Sea levels and temperatures aren’t the only things rising year-on-year. So too are a selection of the Gold Coast’s restaurants and cafes, rising to the occasion and doing their bit for the environment. June is Sustainability Month at Urban List, so we want to celebrate them.
From reducing waste and co-ops to food donating and composting, here’s our roundup of the Gold Coast’s best sustainable restaurants and cafes.
They’re known for making the most mouth-watering pastries, wholesome dishes and an unrivalled bustling vibe. But Paddock Bakery are also at the forefront of the no waste trend. “We donate all of our leftover food to The Sanctuary, a refuge for women, children and pets of domestic violence,” says Chloe Watts, owner of Paddock Bakery. As well as using packaging and takeaway cups made from recycled goods, they also grow most of their herbs and some produce onsite too. The rest? It’s sourced from local, sustainable suppliers.
Ocean 4218’s jam is raising awareness about the state of our marine life’s homes. These legends are committed to reducing the plastic debris that reaches our seas (5.25 trillion pieces, FYI). And because of this, they’re totally plastic-free. Drop in for bejewelled acai bowls, loaded B&E rolls and vegan ciabatta with smoked almond pesto and truffle butter. All wrapped in eco-friendly paper packaging or served in-store. The central locale also homes an impressive sustainable stash of eco-friendly take-homes. Like handmade pottery keep cups, giftable granola jars and compostable bin bags. Your eco-friendly extras just got cooler.
The Gold Coast has an eclectic melting pot of some of the nation’s finest creative and savvy foodies. So when our first-ever plastic and waste-free kitchen, Mother Nirvana popped up in Mermaid Beach, a proud little tear gently rolled down the cheeks of our whole team. This unique night-time pop-up restaurant uses completely certified organic ingredients, 100% waste-free packaging and adds all food scraps to the garden. Throw in no added oils, sugars, G.M.Os or preservatives, and you’ve got one of the most sustainable restaurants on the Gold Coast—scratch that—in Australia. Stay tuned for sustainable living workshops, starlit movie nights and more.
It can be tempting to stick to what you know amongst Burleigh’s diverse foodie scene. But plant-based newcomer, BKA Vegan is well-worth branching out for. Sink your teeth into their flavoursome Mushroom Satay Ramen topped with chilli oil or opt for the Greek-inspired Eggplant Lasagne with roasted sweet potato, pumpkin and coconut creamed spinach. Better yet, you can chomp, slurp and sip without the guilty feels. BKA has made the very conscious choice to use plastic-free suppliers. They also repurpose storage containers, bottles and food tubs. Sometimes even sourcing from nearby restaurants who may have otherwise shipped old containers off to landfill. BKA wear their eco-friendly practices as a badge of honour and commit to a larger planet-friendly mission, saying, “All we want to do is feed people quality, delicious and innovative plant-based food prepared with love and kindness that causes no harm to the beings we share this amazing planet with. Together we can change the future and lives one meal at a time”.
Cruising down the coast to Cooly has its many pleasures. Salty breezes tousling your locks, dolphin spotting from Point Danger and now eco-loving bliss. Little Mali’s ‘gram-worthy dishes come in all shapes and sizes. From nourishing Green Bowls and classic Smashed Avo to Beachside Brekky Burritos and Coyo Bircher Cups. But perhaps our favourite Little Mali treat of all is their views on environmental activism. All takeaway packaging and cutlery are made from compostable sugar cane and serviettes are only the recycled kind. Small footprints = big change.
Ground At Currumbin
When you think of sustainable practices, perhaps recycling, plastic-free and waste-reducing efforts spring to mind. But another angle adding to the Gold Coast’s planet-befriending efforts is Ground at Currumbin. As a thriving Co-Op space (AKA trading time for groceries instead of money), Ground offers Co-Op members 20% off the retail price of fresh produce and handy online pre ordering of shopping boxes. Adjoining cafe, Pasture & Co, dishes out organic local meals suited to a wide range of dietary needs. The Ground crew are also the clever chaps behind Green Marquee, Gold Coast’s favourite sustainable, handmade and eco-friendly markets. If there ever were a sustainable community on the Gold Coast, we see these guys heading it.
We reckon Mother Nature is an absolute Queen. And so do the eco-warriors at Blendlove. Boasting a completely natural menu (that even the carnivores can’t get enough of), this popular Southport cafe has a strong vision and an even bigger mission as their guiding light. Blendlove serve over 200 plant-based meals every day. Through substituting meat from their meals, they’re able to save approximately 100kg in beef product, per day. Which is also the equivalent to 4000kg of grain, or 2.5 million gallons of water, required to feed the livestock. They reckon they actually save more water by not eating a pound of beef than we do not showering for six months! Simple, delicious dishes with ethics to boot, this hands down has to be one of the best sustainable eateries on the Gold Coast.
Image Credit: Kaitlin Maree Photography for Urban List