Whenever you meet someone overseas and tell them you’re from Sydney, their eyes light up and they say “Oh, Bondi Beach!” And who can blame them? The iconic beach has helped put us on the map. However, I would argue that Bondi’s comparatively low-key neighbour, Coogee Beach, gives it a serious run for its money.
Sure, I might be a little biased given I grew up and currently live there… But these days, we have a lot more going for us than just the Coogee Bay Hotel (will we ever put that ice cream incident behind us?). Not only do you have to compete with less tourists for a spot on the sand, the area is home to a growing number of hip, healthy cafes. Here are some of my top picks:
232 Coogee Bay Rd
Sometimes, you want to eat healthy but don’t necessarily feel like ordering a kale and spinach salad. The struggle is real! Created by The Diet Doctor Moodi Dennoui, Moodies puts an end to that dilemma by putting a more wholesome spin on traditional comfort foods. Think spinach and eggplant ‘lasagne’ or my personal favourite, the peanut butter protein pancakes. The also have a great range of delicious juices and smoothies, including the best one I’ve ever had — the ’S’more Please.’
233 Coogee Bay Rd
Beach days go hand-in-hand with superfood bowls and Coco Bliss serves ‘em up in spades. The flavours range from the traditional acai bowls to more creative options like the Banoffee Protein Bowl or The Black Bowl (featuring the ingredient du jour, coconut charcoal.) They also have every type of Insta-worthy latte you can think of, including matcha, turmeric and beetroot.
244 Coogee Bay Road
Lulu’s was recently given a beachy chic makeover, having changed hands from Coogee Trade. Locals breathed a sigh of relief to see old favourites from the menu have stuck around (like the corn fritters and shakshuka eggs), as well as some yummy additions like parmesan-crusted schnitzel and roasted cauliflower salad. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can hit them up for a healthy meal any time of day.
Cali Press Coogee
215 Coogee Bay Rd
You’d be hard-pressed to find somewhere with more healthy options than Cali Press. The health food chain (there are four other locations in Sydney) serves up everything from superfood bowls and smoothies to salads and toasted sandwiches on wholemeal ciabatta. They also have an awesome range of grab-n-go options from their ‘health shelf.’
3/55 Dudley St
Tucked away a few streets away from the main stretch is hidden gem Poke, Coogee’s answer to the Poke trend. For those who aren’t familiar, Poke (pronounced, poh-keh) is a super healthy and delicious Hawaiian, diced fish dish. Not in the mood for fish? Poke also has a range of ‘hot’ bowls featuring chicken, pork or beef, as well as vegan Buddha bowls.
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