Top 5 Fast Healthy Eating Spots in Mississauga
It’s the same old song and dance--people are busier than ever in Mississauga. In our daily lives, keeping up the energy to be that busy requires nourishment of some sort, but we’re too busy to pay attention to what we are putting into our bodies. We live in the age of fast food and packaged "on-the-go" food, which is hardly food at all.
Also on the rise, for good reason, is a time where people are being more mindful of what they put into their bodies. This movement is a positive one, as it is creating more demand for healthier options and business owners and entrepreneurs are noticing this trend. Slowly but surely we are seeing healthier restaurants open their doors in Mississauga. Here are my top 5 places to eat healthy on the go, picked for you, the busy person, who wants to eat a bit healthier when grabbing a quick bite.
5 - Freshii
There are two Mississauga Freshii locations; one situated in Heartland Town Centre and a new one at Erin Mills Town Centre. They have a menu similar to that of Cultures’, with plenty of choices to satisfy what it is you crave, from wraps and salads to frozen yogurt and smoothies, and much more. They offer vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free options, so there’s something for everyone! I like that they have their nutritional information easily accessible both on the website and in-store, though they do not list any information about the integrity of their product, which is a pattern I’m sure you have noticed by now. The food is a bit over-priced, however, so prepare to shell out $10 for just a wrap. I also found their service disappointing, but I’m chalking it up to catching them on a bad day.
4 - Cultures
In business for over 30 years, Cultures was one of the first of its kind. Their business revolves around being a quick-service sandwich and salad restaurant. As trends have taken hold in the food industry, Cultures has followed by providing a wide variety of options and bringing in new items like kale salads, smoothies and frozen yogurt. Their menu offers sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads, Culture Bowls (which are rice with vegetables and meat if applicable), and quiche. I absolutely love their wraps because they offer a bounty of topping options, do not have a limit on toppings and don’t skimp on anything. Their restaurant in Square One, which I frequent, always has great customer service and was a great addition to the new food court that they built last year, as Square One is definitely lacking in healthier restaurant choices. Their prices are great, with wraps only costing $5.99 and combos starting at $8.99. They provide nutritional information both online and in-store, however do not provide any information about the sourcing of their ingredients. I would definitely suggest hitting Cultures if you’re looking for a good meal, especially if you’re on a budget.
3 - Whole Foods
Located near Square One, Whole Foods opened up its doors almost 3 years ago and has been a destination for organic food in the city centre since. Inside the grocery store is a prepared food section, which covers everything from sandwiches, baked goods, pizza, salads, and even a hot bar. I chose to survey the hot bar on this day, and found a variety of options from a full salad bar to meats, tofu, rice and vegetable dishes. They also present diversity within the ethnicity of their dishes, with Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, Italian and Latin options available. Their hot bar is a great choice if you love variety, as everything is pay by weight. You can fill your box with salad and curry chicken, or get a little bit of everything. The drawback here is that because it’s pay by weight (and because it’s Whole Foods), you can rack up quite the bill very quickly. A small box only 3/4 full cost me about $13, and I didn’t go hard on the meats either! Be mindful of this if you go the hot bar route, but it’s a great treat. They also have breakfast available if you forget to eat before leaving home in the morning. Although Whole Food’s core values dictate their high standards to sourcing product, they do not list nutritional or sourcing information about the food prepared on site. All in all, if you’re in the area and don’t mind paying a few extra bucks, the choices and quality of the food make Whole Foods a great stop for eating on the go.
2 - Planet Organic
Planet Organic is a grocery store located in the heart of Port Credit, right along Lakeshore Rd. They are a Canadian company, and this location is the only one you’ll find in Ontario. Dedicated to quality, their greatest difference from Whole Foods, and their best advantage, is that they only sell organic products. Unlike Whole Foods who still provide conventional options, Planet Organic does not waver in their commitment to integrity. Their deli offers on-the-go meal options, with choices ranging from organic meats, roasted vegetables, salads and more. They offer vegan and vegetarian options and even vegan desserts. A one entree, two salad meal will only run you $10, which seems like a small price to pay for the quality of the meal. Because Planet Organic only allows organic produce in their store, you know your meal still falls under their quality standards, but unfortunately they do not provide nutritional information. However, since everything is hand prepared on site, the staff is a great resource to find out more, especially if you have specific sensitivities. I found my meal here very filling and satisfying and would highly recommend stopping here for lunch, and maybe following it up with grabbing some groceries to make a nutritious dinner!
1 - Sprouts
This place topped my charts in almost every area. An independent restaurant, Sprouts is relatively new on the scene, opening its doors four years ago. With no other locations as of yet, their location on Financial Drive strives to provide you with a healthy lunch that satisfies your taste buds without making you feel guilty. Their business is lunch driven; with slightly peculiar hours (they are only open 10am-4pm Monday-Friday). They focus on catering, which is appropriate due to their location which is nestled amidst an area with many office buildings. In typical healthy-on-the-go fashion, they offer a variety of wraps, sandwiches and salads with vegetarian options as well. Although they do not provide nutritional information, the staff is very forthcoming and transparent with where they obtain their produce and meat. I found this extremely impressive, as that kind of information is not easy to obtain from other restaurants. In case you were curious, their meat comes from an independent, free range farm in Guelph, and their produce is sourced locally wherever possible (this is Canada, so understandably there is a need to out-source during winter months.) The price is average, with a wrap and salad costing me about $10. The service is top-notch, the atmosphere is welcoming, and if Sprouts were closer to my home I’d be visiting them very regularly!