At least once in their life everyone has eaten it and at the same time, at least once in their life everyone has expressed either criticism or concerns towards it. We are talking about fast food. Indeed, most people associate fast food with international companies that have often been under attack for the alleged low food quality, cruelty towards animals and, more in general, an overall unsustainability of their model.
However, it is correct to state that pigeonholing food in two categories (fast and, opposed to that, slow food) and defining one as a better option in comparison to the other just does not work anymore. As a matter of fact, there are a number of medium and small sized fast food businesses advocating the value of local, organic ingredients over cheaper and fatter, and the respect for the natural environment and its workers over profit and expansion. And we’ve got a small list of a few good and healthy fast food options that will restore your confidence in the industry.
Yes, fast food stands for that type of food that is prepared as quickly as it is supposed to be consumed. This phenomenon, after achieving increasing popularity in the United States in the 50s, quickly spread throughout the whole world in its most mass-consumption variant. But as we just pointed out above, just because it’s fast and cheap, it doesn’t mean it’s bad or harmful.
Are you on your lunch break and you’re tired of the same old standardized sandwiches, or a busy tourist who has no time to sit and stare at the world going by? Whatever category you fall into or your taste is, our locals have got your back!
When in Bucharest and you don’t want to compromise between taste, quality and ‘right away’, go to Hobo’s Eat Point. You can order take away, eat in or have your food delivered. Each portion is already packed but always freshly made, its variety ranging from vegetarian dishes to yummy desserts.
In Belgrade there are places to grab a bite at every corner, but Jazza Yoga is one of the healthiest options you might bump into. They prepare freshly juices and delicious sandwiches, but above all they are very proud of their homemade hummus.
A clear example of fast food gone healthy, Natuurlijk Smullen is heaven for any vegetarian and gluten intolerant. Among their tasty choices, fresh fries made of unpeeled organic potatoes and a burger made of wheat, herbs and veggies. And when summer kicks in, you can find their food truck around Amsterdam,
This mono-thematic food place serves only ‘albóndigas’, the traditional Spanish meatballs, in different variations (one of them is also vegan). You can also choose between different dimensions for the portions and just combine your meatballs with the sauces and ingredients you prefer. Desserts: amazing and homemade too.
The name is quite revealing in itself – Potatolicious is about potatoes. A big, fat potato combined with different ingredients (which in this case you can also mix as you prefer). Their menu and combos change often, so you will never get tired of it.
In the Ayurveda Center of Kiev, the Ayurveda Cafe has become quite a popular spot for its cheap and healthy food and its peaceful, minimalist atmosphere. The food is prepared following Ayurvedic recipes, and the ingredients used are all of non-animal origin.
Everything they serve in Soi Soi is vegetarian and organic – and also very yummy, considering that the place is often packed (before your order goes through, you might eventually end up waiting a bit). What is it famous for? Its burgers. Tempted to try more than one? Go for it and don’t feel guilty – here it’s all about keeping healthy.
Unlike the others mentioned above, Loving Hut is an international food chain with more than 200 branches around the world. What’s the difference between this chain and the others? All the dishes prepared here are vegan and organic. The choice is wide, the quality is good, the prices are cheap – this last variable being quite an advantage when you visit Oslo, a notoriously expensive city.
You know the situation where you suddenly become hungry while waiting for the next tube and the only options you see around are vending machines? In case you happen to pass through Schönleinstrasse U-Bahn Station in Berlin, stop at Rise Up. The place has handmade, organic onigiri, the traditional Japanese rice ball made of white rice, shaped as a triangle or an oval and wrapped in nori (seaweed) – a little guilt-free pleasure to-go that will help fill that void in your stomach.
From American organic pancakes to Mexican tortillas, every Thursday Hamburg hosts a street food event that will meet everyone’s taste. In this occasion different culinary traditions come together and merge into an alternative food culture that at its core, has the values of diversity, health and sustainability. The initiative has proven to be hugely successful (it has been going on non-stop since September 2014), and it has become a favourite gathering occasion for many of the citizens of Hamburg.
What are your favorite fast & healthy food options?