You may not guess it from reading my posts about macarons and other sweets, but I love eating healthfully. Fresh fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein make me smile, and I try to live gluten and dairy free as I’m sensitive to both.
As much as I love healthy eats (and sweets…), I also love to research and gather information on topics of interest. Before traveling to Australia, I searched for shops selling healthy, organic food and hoped to find a store similar to Whole Foods (♥) back home.
What I found online turned out to be very different from what I saw in person. “Health food stores” turned out to be no more than vitamin shops selling vitamins, large tubs of protein powders and meal replacement shakes, and the like. I returned to the hostel and tried a few more keyword searches. The results led to more vitamin shops. Surprised, I thought SURELY there must be a few organic, health food stores in a city the size of Sydney!
I eventually learned that “health/y food” keyword searches lead to vitamin stores while “whole foods” or “natural marketplace” lead to the kind of shops I was looking for all along! Since online searches and asking locals led to few results in my quest, I thought it may be helpful to share the list of places I have sought out or stumbled upon during my time in Sydney. It’s the kind of list I wish I had been able to find as I was starting my year of traveling and living here!
My findings are listed in 3 categories:
— Whole foods/natural grocery and food shops
— Bakeries and sweet treats (gluten free focus)
— Gluten free in Australia resources
Organic/gourmet/fresh/whole foods/natural marketplace:
— This is not intended to be a comprehensive, exhaustive list. Rather, it mentions the places I have personally found and visited.
— The stores vary in what they call themselves and to what degree they focus on providing as many organic goods as possible. If items are not organic, the stores below try to provide fresh, nutritious food overall.
NATURAL/WHOLE FOOD SHOPS
About Life Natural Marketplace
605 Darling Street, Rozelle and 31-37 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction
About Life just may be the largest, most well-stocked health foods store I’ve found in all of Australia.
I first saw the Bondi Junction location in passing and popped in. What’s even better is that About Life’s Rozelle store is MUCH larger — home to 15,000 products, be it organic fruit & veg, meats, refrigerated and frozen items, dry goods, home cleaning products, skin care, vitamins, herbal remedies, and loads more. They even have a naturopath on duty most hours of the day.
Both stores also have a cafe where you can easily pick up a take away wrap or salad. All of my shopping experiences save one have been at the Rozelle location — their baristas are fantastic, and it’s the only cafe I’ve found that offers rice or almond milk for those of us who can’t or choose not to consume dairy or soy. Bonus points for that one!
If you’re not in the mood for coffee, the freshly made juices are delicious and refreshing. I tried fruit + veggie combos as well as the non-dairy fruit juices (made with coconut milk and/or sorbets).
If you have time to sit in for a meal, the wagyu beef burger is top notch. And for dessert? People seemed to love the brownie, but I much preferred the “vegan slice”.
7 Star Supermarket
408 King Street, Newtown and 342 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
I only found this gem in Newtown at the end of my time in Sydney’s Inner West. The family owned store has a selection of fresh fruit & veg, refrigerated and frozen items, and dry and boxed goods. If I had known of its existence earlier, I certainly would have shopped here more often.
214 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee and Shop 4, 490 Crown Street, Surry Hills
I recently passed Maloney’s Grocer on Crown Street after a visit to a nearby bakery. While they have organic and gluten free items in stock, they do not appear to label themselves as an organic/natural/health food shop. However, they had many of the dry, refrigerated, and frozen brands as the other shops, and their produce, while not necessarily organic, looked incredibly fresh and beautiful — some of the best I have seen without question! I would have done a massive shop here if I had been on my way home.
11 stores between Sydney and Melbourne
I’d heard of the Woolworth’s owned Thomas Dux but never saw one until my last week in Sydney. One step inside, and I knew it wasn’t your average grocery store. While the main focus does not appear to be on organics, like Maloney’s, the produce is plentiful and appears fresh. The website says they have a range of organic, gluten free, and preservative free products, and I was impressed by the quantity of items they have in stock. I picked up a loaf of gluten free bread, my favorite candy bar from Ireland, and a few apricots and plums (which have both tasted perfect). About Life, Maloney’s, and the Thomas Dux in Crows Nest are all of similar shop size.
