Last Updated on 23/12/2020

* *Some restaurants may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Please see the latest travel restrictions and advice. 

Travel allows you to explore a whole host of new flavours and cuisines; it’s a real multisensory experience. The problem is we now have to consider what it’s doing to the planet. For many of us, environmental guilt is all too real on the road, which makes eating out a bit of a moral minefield. All too often we end up getting caught between worrying about whether the food on our plates has been sustainably sourced, and our appetites. Luckily, sustainable restaurants are here to turn this problem around. 

Restaurants across the globe are taking the environmental worry out of fine dining by building carefully sourced and transparent supply chains to serve the very best sustainable ingredients. Sustainability is at the heart of their business model from the menus they create to the community they help.

From Oslo to Copenhagen, Paris to London, here are the 7 most sustainable restaurants in Europe. Each restaurant's menu is designed to limit food waste and use local and seasonal ingredients. Read more to discover your new favourite eco-friendly restaurant when you travel to Europe. #restaurants #sustainablerestaurants #europe #travel

Pin me for later!

So, if you’re in need of some deliciously guilt-free food on your travels, here are the 7 most sustainable restaurants in Europe (you can also read about the best sustainable restaurants in South America here).

1. Septime in Paris, France 

Sustainable restaurants - a wooden table with a plate of food in the foreground in front of a glass of white wine. Another plate of food and flowers in the background.

What: Winner of The Sustainable Restaurant Award in 2017, Septime is a celebrated restaurant in Paris. In fact, it’s so popular that you probably won’t get a table unless you book a month in advance. 

Why: Septime continues to be a chart-topper with its sustainable dining excellence. Led by chef and owner, Bertrand Grébaut, the restaurant sources 99% of its produce from France, investing in local farms and urban farms around Paris. 80% of Septime’s menu is veggie-based, meat is sourced from free-range farms and you won’t find beef on any of its menus due to its high environmental impact.

You might argue that any meat is detrimental to the planet, but Septime works hard to turn its impact into a positive one. Chef Grébaut buys the whole animal and ensures no part of it goes to waste.

Seafood is sourced from a supplier that only buys from small-scale fishermen using sustainable techniques to prevent overfishing. Septime takes pride in treating its staff, suppliers and community fairly. Passionate about conservation, Septime works on Conservatoire du Goût, a project which preserves 1,400 seed varieties. 

Address: 80 Rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris, France 

Opening hours: Lunch hours are Tuesday to Friday from 12:15pm to 2.00pm and dinner hours are Monday to Friday from 7.30pm to10.00pm. The restaurant is closed Saturday and Sunday. 

Website: Visit the website here. 

Contact: Call +33 (0) 1 43 67 38 29 

Book: Reserve a table via lafourchette.com here. 

2. The Duke of Cambridge in London, UK 

Sustainable restaurants - Eggs benedict on a white plate in the foreground with an English Breakfast in the background

What: The Duke of Cambridge is a classic British gastropub with an ethical business model. Hailed as one of the most sustainable pubs in the UK if not the world, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite. 

Why: The Duke of Cambridge is Britain’s first and only certified organic pub. Working in partnership with Riverford Organic Farms, all of its ingredients are 100% certified organic. The pub is a big believer in the phrase ‘waste not, want not’ for it collects its food waste to generate energy through an anaerobic digester. ‘Wonky’ or imperfect vegetables are also used in the kitchen. The reuse and recycle theme is translated onto the pub’s interior decor. All furniture is either second-hand, repurposed or recycled to give it a stylish homely feel.

Developing strong links with the community, this sustainable restaurant regularly hosts dinners and events to raise money for charity. On a global scale, Riverford has also worked closely with the charity, Send a Cow to support families in war-torn Uganda. 

Address: 30 St Peter’s St, Islington, London N1 8JT

Opening hours: Kitchen opening hours Monday to Wednesday from 12-3pm/5.30-9.30pm, Thursday to Friday 12-3pm/5.30-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 12-9.30pm (“Family Time” 12-7pm Thursday to Sunday). 

Website: Visit the website here. 

Contact: Call 020 7359 3066 or email duke@dukeorganic.co.uk

Book: Reserve a table via the website here or call 020 7359 3066

3. Good Bank in Berlin, Germany 

 a blue and white bowl filled with salad and hallumi. A board with tomato and mozzarella next to it.

What: Good Bank is a slightly cheaper alternative to the other fine dining giants on the list. A cheerful Berlin establishment, it’s working to make its menu fully self-sufficient. 

Why: Good Bank is the very first vertical-farm-to-table restaurant in the world. It has transformed its urban setting into an indoor vertical salad farm. Rows of greens line the walls up to the ceiling protected behind glass doors. Guests can watch their own meal being harvested fresh before their eyes. No pesticides or genetically modified seeds are used in this farm, just an LED light to help the salads grow.

Good Bank’s menu is a healthy selection of salad bowls, soups and sandwiches that incorporate fresh and sustainable ingredients. Although it currently only grows salad, the restaurant hopes to one day have a completely self-sufficient menu to help minimise its carbon footprint. Good Bank is a pioneer in urban farming, and this innovative technique could become the future of restaurants all over the world.  

Address: Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 5, 10178 Berlin, Germany

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 11.30am to 10pm. 

Website: Visit the website here. 

Contact: Email contact@good-bank.de

Book: Reserve a table via OpenTable here. 

