A #cleaneating and organic dining guide to the Gold Coast
It’s no secret there’s a revolution in full swing around the world, as conscious farmers and foodies join forces to shun the conventional in favour of healthy, organic goodness. And on the Gold Coast, it’s not just the health conscious and sustainable produce flag-flyers who are getting in on the organic ‘trend’.
When it comes to eating out on the Gold Coast, organic, paleo, raw, vegan and gluten-free are increasingly becoming top of mind and any foodie worth their bunches of kale will know these havens should be added to your favourites.
The Cardamom Pod
Gourmet vegetarian is the name of the game at The Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach. From the people behind the original Byron Bay Bliss Balls, this cafe serves up delicious vegetarian fare with a slight Indian bend. From tandoori paneer and cauliflower roti wraps, to brown lentil moussaka washed down with a ‘magic mocktail’, you’ll leave here on the biggest natural high.
Real Food Kitchen
Real Food Kitchen in Burleigh Heads are passionate about the J.E.R.F philosophy – Just Eat Real Food. With a focus on eating as Mother Nature intended, the menu highlights gluten and refined sugar-free meals with dairy-free, keto and vegan options available.
Greenhouse Canteen and Bar
Located in Miami and their new Coolangatta digs, these guys offer up an inventive vegetarian and vegan menu that’s attractive to even the staunchest carnivore. Tucking into Greenhouse Canteen and Bar’s pulled jackfruit enchilada, it’s hard to believe you’re not chowing down on melt-in-your-mouth beef. With eats like buffalo cauliflower wings, this vego hot-spot can’t be accused of dishing out boring fare. There’s even craft beer to twist your fast food-devotee’s arm, if you need to.
Mandala Organic Arts Café
Up the road at Mermaid Beach, sits one of the coast’s best-kept secrets – Mandala Organic Arts Café. A fusion of raw and organic cuisine, and a chilled out performance space that plays host to musicians each week, their plant-based pizzas are enough to convert the diehard meat lover!
What do you get when you combine paleo granola, organic coffee and a roster of yoga classes next to Nobby’s Beach? A hipster hub of healthy eating called BSKT. From superfood breakfasts to mains like kangaroo san choy bau and seared wild tuna, and delicious coconut sorbet for dessert, you could easily become a bona fide local here… at least at meal times.
With a mantra of keeping things simple, this Southport gem offers a plant-based menu free of dairy, preservatives, artificial colours and gluten (some items with GF options). If you’re stopping by before 11am, try Blendlove’s happy hashies for breakfast – housemade truffle hash, garden greens, kale-naise and coconut bakon, avocado and black sesame. If smoothies are your jam, the spiced coconut and almond butter is a local favourite.
Nude Sisters Whole Food Kitchen
From brekkie to burgers and raw desserts, Nude Sisters Whole Food Kitchen is Mermaid Waters‘ newest vegetarian haven. Not only are they serving top-notch nosh, with dishes like chilli parmesan eggs and rice noodle pad thai, the decor is fresh with pastel hues, blonde wood and fiddle leaf figs, capturing the coastal vibe of the Gold Coast.
Whether you’re a full-blown chia-pod-loving kid or just want eggs on toast that you can actually digest properly, Marie Anita’s in Mermaid Beach has got your gluten-free back. With a background in gluten-free artisanal baking, it’s no surprise that you can pick up a loaf of tasty gluten-free bread – how does apricot and walnut loaf sound? – ‘to go’ with your (organic) morning coffee.
Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market
With stalls setting up before the crack of dawn, Sunday morning in Miami means one thing: the Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market. Offering a huge range of certified organic produce, from crusty sourdough bread to just-picked-fruit and vegetables, pantry staples and safe natural cleaning products, the markets are not just a great place to shop but the perfect Sunday morning ritual for those who like to get high on the good stuff.
Wray Organic Market and Café
In the States they may have Wholefoods, but in Palm Beach the locals are all about Wray Organic Market and Café. Opened as their flagship store in 2005, this organic superstore and cafe chain has everything you need to feel nourished and vibing off life. Whether you’re packing your enviro bag full of take-home pantry goodies and fresh veggies or slugging down on a green juice and salad, you can’t help beaming after a stop-off here.
Other organic goodies
- Helen’s Heavenly Wholefoods Cafe in Burleigh Heads whips up delicious, fruit-topped acai bowls. While you’re there, you can pick up your essentials at their Bulk Foods store just next door.
- You can have your cake and eat it too at MRKT in Miami. This small shopfront is serving up raw, hand-crafted treats that look almost too good to eat.
- In the back of the FoodWorks store in Burleigh Heads lies an inconspicuous but awesomely large organics section. You’ll never run out of chia seeds again!
Know another great vegetarian, paleo or #cleaneating hotspot we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments.
This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated on 30 January 2018.