My Paleo guide to Sydney

Posted on June 3rd, 2014

You ask, I oblige. A lot of you have been wondering where I eat well in Sydney. So, here, a guide to how to eat like a caveman in my hometown. Hand up in the air before I start: I’d just like to say ladies and gents that I don’t classify myself as “Paleo” as such, mostly because I really don’t like to restrict my eating to a label. I eat according to what makes sense, and how my body feels. I ebb and flow. Sometimes I just can’t face dairy. Sometimes I need carbs (although, I’m selective about which ones, always opting for nutritionally rich options). Sometimes nuts hurt my guts.

"And so you want me to drink this liquid kale substance?" Shooting with @jo1foster @marijaivkovic at @porchandparlour for @iquitsugar ... One of my favourite #iqs joints!

“And so you want me to drink this liquid kale substance?” Sitting at Porch and Parlour during a recent IQS photo shoot. (This is one of my favourite IQS joints!)

Yessssss… I quit sugar. But as I outline a lot, quitting sugar is mostly a really snappy way to cut out processed foods. And nooooo…I don’t eat gluten. But that’s due to my autoimmune disease.

But labels aside, I tend to find Paleo eating an easy way to navigate my way to nutritious options. I outline my thoughts on the inherent value of the Paleo diet in I Quit Sugar for Life. The approach is fundamentally low-starch, anti-processed and pro-organic. It turns to meat (pasture-fed; nose-to-tail cuts), saturated fats (no processed or seed oils) and vegetables, with a little fruit. Paleo is also anti-sugar and the philosophy overall (eating whole, living sustainably and dodging toxins and stressors) is on the same page as me and my messaging.

When I travel I find Paleo eating a particularly helpful approach to adhere to because Paleo-orientated outlets will tend to prioritize ethical meats and good quality veggies…both of which I crave when I’m on the road. Which is why I’ve written this Paleo Guide to Londonthis one for Calgary and Lake Louise and this guide on how to eat Paleo (ish) while travelling.

Anyway, shuffling on. Here’s a rundown of great places to eat in a Paleo fashion here in Sydney (grain-free, pasture-fed meat, organic vegetable etc). I got a few of my fellow cavemen and cavewomen to share their thoughts, too. Nom-nom-on!

Porch and Palour, Bondi. I rather love the Porch. They “get it” in a pretty relaxed kinda way. They cook with coconut oil, serve Suveran’s sprouted bread, offer a side of beef with breakfast and so on. I like their breakfast bowl (steamed greens, avocado, herbs and boiled egg …I ask for no quinoa) and the grain-free pea pancake (with a boiled egg and herbs). I Quit Sugar’s community manager Jordanna Levin also loves this joint and mentions the dinners: “Always Paleo-friendly, too. Pan-fried ocean trout with beets, fennel, feta, mint and walnut.”

Suveran, Bondi. Their sprouted buckwheat bread with turmeric tahini is $1.50 and a great takeaway breakfast snack. Owner Pete (who’s partnered with Pete Evans) is rather extreme with his dietary thinking…just so you know.

Paleo Cafe, Bondi Junction. They make “bulletproof” hot chocolate and coffee with coconut milk. Renee Lynch, I Quit Sugar’s social media manager, is a fan, too.

Rushcutters restaurant, Rushcutters Bay. My mate Marty Boetz consults here and supplies the vegetables from his farm on the Hawkesbury. The menu is ethical and mindful, with slow cooked secondary cuts of meat, etc. Marty also “gets it”.

Fratelli Paradiso, Potts Point. This place is my favourite restaurant in Sydney. OK, they make their own bread and croissants, but their menu is largely meat and vegetable-based. They use organic and local (without making a song and dance about it) and most of their wines are natural or orange.

Apollo, Potts Point. Honestly, Greek food can be so sound: meat, veg, cheese, oils. They serve Marty’s veggies (see above), do a mean slow-cooked lamb with yoghurt. And sardines.

Four-One-Four, Surry Hills. Colin Fassinge is a fabulous operator and a mean proponent of nose-to-nail cooking (even if he uses I Quit Sugar as door-stop). Go with a group and order their big slow-cooked dishes (that come out in Le Crouset pots to serve 3-5 people). They also do a few things with bone marrow. (Scotty Gooding is also a fan!)

The Fish Shop, Potts Point. They only serve sustainable fish and all their wines are organic.

Egg of the Universe, Rozelle. They make their own kombucha, fermented veggies and Kefir. ‘nuf sai.d

Pinbone, Woolhara. A fun night can be had here. Their bone marrow entree and liver chocolate crackles are pretty special.

Fish Face, Darlinghurst. Renee: “Great selection of fish if you’re after a nice dinner out.”

