Cafes

The 52 Best Clean Eats To Kick-Start 2016

By Ellen Seah - 21 Jan 2016

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So some drunk, NYE-high version of yourself has gone and pledged to eat healthier in 2016, which ordinarily wouldn’t be a problem - until this alcohol-fuelled doppelganger went and tattle-tailed to your mother. Dammit, I guess we're locked in now...

Well regretful one, all is not lost for the year. To keep your diet from derailing, we’ve put together the best clean eats to kick-start your 2016. Happy healthy eating!

1. Caffe La Via’s 7 grain organic muesli soaked in cold pressed almond and coconut milk with goji berries, various seasonal fruits and flowers ($13) is THE fresh start to summer.

2. Raw pizza at Combi means finishing the box yourself is definitely totally acceptable. Made with a flax seed base and topped with dehydrated almonds, sunflowers and bucketloads of fresh veg, ($18) takeout has never been kinder on your waistline.

3. There’s no real way to go wrong at Patch Cafe, but the Cave Man with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, grass fed sirloin, sweet potato fritter, baby spinach, kale and relish ($22) is ridiculously good for you.

4. For something that will stuff your empty tummy, check out Mastic’s Papoutaski – a stuffed eggplant with herbed feta and smoked almonds ($15).

5. Plenty of post-NYE healing goes around at Heal.Thy Self Co. – for a stomach-friendly lunch try their Shake It Up Salad with roasted sweet potato, falafel, mixed veg, grains and avo with a honey turmeric dressing ($16)!

6. Nutrition Bar makes getting your daily kale-y intake easy with their King Kale green smoothie filled with kale, avocado, coconut water, dates, banana and ice ($8.50). I scream, you scream, we all scream for…kale?

7. Skip the egg sandwich and pick up Little Big Sugar Salt’s Veggie Watts with smashed avo, pickled radish, pecorino, beef tomato and alfalfa ($12). Because no one deserves a boring lunch.  

8. The proof of a healthy life is in the pudding at Evolve Fair Trade Store. A combo of chia, coconut and lemongrass with a citrus strawberry salad and coconut crunch ($12) – thou shant have chocolate binges in 2016.

9. Abbotsford’s favourite wholefood café, Admiral Cheng-Ho, is serving up healthy seasonal produce that is ADMIRABLY tasty. Their Umami Mushroom dish is a slew of fresh mushies and vegetables on sun dried tomato polenta bread ($18.50).

10. Who says you can’t have ice-cream on a diet? Not Shoku Iku. Their superfood icy cream ($18) with cacao means you don’t have to spend a summer without everyone’s favourite creamy dessert.

11. Everything at Fitzroy favourite Vegie Bar is bound to be a green-hit, but our pick is their Raw Pad Thai with zucchini and kelp noodles, fresh lime & tamarind sauce and a heap of other healthy goodness ($16).

12. Bringing guilt-free, raw, organic chocolate to Melburnians already regretting their 2016 resolutions, Pana Chocolate is the only way to get through chocolate binges this year. We love their raw cacao with cinnamon ($6.90). 

13. If you’re feeling pekish in the CBD pop into Raw Trader for a raw caramel or raspberry and coconut crumble slice! Hello guilt-free 2016.  

14. If seaweed salad with wakame, cabbage, carrot and sesame dressing from Yong Green Food ($13) doesn’t get your tastebuds dancing, we don’t know what will.

15. Barry’s potato, braised leek, comte, rosemary omelette and toast ($17.50) is the clean-eating brunch with all our favourites sides. Yes please!

16. Fresh Organic Goods has a matcha latte ($5) you absolutely need to kick start 2016. Choose between almond, cashew, coconut or soy milk.

17. Poached eggs and Tasmanian smoked salmon with avocado, lemon dressed rocket and a side of hollandaise ($19) at Palate. Boom.

18. When a café is called Thr1ve you’re pretty much guaranteed a healthy lunch. Try making your own Buns Of Glory - options include grass fed pulled beef, smashed avo and kaleslaw ($9+).

19. One of Melbourne’s favourite clean-eating cafes, Sardi, does a mean healthy brunch. Try their smashed avo on quinoa loaf with lemon, haloumi, pepitas and poached eggs ($16.50) – it has all your faves and none of the guilty conscience. 

20. Because pudding for breakfast can never go wrong – try Merchants Guild sticky black rice pudding with coconut yoghurt, tropical fruits and coconut chips ($16).

21. Can you think of a better start than a side of Positive Pancakes? We think not. Serotonin Eatery serves their organic banana flour pancakes with house-made banana NICE-CREAM (not making this up), berries, yoghurt balls and roasted almonds ($22).

22. With two fried eggs, bacon, smashed avo, spinach, tomato, relish and a beef patty served with cauliflower rice or chips ($19.50), The Wooden Elk’s Paleo Burger has all the flavour and none of the grease you want this year.

23. Offering quick, healthy takeaway lunches for busy bees in a rush, Earl Canteen’s prosciutto and mozzarella salad with peas, zucchini, rocket, mint and hazelnut dukkah ($11) is the perfect option if you’re not prepared to brave the lunch rush.

24. For those who aren’t really into brekkie, Trei Café’s acai smoothie bowl may just tickle your tummy’s fancy. A combo of granola, coconut, peanut butter, coyo and seasonal fruit ($15), it’s the only fuss-free, light way to start the weekend.

25. Pillar Of Salt’s Green Harvest Autumn Salad with avocado, broccolini, pickled green tomatoes, wild rice, mozzarella and ginger and lime dressing ($15.50) probably has your daily dose of veg in one clean hit!

