Finding a Paleo Lunch in the City food court ideas diet healthy

Finding a Paleo Lunch in the City

I always have good intentions of bringing a Paleo Lunch in to work with me.  When I do, lunch is great.  I take in leftovers from the previous evening, and reheat them at work.  Or I take in slices of meat that I roasted at home and eat it with vegetables.  But, there are often times when I don’t get round to making my lunch – or even more annoying, leave my lunch at home!  I often catch up with friends over lunch – another occasion when I venture away from home cooking and towards the food courts.

I work in Sydney CBD, so there are literally hundreds of food outlets within minutes of my office.  The choices however, often leave a lot to be desired, sadly they're are many that are not what I would class a Paleo Lunch!  There are the usual fast food joints like McDonalds , Hungry Jacks (Burger King to the rest of the world), Oportos (Australia fast food chain specialising in chicken burgers) & KFC.  Then there are Mexican chains like Mad Mex and Guzman y Gomez.  There are pancake outlets, salad outlets, fruit juice outlets, Thai, Chinese, Japanese… the list goes on.  There is a wholefoods chain, Iku, in Sydney, which should be amazing, but sadly they seem to have a vegan agenda – most of their foods contain grains and legumes – and soy seems to be commonly used.

Finding a Paleo Lunch in the City food court ideas diet healthy

Most of these options are strictly off limits for me, as they just aren't Paleo!  Whilst the Mexican chains seem to use wonderful fresh ingredients, most options also include tortilla, beans, cheese and rice (grains, legumes and dairy!).  Most lunch options in the city seem to serve grains, legumes and dairy.  I'm also very mindful of the fact that these outlets don’t care about our health – they just want maximum profits, so are likely to use ingredients that I won’t – to improve the taste of their products to keep us going back.  I can’t imagine a single outlet uses coconut oil or grass fed, organic meat!  Whilst salads are a safe option, I find they tend to bulk them out with lettuce and meat is often in very small quantities; not good value for money and certainly not satiating.

The best option I've found so far, is from one of the many outlets offering roast dinner.  I often have roast beef (or pork or chicken) with a serving of seasonal roasted vegetables.

Finding a paleo lunch in the city-min

I've also found a few good places that will let me get creative and go “off menu”.  For example, last week I met a friend for lunch and found an organic burger joint, who were able to arrange a burger with no bun, sauces or fries.  Instead they served the burger with bacon and an egg – result!

Recently I've been trying to have brunch instead of lunch.  This means I can get bacon, eggs and avocado; a much better option!

Finding a paleo lunch in the city brunch-min

Until there’s a Paleo food outlet in every major city, I’d love to hear what your Paleo choices are for a city lunch?

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12 replies
  1. Gaby
    Gaby says:

    I work in the CBD too, the few times I don’t bring my lunch I eat at Saladworks (you can make your own salad) or any sushi joint, where I order a sashimi plate and seaweed salad. There are a few places selling grass-fed steaks around (Chophouse, Steersons, Prime at GPO, Bistrode CBD, etc), not cheap but a good option for a special lunch.

  2. Anna
    Anna says:

    I buy a sallad and ad half of a grilled chicken from the store. The meet is never enough in these sallads, so something has to be added. But I try my best to take lunch with me.
    Anna (from Sweden)

  3. Ashleigh
    Ashleigh says:

    – Try going to a cafe that does all-day breakfast.
    – You can have Zambrero’s if you ask for a salad bowl and just get the meat, lettuce, tomato/onion salsa, a squeeze of lime juice, jalepenos, guacamole (I was told there was no dairy in it). It’s about $10 and a bit of a rip-off considering you don’t get most of the available ingredients but it is an option.
    – Subway does salad bowls. I usually ask for double meat (also, check their website for their gluten free meats) and get a bunch of veg. It’s also around the $10 mark, it’s a rip-off and quite bland but it is an option when you need it.
    – A lot of places sell plain old fruit salads such as Boost. Even McDonald’s sells apple bags and HJ’s sells salad cups. It’s not exactly lunch and will be overpriced but this gives you options.
    – Obviously sushi is always a great idea.

    I know a lot of these ideas are lame but they are backups when you are eating on the go with someone. You should definitely be able to find at least a Subway, Zambrero’s, Salad shop or Boost almost anywhere.

  4. Marty
    Marty says:

    Mad Mex naked burrito – no rice, no beans, no sour cream, no cheese, no guacamole, extra chicken/whatever meat you prefer, with picante salsa to keep you fuller for longer. You can have lettuce, corn, tomato, capsicum, onion etc with it. Awesome for lunch and keeps you full for ages. I always have this when I don’t prepare my own lunch.

  5. Luly
    Luly says:

    I’ve found a couple of good places. Mero Mero is the Westfield Pitt st(5th floor) seems to have good quality meat, and the salads are good with options to add egg and avocado.
    Thrive has just opened in the MLC food court and serves food based on paleo eating. They have breakfast and lunch bowls with grass fed beef. Not sure about the provenance of the chickens yet but so far I’ve found it pretty good. Salads at salad works and crystler are pretty good too.

  6. Health Junkies
    Health Junkies says:

    Yes the fast food chains have the money to positioned in the more convenient, high traffic locations – whereas the restaurants who are serving real food are forced to be positioned in those harder to find places. When you’ve only got a limited time for lunch or something, it’s easy to give in to the convenience the unhealthy places offer.

  7. Simmo
    Simmo says:

    Some of my food court options would be grilled fish and salad, yiros/kebab plate (which is all the meat & veg without the wrap), roast meat & veg as mentioned, McDonalds create your own meal with lettuce leaf wrap instead of a bun and garden salad and a tea, Zambrero superfood bowl (just omit the corn, beans, cheese, sour cream, I do eat the wild black rice), or find the nearest pub and get steak chips and salad just don’t eat the chips.


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