Superfood cities: where to find healthy urban eats
City tripping can be hungry work – and these days the options are seemingly endless. But what if you'd rather forgo the freakshake and bubble-waffle fads for something a little more nutritious?
Fuel up and feel good with these tasty recommendations from our city experts. Inspired to give a healthy boost to your home cooking? Try your hand at the vitamin-packed recipes in our new book, The World's Best Superfoods.
Get supercharged bowls in Singapore
Foodie hotspot Singapore dishes up everything from hawker fare to fine dining. Indulge too often however, and your belt may need an extra notch or two! Thankfully, the health food craze has well and truly hit.
For a feel-good fix, head to Grain Traders (grain-traders.com). Its two locations (Market and Tras streets) specialise in nutritious grain bowls packed with veggies, proteins and (optional) carbs. Choose from six signature bowls – ‘el hibaro’ is a crowd favourite – or build your own.
Ria de Jong is a travel writer based in Singapore. Follow her tweets @Ria_in_transit
Go vegan with a vengeance in Budapest
Hungarian food is heavy on the meat, and even supposedly veggie options often come cooked with lard or szalonna, a local fatty bacon. However, in the past few years, vegan restaurants, cafes and food trucks have sprouted up across Budapest.
Vegan Love on Bartok Béla Boulevard gives the taste buds a treat with plant-based burgers and hot dogs packed with a powerhouse of healthy ingredients. Try the sweet potato burger, served up with beetroot, horseradish cream and homemade ketchup with fresh basil in a pumpkin-seed bun.
Extra boost: Napfényes Restaurant and Pastry Shop (napfenyesetterem.hu/english) is a vegan favourite for its pizzas and pastries, but try the vegan-friendly Hungarian goulash soup in Kozmosz (vegankozmosz.hu/eng).
Jennifer Walker is a Budapest-based travel writer. Follow her tweets @JDWalkerWriter
Indulge in indigenous bush foods in Perth
Going beyond the trendy bent for seasonal, locally-produced ingredients, chefs in the West Australian capital are interpreting bush foods in new and unusual ways. Forget charred kangaroo or eucalyptus-spiked billy tea: we’re talking succulents and seaweeds, native fruits, herbs and even tree leaves. Cured, dehydrated, fried or left alone, they deliver savoury twang and shattering crunch, all smacking of the Australian wild.
City fine diner, Wildflower (wildflowerperth.com.au), nails it by dusting emu tartare with onion ash, pairing magenta-hued quandong (bush peach) with duck breast and infusing cocktails with fragrant lemon myrtle and wattleseed.
Extra boost: Hit Varnish on King in Perth’s centre to sample tart lilli pilli berries on maple-glazed pork knuckle. The Standard in Northbridge dishes up floral elements with its Geraldton wax-cured ocean trout.
Fleur Bainger is a journalist based in Perth, Australia. Follow her tweets @whitenoisemedia
Opt for organic in Stockholm
It doesn’t take visitors long to see that Stockholm locals look after themselves. Many places in the city specialise in sustainable produce, while vegan-friendly food is becoming easier to find by the day.
Start your day at Hälsocafet with a breakfast bowl based on superfruits like açaí, pitaya and acerola. Or why not enjoy lunch with a custom-made salad? Alternative takes on modern classics are ideal for a feel-good fika (loosely translated as ‘coffee break’).
Extra boost: The Plant (theplant.se) in Skanstull is a wholly vegan and organic fast-food joint, while Stockholm Raw (sthlmraw.se) in the up and coming Hornstull area specialises in soups, salads and sweets.
Adam Grimshaw is a Stockholm-based writer. Follow his tweets @AdamGeorgie
Eat your way to happiness in Melbourne
It’s one thing to put a chia bowl or colourful salad on a menu, but it’s another entirely to design a cafe around happiness. In Melbourne, a city saturated with healthy eating concepts, Burnley’s Serotonin Eatery (serotonindealer.com) churns out vibrant dishes made from ingredients said to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to wellbeing.
Try the positive pancakes made from dehydrated organic bananas. And if you’re still not smiling, friendly service, a bright interior and indoor swing seats are just what the doctor ordered.
Extra boost: Happy Place (happyplacelb.com.au) is ideal for healthy meals and smoothies on the run at South Melbourne Market, while Pana Chocolate (panachocolate.com) in Richmond sells a range of vegan, raw and organic chocolates and cakes.
Sofia Levin is a food and travel journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her tweets @sofiaklevin
Grab a Greek salad in Athens
There many are variations of Greek salad but the classic always includes tomato, cucumber, olives, feta and a generous glug of olive oil. Known as horiatiki (meaning ‘village’ in Greek), it’s a national staple.
At Mana’s Kouzina-Kouzina in Monastiraki, Athens, salad lovers can discover regional Greek salad favourites from around the country including mavromati (black eyed peas), panzaria (beetroot), and lachano karoto (shredded carrot and cabbage).
Extra boost: Try pasteli, the ancient Greek power bar made with sesame and honey at Pnyka bakery (pnyka.com.gr/el) in Syntagma, where it’s made fresh. Plaka’s Malotira (malotira.gr) stocks Greece’s best deli products and offers samples of the country’s best olive oils.
Marissa Tejada is an Athens-based journalist. Follow her tweets @tejadamarissa
Vancouver got its just desserts – and so can you
Western Canada’s largest city is a hotbed of health-aware dining with Vancouverites ever-ready to try the latest tasty trends – from vegetarian comfort dishes and nutritious poke bowls to cold-pressed juices and fermented kombucha teas.
But the biggest challenge for many locals is finding delicious, healthy desserts. Step forward Vegan Pudding & Company, downtown’s hidden gem. Their little tubs of custard-like pudding – including chocolate, vanilla and matcha green tea flavours – are organic and dairy-free, made with kabocha squash and coconut milk to create a silky texture.
John Lee is a Vancouver-based writer. Follow his tweets @johnleewriter
Asian food abounds in San Francisco
San Francisco has long been home to some of the best Asian food on the West Coast and its proximity to the Pacific ensures fresh seafood year round. In the city’s many Japanese restaurants, you’ll find nutrient-rich wakame salad (seaweed salad), and salty yet soothing Miso soup to warm you up on a foggy San Francisco day.
Tucked onto a sidestreet in the heart of the Marina neighborhood, Ace Wasabi’s Rock-N-Roll Sushi (acewasabisf.com) is a surefire bet for fresh ingredients and a hip atmosphere.
Extra boost: Start your morning in Japantown for a cup of antioxidant-filled Matcha green tea. Next, hit Hawker Fare (hawkerfare.com) in the Mission for som tam (Thai papaya salad).
Hope Corrigan is a travel blogger. Follow her tweets @hopecolette
Create bespoke vegetarian platters in London
Long gone are the days when London’s cuisine was mostly associated with fish and chips or pie and mash; England’s capital is now a haven for hungry travellers. It also has an increasingly health-conscious population, more likely to opt for an organic farmer’s market than a greasy spoon, and this has led to an influx of wholesome establishments.
Ethos (ethosfoods.com), on Eastcastle St, serves an eclectic buffet of vegetarian dishes. The salads are inventive and delicious – try the broccoli and carrot with curried cashew cream – and the hot options, like the squash and stilton walnut rolls, are equally impressive.
Will Jones is a London-based writer. Follow his tweets @willjackjones