Eco-Friendly Restaurants in London

October 3, 2019 6:14 pm

Hey, Best Eco-friendly Restaurants in London. Silo is coming—look busy.

Yes, Brighton’s revolutionary zero-waste restaurant Silo is moving to London. Highly regarded for their rip it up and start again approach to the restaurant industry, Silo—guided by award-winning chef/founder Douglas McMaster—will be shacked up with Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick from October.

Silo trade directly with farmers, often championing produce that others ignore, simply because they don’t know what to do with it. And they get hold of their ingredients right from the root, because they specialise in creating everything from its whole, original, natural form. It cuts down on food miles and preserves the nutrients in the core ingredients. And house-smoked, house-churned and home-baked tastes better. Silo close the gap between field and plate so that guests are no longer alienated from the food on their plates, and the chefs in the kitchen are truly connected to the ingredients they’re using.

eco-friendly restaurants in London

silolondon.com

 

Their plates are rootsy and primitive, yet daring and progressively-minded. From house-smoked violet carrots with egg yolks and elephant garlic, to flame-licked Jerusalem artichokes with stilton sauce and house pickles: there’s invention to go with the caveman simplicity of open-fire cooking, and the pastoral, common sense approach to self-sufficiency. They aren’t luddites, and incorporate modern techniques and machinery where it truly helps. Nowhere is that more obvious than with the kitchen’s own compost machine, which repurposes all leftover scraps.

So with Silo taking the trip up the A and M23s, we thought it would be the perfect time to create a list of its new eco-friendly neighbours. Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly restaurants in London.

eco-friendly restaurants in London

silolondon.com

Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge, Islington

The first organic certified pub in the country, the Duke of Cambridge’s collaboration with organic veg box company Riverford is incredibly popular. The Islington haven of sustainability draws in crowds of regulars and soon-to-be converts with its eco-focused menu and drinks selection. The menu changes regularly, as you’d expect, and draws its ingredients from Riverford’s organic farms or small producers, as local as possible to the London pub. It’s modern British with Mediterranean influences and twists. The plating is smart, the portions are generous, the food blooming on each dish. Vegetables get treated with immense respect, allowed to remain crisp and colourful and flavoursome.

The Duke of Cambridge is also one of the hosts of the wonderful Migrateful cookery class program. These important evenings of culinary instruction are helmed by chefs and cooks seeking asylum and refuge in the UK. They teach guests how to cook dishes from their countries of origin, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Cuba, Nigeria, Albania and Ethiopia.

eco-friendly restaurants in London

dukeorganic.co.uk

Waterhouse, Haggerston

Sitting pretty in a gorgeous position along Regent’s Canal, Waterhouse enjoys perhaps the finest views of all the best eco-friendly restaurants in London. Run as a social enterprise by the East London charity Shoreditch Trust, Waterhouse gives chef training to local young people who have dealt with challenging life circumstances. Eating in the restaurant directly contributes to training and supporting the young chefs as they acquire skills and experience that will help them inside and outside professional kitchens.

Their menu features seasonal modern European dishes that use responsibly sourced ingredients. This is confident, generous cooking, resistant to fads but happy to experiment where it will satisfy the needs of a dish. Like their hearty vegetable tagine, accompanied by a scene-stealing slice of lemonade bread.

Waterhouse honour the natural beauty that surrounds them with a commitment to working in harmony with the environment. From the solar panels that power the kitchen, to the scrap-fed restaurant stockpot, recycled rubber floors, biodegradable takeaway packaging and (optional) paperless toilet, their environmental conscientiousness permeates every aspect of the restaurant.

eco-friendly restaurants in London

waterhouserestaurant.co.uk

Cub, Hoxton

Okay, okay. So the main dude behind Silo is part of the group behind Cub. We know. So someone shouting, “Silo is coming – look busy!” isn’t going to have the same effect at Cub. But, as in golf, so too in the world of eco-friendly restaurants in London: you’re only ever really playing yourself. At least Douglas McMaster is.

Cub offers an innovative set menu of snacks, drinks and food. Paired and breather cocktails, mocktails and glasses of wine pop up with and between little and large plates. The edible and the drinkable play off each other like the giddy cousins they are. The whole restaurant is playful, in fact. And orange. It’s very orange. You can’t pin down their menu with ease. It changes regularly, and it’s too giddy about what it’s doing, what it could be doing and what it will be doing next to settle down and let you pin it. And what comes to you is out of your control anyway. You just tell Cub if you’re veggie, vegan or a meat eater, and if you want alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks.

Rest assured, though. They’re getting their meat and veg from the producers with the best intentions and practices, and they’re taking the less popular produce off their hands too. Because they—unlike the gen pop of restaurants right now—can make it popular.

Sat within Cub’s breathable clay walls, sat at their recycled yoghurt pot table tops—you’re in an eco playground of the imagination. The open kitchen catches your attention. Another playground. A plate of food as vibrant and arresting as any you’ve ever seen is put in front of you. Play.

Being a eco-friendly restaurant in London doesn’t have to be an exercise in austerity or saviour narratives or smugness. It can be playtime.

eco-friendly restaurants in London

cublondon.com

Farmstand, Covent Garden and Canary Wharf

Farmstand take their cues from community farm stands across the American Midwest. These are places where locals meet to share food and stories from their lives. Farmstand brings that feeling of community and simplicity into their two restaurants, and add to it a belief that food should be as good for the planet as it is for you.

They are champions of plant-based food. Their menu is weighted 80% in favour of veggies, with 5% of their ingredients sustainable fish and 15% meat. They use limited salt and only a little unrefined sugar in their baked goods.

Their dinner menu features smaller and larger plates designed to be mixed and matched, adding to the sense that food is something to be shared, rather than hoarded. They don’t bog down their dishes with unnecessary ingredients and additions, allowing just a couple off ingredients to zip along together unencumbered. Their Sicilian aubergine is zesty and smooth, their coconut dal topped with a herby oil is nourishing and rich. The whole menu is a smartly composed array of salad dishes, baked and grilled proteins and satisfying grains.

They are rightly proud of their eco credentials and have gained plenty of awards for their efforts. But at Farmstand, it’s the food that most convincingly puts forward the argument that Green = Good.

eco-friendly restaurants in London

farmstand.co.uk

Lino, Farringdon

Lino is a place that sees the cutting edge as a useful tool in updating the past, reusing what has been ignored and reimagining food that has become full of itself and an industry that has grown tired of itself. They’ve salvaged many of the items that decorate and illuminate this old linoleum factory near St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Profits from their still and sparkling water go to charity, all tips go straight to service staff. And they enrich and embolden storied dishes and combinations with homemade pickles, homecultured butter, homebaked bread and homecured salmon.

Their homemade pickles and fermented veg serve to cut through the rich, meaty and creamy flavours elsewhere on their dishes. A grilled Cornish mackerel served with oyster mayonnaise is enlivened by pickled cucumber heading straight through the heart of it. Their salads are generous in size, varied in texture, adventurous in flavour, but unfussy and clear in what they’re trying to do.

Lino has been getting the kind of reviews and repeat visitors London restaurants dream of receiving. Chef Robert Falk previously worked at The Ledbury and The Dairy. But he’s at home here, cheerily waving from the menu to the world of fine dining, and establishing a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere that only comes when a restaurant is doing what it’s doing for the right reasons.

eco-friendly restaurants in London

linolondon.co.uk

So that’s our list. But clearly that’s just the big hitters. So let us know if you have any others to suggest. Also, check out more eco London tips here.

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