The best post-workout eats in Chicago

By Lauren Mandel

What's the real reason you commit to your workouts? Some love the feel-good burn an intense cardio session offers, while others really value the lifting and toning results of weight training. But there's one thing we’re pretty sure everyone can agree on: Getting in a solid workout allows you to eat what you want after it's done. And since a meal can be rewarding without being too indulgent, we've found these seven delicious options that just happen to be conveniently located near some of your favorite workouts in Chicago.

Left Coast
There’s a lot to be said for classes and private gyms, but sometimes all you need for a great workout is the great outdoors. Start at the Diversey Driving Range and take in the beautiful lakefront trail. You can bike, skate, walk, or run the over 18 miles of trail—and when you’re done, you can head to Left Coast. The menu is full of healthy food, juice, and smoothie options, like the Hermosa avocado toast, with red onion, mojo rojo, and basil for just $12, or the Kale Mary smoothie, packed with kale, avocado, blueberries, and more for just $7.50.
Neighborhood: Lakeview MAP

Real Good Juice Co.
There are now multiple outposts of the Real Good Juice Co. all over the Chicago area, but their very first juice location is still open in Old Town—right next to Flywheel and down the street from Equinox. The perfect complement to a cycling class or sweat session is a green smoothie, and our favorite is the Kal E. Kopowski for $8.95, made from kale, coconut cream, almond butter, banana, and cinnamon. And as they’ve grown as a company, so has their menu: Order paleo granola for just $5.50 or chia pudding for $6.95 to compliment any smoothie. No matter what you choose, you’re in for a real good meal.
Neighborhood: Old Town MAP

Goddess and Grocer
The North and Dame area of West Town is jam-packed with fitness options—from the Bucktown Athletic Club, to Pure Barre, to Orangetheory, to CorePower Yoga, and even more fitness spots. Since you know you’ll be hungry after your workout, head over to the Goddess and Grocer. Don’t get distracted by the stunning desserts (although you may end up leaving with a piece of the rainbow cake), and instead choose one of the wraps. The Garden Goddess wrap is just $9, and it’s filled with feel-good ingredients like avocado, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, spinach, and beets.
Neighborhood: Wicker Park MAP

3 Greens Market
East Bank Club is the premier fitness club of Chicago, and it also happens to be right down the street from 3 Greens Market, which offers plenty of options if you happen to feel like some post-workout indulging (we're looking at you, pastrami sandwich). If you're willing to go with something lighter, head to the salad bar—though calling it a salad bar is almost doing it a disservice. It’s filled with cold and hot options, soups and meats, pasta salads and tuna salads, hummus and fruit, and pretty much anything you can imagine. Load up (cautiously!) on whatever you like for $10.95 a pound.
Neighborhood: River North MAP

Blue Door Farm Stand Too
Barry’s Bootcamp is an East Coast favorite that has finally come to Chicago. One of its two locations is in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, and when we think healthy eats in Lincoln Park, we can’t help but think of Blue Door Farm Stand. This adorable take-out spot specializes in seasonal ingredients from local markets, which means every salad and sandwich is fresher than the next. If your workout takes you here in the morning, try the $8 Brown Line wrap, with eggs, Havarti cheese, bacon, and roasted red peppers. If you’re craving something more lunch-focused, try the brussels and kale salad for $13.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park MAP

Elaine's Coffee Call
This Lincoln Park go-to is so much more than just a coffee shop. Located inside the Lincoln Hotel, just down the street from Equinox, it’s the perfect place to relax after a treadmill or cycling session. Elaine’s is quaint and cozy, and the menu reflects this perfectly. You will, of course, want to order a cup of La Colombe coffee, but it’s the pastries and savory options you’ll want to pay most attention to. For $6, get the loaded steel-cut oatmeal with brown sugar and dried fruit, because is there anything more comforting than a piping hot bowl of oatmeal?
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park MAP

LYFE Kitchen
If you’re a barre fanatic, chances are you’ve tried The Bar Method, a workout that prides itself on using small, isometric movements to tone your entire body. And once you’re done lifting and sculpting, you’ll undoubtedly be starved, ready for your next meal. Just down the street, you’ll find a location of LYFE Kitchen, and you’re probably going to want everything on the menu. Try the Buffalo chicken wrap, a hearty option for just $10 that’s filled with chicken, avocado, black beans, and Greek yogurt ranch sauce.
Neighborhood: Gold Coast MAP

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