Wholesome Natural Health Market
181 Broadway, Broadway (between the CBD and Inner West)
I stumbled upon Wholesome en route to the Broadway Shopping Centre and was delighted to find great tasting natural peanut butter at a great price!
The produce section is small, and on my last visit they only had a few items on the shelf. The freezer had a decent selection of meat and veggie pies, and I picked up a few frozen vegetarian meals from Syndian, one of my favorite brands in Australia.
There are only a couple of aisles dedicated to teas, nuts, flours, etc., and the rest of the shop provides an assortment of vitamins, supplements, and home and personal care products.
Wild Food Natural Health Market
Shop 3071, Westfield Shopping Centre, Bondi Junction
Wild Food has produce, refrigerated and frozen items, and several aisles with packaged and dry goods. The prices are on par with the other health food stores and just slightly higher than About Life.
Wild Food also has a cafe that’s located just outside of the food shop where you can pick up a healthy meal or snack to take away or enjoy at a small dining area beside the main shop.
Dr. Earth Health Foods
311 King Street, Newtown
Dr. Earth’s store is long and narrow, and if you just glimpse in while walking past, you could easily mistake it for a vitamin-only shop. The front half of the store is home to vitamins, supplements, and personal care products. The back half of the store is home to fresh produce (limited quantities), a few small refrigerators, and dry goods.
125 King Street, Newtown
Life Organic is a relatively small shop that mostly stocks dry boxed/bagged goods. It also has a small produce section with limited quantities of the items they have in stock.
Ingredients for Health
132 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
The shop is similar in size to the other smaller ones above. Stocks teas, vitamins, supplements, flours, and boxed/dry goods.
10 Darley Road, Manly
A cafe takes up the front half of the store, while the back half has a few boxed goods and organic items for sale. The muffins at the cafe looked fantastic so I had to try one — sadly I found it to be completely average.
The cafe seems to get good reviews online, however, and while the store doesn’t have a lot of items, it’s handy for a quick shopping trip if you can’t make it to another health food shop.
Coles and Woolworths
It’s worth a mention that both Coles and Woolies have an aisle (or a partial one) with gluten free and/or organic products.
SWEETS – gluten free
78 Livingstone Road, Marrickville
Rowie’s Cakes promises that “every wickedly delicious morsel that leaves our kitchen is 100% gluten, yeast and wheat free.” It’s ironic that Rowie’s is literally *just* down the street from me because it took attending the Irresistible Gluten Free Show to learn about the shop and brand.
OneFiveSeven / Healthy Feast
Sadly this shop has since closed.
One of my bus routes took me past OneFiveSeven routinely, so on a day off from work, I walked to this tiny shop known for quality gluten free goodies that don’t sacrifice on taste.
With so many beautiful tarts and pastries, I asked the woman behind the counter to recommend a “must have” for my first visit. Lemon meringue isn’t a flavor I crave, but I’m so glad I took her suggestion — all 3 layers blended together PERFECTLY.
I attended the Irresistible Gluten Free Show when it made its stop in Sydney. By registering for the event online, I enjoyed free access to the show — dozens of free samples, special prices and deals, and introductions to product lines I’d never seen. Visit the website for dates of upcoming shows and locations.
I did not know about the Gluten-free Australia blog until I was doing a bit of research for this post. It looks like it could be a really helpful site to uncover products and restaurants that cater to gluten free eating.
I hope you found this post helpful if you were searching for the same type of information I was! Enjoy visiting the places above and happy eating ♥
If you use Gowalla, you can bookmark and eventually complete the Sydney Health Foods Shops trip!