These days, eating out costs just about as much as making a home-cooked meal, so hey, why bother even dirtying the dishes on such nonsense? After all, the pros are simple: no one had to cook, and seemingly everyone got what they wanted after selecting their favorite menu items. Sadly, the cons are that eating healthy goes out the window, especially when items like Wendy’s Baconators look much more appealing than their sad salads.

But what if you didn’t have to choose between eating out and eating healthy? What if you could do both? Impossible, they say! But here in Salem, it is possible with the help of these healthy local restaurant options!

Healthy food in Salem
Eating healthy is also delicious at Ritter’s Housemade Foods. Photo courtesy: Ritter’s

Ritter’s Housemade Foods

102 Liberty Street NE #100, Salem

Mouthwatering brick oven pizza, gourmet salads, tasty sandwiches, and even creamy gelato are good for you at Ritter’s Housemade Foods, where everything is, you guessed it, housemade! Here, it’s all about family, community, and great food, and they’ve created a place where people can gather to enjoy all three.

In addition, their meals highlight the best that the Willamette Valley offers as they source local, seasonal, and organic ingredients for their housemade recipes. Their close relationships with companies such as Oregon Olive Mill, Governor’s Cup Coffee Roasters, Durant Vineyards, Bonta Gelato, and Freddy Guys Hazelnuts allow them to partner with some of the best local purveyors and, in turn, bring them directly to your table. And with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options on the menu, there’s something for everyone at Ritter’s Housemade Foods.

Healthy food in Salem
It’s a fiesta in your mouth at Wild Pear, where you won’t be mad about choosing healthy menu options. Photo courtesy: Wild Pear Restaurant & Catering

Wild Pear

372 State Street, Salem

Located in the renovated Adolph Block building dating back from 1880 in the historic district of downtown Salem is a lively local restaurant with a passion for showcasing seasonal and locally sourced ingredients known as Wild Pear. From the same Ritter family that brought Ritter’s Housemade Food to Salem, sister duo Cecilia and Jessica Ritter opened Wild Pear Restaurant & Catering as their first entrepreneurial venture.

Though Jessica sadly passed in 2020, Cecilia has remained committed to carrying on what she and her sister began decades ago – a legacy of family and community around tables full of quality food made with care and served with gratitude. On the menu, patrons will find it reflects seasonal and heritage-inspired recipes using locally sustainable and organic ingredients with plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free dishes.

Healthy food in Salem
Eating healthy is also delicious at Ritter’s Housemade Foods. Photo courtesy: Ritter’s

Venti’s Cafe + Taphouse

2840 Commercial Street SE, Salem

Specializing in healthy bar food when you still want to enjoy an outing but without your diet getting in the way is Venti’s Cafe + Taphouse. Plant-powered since 1996, plenty of vegan, gluten-free and hormone-free meats are featured on the menu, meaning good, clean food is only served in this edgy yet inviting atmosphere. Along with the healthy meal options are some unique microbrews and ciders to pair them with that can only be found in Venti’s Beer Vault.

Healthy food in Salem
You don’t have to give up on your favorite Italian dishes just because you want to be more healthy at Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurant. Photo courtesy: Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurant

Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurant

325 High Street SE, Salem

Fresh, local, and affordable are the words that describe Gamberetti’s Italian Restaurant in the beautiful downtown Pringle Plaza. In addition to creating mouthwatering meals that won’t break the bank or your waistline, they love supporting local farmers and using sustainable, natural, and organic ingredients whenever possible.

With an outdoor dining patio, a private banquet room that seats up to 20, and a full bar with local beers and an exquisite collection of Northwest and Italian wines, they’ve created a healthy dining experience that won’t make you hate your diet.

So remember, here in Salem, you don’t have to choose between eating out and eating healthy! You can do both with the help of these local healthy restaurants and many others like them that can be found throughout Marion County.

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