Eat 80% healthy and 20% indulgence at this popular cafe
Eighty/Twenty (or 80/20) is a hip and healthy café on the popular Lonsdale Street in Braddon, just a few minutes walk from the CBD. The name comes from their philosophy of eating 80% healthy and allowing 20% for indulgences - to live a balanced and energetic lifestyle where you also don't feel deprived. There is something very refreshing about this corner café, with its inspiring ideology, flavoursome food and inviting interior. During the cooler months, the inside tables fill up quickly, as diners sit by the sunny windows and look onto the busy street outside. During the warmer months, however, the outside seating area is the place to be - sitting under the shade of the umbrellas with a cute pooch under the table, watching the world go by. Eighty/Twenty has been open for just over two years and has built up a strong following for their popular, healthy menu and friendly, down to earth service.
With over a dozen healthy choices for breakfast as well as lunch, plus the hugely popular Acai Bowls, healthy eating never looked so good.
Hulk Acai Bowl full of spinach, avocado, granola, goji berries & kiwi. ($14). Source: Eighty/Twenty Facebook
As you walk into the café there are several tables for two and four, as well as a larger communal table for people enjoying a meal on their own or in larger groups. There is no need to book ahead, unless you have a group of 6 or more to ensure they have room. The cafe isn't quiet - with so many people chatting in such a small space, a coffee machine that never stops and smoothies getting blitzed every few minutes, the atmosphere is full of energy and life. It is literally buzzing.
At the counter, they have muffins, banana bread, raw sweet treats, fruit salad and a sign displaying their Smoothie of the Day. It is here that you pick up a menu and decide what you would like to try, with a wide variety available for both breakfast and lunch - at particularly reasonable prices for Canberra. There is also a wine and beer list, so you can indulge with lunch, as well as Acai Bowl and Smoothie menu to give your body a kick start for the day. The menu changes seasonally, so diners get the freshest ingredients that vary throughout the year.
If you lead a healthy lifestyle, have chosen to watch your diet or have begun a new fitness regime, Eighty/Twenty could easily become your regular weekend haunt. With 20% left for indulgences, you don't feel like you are missing out on any of the sweet stuff.
Range of (almost!) healthy raw treats to indulge in. Source: Eighty/Twenty Facebook
On our visit, I went to Eighty/Twenty with my young daughter who thankfully loves her fruits and healthy smoothies just as much as I do. She chose a "Glo Pro Smoothie" (acai, blueberries, raspberries,coconut flesh, ice and honey), which we ended up sharing as it was so large. This was the ultimate in fruity smoothies - jam packed full of flavour, vitamins and goodness. She also chose a "Fruit Salad Bowl" from the counter, to get more fruity goodness in her day.
All the menu items look tempting, however I ordered the "Avo & Tomato: avocado and tomato on rye toast, with house made ruby kraut (picked veg)". When my breakfast arrived it was a colourful piece of art, with two pieces of rye toast covered in thickly spread avocado and an array of decorations bursting with colours of the rainbow. I was eager to try the "ruby kraut", as I hadn't tried it before, and it didn't disappoint. The ruby coloured carrots, cauliflower and red cabbage were pickled and laid delicately over the meal. It was an unusual flavour, but one that blended nicely with the avocado, tomato and rye bread, all on the one fork. One thing was certain - you couldn't get much healthier than this vitamin-rich combination, apparently doing good things to the probiotics in my stomach.
Avo & Tomato: avocado and tomato on rye toast, with house made ruby kraut ($14.50)
One to try for next time - House made GF Muesli with nuts, seeds & dried fruit lightly toasted with coconut oil and cinnamon. Topped with mango, chia pudding, fruit & yoghurt. Served with milk and honey. ($14.50). Source: Eighty/Twenty Facebook
This café is always busy, which isn't an exaggeration. On our visit, it was our third attempt during the colder months to find a warm table inside. Each time we walked in and then walked back out again, then retreated to find somewhere with free tables to get warm (usually upstairs at Lonsdale Street Roaster 7 down the road!). We finally found a table at Eighty/Twenty on a weekday, mid-morning between breakfast and lunch, in a split second pause in trade. Although tricky to find a table on a chilly day, the seating situation will be a lot easier during the warmer months when the outside seating area is favoured and will spread out the diners. If the café is this busy, it has to be good - and for us, it lived up to expectations and more.
If you enjoy eating healthy and are looking for other options around the city, see Quick Guide: Healthy Cafes in Canberra, for more colourful and creative healthy options. However, if you want healthy, delicious, energising and inspiring, try out Eighty/Twenty in Braddon. You will 100% be glad that you did.
...just look for the cafe on the corner with the large pots