Whilst the words ‘healthy alternatives’ often conjure thoughts of carrot sticks and sushi to the uninitiated, healthy alternatives in Melbourne encompass far more than you might think.
Melbourne has become home to an increasing number of cafes and restaurants specialising in healthy, nutritious and wholesome foods including: Combi, Green Cup, Proud Mary, Fonda and Mr. Miyagi.
For anyone who knows me, its no secret I’m completely and utterly addicted to Barre and Pilates- improved posture. So lets get started, shall we? Following are my top Pilates, coffee, and healthy eatery hotspots to have your body loving your Melbourne stay as much as you do!
This is the go-to Melbourne destination for the unashamedly healthy eater. It’s safe to say I was in pure heaven. With inspiration drawn from the owner’s travels through New York, Bali and Hawaii, the founders’ passion and philosophy on wholesome food makes for an extraordinary menu. I tucked in to a turmeric and cinnamon latte brewed on house made almond milk, and a slice of sprouted loaf with smashed avocado, coconut oil and chilli. For something sweet, they also have their raw bar: think raw caramel slice, Acai and coconut cake and you have a fair idea of what my kind of heaven encompasses.
I consider fine dining to be one of my favourite hobbies, but while I’m all about nourishing, wholesome foods, sometimes we all need a bit of special treatment. Mr. Miyagi is exactly that! The Nori Taco is a must-try; a crisp nori taco filled with a thin layer of rice, tender grilled salmon and chilli. With a menu containing things like rice paper rolls and tuna tataki pizza made on spiced flatbread, there are plenty of options to indulge and still tantalise health-conscious eaters. If you’re really letting your hair down, there’s a menu featuring the huge array of sakes available as well.
Whatever your preconceptions of Mexican food, ditch them upon entering here. Fonda sources all fresh ingredients from the Queen Victoria Markets, and all rice is substituted with quinoa. With an open kitchen full of culinary guns, you can sit by the bar with a glass of Pinot Grigio and tuck into a braised pork taco filled with pineapple, onion, coriander and lime.
With a menu dedicated to Green and Superfood Smoothies, I felt like I had hit my home ground upon entering the Green Cup doors. The big kahuna is the Green Cup smoothie, full of every superfood you can imagine, in a creamy, and delightfully fresh blend. Pair with a selection of raw energy balls and slices, or a single serve of sprouted avo toast topped with chia seeds.
Unequivocally a Melbourne café institution, this place has lines of people marking its stake on cult status weaving through the streets. My pick was the ‘Coconut and Lemongrass pudding’ with fresh mango, passion fruit and pistachio, served with my new found favourite caffeine obsession: cold brew coffee! Creamy, slightly sweet chilled frothy coffee served at the espresso bar, no sugar or dairy just chilled creamy espresso.
Enter this beautiful loft in South Yarra and you’ll soon understand why the new Studio PP is already a leading Pilates studios in Melbourne. A fusion of mat Pilates teamed with intense body weight exercises and barre movements to have your core strengthend and limbs lengthened.
My healthy Melbourne round up wouldn’t be complete without One Hot Pilates, designed by Rob and Lucinda Mills, an architect and fitness pro respectively. This Pilates studio is state-of-the-art and one of the sole reasons my bag is half packed to make a permanent move from Sydney to Melbourne! With a hot mat and reformer Pilates class like no other, these sessions are intense and disciplined, with no messing around. One class and you’ll want to sign up to be a lean, mean, Pilates pro machine.