Eating whole food or plant-based doesn’t have to be a chore - it can be a creative, convenient and downright cool eating experience whether eating in or dining out.
If you want to take a ride on the health nut wagon, here are five wholefood eating experiences you might want to look up in Melbourne!
1. Urban Projuice
Many of Melbourne's vegan places are found on the other side of the Central Business District, so this Victorian-style cafe is a haven for the wholesome eater in Albert Park.
Urban Projuice prides themselves on “locally-grown, organic, fair-trade produce”. Their menu is chock-full of whole food choices in varying serving sizes for breakfast or lunch. What’s more? Health nuts will enjoy their sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free options at worthwhile prices. In the way of drinks, Urban Projuice offers organic coffee, fruit smoothies, and yes - the refreshing cold-pressed juices they were named for.
Not one to take their mission of sustainability by halves, Urban Projuice also uses environmentally-friendly products to serve food in.
Must try: Check out the favourite of Instagram foodies, Urban Projuice’s stack of fluffy vanilla buckwheat pancakes matched with vegan ice cream, toasted superseed crunch, pure maple syrup, wild berry compote and seasonal fruits.
2. The Beatt Cafe
The Beatt Cafe is committed to accessibility and making healthy choices a seamless and organic (pun intended) part of everybody’s lives.
They serve all-day breakfast, including their gluten-free Super Unbelievable Paleo Bowl made with granola, cashew coconut cream, bee pollen, and a thick fruit smoothie. For lunch, try their Asian soba noodle salad or their vegan sandwiches, and for dessert, sample the raw truffle bars from Citizen Cacao at the counter.
This well-crafted menu is complemented by a similarly thoughtful selection of smoothies and infusions. You can also kickstart your day with organic, fair-trade coffee from Rosso Roasting Co.
Apart from their whole food cafe, The Beatt also features a yoga studio, a steam room, and a meditation spot - all to provide a complete wellness hub for the Melbourne community.
Must-try: If you’re feeling feisty, take their power shots! These little energisers made from honey, ginger, invigorating spices, and citrus fruits are guaranteed to fire you up from the inside out in one gulp.
3. Nutrition Bar
Nutritious fast food seems like a contradiction. Healthy snacks take time, careful thought, and energy to make - luxuries not everyone has in today’s fast-paced world.
Enter Nutrition Bar, a whole food snack stop that satisfies both your palate and your daily caloric requirements. Their servings are easy to grab and go, and the service here is incredibly efficient - all the better to support your active lifestyle.
Nutrition Bar’s menu has diverse offerings, spanning five kinds of nutrition-packed acai bowls (original acai, green, protein, peanut butter, and dragon fruit), superfood smoothies, pressed juices, and protein shakes. Each item has been scientifically crafted to live up to their motto of “Nourishing Melbourne.”
Must-try: To wake you up, Nutrition Bar recommends Liquid Gold, a healthy thick shake made from chocolate almond milk, agave syrup, avocado, and a shot of espresso!
An endeavor that began as a Kombi coffee van circulating at festivals is now one of the most popular whole food cafes in Elwood. This hole-in-the-wall attracts an insane amount of foot traffic, so expect festival-length lines!
Combi has since expanded their beverage offerings to teas, superfood smoothies, kombucha, cold-pressed juices and exclusively-produced nut milks (excuse us, “nut mylks”). As for the original favourite, organic Combi Coffee is full-bodied with just the right blend of strength and sweetness.
Meals range from acai bowls, fruit parfaits, and toast made from sprouted bread to raw cakes, pasta, and pizza. For dessert, Combi also serves their signature sweet, raw salted caramel slices.
Must-try: For the parfait lovers, check out Combi’s organic chia party, with layers consisting of chia seeds, banana, berries, buckinis, strawberries, cranberries, and pistachio nuts. It’s some of the best foodie fun you’ll ever have in a tiny jar.
The Japanese name Shokuiku translates into “food education”. Owned by food blogger Yoko Inoue, this organic cafe is definitely a place to dig deeper into the raw whole foods you should be consuming, and how they affect attunement to your body and energy.
Shokuiku’s daily bill of fare consists of all-day berry bowls, simple but bright lunch salads brimming with crunchy leafy greens and whatever produce is in season, and dinner choices that are reinvented every month. On Sundays, they serve raw pancakes for brunch, matched with seasonal fruit and chocolate made from coconut and hazelnut.
For beverages, Shokuiku has healing and soothing teas, cold-pressed juice, and superfood smoothies that nutritionally amount to a full meal. True to their mission of staying 100% chemical-free, only filtered water is served in the cafe.
Must-try: Everyone’s buzzing about Shokuiku’s ULTIMATE Smoothie, a blitz of seventeen supremely powerful ingredients including coconut, cacao nibs, hemp, goji berry, ashwagandha designed to vitalise you so you can live your life in all-caps too! ■