Community / Lifestyle

Five Nutritious Lunches Under $10 in Wellesley Center

Do you ever want to grab lunch but don’t know where to go to get a quick, healthy meal? Recently, I have tried five different restaurants in Wellesley Center — easily accessible from the Dana Hall campus. In this search, I have found fabulous food that can satisfy a wide variety of dietary choices and restrictions while still offering healthy and delicious meals. My top five locations include Cocobeat, Bruegger’s Bagels, Old School Pizza, Lemon Thai Cafe, and B.Good

In the mood for a fruity, healthy meal or snack? Then Cocobeat is the perfect place for you. With a menu that offers a variety of smoothies and juices, you can choose from greens, vegetables and fruits to build the perfect blend. Furthermore, if you are looking for a meal that can fill you up, they offer amazing Açaí bowls. Açaí bowls are frozen dishes of mashed Açaí palm fruit typically served as a smoothie in a bowl. You can choose from the flavors strawberry, banana, or berry, topped off with homemade granola and other ingredients. My personal favorite is their avocado toast, a piece of whole grain toast topped with fresh avocado, tomatoes, herbs, and homemade nut cheese ($7.50). If you are looking for a snack, Lexi Seidner, class of 2020, suggests “the Veggie Quinoa Sliders because they are healthy, delicious, and packed with [tons of] nutrition that helps me get through the day”.

Do you like to pick and choose what ingredients and toppings go into your food? Head on down to Bruegger’s Bagels and order your very own personalized sandwich on your choice of any freshly made bagel. Bruegger’s even offers a build your own salad option if you are looking for a healthier and greener meal. With their wide variety of meats, fish, cheeses, veggies, spreads, toppings and salad dressings, you are sure to find something great for yourself. Bruegger’s also serves healthy soups, such as their Garden Vegetable soup: green beans, sweet corn, red bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, barley, celery, onions, and fresh basil in a tomato stock. Their more customizable menu is fantastic for those who like to have full control over their own food.

Going out with friends and you aren’t feeling pizza?

Old School Pizza is a short five minute walk from Dana Hall and has great options that can satisfy anyone’s taste preferences. Aside from their traditional salads such as Caesar, Garden, Greek and Chef, they offer my personal favorite, the Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (grilled chicken, romaine, sliced almonds, sesame seeds, red onion, won-ton stips & oriental honey ginger dressing). These salads are delicious alone but even better in a wrap. These salads range from $7-10 with or without a wrap and are a great lunch packed with vegetables and protein. It is easy to eat in or take these salads and wraps to go.

If you only like hot food, Lemon Thai is quick, convenient and the ideal place.

You can find a healthy meal with tofu, chicken and vegetables here. For a vegetarian option, their vegetable fried rice is an excellent lunch ($8.50). My favorite, however,  is the steamed chicken and vegetable dish which is served with rice and peanut sauce ($10). Another great option is to try two appetizers such as edamame ($5) and Golden Triangles (tofu served with peanuts and sauces) ($5.95). They offer many fried rices and stir fries that are great choices as well if you are looking to try a hot fresh meal.

If you are on dietary restrictions such as Vegan or Gluten Free, B.Good is fantastic.

I am very impressed by the Avocado, Black Bean, & Corn Salsa served with lightly salted corn chips ($3). It is a large portion packed with different veggies. The current special menu offers Zucchini Noodles & Eggplant Meatball (with parmesan, kale, herbed marinara, green beans, heirloom tomatoes and balsamic glaze)  that are gluten free and dairy free upon request. They also serve a fantastic burger which can be wrapped in a lettuce wrap, as well as vegetarian burgers that can be served on a gluten free bun.  Mary Kate Eagan, class of 2020, states that her favorite meal is “their plain burger with cheese along with their sweet potato fries because it is a healthy choice but filling and satisfying”.

With all of these healthy lunch options within walking distance from the Dana Campus, you are sure to find food that fits your dietary needs and hungry stomach. These $10 and under lunches are an affordable and healthy choice. These restaurants have made my life as a restricted eater more enjoyable and I hope you as well.  Wellesley Center has so many options for many different kinds of eaters, so try out a few places and decide which is your favorite!!!