We've all been there. Grabbing a bite to eat between meetings. Rushing to get some lunch as your try to get a million life admin jobs done at lunchtime. Or just rocking up to your favourite healthy food outlet and finding a queue 25 people deep.
They're not the best times to start pinging your work WhatsApp group to ask for info on healthy restaurants in London - so the Fitness Lab team is here to help.
When we're not training clients in our Soho or Fitzrovia studios, we're always more than happy to be drinking coffee and loading up on protein-packed snacks in local eateries. Therefore, we're well placed to pick out what we think are the best healthy restaurants and eating spots here in Soho and nearby.
Here, you'll find 13 of the best places to find good, honest food that you can go back to work not feeling guilty about. We've expanded on each one too - with a more detailed review that you can click-through to that gives some info on how to get there and a few of our favourite menu options!
Without further ado - and in no particular order...
Bar Bruno: Soho
We've given Bar Bruno the first slot on this list because of their impressive amount of time-served. Believe it or not, this venue has been providing Soho residents with hot dishes since the 1960s - passed from generation to generation. This really is 'old Soho' at its best.
At 101 Wardour Street you'll find lip-smacking combo of English and Italian cuisine that makes this an absolute must-visit.
Here, you'll get a hearty breakfast for under a tenner - with plenty of veggie options. Vegan options are a touch limited - but there are some great pasta dishes that fit the bill.
The highlight for us? The Protein Power Breakfast - combining classic elements like poached eggs and toast with new breakfast must-haves like smashed avocado.
Oh, and did we mention there's a sirloin steak option for less than £15?! That alone should put Bar Bruno on your menu if you're looking to up those protein macros.
Take a more detailed look at what's on the menu and how to get there with our detailed Bar Bruno Soho Review.
It's touted as a charcoal grill - but don't let that put you off if you're looking for veggie or vegan food. There's a wide range of meal boxes, salads, and wraps at Carbon in Soho - and there's not a single menu item that we don't love.
Just around the corner from Whole Foods and Stone Island on Brewer Street, Carbon offers an eclectic mix of grill choices - from Japanese salmon through to Greek spiced lamb burgers and falafel wraps.
If you're going full keto or saving your carbs for later, the salads make an outstanding light lunch.
The only downside? This is one secret Soho eatery that's not so secret - so expect a queue! But we promise it's worth the wait.
We take a deeper dive into the menu in our expanded blog post: Carbon Soho Review.
Detox Kitchen: Soho
The word 'detox' gets thrown around a little too readily for our liking - but at The Detox Kitchen, you get the real deal - a health focused café with clean, whole foods that are cooked fresh and taking the majority of their ingredients from local suppliers.
Guilt free on every level. What more could you ask for at lunchtime?!
There are two delis in the Soho area (full details in our dedicated Detox Kitchen Soho Review blog post!) and both pride themselves on being dairy free, wheat free, and free from refined sugars. What's more, you can build your own bowl if you're keeping a tight track on calories or macros.
In fact, if macros are your thing - the staff here are SUPER knowledgable - and always happy to help you put together something based on your goals.
Check them out. You won't regret it.
Eat Activ: Soho
If you're focused on eating healthy dishes or you have a specialist dietary requirement, you sometimes get sick of seeing the same falafel or tofu options popping up everywhere - but we promise you won't get a feeling of veg-based groundhog day at Eat Activ.
The team at Eat Activ know what they're doing when it comes to creating outstanding flavours - and the dishes don't break the bank either. Every Activ Salad is outstanding by itself - and you can add a protein too if you're looking for a post-workout meal or something that'll keep you full into the evening.
There are plenty of sweet and savoury snack pots to take away too - with the chia seed pudding standing out as a Fitness Lab favourite.
Veggie, vegan, meat and fish dishes are all clearly highlighted - and the team work hard to keep calories fairly even in each of the categories too, so if you're working with a budget, you've still got your pick of the menu.
Check out more at our detailed Eat Activ Soho Review.
Honi Poke: Soho
Tired of the usual cuisine choices in Soho? Why not drop into Honi Poki for some authentic Hawaiian flavours?!
The Soho restaurant isn't the only one in the captial - but it's our local, so it's our favourite. It's always busy - but if there are no seats available, you're just a stone's throw from Soho square if the weather allows for al fresco dining!
Honi Poke serves up Instagram worthy dishes for under £8 (actually £6 if you've only got a small appetite) - and you can build your dish your liking. Perfect for macro trackers that are balancing carbs, protein, and fats.
Most dishes have at least 13-20g of protein for portion - and you can up that with additional chicken, salmon and the like.
Like the sound of a Hawaiian lunch? They can't promise the weather - but the flavours are there in abundance! Check out more in our Honi Poke Soho Review.
Joe & The Juice: Soho
You're never far from a Joe & The Juice in London - but unlike some chains, there are plenty of great snacks and healthy bites to eat to choose from.
The fruit juice heavy menu means low-carb options aren't overly plentiful - but if you're post-workout and looking for a way to keep your energy up, the juices and snacks are fantastic.
Where some chains have vegan options that are pretty dull, there are some excellent sandwiches and shakes here that are every bit as good as their meaty/diary options.
You probably already know plenty about Joe & The Juice - but if you're planning on taking advantage of their time-saving order-in-advance option via the app, why not take a look at our detailed review for some inspiration? Read more at our Joe & The Juice Soho Review
Lavelle Bike & Bean: Soho
Bikes and healthy food? What's not to love.
