If you are what you eat, then you’ll find us under the sustainable section of the menu.
Sustainability in travel means much more than swapping the plane for the train or foregoing a rideshare for a bikeshare. Eating at a sustainable restaurant can help support the community and preserve the ecology of a destination.
Sustainability in restaurants has evolved beyond cutting out single-use plastics, too. Chefs have approached the question of how a restaurant can be more sustainable and found creative answers, from chef jackets made from recycled bottles to creating compost for England’s farms. Here are some of the most sustainable restaurants in the UK.
Image Credit and Location: Wahaca
Best sustainable restaurants in London
Closest station: Waterloo
We love chain restaurants because of their predictability and we love Wahaca’s London locations even more because of their sustainability consistency. The UK’s first restaurant group certified carbon neutral, Wahaca support carbon offsetting projects in Mexico, take zero waste to the landfill (even recycling its cooking oil into biofuel), and have a carbon calculator on the menu so you can see how each dish impacts the environment.
Image Credit: Louise Long. Image Location: Apricity, Marylebone, London
Closest station: Marylebone
Apricity like to showcase their sustainability by the numbers: 45% carbon reduction compared to similar restaurants of their size, 10,000+ glass bottles saved from the landfill, 98% construction waste avoided the landfill, and 12 suppliers passionate about reducing food waste and regenerating soil. What’s all this add up to? 1 Michelin Green Star.
Image Credit and Location: Petersham Nurseries Restaurant, Richmond, London
Petersham Nurseries Restaurant
Closest station: Richmond
From Richmond station and its nearby Ted Lasso filming locations, walk down to Petersham Nurseries and you’ll see that they wear sustainability on their sleeves. Literally. Chef jackets are made from recycled bottles in this greenhouse restaurant. The essentials of their kitchen aren’t ignored either, which is why the standard plastic cling film and greaseproof papers were replaced with compostable bio-film and sustainable forest paper. With wine cork recycling and sourcing from their own organic farm, Petersham Nurseries have turned their greenhouse into a green restaurant.
Best sustainable restaurants in the UK
Poco | Bristol, England
Closest train station: Montpelier
2 for 1 cocktails aren’t the only way to save a pound while eating sustainably at Poco. This Bristol tapas bar has cheap eats for brunch and lunch, probably because their electricity bill is so low. LED lighting powered from renewable energy illuminates the recycled materials composing this restaurant. The chefs and staff keep their lightbulbs over their heads burning bright, too, communicating about the amount of plate waste each dish creates and weighing trash each day to analyse how they can reduce it.
Kindle | Cardiff, Wales
Closest train station: Cardiff Central
Have your sustainable cake and eat it too at Kindle. The apricot and walnut cannoli is just one of the vegan delights this small plate restaurant serves. Sustainability in restaurants like Kindle means seeded business cards, preserving seasonal surplus, and foregoing napkins to reduce disposable paper napkin use and cloth napkin laundering.
Velocity Cafe & Bicycle Workshop | Inverness, Scotland
Closest train station: Inverness
Health-focused projects, a bicycle workshop, and a vegetarian cafe make Velocity a hype-unique sustainable restaurant in the UK. They may still be on their way to zero food waste, but Velocity continue to work with sustainable Scottish producers while fostering conversations about full-community sustainability over cups of ethically sourced coffee.
Image Credit and Location: Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms
Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms | Aughton, Lancashire
Closest train station: Town Green
Two Michelin Stars and one Michelin Green Star make Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms one of England’s best sustainable restaurants outside London. Chefs harvest from their five acres daily to tack on as little mileage to their food sourcing as possible. All fish come from day boats, and the two tons of compost they create every few months is repurposed as crop fertiliser across England.
Sustainable food, sustainable travel
Next time you plan to dine out at a sustainable restaurant in the UK, do more than choose the first restaurants listed when you Google “eco-friendly restaurants near me”. A little extra time spent researching into the restaurant’s sustainability initiatives can ensure you make the most eco-friendly choice.
Another easy way to reduce your carbon footprint? Take the train to these sustainable restaurants across the UK! Download the Trainline app and discover how fast you can travel around the UK with a lower carbon footprint than flying or driving.1 Learn more sustainable travel and greener living here.
Header Image Credit: Getty Images, Ian Nolan