Wholesome food bowls, epic salads, hearty vegetarian and organic produce – hit up these cafes in Singapore for a guilt-free feast
Planning a ‘vegetarian day’ to compensate for a weekend of booze or sinful treats? You’ll be pleased to know that clean-eating doesn’t equate to bland food– these cafes offer plenty of healthy options that taste great too.
Kitchen by Food Rebel
Ever wanted to try zoodles? Head to one of our fave lunchtime spots for the zoodle bolognese, a healthier version of spaghetti that swaps the carbs for spiralised zucchini. You’ll find the Honeycombers crew here picking up our regular hormone-free chicken protein bowl with hummus – the menu also includes other clean eats like the paleo-friendly green salad, nutritious smoothies, as well as fusion fare like the rendang eggs Benedict. The fudge is to die for.
Believing the ‘the food rebellion starts in the kitchen’, Food Rebel is on a mission to improve their customers’ health through a recipe of awareness, education and great, wholesome food. Founder Alika Tasker is also a health coach who also holds healthy and raw cooking classes.
Kitchen by Food Rebel, 28 Stanley Street, Singapore 068737
The Living Cafe
Joined at the hip with holistic wellness centre Balanced Living, The Living Cafe aims to inspire patrons with its dedication towards sustainability and a healthy lifestyle. It’s housed in an airy space with a high ceiling (always a plus!) and a mezzanine floor, decked out with furniture in earthy neutral tones.
The menu is truly extensive, offering organic, raw, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options that are made to provide you with nutritious yet tasty fuel for the day. From the zucchini pesto pasta to the spiced chicken burger, there are plenty of mains to be had, but leave some space for dessert as the raw blueberry cheesecake is a must-try.
The Living Cafe, 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758
Ocha Fresh Thai
Thai food is known for its distinct and strong flavours, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a sinful treat. Boasting minimal processing and no MSG in their food, Ocha Thai is the brainchild of a Thai-born, Singapore-based founder who sought to bring authentic Thai cuisine to local shores.
Highlights on the menu include the Magic Masaman, a slow-cooked beef Masaman curry with vegetables and whole grain rice; pad thai, a well-loved Thai classic; and the Waterfall Tacos, a satiating treat with beef steaks drizzled in mint sauce.
Ocha Fresh Thai, 182 Cecil St, #02-16/17 Frasers Tower Tanjong Pagar, Singapore 069547
Mahota prides itself on being a “gathering of goodness”. Here, it’s all about growing good food, serving up good meals and stocking only good ingredients– you can find the latter in Mahota’s huge supermarket, which even has an organic wine selection!
Pop by the restaurant and cafe for Italian fusion dishes; intricately crafted bento boxes; a vegan take on the brunch favourite eggs Benedict (made with tofu ‘egg’); organic cuppas and more. For a healthy post-meal snack, try the air-dried fruit and vegetable crisps.
Mahota, Level 3 Kitchener Complex, 809 French Road, Singapore 200809
Brought to you by the folks behind Chillax Cafe, Ninja Bowl serves up healthy Japanese bowls within the hip Duxton enclave. The cafe features a modern industrial interior and a muted colour palette that invites you in to grab a bite.
As the name suggests, the ninja bowls are the clear highlights on the menu. These bowls come with a choice of toppings such as braised beef cheek (cooked for 24 hours, no less!), pan-seared Hokkaido scallops, grilled eel and more, with healthy grains and greens. They are made a la minute after you place your orders, which ensures that every bowl you get is freshly made.
Ninja Bowl, 15 Duxton Road, Singapore 089481
New to Jamie’s Italian at VivoCity is Jamie’s Deli: a cosy 16-seater cafe which features light meals and grab-and-go dishes. Keeping to Jamie Oliver’s food philosophy, everything is made with fresh, sustainably sourced produce.
On the menu, you’ll find fresh salads alongside classic Reubens and grilled chicken. Prefer a more satiating meal? Hot deli dishes include stone-baked pizzas and antipasti for evenings.
Jamie’s Deli, 1 Harbourfront Walk, #1-165-167 VivoCity, Singapore 098585
While Hawaiian sun, sand and surf might be an ocean away, traditional Hawaiian fare makes its way to the CBD at Aloha Poké. Founded by two Singaporean couples that fell in love with poké while vacationing in Hawaii, this casual, colourful eatery specialises in the traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad.
Here, you can either try its signature poké bowls or design your very own tasty meal by picking your choice of house-marinated tuna or salmon (or go vegetarian, two complimentary add-ons, and one superfood from its comprehensive selection.
Aloha Poke, 92 Amoy Street, Singapore 069911
For gym buffs looking to to up their protein intake or anyone wanting to eat healthier, swing by Lean Bento’s Holland Drive locale to dine in, or order up a takeaway lunch for a guilt-free lunch at your desk.
