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The Top 10 Brands for Healthy, Quick Meals in Melbourne

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|Feb 19|magazine27 min read

As someone who works a little too long a lot of the time, I find it’s often difficult to juggle my health routine with my work. But if you are lucky enough to live and work in Melbourne, healthy eating is made a little bit easier by these 10 (and a bonus!) companies and restaurants. So pop in for a quick snack or treat, and feel good about the healthy decision you made today.

10. Nutrition Bar

You’re busy, we know. But that is no reason to skip a meal. Nutrition Bar knows this well, and has several options in their Swan Street health food haven for people just like you. Smoothies and juices are the stars of the menu, but it’s the cafe’s rows of superfood balls that make the perfect fuel for a jam-packed day.

Other tasty, healthy options include pre-made salads, acai and breakfast food and a focus on raw, gluten free vegan treats. Nutrition Bar’s smoothie meal is extensive, giving customers the option of adding boosts to each drink. Their Liquid Gold is a fan-favourite, which is the healthy version of an iced coffee.

9. Combi

Combi is one of many restaurants and cafes that is making vegan and vegetarian food accessible. However, their delectable and wide-ranging menu makes them stand out from the rest. Yes, they offer pressed juices and raw, organic, super-food laden smoothies and smoothie bowls, but there are also breakfast toast, savory soups, and even pizza and spaghetti options on their menu.

“We take pride in our lengths we go to ensure we deliver a earth to table experience,” shares Combi’s website. “We work closely with growers, coffee roasters, producers and suppliers to bring seasonal, sustainable organic and ethical meals/ beverages to you.”

8. Pressed Juices

As we can already tell, juicing is a big trend among the healthy. Pressed Juices is founded on the idea of freshness and evolution. The juices receive no alternations to the natural flavours, letting you know the quality of product you’re drinking is as nature intended it.

“Pressed Juices believe that by promoting good nutrition via a product that is natural and free from pasteurisation, preservatives or sweeteners, we give people the opportunity to embark on a positive journey, mentally and physically,” shares the company’s website.

The team of juicers—including nutritionists, quality and regulatory specialists, retail, business, marketing and design departments—all contribute to making a product that supports local growers and wellness for its customers.

7. Patch Cafe

Patch Cafe’s focus is clean eating in a beautiful, warm environment. Situated within the heritage restoration of Studio 9 in Richmond, Melbourne, Patch is intimate, inviting, and elegant without seeming pretentious.

The paleo inspired food—developed by executive chef Brett Tait—is locally sourced and has a modern-Asian influence. Whether you are looking for a tasty breakfast option like banana and almond hotcakes or a main meal that includes pork belly and sweet potatoes, Patch Cafe like has a delicious option for you.

6. The Staple Store

Owner Catie Gett opened the Staple Store in May 2012. Her vision was to create a space that epitomises the nature of health and happiness: two things that busy professionals tend to forget about in their long work day. Gett is committed to bringing her customers the best range of high quality wholefoods available.

The Staple Store focuses on local, sustainable, organic and biodynamic products that are both affordable and sensible. The store’s ready-to-be-made meals are perfect when you want a home cooked meal for dinner, and its wonderful breakfast options are perfect for the on-the-go business man or woman.

5. Supercharger 

“Supercharger was born out of the need to create another option for people in mainstream shopping centres and to show how amazing beautiful real bountiful food can be without the need to cause in harm to any sentient creature,” Supercharger’s founder Paul Mathis shared.

He mentioned that around 12 percent of people today consider themselves vegetarian or vegan—which has doubled since 2006. Supercharger offers food of these people, and others looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle by enjoying the best food available. They serve a selection of bases including Brown rice, Pumpkin or Potato mashes, Basmati Rice, Baby Spinach & Quinoa: these can be topped with SuperSmashes, SuperSauces, SuperFerments, SuperRaws, SuperSimmers and  SuperProteins. Fruit smoothies, juices and desserts in recyclable glass jars also delight its patrongs.

“Supercharger is a window into where our dietary future may be in when we finally achieve that higher state of wellness,” said Mathis. “Personally, I wanted to mix my own living religion into my daily work, for me, this was possible with Supercharger & so here we go!...headlong into the future.”

