Noodles & Co.
This is part five of a 10-part series highlighting the healthiest chain restaurants in America, along with the efforts they’re making to promote healthy eating. We’re defining a chain as any restaurant with more than 25 locations. Find part one here, part two here, part three here, and part four here.
Noodles & Company is a popular chain that’s — surprise! — based around noodles. While there are a whole bunch of pasta dishes of every stripe (from pad Thai to spaghetti and meatballs) on the menu, there are also soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts, and you can customize your own meals. They give a lot of thought to health when planning their menu, so while there are certainly unhealthy menu items, there are plenty of healthy options to be had as well.
Only healthy soybean oil is used for sautéing at this chain, and lean proteins include hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, beef, and shrimp and organic tofu. Whole-grain linguine makes for a healthy noodle option, and many small soups and salads contain 250 calories or less per serving.