We’ve all been there. You love to eat out, but you’re trying to stick to the diet (or, at least, not pack it in completely!). Meanwhile, your friends are going out for brunch, planning long lunches, and catch-up dinners. But don’t lock yourself in your apartment, hermit-style — the healthy eating restaurant scene is alive, well, and truly flourishing in Sydney. So ditch the under-seasoned grilled chicken and broccoli for one night for one of the healthiest restaurants Sydney has to offer.
This healthy food destination keeps things simple, creating a dining experience based around optimal nutrition and fresh, local produce. Take your pick of breakfast classics (hello, nitrate-free bacon), loads of light salads, and tantalising proteins cooked to perfection. We suggest making the trip with a group so you can order the lamb shoulder with sweet potato hummus, the smoked pork belly, AND the Waldorf salad with fermented cashew cheese to share. Good health never tasted so good.
Consistently voted as one of the best cafés in Sydney, The Nine is equal parts Bondi and the Mediterranean. Its modern, plant-filled fit-out (with floor tiling that reads “You Are Here”) is typical for the area, yet the menu ticks all the boxes for a truly healthy meal: seasonal, organic, farm-to-table, chemical-free. The all-day range centres around nine core Mediterranean cuisines (thus the café’s name), where you’ll find everything from probiotic juices to superfood bowls to signatures like Turkish Baked Eggs with capsicum hummus toast.
No matter if you’re in Barangaroo, Manly, or Surry Hills, VERD has got you covered with plant-based, salad-fuelled goodness. Choose from a range of bowls, raw treats, and smoothies on the menu — the perfect option for a tasty and nutritious weekday lunch. And not only will the food you’re eating delight your taste buds, but you can feel good about it, too. VERD is serious about the food they serve, which is why everything is made fresh daily, sustainably sourced, and is non-GMO. And best of all, to beat those lunchtime queues, you can even pre-order your meal online!
Farm-to-table dining in the Inner West, Acre is known for fresh, local cuisine served in a rustic restaurant space. With rolling kitchen gardens, a separate spritz bar, and an expansive deck overlooking the fields, this spot is more than just a place to eat. On offer, you’ll find seasonal favourites like Wood-fired Cauliflower, Corn Fed Chicken, Yellow Capsicum Risotto, and Heirloom Carrot Labneh Salad. It’s safe to say the team at Acre have the clean eating movement down to a science.
Bondi leads the way in Sydney’s wellness scene, so it’s no surprise that one of the best-known (and best-tasting) healthy cafes can be found in the heart of Australia’s favourite beach. Combining good food, art, coffee, and culture, Porch and Parlour has been serving up the goods for about a decade. This restaurant is a fabulous spot for post-work tapas and a spritz cocktail, but what really speaks to us is the delicious brunch menu. Turmeric Omelette? Green Pea Pancake? Seasonal Autumn Smash n’ Hash? Count us in.
Concrete Jungle, in Chippendale and in Suburbia (Kogarah), is a rare breed for crushing its not only its coffee and brunch service, but making them substantially healthier than most. Keep it simple with a house-blend coffee and classic Eggs on Toast brekkie. But know you can also kick it up a notch with a Turmeric Latte and what is likely the most mesmerising dishes in Sydney: the Blue Majik Smoothie Bowl — swirling blue spirulina with puffed house-made granola and edible flowers.
This classy, Millennial pink, farm-to-table garden oasis in the Eastern Suburbs is dedicated to selection of locally, ethically, and sustainably produce in Australia — include what’s grown in their backyard farm. A breakfast, lunch, or dinner is a wellness experience as much as it is a social one, with choices like Cauliflower Falafel and Free-Range Roast Chicken served alongside their botanical house-made gin. Fitt Tip: entering a food coma after the meal? Make a booking at their on-site organic day spa.
There’s nothing else on Earth quite like Nalinis in Bondi Beach, Bondi Junction, and Bronte! It’s a unique, Indian-inspired vegan eatery with a massive cult following that is built around the philosophy of conscious dining. The food is probiotic, Ayurvedic (don’t worry if you have to Google that), plant-based, and is always served with a smile. We could give you some pointers as to what you should be ordering, but let’s face it — we’d just be listing the entire menu! To cover all your bases, you’re better off just ordering the Ayurvedic Tasting Plate and some chachas (gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free “nice cream”) for dessert.
This place is 100% vegan, 100% iconic, 100% delicious — and best news of all is that the Yulli’s empire is expanding! Having operated from Surry Hills’ Crown St. for more than a decade, the Yulli’s crew have now opened an outlet in up-and-coming Alexandria — this time, expanding its menu to include locally-brewed beer. Yulli’s Brews sports the same delicious vegie menu (Miso Baked Eggplant, Korean Fried Broccolini, and quirky desserts like Sweet Potato donuts) alongside an impressive array of flavourful beers and ciders, all brewed in house. Put this spot on the top of your list if you’ve got a group with food allergies or if you simply have a passion for ethical and sustainable eating.
One of those rare establishments with an equally appetising array of dishes for every meal of the day, COOH is the Inner West’s best-kept secret. If you’re peckish in the morning, drop in for Zucchini Buckwheat Fritters. If it’s lunch or dinner fare you’re looking for, you can’t go past the Lamb and Haloumi Kefta Meatballs, the Crispy Skin Ora King Salmon, or the mouth-watering Smoky Eggplant. Even better, all of their ingredients are sustainably- and locally-sourced from area farms and small wholesalers. Make sure you take a friend — with such an extensive menu chock-full of lighter options, you’ll want to sample one of everything.
A unique social enterprise in the heart of Newtown, Lentil As Anything serves up delicious vegan dishes in a warm, community-friendly setting. While the concept includes a vegan catering team and food rescue grocery store, the real star of the show is the pay-as-you-feel vegetarian restaurant. The menu is based around seasonal produce, and changes daily — but you can always expect tasty dishes like Beetroot Risotto, Vegetable Biryani, Eggplant Pakora, and Sri Lankan Curry plates. And to round out your delicious and health-conscious meal, they offer house-made beverages like cucumber lemonade and a spiced banana date smoothie. Oh, and don’t forget to order a sweet vegan treat (Rock Melon Coconut Cake, anyone!?) before you head out.
Family-owned for three generations, Bodhi has been offering up Sydney’s tastiest vegan dumplings since before most diners had even heard of the plant-based diet! You’ll find this healthy tapas spot in the heart of Central Sydney’s Hyde Park, a short walk from St James train station and overlooking the city skyline. Delicious pan-Asian favourites—like Stuffed Betel Leaf, Shiitake Truffle Oil Dumplings, and Japanese Taro Chips—steal the show, but if you’re really looking for the crowning jewel of Bodhi’s cuisine, you HAVE to order the ‘duck’ pancakes. They’re better than any meaty Yum Cha you’ve ever tasted — we promise.
An urban wholefood cafe and a yoga studio — you can’t get any more holistically healthy! Nestled in laid-back Rozelle and South Eveleigh, Egg of the Universe delivers spectacular breakfast eats in an eco-friendly, sustainably run garden cafe setting. Start with an early-morning Yin or Vinyasa yoga session, then refuel your chakras with one of the super smoothies (we love the salted caramel!) and a sweet potato and buckwheat pancake. Fitt Tip: watch out for regular events, retreats, and workshops (including an amazing wholefoods cooking class!) on the café’s website.