Clean eating – your go-to lunch list for healthy cafes and restaurants in the Singapore CBD for poke, quinoa, sandwiches, salads and more
So… it seems like everyone is doing the Clean and Lean health kick right now (what is with that??). Well, we don’t intend on losing out, and neither should you if you’re still procrastinating! Fit for all you health and gym junkies – and over-30s who just need to eat well these days – this is your go-to healthy lunch guide in the city.
Kitchen by Food Rebel
Health junkies, high-five! You are going to totally fall in love with Kitchen by Food Rebel. The extremely passionate health coach (and owner), Elika Mather, is single-minded about her mission to create a healthier world and to help people go on their ‘food journey’ as she did. She promises that, at Kitchen by Food Rebel, food should still taste good and feel guilty (we love that!). The menu here is quite varied: sandwiches, burgers, Buddha-bowls, steamed fish and zoodle bolognese – where zucchini noodles are used instead of pasta, a clever way of increasing the green intake while reducing the carbs. Elika and team have even just launched Rebel Fridays – they will be serving world-class organic & bio-dynamic wines, gluten-free craft beer and fusion-tapas dining. We certainly like the sound of clean drinking without the hangover!
Kitchen by Food Rebel, 28 Stanley Street, S068737, open until 8pm on Fridays
Another stand-out, the salad bowls at Club Meatballs also get a thumbs-up from us – it’s all part of a complete DIY menu where you select each ingredient and only pay for what you eat. Always fresh, healthy, and you know exactly what goes in it. The team is also super-friendly and attentive and, you know us, we’re a sucker for a designer-led restaurant – particularly one in such a central location (this is a favourite spot of ours for meetings and events).
Club Meatballs, 01-35 China Square Central, 20 Cross Street, Singapore 048422
We have known the team behind Kilo for a while now, and we were thrilled when they opened Grain Traders so close to our office. These guys do great, healthy slow food, all served in bowls which you can create yourself or select from one of their suggested options. The only problem… the queues can be off-putting. But their big bowls of slow-cooked hearty meals are definitely very satisfying – take The Beebop for instance, braised pork shoulder with furikake corn, crudités slaw and mixed bean pico de gallo on brown rice. Just don’t come between 12-1pm, unless you’re happy to wait.
Grain Traders, 138 Market Street, CapitaGreen, Singapore 048946 / 100 Tras Street, 100AM Mall, Singapore 079027
Probably the most affordable healthy option in the city, Sun Moon is a fruit shop smack bang in Telok Ayer street that does great fresh juices (like Apple, Beetroot and Carrot for $3.50) and fresh salads for a mere $5 (that’s no typo!). They also have a great range of packaged health snacks from Bounce balls to nuts, and even protein bars. We frequently pop in for a juice as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up – winner.
Sun Moon, 167 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068618
A Poke Theory
Poke is all the rage, so I have been told! Need to get up to speed? Check out our special feature on poke bowls in Singapore. This new food trend, which hails from Hawaii, is a bowl of rice or quinoa topped with raw salmon or tuna (‘poke’ in Hawaiian means ‘to cut’). If lunchtime queues are a thing to go by, this joint is a great edition to the healthy food options. Check out our Editors’ full review of A Poke Theory.
A Poke Theory, 27 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069623. Open Mon-Fri 8am-6pm; Sat 10am-4pm. Closed on Sun.
Told you it was a trend! Founded by two Singaporean couples that were bitten by the poke 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. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-late.
My Awesome Café
With its edgy vibe, industrial vintage shophouse interior, and friendly staff like co-owner Frank (who is almost always there), there is something rather endearing about My Awesome Café. They have a great range of salads; we can’t go past the My Awesome Salad, a generous portion of mesclun with smoked salmon, herbed chicken breast, duck rillettes, avocado and tomatoes ($15). And the My Awesome Sandwich is another must-try, which is basically the same as the salad but servied on rustic freFrenchnch bagettes. An awesome addition to healthy lunch options, we must say!
My Awesome Café, 202 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068639.
If you are yearning for an Australian hipster café fix, this is your place. Sarnies was one of the first decent coffee shops to open in the Singapore business area, and has become our go-to for coffee and lunch fare. They have also introduced a range of healthy options like the fabulous vegan soft serve, Cocowhip – very on trend we say.
Sarnies, 36 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068601.
And while not quite in the city, these are worthy of a mention in our books…
This isn’t a showy cafe with fancy creations and pretentious-sounding menu items, but rather, a humble store with simple offerings like a veggie omelette and a beetroot burger. And oh, everything’s pretty wallet-friendly too.
Real Food, 110 Killiney Road, Tai Wah Building, Singapore 239549, p. 6737 9516.
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 a quinoa-strone soup.
Afterglow, 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131, p. 6224 8921.
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
If you’re feeling uninspired by your usual breakfast options or have an afternoon sweet craving but don’t want to overindulge, Cocowhip needs to be on your radar. This is the only gluten free soft serve you’ll find on our red dot that’s also dairy and refined sugar free, while ALSO being vegan friendly (is there nothing it can’t do?). Try it in original or Cacao, Matcha, or Maqui Berry. Get your hands on this tasty little treat at Sarnies.
Cocowhip, available at Sarnies (Telok Ayer) and Sarnies PasarBella (Suntec City)