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Summer means more heat, less clothing, and later nights. On these long hot days, I’m not really in the mood for a heavy meal, and I find myself craving something lighter and healthier.  Whether you’re looking for takeout or dine in, a small eatery or a large sit down restaurant, we’ve found healthy options everywhere. We’ve listed some of our favs below, and we’ll be featuring each as a reel on Instagram throughout the month of August in our new segment “Light Bites in the LBC.” Don’t forget to check back each week for more great content, brought to you by LB Home + Living and ExploreLongBeach!

Blackened Salmon Caesar at Belmont Brewing Company

This is my absolute favorite salad of all time! It’s a classic Caesar Salad with parmesan and croutons, tossed in caesar dressing. I always add blackened salmon, but you can also add chicken or shrimp. I’ve had them all, and they’re all delicious! These salads make for a good sized dinner if you’re eating by yourself, or you can add their yummy garlic bread and split the salad and bread with a friend and get perfect portions of both. Belmont Brewing Company (BBC) is located right on the water, so it has a great view and is perfect for date nights or group outings. At night, they light up the fire pits that provide ambiance and a little bit of heat. We love dining here at sunset especially, because you can watch it over the water. BBC also has a ton of beer options that they brew themselves (and after having a light salad for dinner, there’s plenty of room for beer!). Visit their website to see the full menu.

Photo by @explorelongbeach

Poke at Poke Pola

Poke Pola is my fav poke place, and here’s why: their poke is completely customizable. Think Subway or Chipotle, but for poke! You can pick your base (salad, white rice, brown rice, or chips). You can pick your protein from options like spicy tuna, shrimp, marinated beef, salmon, tofu, and more. Then you add veggies like cucumber and onion, and you choose your spice level. Be careful because their spice levels are no joke! I have a decent spice tolerance, so I get “Nirvana”…only if I didn’t get spicy tuna as a protein. I get “Live a Little” if I did get the spicy tuna, because that spicy tuna packs its own punch. Then you add toppings like crab salad, edamame, avocado, eel sauce, and so many more. They have a cute outdoor seating area that’s great for people watching on 2nd street, or you can dine indoors. It’s also great takeout food and will stay good for a decently long drive home. Check out their website to see the full menu.

Photo by @explorelongbeach

Shrimp Salad at Long Beach Pizza Co.

Long Beach Pizza Co. is a great restaurant to bring the family to, but what about the times when you’re looking for something lighter than pizza? You’re in luck because they have a ton of great salad options! I’ve had their chicken Caesar salad and their turkey salad and loved them, but this time I was in the mood for seafood, so I opted for the shrimp salad and it was incredible. Their salads are fairly customizable so you can choose your dressing, and you can add or remove any toppings you like. Everything at Long Beach Pizza Co. is really affordable, and the family-owned Italian restaurant vibes make it a comforting and relaxing place to eat. Visit their website for their full menu.

Photo by @explorelongbeach

Acai Bowls at Salud Juice

Nothing says summer more than a fresh acai bowl from Salud! They have 7 main acai bowls to choose from, but they are also customizable if you want to add, sub, or remove ingredients (I always get no banana because I’m not a banana fan). There are also extra add ins to choose from like hemp seeds, peanut butter, collagen, and more. In addition to their yummy bowls, they also have coffee, tea, cold pressed juices, smoothies, and some delicious grab and go foods. The 4th Street location has such a great vibe too. They have an indoor outdoor flow, tons of plants, and great photo ops. They also go all out with Halloween decorations so it’s definitely worth planning some extra visits during that time. Peep their full menu here.

Photo by @explorelongbeach

Salad Bar at Whole Foods

Okay, I know this is hardly a small business…but during the shutdown, everywhere else closed up their salad bars and never reopened them. And sometimes you just want a salad with all the toppings you can imagine without having to do all the prep work yourself. Not to mention that a lot of things are difficult to buy in small quantities. So, if you’re looking for the best salad bar I have personally ever seen in my life — Whole Foods is the place to go. They have a plethora of lettuce and other greens to choose from; they have about 6 different grains you can add; and there are proteins like chicken, ham, turkey, bacon, and tofu. I think I saw about 8 different types of cheese to add and veggies like cucumber, mushrooms, beets, and more. There are nuts, seeds, and dried fruits; 6 different dressings; and ingredients like oil and balsamic to make your own dressing. This is the salad bar to top all salad bars (when there even were other salad bars…). These salads are great for a quick dine-in lunch, or there are also containers to put your dressing on the side if you want to bring it home for later. Unfortunately, the salad bar ingredients are not on the Whole Foods website, so you’re just going to have to trust me when I say that it’s awesome. One last note: if you have specific salad desires, you might want to call ahead and find out exactly when the salad bar is getting put out for the day, because some of the toppings go quickly and you don’t want to miss out!

Photo by @explorelongbeach
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