26. Can’t handle another I’ll-be-starving-in-an-hour lunch? Crisp sells salad on some serious steroids, including their flavour-packed Hellenic Chicken with free-range chook, a king-hit of Danish feta, avo, Spanish onion, tomato, cucumber and mixed leaves ($12).

27. Can’t imagine a 2016 without donuts? Try Green Press’s Krispy Klean donuts ($4). Flavours at the moment include double chocolate and vanilla coconut. 

28. Pressed Juices makes skipping soft drink easy. Their Berry Glow 2 ($9.50) with apple, strawberry and coconut is unfairly delicious for a three-ingredient juice.

29. Ayomo is bringing a good doctor to help you achieve your 2016 goals. Their Doctor C blend with orange, carrot, grapefruit, lemon and mint ($6) will (hopefully) be the only doc you need this year.

30. Hunters' Roots Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl is an ideal mix of fresh, power-packed berries, dragonfruit, banana, granola and creamy coconut yoghurt to start (or finish) your day ($14).

31. If you’re scavenging for anything greasy in the early hours of Sunday, skip it for Smith and Daughters Mexican Hash ($16). With crispy diced potatoes, chargilled peppers, grilled sweet corn, jalapenos and guacamole, this is your health-friendly flavour-hit for every weekend.

32. Transformer’s share-style menu is the perfect way to have a bit of everything (without having way too much). Get the ricotta and rye gnocchi with organic sprouted lentils, pumpkin mousse and blueberry compote ($18) placed at your end of the table.

33. Five Plus are known for some of Melbourne’s healthiest drinks, and they’re offering a summer special smoothie with mango, banana, watermelon, passionfruit, coconut, water and ice ($7.50, regular)! So if you haven’t got your hands around one of these babies, now is the time.

34. Walk Don’t Run’s chilled organic green tea soba noodles with poached chicken, cucumber, nuts, seeds and tahini ponzu dressing ($25) will make your brunch friends green with envy.

35. Swap out that chocolate ice cream for YOMG’s soy berry froyo. Packed with antioxidants, dairy free and vegan-friendly, YOMG’s froyo will hardly dent your calorie count.

36. With a range of cleanses, BlendCo’s juice fasts are compatible with every summer diet. Choose your favourite cleanse to kick-start your 2016, or head to the BlendCo food truck for a clean smoothie to go!

37. If you think eating healthy means being reduced to a perpetually hungry child, think again. Spout Café’s Veg Platter with sliced eggplant, crispy cauliflower, hummus, a hard-boiled egg, tahini sauce, Israeli and spicy green salad, pickle cabbage and warm pita ($17) is a serious task.

38. We love Supercharger’s ready-to-go Immunity meal with heaps of salad and toppings including mild eggplant curry with amaranth, tomato, ginger and lime leaf on long grain rice ($14.80). Supercharger – super YUM?!

39. A very, very green combo of shredded kale, broccoli, avocado, buckwheat kernels, pistachios, chilli, dressing and served with a poached egg – get Denis the Menace’s Big Green Food Fight ($14) in your belly this year.

40. Monk Bodi Dharma’s raw San Benito Burrito is stuffed with spiced nuts, baby spinach and served with guac, heirloom tomato salsa and cashew cream. ‘Cause who doesn’t love Mexican for brekkie?  

41. Tofu Shop’s menu changes weekly, making it far too easy to become a regular customer. With individual sizes under $15, this is way better than slaving over a pan.

42. Simple Seed is offering the smoothie’s bigger, badder older brother - Smoothie Bowl. Our pick is their Tropical Matcha, combining matcha, mango, banana, spinach and coconut milk with heaps of fresh fruit to top it off ($12)!

43. If you’re not prepared to choose the banquet ($28 per person) at Moroccan Soup Bar, prepare to be a foolish outlier with all the food #ragrets.

44. Street Organics’ Vegan Big Breakfast contains a whole lotta big green lurve. With organic smashed avo, house-made baked beans, sauerkraut, side salad, sourdough and a green smoothie ($20), Street Organic’s has your diet’s back.

45. Mr Nice Guy Bakeshop’s vegan-only, dairy-free cupcakes means having your cake and eating it too! Their unicorn milkshake cupcakes (yes, there’s glitter) will make any day magical. Orders are placed in dozens ($4-5 per cupcake).

46. Served with peanut butter ricotta and sour cherry marmalade, The Grain Store’s banana bread ($10) is the healthiest sweet bread you’re going to find in Melbourne.

47. Is there a way to go wrong with broccolini? We think not. Square and Compass’ broccolini bowl with avocado, spinach, activated almonds, tamari, poached eggs, dukkah and toast ($17) = easiest morning veggies ever.

48. Surely nothing can be healthier than toast, and Crompton Coffee specialise in it! Their lemon curd with fresh seasonal fruit and fairy floss ($14) is the perf sweet ‘n sour combo for 2016.

49. Get around Peko Peko’s sweet potato gyoza with chives and soy sauce ($9), if you know what’s good for you!

50. A quarter chicken with a fresh salad at Foxes Den will set you back just over a tenner. Serving free-range, locally sourced chook, this is one of the best clean eats to set you up for 2016! 

51. Fox In the Box's FODMAP-friendly menu means their roast leg of lamb sandwich with curry aioli on baby spinach ($12.90) is definitely not a cheat. 

52. What's more summer-y than getting smoothies delivered to your door?! Pure Blender have a range of ready-made soups and smoothies for busy bees. Their Pure Heart smoothie is a combination of apples, beetroot, ginger, grapes, lemon, spinach and strawberry!

Image credit: Caffe La Via Facebook

Let's be honest, you need way more life hacks that just this list. Hit up our 50 Life Hacks To Get You Through 2016

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