Okay, so even if you're not a cyclist you'll fall in love an awesome range of low carb, keto, and vegan food options. And if welfare standards usually drive you towards veggie options, you can have guilt free meat and dairy here safe in the knowledge that ethics underpins the entire operation at Lavelle.
There are some frankly superb options for brunch and breakfast (we're looking at you, bacon, eggs, and avocado on sourdough) that are packed to the rafters with protein if you've hit the gym early. Great breakfast pots too - if you don't love the overnight chia seeds soaked in coconut milk with mango, raisins and dates topped with berry açai and fresh tropical fruits, then drop it in at Fitness Lab!
With a top rewards system for regulars and brilliant Wifi, Lavelle is hard to beat. Read more in our Lavelle Bike & Bean Review.
Make Mine: Soho
Today more than ever, it's important to make our money go as far as possible - so if you want feel good food without spending much more than a fiver, you need to try Make Mine for lunch tomorrow.
As the name suggests, you can make your sandwich, wrap, ciabatta, bagel or salad to your exact taste. This is an amazing bonus if you're watching your macros or keen to make sure there's no rogue full-fat mayonnaise snuck in where it's not welcome.
There are TONS of great protein sources available for you to add to your sandwich - but for us, the standout is the Ali & Levy salad or wrap. It's one of the few vegan options - but you won't miss meat and we promise you'll be ordering it again tomorrow for a second hit of falafal, veg, hummus and tahini goodness.
Make Mine is a great venue with a good honest down-to-earth vibe. Read more about it in our detailed Make Mine Soho Review.
My Place: Soho
We take great pride in offering outstanding customer service at Fitness Lab - but it sometimes feels like great service in London eateries gives way to frantic rushing around. If you'd like somewhere you feel genuinely welcome - My Place needs to be at the top of the list for your next lunch venue.
Okay, so some reviews comment about the prices being higher than Pret and the likes, but based on the quality of the ingredients, we're happy to pay a couple of quid more.
Vegan dishes are limited - but if you're into eggs, some of the omelettes make for a brilliant protein-packed breakfast.
All told, this is a great venue with brilliant staff and some tasty healthy options. Want to hear more? Check out our My Place Soho Review.
A lot of chain restaurants see their recognisable name as a way of sneaking prices up for diners seeking familiar grub - but the Pho philosophy seems to be all about keeping great food very affordable.
When a place focuses on one food type - pho noodle soups and curries in this case - you can be fairly confident that they're going to be knowledgable when it comes to maximising flavour! In our experience, there's not a single dish on the Pho menu that's short of delicious - including all meat free and vegan options.
There aren't a bunch of snacks to stuff in your bag and take back to the office at Pho - but if you've got half an hour spare for great sit-down food, you're in for a treat. Chicken salad and chicken broth are standouts - but nothing on the menu will leave your energy crashing by 2pm, so you can go wild with no blood sugar worries!
Read more about what's available in our Pho Soho Review.
Pret A Manger: Rathbone Place
Pret! On a list of healthy eating venues?!
We've all heard the stories about pre-packed sandwiches that are more calorific than Big Macs - but if you choose wisely, there's plenty of great food to have alongside a decent cup of coffee.
The Pret on Rathbone Place is about a 20 second walk from our Fitzrovia studio - so we've become experts at picking out the good stuff.
There are tons of veggie, vegan, and gluten free options - and labelling has got significantly better in recent years. In fact, there are full nutritional facts with every option - so you can find something to fit your needs perfectly.
If you're keen to hear our personal trainers' favourite options - check out our Pret A Manger Rathbone Place review.
White Pine: Fitzrovia
If you're looking for a eco-friendly independent coffee store - White Pine is just the ticket.
Although White Pine is primarily aimed at delivering great vegan and vegetarian options, we'd strongly encourage carnivores to check the place out too. Aside from the stunning Nordic vibe going on in-store, their sandwiches are to die for - including the White Pine Club, with some of the best vegan 'chicken' we've ever had.
The superfood smoothie bowls make an outstanding breakfast and their are plenty of plant-based protein shakes to choose from too.
It's not the cheapest place on this list - but the quality of their ingredients is up there with the best. Oh, and if you're shopping for gifts - they've got some perfect presents in their shop while you wait for your sandwich.
Read more in our White Pine Fitzrovia Review.
Whole Foods: Piccadilly
If you're a grazer who likes a steady selection of snacks through the day, Whole Foods is a great option.
Brimming with fruits, veg, and all manner of healthy snacks, Whole Foods has just celebrated 10 years in Piccadilly. If you've steered clear because of the brand's reputation for hefty prices - we'd encourage you to think again and have a look around, you might be surprised.
The biggest bonus about Whole Foods is the diversity of the diets they cater for. Paleo, raw vegan, keto, grain free - the list goes on.
There's a monster-sized range of bars to choose from too - so if you're eating on the go or snacking between meetings, you can't go wrong.
Take a deeper dive into what's availabe in our Whole Food Piccadilly Review.
Have we missed you?!
Think your Soho (or nearby!) eatery deserves a place on our list? Let us know!
We're always keen to meet new people who have an eye for healthy eating - so if your sea bass ceviche, roasted sweet potato, or turmeric roasted cauliflower ought to be on our list, we'll come and take some photos (and send our hungry personal training clients your way!)