Is anyone else loving the emerging theme of healthy wholefoods/superfoods based café menus in Melbourne? It’s been happening over the last couple of years and is basically a marriage of 2 of my great loves - dining out and following a wholefoods based diet. One of my favourite ‘diet’ (for want of a better word) philosophies to live by is JERF - just eat real food! Simple. Here are some of my favourite places to JERF at.
HOLY BOWLY – HAMPTON
This beautiful light filled and airy space, lends itself so well to the cleaner side of eating styles. Holy Bowly’s menu is very accommodating with a mix or raw and cooked options and plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes to cater for all our needs. Their menu rotates to mimic what’s fresh and in season. I’m pretty obsessed with their house made sprouted ‘holy bread’. You can swap it in with any of their savoury breaky dishes. Wholesome and satiating, you can just hear your body sing with every mouthful.
These guys don’t put a foot wrong with a Calmer Sutra Fresh chai either! My favourite way to drink it here is with the addition of golden turmeric for an extra health and flavour boost.
From acai and smoothie bowls, to cooked breakfast, to superfood packed buddha bowls, this menu covers a lot. They even have a small section of pantry essentials and grab and go meals and snacks. Their motto “Eat yourself happy” is one that I’m down with.
VEGIE BAR – FITZROY
A Melbourne institution – this has been a go to for me since first becoming a vegetarian back in the 90’s. The fact that I have been a regular customer for over 20 years is testament to the tight ship these guys run. Its home style comfort food, done healthy. Yep that’s my kinda food! I can never go past some old menu favourites like the Mexican burrito, the mostly greens and their big hearty burgers but am also really digging the specials that float through. This down to earth, bustling venue is always full – clearly, I’m not alone in my vegie bar love affair.
Oh and these guys are one of Calmer Sutras original chai customers. 15 years strong – Their loyalty rocks!
SURFCOAST WHOLEFOODS - TORQUAY
This one is on my to do list. It’s a wholefoods store and café with a menu that changes with the seasons and uses organic ingredients only. These guys are big on community, so much so, that I haven’t even been there but I feel like I’m a part of it. I’ve been eyeing of dishes on Instagram such as the paleo big brekkie, the buckwheat pancakes and the acai bowl just to name a few.
There always seems to be interesting in store events flowing through, from fermentation workshops to movie screenings to kirtan chanting sessions.
So next time you’re hitting the coast, add Surfcoast wholefoods to the agenda!
URBAN PROJUICE ALBERT PARK
This one I tried for the first time, purely for this blog on recommendation from one of my staff. It did not disappoint. I googled the menu and ‘poof’ I was out of my office and into my car on my way to do some ‘research’ (someone’s gotta do it?!)
The menu speaks my language and I couldn’t go past the sesame soba bowl. I love this whole ‘bowl’ movement which is gracing Melbourne menus (think Buddha bowl or Macro bowl). Basically, it tends to involve lots of small components which include proteins, vegetables and grains. You'll find plenty of fresh ingredients, big flavour hits and above all that satisfaction that your body is loving you for every mouthful. Urban Projuice supply our vegan (fructose free) chai on an impressive and extensive bevvy menu. I’ll be back repeatedly to work my way through this heavenly menu, make no mistake!
COMBI COFFEE – ELWOOD
What started as a humble combi-come-coffee van gracing the festival scene has now blossomed into 2 cafés (Elwood & Byron Bay) with quite the cult following. The cafés have a Byron, beach shack kinda vibe that make you feel like you’re living the endless summer of 66.
This is your health-conscious smoothie & juice bar but with a whole lot more. An abundance of decadent raw treats, coffee which people queue up down the street for, amazing fresh chai, (wink wink) breaky bowls and a raw zucchini spaghetti to die for. These are just a few reasons to visit Combi. Peace.