From vegan cheesecakes to free-from full English, enjoy all the indulgence without the guilt
There are lots of misconceptions about healthy food: it’s boring, bland, will leave you hungry…Others still think it’s about denial, a hardship to be endured in lieu of something more pleasurable.
Now we’ll let you into a secret: every one of those thoughts is a load of tosh. Healthy food can be just as enjoyable - if not more than - all of your favourite indulgences (that Friday night chippy included). What’s more, you’ll feel a damn sight better after eating it.
A bold claim, yes, but anyone who’s been to 3Squared will know what we’re talking about. The healthy café opened in the Royal Exchange Arcade last year and has even bowled over our food and drink editor Deanna, who called it a ‘personal trainer for your insides - without any of the pain’.
Food here is fresh, wholesome and free from inflammatory ingredients like artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated fat. More unusually, it also lacks the likes of gluten, wheat and dairy; a surprise for those of us who’d never tried ‘free-from’ food and discovered, if anything, it tastes even better. Perhaps one of the biggest revelations is the vegan cheesecake, a sweet indulgence you’d swear at least contained refined sugar. But nope, 3Squared use natural syrups instead - genius.
We all know that what you eat has a huge impact on how you feel, both mentally and physically, and cutting out such culprits has an astonishing array of benefits: improving energy levels, digestion and athletic performance, not to mention cognition and sleep patterns. It also helps to banish bloating, and helps the gut function too.
Not only is 3Squared’s food free of nasties, all ingredients are carefully sourced and the team’s passion shines through in every gorgeous colourful dish (those who like showing off their meals on Instagram are in for a treat). It’s also surprisingly filling and made from scratch onsite.
Although 3 Squared’s founders are serious about holistic health and wellness, there are none of those ‘holier than thou’ vibes you can find elsewhere either: friendly staff, relaxed vibes and a peaceful environment encourage you to simply take a break and enjoy, while additional free WiFi also makes 3Squared great for meetings.
Spanning breakfast to brunch and lunch - plus a few sneaky desserts - the menu includes everything from full English breakfast to rump steak dressed with chimichurri, served with spicy sweet potato wedges, and pan-seared salmon with pesto and greens. There’s also plenty for veggies and vegans, including some amazingly vibrant salads, while small plate options are perfect for sharing between friends.
Even the drinks are considered: coffee is quality 100% Arabica and you can choose from ‘milks’ such as almond, cashew, coconut and oat milk. You’ll also find teas, hot tonics and speciality lattes like beetroot and turmeric; as well as cold options like fresh smoothies and virgin cocktails.
Such is 3Squared’s commitment to good health, they even offer a meal prep service, helping customers to integrate healthy eating into their everyday days, and will soon be opening a gym beneath the café.
For now, though, go and see for yourself why their food is changing opinions of healthy food across the city. You may well find yourself becoming a regular…
Find out more and book a table here