Though Australia is a nation of people drawn to the outdoors, it’s easily arguable that Sydney is its most active and healthy city. The scenic backdrop certainly doesn’t hurt, with spectacular runs along the bay and historic outdoor pools nestled beneath the Harbour Bridge and along the seafront.
It’s a city with some of the most forward thinking culinary design; healthy food with varied, farm-table ingredients is easy to find, like the inventive paleo restaurant, Ester. Technology and the latest fitness techniques are embraced at the swathe fitness centres situated in Sydney; check out Agoga in Bondi before heading to the world class beaches.
Bread and Circus
Don’t be fooled by its industrial zone location, there are many good reasons to head to Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen. From the communal tables adorned with fruit to the cold pressed juice menu, Bread & Circus exudes wholesomeness. The extensive tea list alone is worth the visit. The menu changes daily (every single day!) but is always seasonal with notable vegetarian and vegan options. We loved the parmesan scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and greens, and the ‘rainy day’ toast – crusty sourdough with a generous drizzle of melted honey, thyme and cinnamon butter.
In past years Sydney was not known for great coffee, but has come a long way in recent times thanks to ventures like Bay Ten Espresso in Lavender Bay. The breakfast and lunch menu itself is simple but spinning in the right direction: mueslis & granola options for breakfast and healthy sandwiches and salads with locally sourced, fresh ingredients for lunch. It’s located on Middlemiss Street, a well frequented bike path thoroughfare that connects to the Sydney Harbour Bridge – an ideal pitstop if you’re setting off or returning from a cycling trek (mechanics on hand if your bike needs a pick-me-up as well).
Located in a former bowling green (hence the name) in Sydney’s North Shore, this cafe features lots of outdoor space and views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, making it a perfect location for a sunny day feed. The breakfast and lunch menus feature an appealing range of healthy share and main dishes. Try the wild mushroom & quinoa omelette with marinated feta, cress, and white truffle oil or the smoked trout salad with wild rice, pickled cucumber, crumbled egg and preserved lemon. If you fancy some activity before or after your nosh, the bowling green is still fully operational.
Cavemen never had it this classy, but that hasn’t stopped Ester from combining paleo dishes with a fine dining approach. Located in Chippendale and open for dinner Monday through Saturday (and lunch on Fridays and Sundays), this award-winning restaurant offers an enticing range of Italian and Asian influenced dishes. With a wood-fired oven on hand in the open kitchen, the small, wholesome share dishes centre on charred meat, vegetables, and nuts. A stand-out item, with an Australian twist, is the blood morcilla ‘sanga’ (sausage). Bookings recommended; Ester’s solid reputation mean that it's increasingly busy.
Chiswick at the Gallery
With celebrated Australian chef Matt Moran at the helm, you know this farm-to-table venture is going to stand out. Open 7 days a week and located in the Art Gallery of NSW, the state's premier art institution nestled in the lush domain gardens, Chiswick offers a seasonal menu in a casual but classy atmosphere. Much of the meat and vegetables are sourced directly from Moran’s farm and garden and dishes are designed for sharing: from small plates (try the healthy kohlrabi, mandarin and smoked almond) to much larger ones that could feed your whole squad. If you’d prefer to go solo, there are also healthy mains such as the steamed snapper broth