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7 of the best places to enjoy a healthier meal out in Norfolk and Suffolk

The colourful food doesn't skimp on portion sizes at the Amandines cafe and restaurant. Photo: Harriet Orrell

The colourful food doesn't skimp on portion sizes at the Amandines cafe and restaurant. Photo: Harriet Orrell

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As March is national nutrition month, we've put together a list of restaurants and cafés that pack as much goodness into their food as they do flavour.

The glass-covered courtyard of Amandines is filled with natural light and heated by the sun and a traditional wood burning stove. Photo: Harriet OrrellThe glass-covered courtyard of Amandines is filled with natural light and heated by the sun and a traditional wood burning stove. Photo: Harriet Orrell

Pono Superfoods Bar, Norwich

Hawaiian inspired Pono packs a punch with mostly raw and bowls and plates, made with fresh nutrient-rich ingredients. The inspiration for the concept came from the owners’ two-year travels around the globe, where they discovered a passion for food as close to its natural form as possible. Pono’s dishes stay away from refined sugar in favour of natural sweetness and the food is vegan and gluten-free wherever possible.

Amandines Café Restaurant, Diss

Serving wholesome home 
cooked food made from locally sourced vegetarian and vegan ingredients, Amandines offers healthy and hearty simultaneously. You won’t go hungry with their freshly made soups, quiches and other daily specials, and their milkshakes and smoothies are all freshly made. As well as being meat-free, the café restaurant also strives to accommodate diners who are avoiding gluten.

Namaste India in Opie Street.  Picture: Denise BradleyNamaste India in Opie Street. Picture: Denise Bradley

Elveden Courtyard Restaurant, Elveden

Prepared using (where possible) meat, vegetables and foraged herbs from the Eleveden Estate, the restaurant here has a handy ‘heart’ symbol on its menus so diners can identify which dishes have been prepared with health in mind. At breakfast time choose from homemade yoghurt with berry compote, homemade granola and honey, porridge made with skimmed milk, and scrambled eggs cooked without butter. While at lunch you can happily tuck into dishes which have included cured pollock with Elveden blackberries, spring onion cream cheese and mustard cress, beetroot buckwheat and lentil burger, and grilled fish and chips with lemon and herbs, which can be served with mixed salad and new potatoes. Drinks-wise, sugar-free syrups are offered to jazz up the coffees.

Namaste India, Norwich

You might associate dining out on sumptuous Indian food as an indulgence that can’t possibly be good for your health, but Namaste differs from a run-of-the-mill takeaway. Instead of serving oily processed dishes this restaurant offers diners a more authentic taste of Indian cuisine, preparing flavourful and healthy meals with fresh ingredients and aromatic spices. Because Namaste doesn’t serve meat, there’s plenty of veg incorporated into the tempting menu.

River Green Cafe, Trowse. Photo : Steve AdamsRiver Green Cafe, Trowse. Photo : Steve Adams

River Green Café, Trowse

Offering creative vegetarian dishes that put a much healthier twist on tempting treats, River Green Café has the feel good factor as well as scoring good for you points. With dishes on the menu such as cauliflower ‘buffalo wings’, spicy pulled jackfruit burger, and a range of vegan and gluten-free desserts, there’s no ‘rabbit food’ in sight. River Green Café’s ethos is all about producing delicious and healthy food and drink without harming animals or people.

Art Café, Holt

This all vegetarian café near Holt also hosts an art gallery and boasts award winning artisan coffee - so you can nourish your mind, body and soul all at once. Art Café champions Norfolk produce and source as many of their ingredients as possible from local suppliers, with some of the vegetables they serve grown just two miles away on a farm near Blakeney. There are always vegan options available and the café is willing to accommodate as many dietary requirements as possible, so if going gluten-free is part of your health regime they’ll do their best to cater for you.

Twyfords Cafe. photo: James CarrTwyfords Cafe. photo: James Carr

Twyfords Café, Beccles

Not in Norfolk, but as one of the ultimate places to ‘pig out’ in nearby Suffolk, this café deserved an honourable mention. If you’re being good, you won’t be fobbed off with just a few leaves. Breakfast offers bags of nutrition in the Californian option of the café’s own ciabatta roll with smashed avocado, slow-roasted tomatoes and free-range scrambled eggs. Many of the sandwiches, from chicken, avocado and pancetta to poached flaked salmon with dill sauce, can be taken as a salad bowl. And there’s a soda fountain, so you can ask them to reduce the amount of syrup in your soft drink if you are watching your sugar intake. Flavours include cranberry and pomegranate and rhubarb and rosehip.

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