Primal living on the Sunshine Coast – top places to dine paleo style

IMG_5411Just like Byron Bay seems to be the yoga hub of Australia, the Sunshine Coast Queensland is likely to be the hub for those devoted to a natural / primal lifestyle.

I’m always blown away by the beauty and chilled atmosphere of the beaches North of Brisbane. They seem to have everything an Aussie brags about when we travel overseas. Pristine beaches, warm weather, chilled out vibe and a place where thongs are appropriate in any situation.

I visited the Sunshine Coast as part of my recent trip to Queensland as I had been hearing some great things about the wide variety of fresh food options it provides for the paleo lifestyle.

The Sunshine Coast has always been a haven for athletes and the health conscious, as well as retirees seeking out sunshine and outdoor living and those chasing waves and relaxation away from the city. I have spent a bit of time up that way and experienced some amazing local food. However in the last 12 months there seems to have been a new wave of health and lifestyle related local spots to hit the coast, joining the existing healthy and fresh dining options.

I spent a day wondering around the coast and found myself sipping herbal tea with a beautiful couple who run a primal fitness and lifestyle business. I enjoyed a super green smoothie while chatting to a cafe owner about her vision for starting her business and the passion behind what she does. I lunched with a lovely bunch of ‘yogi’s’ I met years ago during a yoga retreat in Byron Bay, and I dined with good friends at a local tavern that provided good, fresh and wholesome food.

Wow! That’s a lot of food! Truth be told, I actually spaced out this food safari over two nights so I could fit everything in (to my stomach that is!)

Here’s a diary of my Sunny Coast paleo footprint, and further below I have provided a list of places to try on the Sunshine Coast which offer paleo-friendly fare.


The gluten-free duck breast ordered by a friend at the Buderim Tavern

Arriving in the evening, I dined with friends at a local steakhouse tavern. The food was simple and enjoyable – if only I had left a little more room to enjoy my dish (I had eaten lunch at Primal Pantry earlier that day which had given me enough sustained energy to last me well past dinner time).


Aimee and Clint from Primal Influence

I have been following a business called Primal Influence for the last couple of months. Run by couple Clint Bauer and Aimee Clark, Primal Influence focuses on teaching natural movement techniques and leading a natural lifestyle following sustainable practices. They have an awesome blog called Under the Primal Influence which is full of fascinating information unearthed by Clint and Aimee in their quest to reduce their carbon footprint and live as organically and sustainably as possible. I have so much more to share about these two incredible people I will save this for another post in the coming days,  but I would definitely recommending checking out their blog.

Our meeting was at a cosy little teahouse called The Silva Spoon which has an impressive range of house mixed teas including one called ‘Fitness’ which I tried out (perhaps I thought I’d feel more like a Sunny Coaster if I drank Fitness tea!) It had a mix of green rooibos, basil, cardamon, cinnamon, ginger and pepper with a hint of apple and citrus. Although it was a warm day, it was a nice way to start the day in readiness for my paleo-eating ahead.


The fresh produce at Get Fresh Grocer in Cotton Tree

I was in an area called Cotton Tree, wedged between the river and Alexandra Headland. Just about every cafe I stumbled upon offered a good range of paleo-friendly meals. They were all very healthy and so I found it difficult to decide where to dine next! I had had a recommendation from a friend to try a place called Get Fresh (not to be confused with B Fresh which was also highly recommended but located further down the coast).

So I literally walked around the corner to find Get Fresh. The menu was very tempting, but I decided on the green smoothie which was a meal in itself. I did get the chance to have a quick chat to one of the cafe staff members who described the vision and passion behind the cafe and grocer next door. Originally starting as a food store, the cafe opened earlier this year to provide fresh, healthy and good food options on the coast.

For my next stop, I had scoped out a place called Ground Organic Living Foods which has established quite a following since opening 12 months ago. It’s a nice story, which is probably better told by James and Monique on their website, owners of the organic cafe and creators of the plant-based, gluten-free and dairy-free menu. This dining experience was definitely a stand out, and it’s not surprising to learn that a second Ground Organics will be opening soon in Mooloolaba so the deliciousness and rawness can be enjoyed above or by the sea.

I ordered the Mexicano which came with guacamole, chili nut mince with sun dried tomato sauce, macadamia cheese, greens and diced fresh tomatoes with homemade crispy corn chips. I had to keep reminding myself that it was vegan. It was so tasty, and even though I ordered the small serve I was full!

My afternoon was spent exploring the beaches and coastal cafes. There are so many great places on the Sunshine Coast and I think it’s a great spot for a primal holiday, especially when you can book into one of Clint and Aimee’s primal movement classes to burn off the fabulous fresh food consumed throughout the day.

Here’s a list of great places to check out:

Silva Spoon tea and coffee emporium – for a delightful tea and a gluten-free treat

Shop 1, The Dunes, 27 Cotton Tree Parade, Cotton Tree

Get Fresh – fresh smoothies and juices, great salads and lunches, organic produce from their grocer

Shop 10, 1 King Street, Cotton Tree

Ground Organic Living Foods - delicious vegan-inspired food (breakfast and lunch)

Shop 11, 43 Burnett Street, Buderim

B Fresh Cafe Deli - great brunch / lunch spot

239 Nicklin Way, Warana

Hot Pipis - has a paleo section on the menu, nice spot for dinner by the beach (it was closed the night I was there so I didn’t get to try it out!)

3/11 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba

Kunara Organic Market Place – large organic grocer and cafe, also does workshops on organic and sustainable living

330 Mons Road, Forest Glen

Envy Cafe - in two locations, I’ve dined here a number of times and it’s a great place for breakfast or lunch with an impressive range of smoothies. They also have live music in the evenings throughout the summer.

Argyle Building, 5 / 31 Cotton Tree Parade, Cotton Tree

Hudspith House, 3 / 26 Brisbane Road, Mooloolaba

Alison Sims

Passionate about real food and healthy living, Alison Sims is the founder and author of Paleo Foodies. She is on a mission to discover the best paleo dining in Australia and all around the world. What started as a part time blog in 2013 has lead to a full time career for Alison, who previously spent a decade in Advertising and Marketing. She is now a regular contributor to health and lifestyle publications, a public speaker in food and health, and co-publisher of Paleo Foodies Magazine.


  • Reply October 28, 2013

    Aimee Clark

    Great post Ali! Well written and so full of info about awesome places to eat and drink here on the Sunny Coast. Thanks for including us in your trip, it was so lovely to talk with you :)

    You may already have done this but I’ve shared this with Gina and the gang at The Silva Spoon so they can see their mention :) They can read it twice! haha

    Thanks again for your support xx

    • Reply October 28, 2013

      Ali @ Paleo Foodies

      Thanks Aimee! And thanks for passing on to The Silva Spoon. I saw you were there this morning with Clint and I was feeling very jealous ;) See you next time I’m up! x

  • Reply October 30, 2013

    Aimee Clark

    We were at Hot Pipis on Monday for a nice cuppa, but Clint was at the Spoon again today! It’s kinda our ‘local’ haha

    See you again :) x

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