Bread & Circus, Alexandria. Clean Living author Scott Gooding recommends the amazing fresh salads and choices of cold meats. IQS General Manager Zoe adds: “Breakfast is always a pain. Bread with this. Croissant with that. B&C does an amazing dish called “Breakfast with Gwyneth”: sautéed white quinoa, kale and mixed greens with garlic and chilli under a fried biodynamic egg. It’s my go-to weekend brekkie.”

Sefa’s kitchen, Bondi. Scott says: “The Brussels dish is out of control as is the beef cheek and lamb.” Scott’s Clean Living co-author Luke Hines adds: “I go for the lamb and beef cheek. Phenomenal service and a really perfect first date atmosphere.”

The Grounds, Alexandria. Zoe: “Boring Brekkie Need Not Apply. This is fancy pants eggs and cane-twirling bacon. Try their breakfast board (poached eggs, double smoked ham, pesto and heirloom toms and feta), or house-smoked ocean trout with scrambled egg and dill creme fraiche. They even do rolled eggs with truffle oil and asparagus for heaven’s sake. Don’t forget to pay tribute the Ground’s pet pig, Kevin Bacon (seriously), on the way out.”

Chiswick, Woollahra. Scott: “The lamb is the one to try. Great meat and value for money.”

Hurricanes, Bondi. Zoe: “Juicy steaks, racks of ribs and tender cutlets, nobody does grilled meat quite like Hurricanes. It’s Paleo nirvana on a hot plate.”

The Hill, Bondi. Jordanna: “Breaky salad: quinoa, kale, greens, poached eggs and sauerkraut.”

Soup kitchen, Darlinghurst. Scott: “It’s super cheap but they offer a fantastic quinoa and beef cheek dish. Can’t beat it for value.”

Nomad, Surry Hills. Scott: “Perhaps the best pate I’ve ever had!”

Henley’s, Bondi Junction. Renee flags this one: “Everything on the menu is Paleo-friendly. Their hazelnut meal bread with zucchini ribbons and smoked salmon… Hello!”. Luke adds: is a great breakfast or lunch spot with a wicked slow cooked lamb.

Ester, Chippendale. Zoe: “It’s my local (and I’m still trying to pin Sarah down to join me here) and I love everything about it. Entrees might be crispy pig tails or blood sausage or roasted oyster, you may share some bone marrow or warm cauliflower salad, but you’ll come back for fermented chilli greens and the T-bone with bagna cauda.”

Ruby’s diner, Bronte. Jordanna: “Raw breakfast salad with kale, avo, almonds, feta and poached eggs. Or go for dinner. I have the slow roast lamb salad with quinoa, tabbouleh and hummus.”

Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery. Luke says: “Tucked away in the great industrial estate, this warehouse canteen style always has some Paleo offerings and all produce is local and sustainable.

North Bondi Fish (by Matt Moran), Bondi. Luke: “Some wonderfully clean options on the menu. Fish cooked on a chargrill served with klle and walnut salad, not to mention a killer quinoa salad, too!”

Mr Crackles, Darlinghurst. Luke: “This is your quick Paleo take away fix. Chose slow cooked pork or lamb with a rocket salad and sweet potato fries. Otherwise you can order a bucket of crackling on its own!”

Vincent, Woollahra. Zoe: “With really clever dishes and beautifully presentation, it’s a first-date-with-a-Paleo place to impress.”

Porteno, Surry Hills. Zoe: “Part theatre, part restaurant, it’s an upmarket Argentinian parilla run by rockabilly team Ben and Elvis. It also serves some of the best asado in Sydney (and the South American wine list ain’t bad either).”

Three Blue Ducks, Bronte. Jordanna: “Blood sausage (ummm yum!) with poached eggs and sides – skip the bread!”

This Broadsheet post has some great paleo venues, too. http://www.broadsheet.com.au/sydney/food-and-drink/article/sustainable-story#utm_source=nextpanel&utm_medium=none&utm_campaign=none 

Feel free to add your Sydney Paleo joints to this list in the comments below. 

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  • Callan

    Chic Pea, Summer Hill. Only open Thursday and Friday but the chef is very pro-paleo.

    [Reply]

    Chic Pea Reply:

    Thanks for the mention Callan :) We’re open Friday and Saturday, but not Thursday – I follow a Paleo/Weston A Price at Chic Pea, so we are not strict Paleo, but are gluten-free, use grass-fed dairy, biodynamic meat where possible and minimally processed sugars. Oh, and no industrial seed oils :)

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    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Nice!

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    Elle Reply:

    So good! I wasn’t aware of this and this is my local shops!

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  • Dana

    Real Food Connection at Camperdown – best paleo takeaway and eat in!

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  • La

    Damn they’re pretty much all located in the eastern suburbs. How about city, north shore to Northern beaches places? Anyone wanna offer up some

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    Bobbie Reply:

    Yep, I was thinking the same. We need something on the north!

