Ten years ago, Natalie Guest developed a green smoothie habit. She was so smitten with a recipe she found online – a blend of nutritious fruits and leafy greens – that she ended up drinking one almost every day. Soon after, she passed them on to her family and friends.
“I’ve made it my daily habit,” Guest said. Large format in 2020. “They made me feel so good.”
In 2014, she opened a South Yarra cafe dedicated to vibrant green drinks, along with other smoothies, acai bowls and mashed avocado on toast. She aptly named it Green Cup.
Outposts Armadale and Hawthorn followed, but she has just opened a fourth cafe – her first on the north side – in Carlton. Designed by local architect Ewert Leaf, it features the same signature green, with dark green tiling, stainless steel screen, and plenty of natural light. Perched on the corner of Faraday Street, there are 10 seats inside and six outside if you want to linger, or you can pick up and go.
Naturally, many green smoothies are on the menu (which are mostly vegan aside from honey in some cases). Most mix spinach and kale with fruit and a combination of nuts, coconut water, almond milk, chia seeds and dates. The popular Green Cup 1 is a blend of spinach, kale, banana, strawberries, blueberries, spirulina (a blue-green algae), mesquite (powdered seed pods that add sweetness), of chia, dates and coconut water.
Leafless smoothies include the Peanut Butter Cup (peanut butter, banana, chia, dates and almond milk) and the vegan Chocolate Shake, with cocoa and cocoa nibs, cinnamon, maca (a root from Peru with an earthy flavor), almonds, banana and dates.
Acai bowls start with a base of mixed acai berries and frozen bananas, and can be topped with fresh fruit, granola, nuts, Nutella, homemade peanut butter, nutty yogurt coco and more.
A number of toast – and toast – options are also offered. Get toast with mashed avocado, then add vegemite, chilli or tomato and dukkah; or opt for peanut butter and banana. As for the toast, go for the plants with kasundi (Indian tomato condiment), kale and vegan cheese.