Sustainable restaurants & bars to support post-lockdown
As lockdown in the UK lifts once more, now is the perfect time to get out of the house to enjoy the company of your friends and family. And a meaningful way to do that is to support your local sustainable restaurants and bars.
Here are our favourite venues located across our delivery areas.
Tucked away in a Victorian basement, the classy Nine Lives Bar specialises in cocktails, tacos, music and a sweet spot to meet your friends at. Their 'Nine Lives' title refers to their zero waste ethos - to source and select everything they use with no-waste intention.
Brigade creates new menus, with prominent vegan and vegetarian options, every two weeks. This means they can keep their produce seasonal and low-impact. They also offer an extensive drinks and cocktails menu, and co-run a program that trains homeless people into employment.
Harvesting ingredients from their farm in Kent allows Farmacy to bring biodynamically grown, fresh, organic, seasonal vegan produce to the table. They source the remainder of their plant-based ingredients from local, sustainable and environmentally conscious suppliers. Enjoy dishes from around the world and an intriguing cocktail menu.
Spring, set in the elegant Somerset House, is the perfect spot for a special birthday lunch or another event. Their ethos is to reduce food waste, and this is reflected in the ingredients they choose. Look forward to seeing wonky, 'odd' fruit and veg in their carefully crafted dishes. They also eradicated the use of plastic containers and all other single-use plastic in the restaurant by 2019.
Scout champions the cause of minimizing their waste in everything they do, including their in-house fermentations. They provide a menu that changes daily and showcases seasonal produce from British foragers, farmers and growers. Scout has also been known to whip up delicious cocktails from discarded spirits that would have otherwise gone to waste.
The unique dishes served in this vegetarian restaurant play with texture and taste. Think KFC (Korean Fried Cauliflower), bao buns stuffed with marinated tofu and vegan desserts made with silken tofu chocolate mousse. For twenty-seven years, Terre à Terre has sourced its ingredients sustainably and made decisions based on effective food waste management and recycling.
Gung Ho is a proudly sustainable cocktail bar with menus based around three themes - retro drinks, seasonal cocktails and the apothecary. A niche, neon aesthetic creates the perfect backdrop for their seasonal, British, sometimes even locally-foraged ingredients.
Cardiff's first 100% vegan café, Anna Loka promotes their large selection of picturesque dishes as a delicious choice for all food-lovers. They have a zero-waste policy, aiming to recycle and biodegrade everything they use.
Wild Thing is a non-profit, plant-based café with a strong interest in social and environmental issues. They make homemade pastries and lemonade, and source their ingredients from local, accountable suppliers. Most of these suppliers are organic too, and all are based in Wales or the wider UK. Wild Thing also runs food security projects, including a community fridge that helps reduce food waste and classes that educate the local community on how to eat healthily for less.
Located in Cambridge, this friendly, relaxed café bistro serves comforting options for all three meals of the day. Their plant-based menu is sourced from local suppliers and they use compostable takeaway packaging and cutlery. Thrive has a community focus too, offering a space for yoga, workshops, performances and more.
Independent restaurant Opus won the ‘Best Greener and Healthier Lifestyles (Food) Scheme’ award at the ‘Making Birmingham Greener and Healthier Awards 2016’. Most of their produce is sourced from around the Midlands. Their kitchen buys whatever is seasonal every day. Opus also only buys from welfare-conscious suppliers - they buy only free-range meat, LEAF-accredited fruit and veg, and daily seafood catches. They even organise staff trips to visit farms, tasting sessions and wine courses.
Poco Tapas Bar has won various awards for its circular economy approach, including the 2016 & 2018 Sustainable Restaurant of the Year at the Sustainable Restaurant Association awards. They aim to buy directly from farms and producers, keeping trust and transparency high. Most of Poco Tapas Bar's produce is sourced from within 50 miles of the restaurant and nearly 100% of their waste is composted or recycled.
A small and cosy restaurant, Wilsons offers a four-course set menu that changes daily depending on what is available to them. Herbs, fruits and vegetables are sourced from their regenerative, 'no dig' farm on the outskirts of Bristol. They also have a frequently changing organic and biodynamic wine list acquired from small scale producers.
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND
This 100% plant-based eaterie in Southampton provides nutritious food and a relaxed place to hang out with friends. They boast a wide selection of non-gluten and soya-free options among favourite Western vegan dishes. They always use compostable, plant-based takeaway containers and their quality coffee is only ever fairtrade and organic.
This 'socially positive café hub' in Oxford has a strong focus on ecological sustainability. They work hard to minimise their carbon footprint by sourcing all of their organic and ethically produced ingredients locally. Vaults & Garden are also committed to minimising wastage of ingredients and food, through careful menu planning, recipe formulation, purchasing, food prep and portioning.
Elite Pubs, which operates pubs and bars across Kent, is a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. This means they must keep to stringent sustainable food sourcing and serving standards to maintain their accreditation. They source their food from local suppliers and work with bottled water supplier Belu to provide their locations with ethically produced water. Visit The Herbalist for next-level pub fare or Junipers for fun and inventive cocktails.