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    Rachel Reply:

    Pure and Dolce Terra in Manly are both very health conscious!

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    Helen Reply:

    Yes! Would love to see some food source conscious eateries open up from north narrabeen onwards. There’s a few in Manly – but so congested there that I rarely go. Mona Vale would be a great spot :)

    [Reply]

    Helen Reply:

    Barbuto (narrabeen) isn’t organic, but they do a great grass fed eye fillet with yummy paleo friendly sides.

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  • TheLifeSheMade

    There’s a great newish place called Sprout in Naremburn, just off the Warringah Freeway on the lower north shore. Lots of paleo options.

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    Maree Ellen Brown Reply:

    Love their raw cakes & smoothies. The store @ Sprout is super convenient at night when you hop off the bus.

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  • http://coffeetalkwitherin.com Erin @ coffeetalkwitherin

    About Life in Rozelle does some paleo options.

    [Reply]

  • The merrymaker sisters

    Oh golly… so many places to eat…. so little time… :D Thanks for this Sarah! This is just what we need! :D Better start ticking off the list! e + c

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    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    xx

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  • Klara

    About Life in Bondi Junction, Rozelle and Cammeray are all great!

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  • Sam

    Fat Rupert’s in Bondi is pretty much all gluten free and very paleo friendly.

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  • Lara

    Hi Sarah, Are you able to do one similar for Melbourne?

    [Reply]

    Rosie Reply:

    Agreed! We need more Paleo inspired cafes in Melbourne

    [Reply]

    Alex Le Fevre Reply:

    I never thought I’d hear the sentence “we need more cafes in Melbourne”! ;)

    [Reply]

    kate Reply:

    Also would love to see a Melbourne paleo guide. Great blog, thanks!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    on my list

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    Debs Reply:

    Please before I go there on the 22 July ;)

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  • http://thefitnessphysiotherapist.com Kylie Pearsall

    Any recommendations for the Manly area?

    [Reply]

    Mim Reply:

    Show box in Manly on Whistler St has some good Paleo options

    [Reply]

    Elle Reply:

    Hemmingway’s, 4 Pines, Garfish, Fishmongers, Ouzeria(Greek), Brazuca (Brazilian), Papi Chulo (food & service hit and miss), Ivanhoe pub (grass fed steaks and grilled seafood)…In Narrabeen I love Barbuto for amazing steaks

    [Reply]

    Alexandra Piper Reply:

    Pure Foods Manly

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  • Netty

    Love it. Thank you! Any chance you could do a Melbourne version?

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  • Casey

    Shame these are all in the eastern suburbs. I wonder if there’s any in greater Sydney? I’m in the north west and I haven’t found any paleo joints, unfortunately.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I don’t have a car…so I don’t get to travel too far West I’m afraid. Perhaps other readers here can help out?

    [Reply]

  • Alex Le Fevre

    Wow, if only I lived in this “Sydney”! I’d appreciate any recommendations for the inner/outer west!

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    This is a great list! At Hurricanes, would the ribs basting sauce have a fair bit of sugar in it? You can’t order it on the side so it makes it a bit difficult.

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    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I always ask for all sauces to be left off or on the side

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    Happiest Man Alive Reply:

    doesn’t matter – I’ve tried that many times – you can not get a completely sauce free ribs or steak as its marinaded overnight in it. I should know, I used to work there and you’d be surprised what goes in there. Best to pull it off your little list?

    [Reply]

  • Sussan

    Hi Sarah, wow! so many choices. I travel to Sydney for work and will be looking forward to trying these.

    I do have a question I am hoping you maybe able to help me with? I am traveling to Bali in July and being gluten & dairy free was wondering if you have any suggestions?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Best wishes
    Sussan

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    I haven’t been to Bali for a while, sorry!

    [Reply]

    Sussan Reply:

    Thanks for taking the time to reply Sarah. Looking forward to starting the program next week!

    [Reply]

    Sasha Reply:

    Sussan, not sure where you intend to go in Bali but when I was there about three years ago Ubud was an amazing place for healthy food, with two cafes in particular – Kafe and Bali Buddha. I’m into raw and organic though, and am not paleo… but neither of these were vegetarian only from memory. Anyway they’re online so you can see if it’s what you’re looking for. Have a great time!

  • Rachel

    Perfect timing! Heading to Sydney this long weekend, can’t wait!

    [Reply]

  • blinkandbefit

    Bondi wholefoods is amazing! I’m from the western suburbs and we have no paleo options… so I will be taking a nice drive to Bondi to get my fix! =)

    [Reply]

  • Penny

    Sarah, THANK YOU! I have just moved here from Brisbane and asked the universe to guide me to some places I could apply to work at that are aligned with the way I eat (ie whole foods/IQS) – guess this is my answer. Thank you xx

    [Reply]

  • Joel

    Where’s Soup Kitchen in Darlinghurst? Is/Was that on Victoria St? I think that’s now the bakery Kurtosh.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson Reply:

    Oxford St, near cnr Crown ST

    [Reply]

  • Samantha Mountstephen

    Earth to Plate, Bondi Junction. They make an awesome almond milk latte and the raw desserts are awesome! About Life, Bondi Junction, try the coconut paleo chicken.

