London's best sustainable restaurants
God it's difficult being virtuous the whole time. I know you're lying if you say you're not tempted to pay a visit to the Golden Arches after a few vinos on a Thursday night. But NO DON'T DO IT – because there are so many more delicious places where you can eat guilt-free, knowing your food hasn't cost the earth. Read on dear reader...
THE CLERKENWELL KITCHEN, CLERKENWELL £
For a purse-friendly week-day brunch – this kitchen uses local, seasonal, organic ingredients to make simple morning favourites like poached eggs on toast and sausage sandwiches. Run by an ex-River Cottager and the ex-Head Chef at La Fromagerie, this is a café with a conscience.
CLAW, LIVERPOOL STREET £
Crab, apparently, is seriously undervalued in the UK – with 80 per cent of ours being exported to Europe and Asia. Fabian Clark thinks that’s a crime so, set up Claw to shout about it. Trout is sourced from Hampshire chalk streams while crustaceans come from Salcombe.
VANTRA VITAO, OXFORD STREET £
Vegan since way before vegan became trendy, Vantra Vitao serves wholesome, healthy, organic food full of worldly flavour. From cutting out chemicals to recycling furniture from reclaimed wood – this gloriously green haven provides a breath of fresh air in the smoggy city.
POCO, HACKNEY £
What started out as festival food soon became a hipster restaurant in Bristol, which luckily for Londoners, has headed east – now also in Hackney’s Broadway Market. Poco’s chef Tom, is founder of Forgotten Feast – a social enterprise helping to reduce food waste.
WAHACA, VARIOUS LOCATIONS INC SOHO, WATERLOO AND ST PAULS £
As if churros weren’t reason enough to love this Mexican inspired chain, it’s the first group in the UK to be certified carbon neutral. Efforts are made to source food responsibly, and work closely with UK producers to ensure animals are treated responsibly with compassion.
DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, ISLINGTON ££
Britain’s first certified organic pub, The DOC sources all its produce from Riverford Farm. Run by environmentalist power couple Geetie and Guy – exercises in eco-friendliness are second to none: food waste is used to generate energy and all furniture is second hand.
TRAWLER TRASH, ISLINGTON ££
You won’t see cod or haddock on the menu of this fish restaurant – instead the team champion lesser known, but by no means less delicious fish – to make creative dishes. With no freezers, you’re guaranteed fresh fish, plucked from the sea the very same day.
THE GATE, HAMMERSMITH, ISLINGTON & MARYLEBONE ££
Since 1989, this vegetarian restaurant has been serving up dazzling plant-based delights. It’s all about celebrating responsibly sourced food and combining ingredients in interesting ways without compromising on flavour.
HAWKSMOOR, VARIOUS LOCATIONS INC SOHO, BOROUGH & KNIGHTSBRIDGE ££
For what could possibly be the best roast dinner in the world (apart from mum’s obviously) – head to Hawksmoor, where you can enjoy your beef all the more knowing it was slow-grown and sourced from farmers who give cows a happy life.
ST JOHN, CLERKENWELL, SMITHFIELDS, SHOREDITCH £££
The king of nose-to-tale dining, Fergus Henderson opened St John’s doors way back in 1994 and ever since has been delighting diners with British fare which honours the animal through serving every last bit of it. Expect offal, snails and heart as you’ve never seem them before.
CUB, HOXTON £££
During this trendy eating/drinking experience, bartenders and chefs work together to create inventive combinations with plant-focused (often would-be waste) ingredients. It’s the set menu or the high way – but this way you can enjoy a host of small plates and drinks for £45pp.