If you had strolled through downtown a few years ago, you would have seen teens devouring cupcakes from Crumbs or shoving down grease-slathered pizza slices from Westport Pizzeria.
Nowadays, kids tout colorful smoothies or speed past Starbucks for an organic salad from Freshii.
Westport restaurants appear to be on a new health-kick with an abundance of organic spots opening up around town that seem to be all the rage, especially among Staples students. Students started the year resolving to eat healthier, and, with spring sports just around the corner, many Staples students say they are changing their diets to get fit.
“Freshii is the perfect place for me to not go crazy with junk food when I go out, especially with outdoor track starting soon,” Emma Finn ’16 said.
Healthy dining places around town include Freshii, The Granola Bar, Embody, and Garelick & Herbs. These calorie-conscious places offer foods that are affordable and nutritious.
Not only is the food healthy, but it tastes better than fatty, fried food and doesn’t leave you feeling guilty like greasy food does, students said.
“Freshii is amazing because it’s healthy and affordable. I always get the spicy lemongrass soup, which is divine,” Finn said.
Some of the most popular items for students include the Teriyaki Twist Bowl and the Fiesta Salad, Jonathan Blob, Freshii owner said . Freshii is known for its wholesome menu which uses all fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, no added sugars, no microwaved food, and no GMO’s.
“You will never see us throw sugar into the blender,” Blob said.
Dana Noorily, co-owner of The Granola Bar, says her favorite item on the menu is the avocado toast with house cured salmon, a bestseller among students, she said.
Places like Freshii and The Granola Bar have a fresh interior design which appeals to students.
A vibrant green color scheme splashes across the walls of Freshii, and the wooden tables and chairs give the room an organic vibe. A faux grass wall covers a corner of the room, and the periodic table of food covers the wall beside it, emitting a healthy vibe.
“There are so many people taking pictures with our nature wall and our periodic table of ingredients,” Blob said.
Up the road from The Granola Bar, the smells of freshly brewed coffee and bread hot out of the oven waft through the midst of buzzing customers.
Levitt believes their modern interior creates a welcoming atmosphere.
One of the biggest surprises for The Granola Bar owners was how much students and their Instagrams have affected their business. During its opening weeks, students made up a large number of their customers, bringing with them their iPhones to snap pictures.
“We named a smoothie after all the Instagram mayhem,” Levitt said. “The first week we opened, we had lots of high school kids and, any time they would eat anything, they would Instagram it.”
Both Freshii and The Granola Bar try to appeal to students.
“The students are influential in our community,” Levitt said. “If they are supporting us, that’s a great thing. We would change our menu for them.”
So will the healthy eating phase last, or will Five Guys and Shake Shack steal them all back?