Keen to start the New Year on a high? Achieving your health goals in Sydney is easy – with an outdoors lifestyle, year-round warm climate and access to some of the best fresh produce in the world, it's no wonder Sydney is blessed with a myriad of health-conscious eateries. Luckily, the city has seen a surge in healthy chefs, who cater to diner demand by whipping up meals that are both nutritious and delicious. When dinnertime rolls around, they forgo flavouring their food with huge amounts of butter, salt and oil, and instead cook clean, lean and colourful dishes that taste just as good, if not better.
So to help plan your next night out around your New Year diet plan, we've pulled together our pick of the best healthy restaurants in Sydney. Because eating good doesn't have to be boring. Here’s where to go for a feel-good dinner fix.
Hidden behind St Mary’s Cathedral in the city, Bodhi has an incredible vegan menu. Settle in to an outdoor seat among the fairy lights and fig trees, and order up a feast of Oriental delights. Think steamed Chinese vegetables, san choy bao, vegan dumplings, salads and stir-fries with a rainbow of veggies, nuts and herbs. To round off your meal with a vegan yuzu cheesecake with black sesame.
2-4 College Street, Sydney
With sustainability at its core, Acre Eatery showcases ethical, farm-to-table dining at its finest. Every dish is made using ingredients harvested form the farm next door, so you can expect a healthy array of salads and seasonal veggies on almost every plate. And of course, with its strong focus on sustainability, every item of fruit and veg is used root-to-tip and meat nose-to-tail, to reduce waste and save on the environment.
Everything on the menu is wholesome, vibrant and full of flavour, with showstoppers including the likes of summer salad with freekeh, pickled garden vegetables, spiced carrot and golden beet, chili and labneh; cold smoked Kingfish with ruby grapefruit salsa; and Wagyu bresaola carpaccio, capers, anchovy aioli, pecorino.
31A Mallett Street, Camperdown
For organic, locally sourced food in a sleek Marrickville setting you won’t find better than Warren & Holt. You also won’t find a more accommodating bunch, dedicated to their allergen-friendly, vegan-friendly, ethically sourced mantra, which is reflected in every dish on the healthy, nutritious menu.
Kickstart the day with classic avo smash served with goats’ chevre and beetroot houmous, or go against the grain with fermented sourdough crumpets accompanied by sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, shallots, green pea powder and poached egg. If you’re feeling naughty, the Mr. Holt beef burger is so worth ditching the diet for. But even in its most indulgent form, it’s still one of the healthier burgers out there, and it even comes with dairy-free and gluten-free options.
415 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
A few streets back from Bondi Beach, this healthy haunt’s rustic interiors match the menu, which is simple and allows the quality of the ingredients to shine. Try the sprouted mixed grain falafel with red lentil dahl and coconut sambal, or the slow-roasted eggplant stuffed with quinoa, spiced nuts, herbs and haloumi. In the mood for seafood? Order the Ora salmon with labne – you won’t be disappointed.
140 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach
COOH sources organic produce, and makes almost everything else in-house to serve up dishes that are bursting with flavour and nutrition. Start with the scallops with corn and mango salsa before moving onto the crispy skin ocean trout with sweet potato puree and citrus herb salad. If you have room for dessert, the vegan caramel ice-cream sandwich will hit the sweet spot.
90-96 Bourke Road, Alexandria
Every meal at this Middle Eastern-meets-Mediterranean dining destination should start with the homemade hummus and Tel Aviv falafel (it’s so good, they wrote a book about it). Then, try the cauliflower salad with parsley, walnut and pistachio, or the fish kefta with smoky eggplant, mint and pomegranate. When you’re in Waterloo, there’s a similar menu at sister restaurant, Kepos & Co.
96 Kepos Street, Redfern
Thanks to its selection of sustainable seafood, this Bondi haunt has made a splash on Sydney’s seafood scene. It's also a haven for healthy eaters. After you’ve chosen your fish and how you’d like it cooked (grilled or steamed are the most virtuous options), have some fun with the sides. The roasted carrots are delicious, as are the sweet potato chips and seaweed salad.
North Bondi & Bondi Beach
Ever since its opening early 2017, the bar has been impressing Sydneysiders with its menu of Nepalese ‘momos’ (plump, juicy dumplings), and Hawaiian poke bowls. The fusion not only works, but it’s a healthy one at that – the momos are gluten-free, and stuffed with handmade fillings, while the bowls are brimming with sashimi, brown rice, and various veggies. Their newly opened outpost in Dee Why branches out and offers another great healthy option in the form of The Pokado – a.k.a. a poke salad served on avocado toast. Drool!
28 Market Lane, Manly
15-19 Pacific Parade, Dee Why
Here, every plate is packed with superfoods, veggies and other nourishing ingredients, and free from gluten, meat, dairy and refined sugar. The menu is tapas-style, so you can try a bit of everything, like the vegan san choy bow, crunchy quinoa salads, and pho with buckwheat and kumara noodles. Be sure to book, as the restaurant operates with two-hour sittings every night.
315 Cleveland Street, Redfern
Revered locally not just for their thriving yoga classes and rejuvenating retreats, Rozelle’s Egg of the Universe café is a ‘celebration of life’ centred on nutrient-dense wholefoods and principles of sustainability. You’ll find tasty café classics alongside cleansing teas, kombucha and broth to extend your post-yoga glow.
711 Darling Street, Rozelle
Whether you’re vegetarian or just having a Meatless Monday, Yulli’s delivers. The menu is as creative as it is flavourful, with a mix of Asian, Moroccan and Mexican-style plates. We love the mini Vietnamese pancake with chilli radish, king mushrooms and tofu, and the kimchi fried rice. Otherwise, the Moroccan tagine with buckwheat polenta is an exotic way to wind down your day.
417 Crown Street, Surry Hills