Ora is not a typical health-food cafe. Owner Alex Johnson says people come in everyday assuming she only serves vegan, paleo, raw, low-fat or gluten-free food. The focus here is on nutrition, taste and transparency. Johnson believes you should know where your food comes from and how it’s made. One way of achieving that is to do it all yourself.

With the exception of milk (only full cream is available); bread, which comes from a local baking friend; and the cafe’s kombucha, everything is made in-house with little to no wastage. Vegetable scraps are recycled to make stock, and left-over produce is fermented. There are healthier versions of nasi goreng and pad thai, and house specials that are on the menu all year. The most distinct is a cake made from baked oatmeal, fermented oats, carrots and spices which is served in a thick soup of almond milk, maple syrup, hemp and yogurt.

The space reflects the food – it’s wooden, recycled, casual and plastered with health facts and looks typically bohemian.

Updated: May 14th, 2020

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