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  • Elissa

    any suggestions for ‘north of the bridge’? (both SHB and Spit) would be very welcomed…

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  • Kylie

    I am flying up to Sydney tonight! Perfect timing to find this post. I ate my way through Byron Bay with your guidance Sarah, I can’t wait to do the same in Sydney.

    [Reply]

  • Helen

    Also Commons Local Eating House in Darlinghurst is rather spesh… They buy a cow each month and cook it nose to tail by month end with various specials. Lots of gluten free and a few natural wines by the glass too!

    [Reply]

    The Commons Reply:

    Thanks Helen for the mention! The Commons serves honest, flavoursome food and quality drinks: we believe wholeheartedly in doing fewer things, but doing them better.
    The Commons is a committed localvore and sources its produce from ethical and local suppliers.
    We have spent time setting up relationships with local suppliers and the resulting menu is made up of simple and seasonal dishes that utilise local ingredients. You can feel better at The Commons knowing that we source all our produce from local, sustainable, ethical farmers and growers, choosing whenever possible sustainable, grass-fed, bio-dynamic, organic.

    [Reply]

  • nenapiki

    Hi Sarah, great post as usual. Just wondering if you woulb be able to do one for Brisbane. Thanks :)

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thenutritionista.com Kirstie – The Nutritionista

    In the inner west, I love cornersmith, double roasters and forage, all in Marrickville, and petty cash cafe in enmore :)

    [Reply]

    Nikla Reply:

    Agree, they are great options for the inner west.

    I also like Mumu grill in Crows Nest for ethical meat and nose to tail eating.

    [Reply]

  • Elle

    Agree. Very Paleo/IQS friendly

    [Reply]

  • Ashleigh

    Please, please, please do this for Melbourne!!!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.zomt.com.au/ Zoe (ZOMT)

    How could you leave off Thr1ve in Martin Place, CBD?!

    [Reply]

  • Happiest Man Alive

    Hurricanes? Sarah are you kidding me? Sure it might be Paleo in terms of the meat, but have you seen the rubbish that goes in to their basting? I used to work there and you should smell the grease trap or see what is used to beef up the flavour. Sugar, syrup… surprised at you!

    Rockpool or the like offer a much cleaner steak – no sauce. Also Chophouse or kingsleys

    [Reply]

  • Alison

    AMAZING! I cannot wait to try out the ones I already haven’t dragged my husband to! Any suggestions for south side of Sydney?

    [Reply]

  • Maree SewitRockit

    Always the eastern suburbs, :( how about south, south west? We always miss out on the good stuff

    [Reply]

  • Holly

    Try Nourishing Quarter Redfern, bread n circus Alexandria, the milkbar by cafe ish also Redfern. Copper mill in Alexandria. Usually find good eats at Orta Surry Hills, Tapeo, Baffy n Mo n Pitt Street Diner all in Redfern. Three Williams good but sadly only through the week – the noise in the all concrete wood n hard surface bunker on busy weekends usually makes me very unwell!!

    [Reply]

  • Jade Kay

    Hi Sarah, I wish you crossed the bridge sometimes.

    [Reply]

  • Maris

    I just read that there is a new Paleo opened fur lunch only I think, in the MLC Centre, between Martin Place and King Street, Sydney

    [Reply]

  • Noelle

    Hey Sarah – any northern beaches places to add to this list???? Noelle x

    [Reply]

  • Tills

    Whole meal cafe is great, on flinders

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  • Louise

    Little paw expresso at cronulla.. do a beautiful paleo board… yum!

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  • Chelsea_bunn

    Sarah, can you please do a Perth guide?

    [Reply]

  • Helen

    Egg of the Universe in Rozelle is FANTASTIC. They definitely get it. Organic, local, house made fermented foods and drinks, WAPF followers, with plenty of paleo options (there’s non-paleo too).

    [Reply]

  • AllieFinch

    We will be in Sydney for a 10-hour layover but likely only have time to take the train from the airport out to Circular Quay (which is what’s been recommended). It looks like some of these might be in the area or on the way. Can anyone let me know what might be within walking distance or in the area? Or if you have a recommendation other than Circular Quay for first-time Sydney visitors? Thanks.

    [Reply]

    AllieFinch Reply:

    Should we consider the joints in Potts Point perhaps?

    [Reply]

  • Amy Saper

    What do you order at Nomad? Going there tomorrow!

    [Reply]

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