Bentos here are low-cal, high in protein, affordable and even halal. Options include sambal salmon, herb aioli chicken, honey tempeh and more. They also whip up all-day brunch dishes like honey chicken with scrambled eggs and protein waffle.
Lean Bento, 43 Holland Drive, #01-49, Singapore 270043
Located within The Daulat hotel, this halal cafe in Little India is reservation only, so be sure to head over to their website to book a slot before dropping by for their generously sized rice bowls. Here’s a tip: choose an al fresco seat to enjoy the breeze and people-watch.
Now, on to the rice bowls: and don’t expect the usual white rice. Packed with cauliflower florets and wholegrain brown rice, load them up with beef, portobello, and lamb, with heapings of actually delicious vegetables like avocado, zucchini and chickpeas. Another (though decidedly more sinful) crowd favourite on the menu is the salmon pizza, topped with cheddar and garlic butter sauce.
Santap, 16 Madras Street, Singapore 208413
This hidden restaurant located at Robinsons The Heeren has got everything you’d want for a relaxing healthy lunch – think floor-to-ceiling windows, an elegant and serene setup, and a menu bolstered by fresh produce from local farmers.
Food here is nothing short of delicious, with salads filled with superfoods (think pomelo, blueberries, goji berries with passion fruit dressing), with toasts and tartines topped with feel-good ingredients like smoky eggplant, sun roasted tomatoes and locally grown kale and amaranth.
Ange Cafe, Robinsons The Heeren #01-40 / #02-02/03, 260 Orchard Road, Singapore 238855
Plentyfull aims to restore your spirit, soul and body with honest and hearty food. They utilise fresh, quality and seasonal ingredients sourced from around the globe to create wholesome dishes from scratch. It is also a dual concept restaurant that includes a patisserie and a gourmet grocer.
At lunch, diners pick and choose from a huge spread to create their own meals at the market table luncheon, while dinnertime sees the space transform into a cosy brasserie for comforting meals. The dinner menu includes charcuterie picks like house smoked duck and Iberico Bellota, as well as small plates like grilled avocado in anchovy dressing.
Plentyfull, Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-79/80, Singapore 039596
Vegetarian & vegan cafes
For healthy eaters, Real Food is a household name. The humble cafe has since expanded to four locations, including Killiney, South Beach and Square 2. Run by a passionate team of ethical food advocates, the cafe is free from meat, processed ingredients, and trans-fat.
On the menu are a combination of Western and Asian fare, with items such as sourdough mushroom pizza, pesto pasta, curry bee hoon and vegetarian dumpling soup. Plus, the tumeric latte and matcha latte are fan favourites, so order up a cup to go with your meal!
Real Food, 110 Killiney Road, Tai Wah Building, Singapore 239549
Aiming to ‘bring sexy back to vegetables’, Afterglow’s dishes prove that aa plant-based diet can be damn delicious. We’re impressed by the addictive raw nut “cheese” dip made from cashews, and there’s a deconstructed sushi bowl with mild wasabi dressing, and even a quinoa-strone soup.
This trendy lunch spot is also big on community, crowd sourcing ingredients from local farms and food artisans. Afterglow also offers juice and meal plans, alongside food workshops for those who are keen on learning more about having a clean, plant-based diet.
Afterglow, 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131
The Daily Cut
The Daily Cut has multiple locations around the CBD area and is one of the most popular places for a salad fix. The protein-heavy salad bowls are an easy, fuss-free healthy lunch option perfect for gym rats and healthy eaters.
Beef up your bowl with an array of protein-packed fillers – from generous servings of sirloin steak to veggie-friendly tofu – before topping up on other nutritious goodies like quinoa, sweet potato and avocado. Feeling particularly carnivorous? Push your order into Beast Mode and pile high with three giant portions of protein!
The Daily Cut, multiple locations including Raffles Place, Fusionopolis and Tanjong Pagar
Wheat is a perpetually crowded cafe that is big on soba, quinoa and brown rice for guilt-free carbs, with well-seasoned proteins like grilled salmon, chicken, swordfish and rare ribeye.
The menu also features a few peculiarly-named dishes like ‘Whale Noodle’ (which is really rice noodle and black pepper chicken) and ‘Penguin’ (green soba and shredded chicken). Interesting names aside, their dessert offering includes the durian lava buns, for anyone who is a fan of the famously pungent (or fragrant) fruit.
Wheat, multiple locations including One Raffles Place and Republic Plaza
Believing in #feedingpeopleright, Grain Traders deserves its rep as a popular CBD lunch spot. Come early to nab an indoor spot (the outdoor area is reserved for standing only) for lunch over a customisable healthy bowl, filled with base options like quinoa and super greens, and meats such as grilled sirloin steak, pulled pork and seared, marinated tuna.
Alternatively, take your pick from one of the Heroes Bowls, each crafted with a deliberate ratio of protein, carbs and greens for a well balanced meal: for instance, the Hen’s Nest is a roasted chicken breast bowl, served with cauliflower, raw zucchini, broccoli pesto, roasted pumpkin, bean salad and nuts on quinoa. Mains aside, you can also expect to find a wicked cuppa here (make it better by asking for a double shot), along with a selection of healthier pastries.
