The health food scene has gone from shonky snake-oil salesmen peddling health-altering 'elixirs' to super status as the essential lifestyle choice. And the humble smoothie, packed full of fruity goodness and antioxidant-boosting superfoods, has become the go-to beverage of the #cleaneating Instagrammer. It's also where we turn when it's time to detox our bods into bikini readiness for summer (sun's out, guns out and all that).
But sometimes, a liquid breakfast is not quite enough. Enter the smoothie bowl. Filling the drink-does-not-satisfy gap, the smoothie bowl syncs the health benefits of a smoothie (think fruit, superfood flavours, and proteins), textured up with a crunchy crack of granola, gluten-free muesli, coconut flakes and real fruit pieces. Smoothly step towards bikini-ready weather with the top eight places serving up the goods.
1. Pure Wholefoods, Sydney, facebook.com/PureWholefoods
Locals affectionately call northern beach beauty Manly 'Heaven on earth', not only reflecting the famous stunning sandy shores and bikini-clad natives but the food from health nirvana, Pure Wholefoods. With a battalion of health-focused delights on the menu, this café is leading the beachside charge towards eating well and deliciously. Their offering to the smoothie health bowl gods is a nutritious, filling meal of smooth creamy acai berry blend served with banana, sonoma honey and spice nut muesli. The swimsuited locals rave long and loudly about it. We say? Do believe the hype.
Related Story: Do you REALLY have to eat organic?
2. Sadhana Kitchen, Sydney, sadhanakitchen.com
Giving itself a clean bill of health, Sadhana Kitchen in Enmore is all raw, all organic, all the time. This café has an arsenal of healthful tricks up its organic cotton sleeve offering not only in-house dining, but also wellness talks, catering, a raw vegan high tea, and even a 7-course food degustation. As the inner-west epicentre for healthy eating, the menu deftly covers the smoothie bowl scene serving up two styles of this bowl of goodness. The pitaya (aka dragon fruit) bowl roars with flavour, blending pitaya with frozen strawberries, banana, mango, and topped with fresh fruit and their 'original blend grawnola' (that's not a typo, they also fill their food pun quota). The second option is an acai bowl including super antioxidant star acai blended with frozen banana, apples, blueberries, served with fresh banana, fruit compote and 'old spice grawnola'. These bowls pack a serious health punch.
3. Aboutlife, Sydney, aboutlife.com.au
Aboutlife is the one stop shop for health-hunters looking to get their café and pantry wholefood fix. Filling the preservative-free, natural produce grocery store niche in numerous locations (Cammeray, Surry Hills, Rozelle, Bondi Junction, Double Bay), Aboutlife really put the 'whole' into wholefood. A plethora of smoothie options already on the menu from sugar-free to dairy-free, Aboutlife have recently added super smoothie bowls to their Surry Hills locale. Smooth breakfast options include acai berrylicious, banana crunch, choc dream, salted almond and tropical chia. Here's hoping they roll them out across the board ASAP.
Related Story: Are you eating too much avocado?
4. Earth to Table, Sydney, facebook.com/Earth-to-Table
Earth to Table is a chilled Bondi dweller with a laid-back earth mother beachside vibe. Recently named outstanding restaurant of the year in the Vegan of the Year 2015 awards, health lovers set their (organic) GPS's direct to door. Earth to Table's menu bowls over taste-hunters with three breakfast bowl choices: a berry acai, grawnola, and greenola. We're digging option numero three with spirulina and goji berries, sprouted buckwheat pepitas, chia and sunflower seeds, almond mylk. Also on the must-order list is the organic smoothie drink 'give me beauty'. 'Nuff said.
5. The Nutrition Bar, Melbourne, nutritionbar.com.au
Three locations for this power bar of nutrition means health-forward Melburnians can easily access acai. With a fit menu of green smoothies, protein shakes, and healthful bowls, it's the full body of good. The Nutrition Bar serve their smoothies in cups, but they're so thickly flavoured with goodness you'll need a super strength straw to suck them down. Options include 'loving earth' a blend of banana, avocado, cinnamon, mango, maca powder, spinach, bee pollen (a new super food kid on the block), and 'king kale' which is coconut water, chocolate protein powder, blueberries, coconut flesh, gluten-free muesli and banana. Or opt in for the spoon version with one of their health bowls like the 'original bowl' an acai blend, banana, coconut water, strawberries, banana, gluten-free muesli.
Related Story: Why Brussels sprouts are the new kale
6. Bayleaf, Byron Bay, facebook.com/bayleafcoffee/
Byron Bay is Australia's answer to South California, where the cool kids on a health kick meet the sea. And looking for healthy eats in all the local places means queues of sun-kissed locals and holiday health nuts form outside lovely local Bayleaf each day once the waves have been tamed. It's worth the wait. Serving up fresh, healthy food with an ever-changing menu, it's quintessential Byron with a capital B. The smoothie menu is outstanding with the current flavour of the month a raspberry, mango and coconut blend dusted lightly with rose petals served in a shallow glass dish. Sip or spoon, you select.
7. Kiss the Berry, Brisbane, kisstheberry.com
Cute name, cute eats. The founders of this two location outfit in Brisbane's CBD and South Bank, Sarah and Keziah, are heavily into health with a particular focus on acai. Their menu is a tight edit of all-day breakfast bowls, smooth health sippers and health bowls for kids. Each item has been carefully curated to enhance taste and health potency, blending up a serve of super acai, fruit, juice, coconut water or milk, handmade granola, locally sourced honey, and topped with fruit. We love the spring special 'aloha Tropicana bowl' of blended organic acai, strawberries, mango passionfruit, coconut water topped with granola, strawberries, pineapple, coconut flakes, and passionfruit.
Related Story: 5 reasons you should be following the Mediterranean diet
8. Little Bird Cafe, Perth, facebook.com/TheLittleBirdCafe/
Perth brings A-game action to the health breakfast scene via Northbridge locale Little Bird Café. This friendly eatery takes a naughty but nice approach to the breaky bowl with an overnight soak of oats in vanilla cardamom and coconut topped with banana, poached persimmon, raw salted caramel and topped with edible fleurs. Who's hungry?