Updated 23 June 2017 – originally published 13 Jan 2015
Instagram is a wonderful thing. Not only is it an artistic medium that allows us to give our own perspective to the things we see each day, it’s also a platform that enables us to share our favourite finds. I particularly love coming across new cafe finds and it was my Instagram feed that lead me to Venus Wholefoods in Surry Hills.
Venus Wholefoods got it’s start in life as a wholefoods stall at both Marrickville and Kings Cross Markets. The extremely wholesome menu goes without saying given the name, but what I love even more than their menu is the very cheerful and helpful staff. I have come here on numerous occasions at various times of the day needing to make amendments to one of the meals or smoothies and not once has it been an issue, even when the place has been packed. That is definitely worthy of return business.
There are several things to choose for breakfast and lunch from their display cabinet when you enter, which includes plenty of gluten, grain and dairy free items…. but what catches my eye the most is their ‘build your own bowl’ breakfast list. It is definitely the best place to start when you are navigating an array of food intolerances because you can choose your veg, protein, toppings and can add any number of extras. So good!
Gluten free bread is not listed anywhere on the menu and I forgot to check if they offered it on my way out. Still, there are so many wholesome things to choose from I dare say you won’t miss the toast.
If it’s liquid nourishment you’re after they also have a fabulous smoothie and smoothie bowl list for the warmer months all of which are dairy free, as they are made with either coconut water, coconut milk or almond milk. The friendship smoothie is one I have enjoyed in the past but I’ve moved on to the coconut concord due to their changing almond milks (more on that below)…. A smoothie is definitiely something I will wait until summer to enjoy again. It’s just too cold for me to contemplate a smoothie at the moment!
For lunch, there is a range of gorgeous seasonal salads that again follow the ‘build your own’ style. I honestly love this approach because it works so well when you have intolerances right through from gluten to histamines. How many times do you make your way through a list of ingredients on a menu item only to find you can’t have the last two – and some less than helpful cafes refuse to change them? 😕 Often, I know all too well, but not so here and that is one of their biggest draw-cards in my opinion.
Two and a half years after my first visit the Venus bowl still features on their menu and it is still a favourite for me. It is packed full of goodness with ingredients including turmeric quinoa, sautéed kale and spinach, avocado, kimchi, soft-boiled egg, tamari seeds and vegan holondaise. Removing the kimchi and the avocado will make it a low FODMAP meal too. Absolutely delish 💞
And for the coffee lovers? I’m a bit torn here…. when I first started going to Venus Wholefoods after it had just opened they were using a wonderful house made almond milk in their coffee, which was 5 senses at the time. They have now moved to Single O coffee, that is also fab, but they have changed their almond, soy and coconut milks and at the time of writing, none of the brands they are using are those I either support or suggest my clients use. This is because they all contain gums and flavourings and I don’t believe any of these have a place in the diet in general, but particularly not for those with food allergy/intolerance, autoimmune disease or those with gut issues. With that in mind – Unless you can have full cream dairy I would actually not suggest having coffee here. If you do want a warming beverage though they have some lovely teas by T Totaler or just go with a black coffee.
One read over the menu will show that the food is wholesome, nourishing and absolutely divine at Venus Wholefoods but it’s the staff that really make the difference. They care about the ingredients they use, what they’re serving and whether their clientele enjoy their meal. In contrast to the little note one often sees on cafe menus saying ‘no changes can be made’ Venus Wholefoods staff go out of their way to help you find something they can make for you whether that means completely changing a dish or changing a few items. Quite the gem on the Sydney cafe scene really, and the ultimate tolerant table.
Shop 14, 325 Bourke St, Surry Hills
(St Margaret’s Building)
Mon to Fri 7:00am – 4:00pm
Sat 9:00am – 3:00pm