4. Azurmendi Restaurant in Larrabetzu, Spain 

Sustainable restaurants - three grey plates with meat and vegetables on them on a wooden table.

What: Previously named the most sustainable restaurant in the world, Azurmendi is a three Michelin-star restaurant located in Spain’s Basque Country. 

Why: Sustainability is a fundamental pillar of Azurmendi’s foundations – quite literally. The restaurant building blends into the area’s natural surroundings with its seamlessly modern architecture built from recycled materials.

Owner and head chef, Eneko Atxa, brings the outside indoors by using eco-friendly solar and geothermal energy production alongside a rainwater recycling system. The upper floors have been transformed into gardens growing fruit and vegetables, and you can even find a greenhouse and seed bank. Combining fine dining with environmental initiatives, Atxa only uses small-scale local producers to create exquisite seasonal menus for his guests. 

Address: Legina Auzoa, s/n, 48195 Larrabetzu, Vizcaya, Spain

Opening hours: Tuesday, to Thursday and Sunday hours are 1pm to 3.15pm. Friday and Saturday hours are from 1pm to 3.15pm and in the evening from 8.30pm to 10.15pm. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. 

Website: Visit the website here. 

Contact: Email info@azurmendi.restaurant or call +34 94 455 83 59. 

Book: Reserve a table online here or call +34 94 455 83 59 for reservations less than 48 hours in advance. 

5. Loam in Galway, Ireland 

Sustainable restaurants - 8 appetisers in the shape of potatoes with sauce served on newspaper.

What: Another Michelin-starred restaurant, Loam in Galway was recently voted Best Restaurant in Ireland at the Irish Restaurant Awards 2019. 

Why: Loam has a whole host of awards to its name. Awarded a three-star Food Made Good rating in 2016 by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, its sustainable practices are a powerful reminder that great tasting food can be made with an ethical conscience. In fact, it proves there’s no excuse. The restaurant is tasting-menu only with a whopping 7 to 9 courses and a wine pairing to match. For those seeking something a bit more low-key, there is a 2 or 3-course simplicity menu to opt for instead.

The menu is kept small and changes regularly depending on the season. Food waste is kept to a minimum and every part of the animal and plant is used in imaginative ways to highlight its potential. Suitable food waste is composted at Leaf and Root Farm in Loughrea to help new crops grow. 

Address: Geata Na Cathrach, Fairgreen Rd, Galway, Ireland

Opening hours: Open Tuesday to Saturday, wine bar 5pm – 10pm and restaurant 6pm – 10pm. Loam is closed on Sundays and Mondays. 

Website: Visit the website here. 

Contact: Email info@loamgalway.com or call 091 569 727. 

Book: For bookings of 4 or less visit the Loam booking page here. Contact the restaurant directly for parties of 5 or more by calling 091 569 727 or send them an email at info@loamgalway.com

6. Restaurant Rest in Oslo, Norway

 plate of colourful raw vegetables wrapped up in rice paper around a dish of dipping sauce.

What: Norway is a world leader in sustainability (you can read more about that here) so it comes as no surprise that Oslo’s Restaurant Rest is establishing new and ethical ways to enjoy fine dining. 

Why: Oslo’s Restaurant Rest is here to tackle the problem of food waste in the culinary scene. The ‘Rest’ in its name is something of a pun meaning both a relaxing break and what is literally left. You get both at Rest, but it’s the latter that shapes the cornerstone of its philosophy. Turning modern consumerism on its head, Rest builds its menu out of misshapen vegetables and imperfect produce that would otherwise be rejected by supermarkets and restaurants.

Rest proves that you don’t need good looking food to create great flavours. Its imaginative and delicious menu gives these ingredients potential and a purpose on our plates. Ingredients change daily depending on availability so you won’t find a traditional a la carte menu. Instead, Rest offers a comprehensive set menu that experiments with Asian, South American, Italian and Spanish flavours.   

Address: Kirkegata 1-3, 0153 Oslo, Norway

Opening hours: Open Wednesday to Saturday 6pm to 12am. The restaurant is closed Sunday to Tuesday. 

Website: Visit the website here. 

Contact: Call +47 922 50 016 or email booking@restaurantrest.com

Book: Reserve a table via the website here. 

7. Urban Deli in Stockholm, Sweden 

Urban Deli is one of the best sustainable restaurants in Europe because it's budget-friendly too. Swedish pastries.

Photo credit: Jessica Guzik

What: Described as a restaurant, grocery shop and market hall all in one, Urban Deli’s mission is “to make food easier, tastier and healthier.”

Why: Urban Deli can be found in multiple locations across Stockholm. This food spot is a popular haunt for city people on a lunch stop. Sustainability is a central part of the company’s ethos and they prove that it can exist just as easily outside of fine dining. The shop, market hall and restaurant work together to minimise food waste. In 2018, the company removed plastic bags from the shop and stopped selling air-transported fresh produce. Where possible, all packaging is recyclable.

Urban Deli also likes to get innovative with their food production. If you happen to visit one, see if you can spot Bread Beer made out of leftover bread. Their Juicy Vegan Burger actually bleeds – albeit the plant-based way!

Address: 44 Sveavägen, Norrmalm Stockholm, Stockholms län, 111 34, Sweden (as well as multiple locations across Stockholm)

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 7am – 8pm. 

Website: Visit the website here. 

Contact: Call 08-425 500 20 or email infosveavagen@urbandeli.org. 

Book: Reserve a table via the website here.