ANGEL MADISON

The health-driven chain True Food Kitchen is known around the country for its seasonal ingredients, anti-inflammatory menu and signature cocktails, and has just opened its first New Jersey location (another is slated for Edison sometime in 2022). Last week we got to try out this new spot, and we were delighted by the bright and airy feel of the restaurant located in The Shops at Riverside mall in Hackensack. The vibe here is in keeping with the eco-friendly style of the Arizona-based franchise.

They have a seasonal menu and we got to sample a few items off their current spring menu including their Poke Bowl, filled with raw wild albacore tuna, brown rice, quinoa, avocado, pickled jicama, snap pea, pickled shiitake and a lovely and light lemongrass ponzu, and the Avocado Key Lime Pie (yes, desserts CAN be healthy).

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN

At the advice of the chef and the owner we also tried one of their most famous appetizers, the Edamame Dumplings. These dumplings are filled with a melt-in-your-mouth creamy edamame in a broth of dashi and white truffle oil. Chances are, you’ll likely want more than one of these apps if you’re sharing with friends. And if you like things a little spicy, try the Charred Cauliflower, a vegan and gluten-free fave that has harissa tahini, medjool date, dill, mint and pistachio. 

If you’re vegan, gluten-free or have other dietary restrictions, let a server know and they will work to customize your meal to your needs. And many of the options on the menu are already labeled as vegan, vegetarian or gluten-friendly, and they have a rotating menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, salads and entrees. 

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN

And again, while healthy, True Food Kitchen doesn’t skimp when it comes to cocktails. They have a full bar with wine and beer selections, plus specialty craft cocktails like the Monarch, a gin-based drink with butterfly pea flower and tonic that comes with a shot of elderflower for a fun color-changing interactive experience. The Dragon Fruit Margarita is a nice twist on a classic with tequila, dragon fruit, ginger and lime. 

Don’t worry, the kids actually have options they’ll like too. The Mozzarella & Organic Tomato Pizza is a staple, along with a Grass-fed Burger or Chicken Teriyaki Bowl.

ANGEL MADISON

While you might think all this healthy eating means you aren’t getting dessert, you’d be wrong. In addition to the seasonal Avocado Key Lime Pie, they have other desserts on the menu including the perfectly gooey chocolate chip cookies and homemade vanilla ice cream topped with cacao chips. 

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN

The restaurant currently has both indoor and outdoor dining, with a massive outdoor patio with bright yellow umbrellas. If you’d like to dine indoors, the tables are spaced and socially distanced, and the waitstaff is masked. With well over 6,000 sq. feet of space you definitely won’t feel crowded. You can also opt to do curbside pickup and eat at home, their menu is available online, and you can get alcohol but fewer of their cocktail options. You can even try your hand at creating their dishes at home with meal prep, where they give you protein and two sides so you can “make a meal,” or choose from the family style meals if you’re having people over. 

True Food Kitchen is located at 390 Hackensack Ave Suite 186, The Shops at Riverside (next to Bloomingdales)HackensackNJ 07601