Most people know of the Gold Coast for one of two reasons: its world famous surf breaks or the inaugural ‘Schoolies’ celebrations, when school leavers flock to the area to celebrate their graduation.
While surf and schooners are still very much a big part of life on the Goldie, the Queensland city is beginning to put itself on the map for another reason: a growing number of healthy food cafes have been popping up in the area. This is particularly the case in a suburb located directly between Coolangatta and Surfer’s Paradise, Burleigh Heads. The area is fast becoming a mecca for clean eaters, paleo followers, vegans, vegetarians and coeliacs alike, thanks to its many options to accommodate every eating style.
So, we’re calling it now: Burleigh Heads is the new healthy cafe capital of Australia. We recommend you get there for a visit before the secret gets out and the cafes get too busy! Here’s where to visit when you do:
1. Social Brew
Our founder Bianca Cheah popped into Social Brew on her recent trip to Burleigh Heads and absolutely loved it! The cafe is a favourite with locals, thanks to the lush interiors, great coffee and indulgent yet healthy menu (think zucchini pizza and colorful acai bowls.)
Check Social Brew out.
2. Ruby + Green
Tucked in the same alleyway as Social Brew (between James and Park Streets), you’ll find this lively cafe. If you’re after healthy meals made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, Ruby + Green is the place to go. From the yummy breakfast bowls, to the freshly squeezed juices and raw snickers slices, we guarantee you’ll have trouble picking just one thing!
Check Ruby + Green out.
Entering this quirky cafe feels like you’ve just stepped into a 1950’s diner—the brightly decorated walls give it a distinct vintage feel. In contrast, the menu is simple, modern and healthy without being fussy. Think organic bircher muesli or poached eggs and avocado on lemon and thyme toast.
Check Commune out.
If you prefer to enjoy your breakfast in the sunshine (and Burleigh Heads has plenty of that!), drop into this cool cafe. Dine al fresco as you enjoy the mouth-watering menu offerings like The Big Vegan—herb-grilled roma tomatoes, garlic-roasted Portabello mushrooms and half an avocado on house bread. It’s a must order, even for meat eaters!
Check Burleigh Social out.
5. Raw Energy
Want to grab a healthy (or healthy-ish) brekkie before you hit the beach? Make a stop at this beachside cafe. With extensive all day breakfast and lunch menus, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice. But we say you can’t go wrong with the gluten-free pancake stack served with mixed berries, maple syrup and macadamias!
Check Raw Energy out.
Traveling with people with specific dietary requirements? You’ll find something for everyone at Real Food Kitchen. The entire menu is 100% gluten and refined sugar free. There’s also dairy free, Paleo and raw vegan options. Open for both breakfast and lunch, you’ll find healthier takes on meals like chicken schnitzel, pancakes and fish and chips! Oh, and if you feel like getting your daily dose of gut-healing food, you can also order fermented veggies as a side!
Check Real Food Kitchen out.
This restaurant is located a little outside of Burleigh Heads, in the suburb of Miami. But it definitely warrants a mention, thanks to its innovative 100% plant-based, cruelty-free menu. With menu offerings like chickpea fries, buffalo cauliflower wings and meatball sub sandwiches, Greenhouse Canteen proves that food can be ethical and enticing at the same time.
Check Greenhouse Canteen out.