I love 100% gluten free restaurants. Seriously, celiacs can eat anything on the menu! It’s such a treat not to worry about cross contact. AND, I was fortunate enough to find The Paleo Cafe, an amazing 100% gluten free (and refined sugar free) chain in Cairns, Queensland.
When I arrived in Cairns, I didn’t expect to dine out much since it’s a smaller city, but I returned to the Paleo Cafe multiple times! It’s open for breakfast and lunch. Some days I would order a takeaway lunch to enjoy while on a snorkeling tour and other days I’d grab a takeaway meal for dinner too. You just have to get there early enough to place your order (by 3 or 5 pm).
Now to the food. I met quite a few people who would head over there just for the smoothies. I thought they were quite good, and there’s certainly one to meet everyones taste preferences. While nothing extraordinarily special, it is wonderful to have access to delicious, healthy food that is also guaranteed to meet my dietary needs.
As for the actual meals. I only had compliments for the pancakes featured above. Seriously, a scrumptious meal. That’s why it was my first picture. Plus, it’s dairy free. That beautiful whipped cream is actually from coconuts! I’m impressed they made it so fluffy because I still struggle with whipped coconut cream myself.
The weekly special was a zoodle dish that was absolutely flavorful. Now, if you’ve never had zucchini noodles, don’t expect it to taste like pasta. BUT, if you like spiralized zucchini, then this meal is for you! The sauce was extremely flavorful! And, the dish was well seasoned without being too heavy. Two Thumbs Up!
The last dish I tried was the burger. The sweet potato fries were tasty. However, the burger was lacking a bit. It was drier than necessary. Who said that paleo food couldn’t be juicy? I did find that they made up for the driness with their choice of spices. But it would have been better as a juicier burger with the beautiful spice mixture. I didn’t order this meal again, but it wasn’t a bad option and it’s super convenient to pack! (Also comes with a GF bun if you choose.)
I didn’t find the restaurant to have too much of an overbearing “health” focus, but the food is certainly paleo if that’s what floats your boat. I’m glad the restaurant has some good tasting meals too! Now, if you didn’t want to read all of that, here’s a general recap.
- 100% Gluten Free
- Mainly Dairy Free (dairy milk in coffee, and be sure to ask)
- Delicious Food
- Conscious of other allergens
- Quick Wait, Friendly Service
- Not open for dinner!
- Lots of eggs on the menu
- A bit pricy, but not extreme
So are you headed to Cairns?! It’s a bit of a party town (with over 50 hostels), but it’s also a great place to check out the Great Barrier Reef. One of my highlights was Barefoot Tours, a backpacker friendly tour that took us south of the city to observe a ton of different waterfalls. It definitely made for a day of great laughs and stunning scenery!
For a quieter experience, head up north to Port Douglas (after you check out the Paleo Cafe of course). It’s simply stunning, and worth at least a day trip from Cairns. The rainforest is beautiful, and we were able to observe some saltwater crocodiles (a mama and her babies) on our river cruise.
There are Paleo Cafes all around Australia and New Zealand. (They do have slightly different menus.) There’s even one midway between Melbourne and the Grampians, a trip that I highly recommend taking. What’s your favorite spot in Australia?! Have you been to a Paleo Cafe?