Years ago, if you wanted to eat “green”, you pretty much had to cook for yourself or opt for an often inedible-looking meal at a hard-to-find organic cafe. These days though, it’s becoming more and more feasible to eat with the environment in mind while at the same time enjoying amazing cuisine, impeccable service and stunning environs. In fact, it is now easy to find amazing restaurants all around the globe that are operating sustainably and winning awards for quality at the same time. If you love to choose more eco-friendly food options when you’re travelling, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice in major cities around the globe. Read on for five of the best sustainable restaurants with small operational footprints that are making a big impact on diners.
Narisawa in Tokyo
If you’re about to search for your hotel accommodations in Tokyo and want to ensure there is an impeccable yet sustainable restaurant option nearby, check out award-winning Narisawa. The very first recipient (2013) of the Sustainable Restaurant Award by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Narisawa is a Japanese establishment that is showing it’s cool to go green. The Sustainable Restaurant Award is “presented to the restaurant which demonstrates the highest environmental and social responsibility rating” and is based on three main pillars: procuring local, seasonal, high welfare and ethically-sourced produce; treating people fairly, promoting healthy eating, community engagement and responsible marketing; and a focus on an eco-friendly supply chain, waste management, energy efficiency and water-saving initiatives. Narisawa was also ranked number 20 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013 and received its first Michelin star in 2008 and second in 2010. The restaurant opened in 2003 and serves up a menu that blends French cooking techniques with Japanese ingredients.
Rouge Tomate in New York City
Rouge Tomate, located in New York City, is an eco-friendly restaurant and a highly-rated member of the Green Restaurant Association. Opened in 2008, Rouge Tomate incorporates sustainability into every aspect of its operations. It’s fitted with FSC-certified wood floors and furniture and energy-efficient ovens, refrigerators and lighting systems. Restaurant staff ensure that waste is separated appropriately and that all food items and other applicable materials are composted. Menu ingredients are purchased from local purveyors, with a focus on seasonal produce, and all wines are organic or biodynamic. Rouge Tomate received its first Michelin star in 2014 and looks set to be endowed with more in the future.
Chez Panisse in San Francisco
Chez Panisse opened its doors in San Francisco in 1971 and was founded by now internationally-acclaimed chef Alice Waters and a group of her friends. Waters introduced diners to the concept of sustainable cuisine and organic gardening and she has shaped food culture around the world as a result. Chez Panisse is operated around the grounds of sustainability and eating as seasonally as possible and features a new menu every night that utilises sustainably-sourced, organic and seasonal ingredients. The restaurant procures locally-grown produce that is harvested ecologically by nearby suppliers. Waters has received many awards since Chez Panisse first opened, one of which is the Lifetime Achievement Award by Restaurant Magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2007.
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire
Set within a luxury boutique hotel in Oxfordshire in England, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons received two Michelin stars within just a year of opening. Run by the star of BBC series Kitchen Secrets, Raymond Blanc, Le Manoir is much more than just a hotel restaurant for cashed-up diners. Serving up modern French cuisine, the restaurant procures its fresh, seasonal ingredients straight from the on-site two-acre vegetable garden that produces 90 types of vegetables and 70 herb varieties. Raymond Blanc believes in eco-friendly restaurant operations and fittingly was made President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association in 2012.
Geranium in Copenhagen
Another restaurant that made it on to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013, Geranium, in Copenhagen, has also been awarded two Michelin stars and is considered one of the best dining establishments in the city. Geranium is owned by chef Rasmus Koefed, a gold medal winner at the 2011 Bocuse d’Or cooking competition, and the restaurant focuses on serving up dishes that put a modern twist on classic Scandinavian cooking. Ingredients for meals are sourced from biodynamic farmers who follow organic and holistic cultivation systems and an organic, vegetarian menu is also made available to diners.