Wholesome food bowls, epic salads, hearty vegetarian and organic produce – hit up these cafes in Singapore for a guilt-free feast
There are days when we want to (or rather, should) cut out the sinful stuff and go for something healthier. So, we plan ‘vegetarian days’, and ‘clean-eating’ meals to avoid that crummy, bloated feeling post-lunch and dinner. When you need to take a load off your conscience, hit up these healthy cafes in Singapore for these nutritious options that taste great, of course. Life is too short for bland food!
The Populus Coffee & Food co.
For a lunchtime hideout slightly away from the city, head to The Populus Coffee & food co. The beautiful, minimally styled cafe serves up grain bowls with meats like pulled pork, roast chicken and wagyu beef. Wash it all down with excellent coffee brews from the same guys behind famed (but now defunct) Department of Caffeine.
The Populus Coffee & Food Co., 146 Neil Rd, Singapore 088875
For healthy eaters, Real Food is a household name. The humble biz has now 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.
Real Food, 110 Killiney Road, Tai Wah Building, Singapore 239549, p. 6737 9516.
Dishing out wholesome and hearty sandwiches (seriously, these babies are HUGE), salads and soups of the day as well as great coffee, this cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. While not everything on the menus is healthy, it’s got a good range of options for the UFIT crowd nearby, including tempeh and quinoa salads, as well as grilled aubergine sandwiches (have yours in a wrap!).
Sarnies, 136 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068601, p. 6224 6091.
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. Pop by for lunch at the kitchen for Italian fusion fare (made with greens and organic free-range meats), or the pantry for an organic cuppa with a slice of coconut cake.
Mahota, Level 3 Kitchener Complex, 809 French Road, Singapore 200809.
This trendy (thanks to its industrial-chic interiors) go-to spot for raw food has some impressive plates like an addictive raw nut “cheese” dip made from cashews, a deconstructed sushi bowl with mild wasabi dressing, and even a quinoa-strone soup.
Afterglow, 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131, p. 6224 8921.
Health-conscious salad place, The Lawn, 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.
The Lawn, #01-07 Nanos, 31 Biopolis Way, Singapore 138669, p. 6478 9739.
Kitchen by Food Rebel
This popular lunchtime resto has a mind-boggling array of gluten-free options. Pop by for brekkie and enjoy a gluten-free free-range omelette with spring onions and mixed herbs, or the hearty buckwheat porridge with gluten-free wholegrain and house-made cashew butter. Gluten-free lunch options include Rebel Buddha Bowls like the chicken protein bowl and the Zoodle Bolognese – a spaghetti-inspired dish that swaps the carbs for shredded zucchini.
Kitchen by Food Rebel, 28 Stanley Street, Singapore 068737. p. 6224 7088.
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 like grilled sirloin steak and seared, marinated tuna. Mains aside, you can also expect to find a wicked cuppa here, along with a selection of healthier pastries.
Grain Traders, Locations at Capitagreen and 100Am Mall.
Plentyfull sees itself as a place of restoration; here, your body, soul and mind are catered to with honest, hearty food. At lunch, diners pick and choose from a huge spread to create their own meals, while dinnertime sees the space transform into a cosy brasserie for comforting meals. Whatever you pick, one thing’s for sure: all of its cuisine are healthy, home-made, and utilise fresh, quality and seasonal ingredients sourced from around the globe.
Plentyfull, Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-79/80, Singapore 039596.
More of a takeaway spot than a dine-in outlet, Shinkansen specialises in Japanese rice and noodle bowls. Options like the Nagano (yuzu-honey roast chicken) always hit the spot, but for a real treat, go for the Omega-3 Donburi, which comes with salmon sashimi, maple and genmaicha cured salmon, onsen egg, and mixed grain sushi rice. Otherwise, feel free to create your own bowl of goodness by choosing your base, proteins, toppings, and sauce.
Shinkansen, Ocean Financial Centre, #B1-08, Raffles Place, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049315.
Like its name suggests, Ninja Bowl is all about bowls of carb-free goodness – think Japanese fare like yaki unagi (grilled eel) and aburi char siew (torched pork belly), complemented with healthy grains and greens. Located in a shophouse along Duxton Road, the resto also serves up all-day brunch and simple sammies.
Ninja Bowl, 15 Duxton Road, Singapore 089481.
Lean Bento ticks all the right boxes for its diners: it’s low-cal, high in protein, affordable and even Halal for Muslim eaters. Say goodbye to high fat, high carbs and refined sugars – the Japanese-inspired fare here is made with wholesome ingredients and clean produce. Swing by its Holland Drive locale to dine in, or order up a takeaway lunch for a guilt-free lunch at your desk.
Lean Bento, 43 Holland Drive, #01-49, Singapore 270043.