4. Vegie Bar

The Vegie Bar was one of the first of its kind in Melbourne: a café/restaurant/bar that’s open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and has served vegetarian fare since 1988. Its menu has great diversity, with over 40 dishes and eight to 10 daily specials. There is minimal processing, so the food comes out as natural and delectable as when it was delivered to the café.

“As our menu develops, so does our desire to create more vegan and raw dishes,” shared Mark Price of Vegie Bar. “We use various techniques to prepare and create raw dishes that have texture and flavour complexity, all while not heating any item above 40 degrees, to retain maximum nutritional value. Even with our desserts we aim to have no processed items or artificial sweeteners.

“We have always strived to show case vegetarian cuisine to a wide audience. We adhere to an ancient and somewhat forgotten principle that ‘Food is for sustenance’ but in our case it must also be ethical and tasty. Too many people eat for pleasure only, where as we aim to cover both—pleasure and sustenance.”

3. Green Press

Green Press makes organic plants taste extraordinary. Not “just another juice spot” in Melbourne, this tasty snack of treat place offers acai bowls, superfood smoothies and raw vegan desserts, all day every day.

"With Green Press, we wanted to cater for all dietary requirements, and not put anything on our shelves that we wouldn't eat ourselves,” James McLoughlin, owner and co-founder of Green Press, shared with Business Review Australia. “After seeing for myself the difference eating well can have, it's our mission to revolutionise the lunch break. We make hand-crafted, home-made organic food, created by Michelin trained chefs. Not many cafes can claim that. Green Press is real food with real flavour.”

2. Soma Organics

Soma Organics are the creators of Soma Bite—the certified organic, bite-size super-food snack. Husband and wife team, Riccardo and Colly, are passionate about healthy eating and raising public awareness for quality organic food and nutrition.

Soma was founded in Riccardo and Colly’s kitchen in 2012, where their introductory flavour “Goji & Chai’ was made by hand. Fast-forward three years, and Soma’s treats and snacks—all certified organic food—are available in over 350 stores, including Woolworths supermarkets. There are two flavours available now, their original and Fig & Wild Citrus. Two more delectable flavours are set to launch in April of this year.

Soma’s claims to fame include being chosen as a winner in the 2014 Food Magazine Awards, and being included in the Oscars 2014 ceremony where Soma’s snack got to “fuel the stars” during showtime. And if Soma can fuel a starlet in a heavy, corseted dress, their snacks can definitely fuel the busy professional.

1. Pana Chocolate

How could a raw, delicious, chocolate option not be number one? Pana Chocolate’s got your delectable and healthy­ chocolate and sweet treat options. They offer raw, organic chocolate that is made by hand in Melbourne and contains only natural ingredients like cacao solids, virgin cacao butter, dark agave nectar, virgin coconut oil, pure Himalayan crystal salt, among others.

This coming May, the Melbourne Pana Chocolate shop will be undergoing some refurbishments to match the style of its Sydney location.

“Our intention with opening Melbourne was to showcase what we could do in the raw dessert space and test the response,” shared Pana. “We were so pleased with people’s reactions that we expanded to Sydney and now repositioning in Melbourne.

“Since we relocated the Pana Chocolate production the our new facility in Richmond it has enabled us to increase the floor space available for the shop. Customers want the Pana Chocolate shop to be a meeting place, a destination to visit and enjoy their desserts and handmade chocolates. It’s because of our customers that Sydney has been designed to incorporate this and the Melbourne shop will soon too.”

BONUS: Native Box

For those days you just can’t bring yourself to pop out of the office for a healthy snack, Native Box is your solution. This is Australia’s only monthly eco-subscription box that offers a range of carefully curated eco-products. With nine different varieties to choose from (like their best-selling Native Classic Box and the Native Vegan Box) Native Box fits a great range of palettes. In February,

 “The growth of organics in Australia is a strong indicator of a growing consumer demand. Based on national surveys, we know for a fact that consumers are increasingly interested in health and wellness. The challenge continues to be the availability of supply and getting these new organic brands and products into the hands of consumers who are looking to try, test and buy organic products. We aim to fill this gap at Native Box.” Renai Stupart, CEO & Owner of Native Box, shared with Business Review Australia.

Perhaps the best part? It’s not just snacks: skincare, home care and overall wellness products are also part of your monthly line up. February’s line up of boxes includes a premium skincare line: Natural Skin Care Box, which is $20 off this month!

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