to see where they turn for food that nourishes the body, mind, and soul in LA. You'll notice that avocado, fish, and ethnic cuisine are on the top of their lists.

1. Kathryn Budig: Avocado Spread at True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen is my Old Faithful. They have this epic avocado spread with the most divine gluten-free pitas. (395 Santa Monica Boulevard)

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2. Dr. Tiffany Lester: Resolved Bowl at Cafe Gratitude

My favorite healthy comfort food in LA is the Resolved Bowl at Cafe Gratitude. It's packed with red beans, rice, and spiced collards, and it always reminds me of my family and cooking in the kitchen during the holidays. They manage to make it super tasty and flavorful without all the added saturated fat and sugar. (Multiple locations)

3. Julie Piatt: Mac & Cheese at Sun Cafe

My favorite restaurant for comfort food in LA is Sun Cafe. I love their caesar salad, mac n cheese, coconut curry, and pizzas. The food is high quality, and the taste is consistently delicious. It's a homey and casual space that features an outside patio with nice greenery, and it's usually pretty easy to get a reservation. (10820 Ventura Boulevard)

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4. Amanda Chantal Bacon: Vegetable Plate at Gjusta

I head to Gjusta for a plate of three veggies and soup! (320 Sunset Avenue)

5. Jordan Younger: Humble Bowl at Cafe Gratitude

My go-to healthy restaurant in LA is Cafe Gratitude. They have everything a healthy girl could ever want or need in terms of comfort foods, desserts, lattes, tonics, and smoothies. When I'm craving comfort food, I go for the Humble Bowl—their plant-based Indian dish. And I always finish my meal with one of their plant-based chocolate desserts. Can never go wrong with those! (Multiple locations)

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6. Elissa Goodman: Lazy Sushi Bowl at M Cafe

M Cafe's Lazy Sushi Bowl, no tuna with extra salmon and hijiki, is everything I love about a sushi roll with no worries! The high-quality ingredients and wild salmon really elevate its flavor. (Multiple locations)

7. Kelly LeVeque: GF Fried Chicken at Farmshop

I usually head to Farmshop on Sunday nights for their gluten-free fried chicken, avocado hummus, and vegetable sides. It's the perfect takeout for a night at the Hollywood Bowl. (225 26th Street)

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8. Nikki Sharp: "Protein Style" Burger at Misfit

The burger from Misfit in Santa Monica is one of my faves. I don't eat meat often (about once a month), and pretty much only from this place. It's a grass-fed, organic burger that I do protein style with a lettuce wrap, and I add avocado and all the veggies they put on the side. For me, it's really important to have something that is the highest quality possible if I'm going to eat meat. And keeping it protein style allows me to really enjoy the burger without the white bread, which does nothing for the nutritional aspects. (225 Santa Monica Boulevard)

9. Shiva Rose: Humble Bowl at Cafe Gratitude

I like that it is an Ayurvedic recipe that is also a complete protein in a vegetarian way. The chutney makes the whole bowl even more delicious. (Multiple locations)

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10. Dr. Amy Shah: Falafel and Hummus at Cleo

Cleo is my favorite! It's healthy, comforting, and has lots of plant-based options. I like to order the falafel, hummus with tahini, Brussels sprouts, and shishito peppers for some spice. (800 West Olympic Boulevard)

11. Kimberly Snyder: Vegan Feast Platter at Rahel's Ethiopian Vegan

My favorite restaurant in LA for comfort food is Rahel's Ethiopian Vegan in the Little Ethiopia neighborhood. I order the vegan feast platter with the gluten-free injera. You get 10 little piles of yummy veggie goodness—it's all amazing, but the cabbage, potato, and yellow lentils are my favorites. And the gluten-free injera (Ethiopian flatbread), made from high-protein teff, is so spongy and delish. It is reason enough to get over there! (1047 South Fairfax Avenue)

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