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 were bitten by the Poké bug while vacationing in Hawaii, this casual, colourful eatery specialises in the traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad. Here, you can either try its signature poke bowls or design your very own tasty bowl by picking your choice of house-marinated poke (Ahi tuna, salmon and vegetarian), two complimentary add-ons, and one superfood from its comprehensive selection.
Aloha Poke, 92 Amoy Street, Singapore 069911. p. 6221 6165.
Contrary to what you may think, YOLO isn’t about eating like it’s your last day on earth. Unlike the reckless behaviour one usually associates with the term, 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, p. 6221 3029.
The Living Cafe
Joined at the hip with holistic wellness centre Balanced Living, The Living Cafe serves up raw and unprocessed organic foods at incredibly affordable prices. There are plenty of mains to be had, but leave some space for dessert; the raw blueberry cheesecake is a must-try.
The Living Cafe, 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758. p. 6468 4482.
The Daily Cut
Gym nuts, this one’s for you. The Daily Cut lets you 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, #B1-31 One Raffles Place, 1 Raffles Place, Singapore 048616.
Guzman Y Gomez
Mexican food fans, rejoice. Guzman y Gomez have all your gluten free lunch and dinner options sorted. You’re spoilt for choice with their hard and soft shell tacos, nachos and salads. With vegetarian and vegan options available too, check them out at one of their five outlets islandwide including Asia Square, Raffles Place (Chevron House) and the newly opened Tanjong Pagar Centre.
Guzman Y Gomez, various locations; see website for details
This East Coast 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
Before you dismiss Happy Yummy as your average CBD salad bar, know that it takes great pains to incorporate local produce and flavours (its noteworthy specials include ketupat rendang) at more affordable prices. Plus, if you’re not one for bowls of leafy greens, hearty wraps and soba sets are available here too.
Happy Tummy, Multiple locations including One Raffles Place and Wilkie Edge
For days when we want to eat better without sacrificing on taste, we head to Wheat. The perpetually crowded cafe is big on soba, quinoa brown rice for guilt-free carbs, with well-seasoned proteins like grilled salmon, chicken, swordfish and rare ribeye.
Wheat, Multiple locations including One Raffles Place and Republic Plaza.
This breezy halal cafe in Little India’s got to be one of favourite healthy cafes outside of the city. Its rice bowls – made with cauliflower florets and wholegrain brown rice – come in options of beef, portobello, and lamb, with heapings of actually delicious vegetables like avocado, zucchini and chickpeas.
Santap, 16 Madras Street, Singapore 208413
This hidden restaurant located at Robinsons The Heeren has got all the goods – 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 passionfruit 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
Fifty50 will put any meat enthusiast into a head spin. The vegetarian joint in Tanjong Pagar serves up some mean sandwiches – the one above features zucchini and hummus – and wraps, along with delicious pumpkin and feta cheese pastas.
Fifty50, 11 Kee Seng Street, #01-04, Singapore 089218
East Coast’s most Instagrammable cafe of the ‘mo 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
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, all produce is made with fresh, sustainably sourced produce. On the menu, you’ll find fresh salads – we predict the Super food with its beets, pulses and grains, and feta cheese will be a hit – alongside classic Reubens and Grilled Chicken. Prefer a more satiating meal? Hot deli dishes include stone-baked pizzas and anti-pasti for evenings.
Jamie’s Deli, 1 Harbourfront Walk, #1-165-167 VivoCity, Singapore 098585
Less than a 5-minute walk from Botanic Gardens MRT, along Bukit Timah Road, is Atlas Coffeehouse. Its industrial interior goes hand-in-hand with its name – acronym for At Land Air Sea (don’t Singaporeans just love acronyms). Find both sweet and savoury dishes on its menu, including scrumptious signatures like the Atlas Super-Bowl and the Atlas butterscotch banana pancake. Coffees are served with Two Degrees North Coffee Co., a blend of Brazilian and Guatemalan beans, to give a mixture of fruity and nutty flavours.
Atlas Coffeehouse, 6 Duke’s Road, Singapore 268886
Brought to you by the same people behind Sarnie’s, Pickleville is now open in Robinson Road, serving up the working crowd fancy toasts and lunch bowls with DIY options for both. We’d recommend customising your own if you’ve got the time, as the options are seriously delectable. Build your perfect toast from an array of spreads (fermented garlic honey butter, espresso butter and truffle honey anyone?), nut butters and toppings like granola and crushed cashews for a lovely crunch. But for a heartier meal, make your own bowls with pickled vegetables, proteins and greens and grains.
Pickleville, 140 Robinson Road, #04-00, Singapore 068907
In a sea of healthy cafes, Wafuken easily stands out from the crowds – it’s the only local restaurant that offers sous vide (a method of cooking where ingredients are vacuum-packed and submerged in a water bath) based meats, including chicken breasts, steaks and salmon fillets. Your meal is entirely customisable – simply select protein, vegetables and carbohydrates. None of the food contain unhealthy fat, excessive sugar or tenderisers.
Wafuken, 12 Marina View, #02-05 Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961
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