Grain Traders, locations at Capitagreen and 100AM Mall
This affordable salad bar is known to be one of the most value-for-money options in the CBD. It also has hot salad options as well as the usual greens and cold toppings, so if you’re craving something hot but still want a salad, Happy Tummy is the way to go.
Not into salads? Hearty wraps and soba sets are available too. You’ll notice Asian elements in this menu, with proteins like the tom yum chicken, made with a marinade that is tangy and spicy, in just the right ratio for a flavour kick.
Happy Tummy, multiple locations including One Raffles Place and Wilkie Edge
Here’s an affordable (just $9.90!) make-your-own salmon donburi spot. This joint is by the people behind Tanuki Raw, Shinkansen and Standing Sushi Bar – so you know it’ll be good.
Salmon toppings here include sashimi salmon chunks in spicy mayo, salmon fillet in yakiniku sauce, salmon slices topped with mentaiko and more, to go with your choice of base (yuzu-ume brown rice, udon noodles, mixed greens salad, or buckwheat soda). If that’s not enough for you, try the miso soup filled with generous chunks of salmon!
Salmon Samurai, multiple locations including Ocean Financial Centre and 100AM
Wafuken stands out thanks to its sous vide based concept. (That’s a method of cooking where ingredients are vacuum-packed and submerged in a water bath.) The folks here pride themselves on serving up perfectly cooked meats, from silky salmon fillets to juicy chicken breasts to tantalising steaks.
Select your choice of protein, vegetables and carbohydrates to customise your meal and dig in knowing that none of the food contains unhealthy fats, excess sugar or tenderisers. New on the menu are the sous vide cod fish lightly seared aburi and sprinkled with konbu and the sous vide prawns served lightly grilled.
Wafuken, 12 Marina View, #02-05 Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961
This halal-certified specialty salad spot is where you can customise your green bowl with an array of toppings and grilled meats. We’re not talking plain ol’ steak cubes and grilled chicken, by the way – chow down on items like maple-infused chicken breast and char-grilled prawns.
If you don’t feel like building your own bowl from scratch, try the signature salads on the menu such as the Hunky Dory, made with buttered dory, cheddar cheese, alfalfa sprouts, tofu, almonds and wafu dressing; or Mangoes Green, made with a grilled chicken and herbs, mangoes, avocado, red onion, cherry tomatoes and honey mustard.
The Lawn, #01-07 Nanos, 31 Biopolis Way, Singapore 138669
Contrary to what you may think, Yolo isn’t about eating like it’s your last day on earth. Founded on the philosophy that “tasty food can actually be good for you”, the cafe champions taking care of your body with health foods suited to your specific needs.
Menus are aligned with typical body goals: low-calorie Shape Up, low-GI Energise to keep your energy up all day, the protein-filled Build menu for gains, and Glow, a vitamin-packed menu. Alternatively, you can build your own meal of a single protein, two sides, one topping and a special sauce.
Yolo, Icon Village, 12 Gopeng Street, Singapore 078877
The CBD has no lack of salad places, but the same can’t be said for the other districts in Singapore. But if you’re around the East Coast area, you can count on Harvest for your salad fix.
This salad bar serves up what you’d expect at any city lunchtime nook, but at a more affordable price: at $12 nett, you’re getting one protein, one base, three sides and a topping and dressing. Have yours with a cold-pressed juice for an extra dose of goodness and take time to enjoy the cafe’s cool jungalow-style interior.
Harvest, 81 East Coast Road, Singapore 42878
Singapore’s first dedicated acai cafe, Project Acai sources organic and sustainable acai to turn into sin-free superfood bowls. And if you’re wondering, the acai fruit isn’t touted as a superfood for nothing: with up to 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries, it’s high in fibre, low in GI and is a great vegan source of essential heart fats.
So drop by Project Acai to give this amazing fruit a try! Their acai sundae bowl is our fave– an acai blend served with bananas, goji berries, strawberries and vegan house-made chia pudding, cookie crumble and cashew cream, along with a drizzle of nut butter. How much better can a healthy dessert get?
Project Acai, multiple locations including Holland Village, Takashimaya, Katong and Vivocity
One of East Coast’s most Instagrammable cafes will hit you right in the tropical feels – think rattan chairs, palm tree wall art, flamingo cushions and bright, bold colours. It’s Singapore’s only acai soft serve cafe, so naturally, the superfood is the star of the show here.
The superswirls are vegan, dairy and gluten-free, come with various toppings like Manuka honey peanuts and chia seeds, and flavours like Spirulina and Thai coconut. The smoothies are no less delish, and are available in options like berry, and PB & J with possible protein add-ons.
Berriwell, 19 East Coast Road #01-01, Singapore 428746
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