Food waste is one of the biggest issues facing the restaurant industry and 2017 has seen a small number of restaurants and chefs starting to tackle the issue. Whether it’s foraged ingredients or interiors made from recycled materials, the anti-waste trend looks like it’s here to stay. If you’re looking to green up your dining act, get some inspiration from these London restaurants and book a table with SquareMeal today.

Words: Eamonn Crowe

Ryan Cheti London bartender Super Lyan drinks

Cub, Hoxton

What: Cocktail king Ryan Chetiyawardana (pictured) has replaced his Hoxton hit White Lyan with basement bar Super Lyan and this first-floor drinks-led dining experience, which opens at the end of the month. Considering Cub is a partnership with Doug McMaster of Brighton’s zero-waste restaurant Silo, it’s no surprise that there will be a heavy focus on sustainability. The venue will grow several of its ingredients on-site, while the interiors feature tables made from recycled yoghurt pots, and pendant lights made from paper mulch and cork.

Where: 153 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ

duck and waffle 2013

Duck and Waffle, City

What: Although 40 floors high, Duck & Waffle’s latest cocktail menu is far more down-to-earth (literally). Origins, curated by cocktail wiz Richard Woods, uses oft-discarded and foraged ingredients in innovative ways. Examples of sips on the menu include the Avocado – a mix of Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, avocado liqueur, avocado pit bitters and Prosecco, and the Lime – Bombay Sapphire gin, discarded lime husk cordial, lime juice, egg white and lime ash – book Duck & Waffle now

Where: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY

Scout bar Old Street Shoreditch London Matt Whiley cocktail bar Squaremeal Square Meal

Scout, Shoreditch

What: Head Scoutmaster at this eco-minded cocktail lounge is Matt Whiley, whose considerable skills are also showcased at Peg + Patriot. Here, he aims for zero waste in creating cocktails defined by their natural, often foraged, ingredients rather than their base spirit. Ten concoctions are offered, prepped in an open kitchen that takes the place of the expected bar. We particularly liked the Cherry, which relies on cherry bark, and a beetroot, chocolate-husk and rum fix. There are also cheese and charcuterie snacks if you’re peckish – book Scout now 

Where: 93 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HZ

Spring London restaurant bar

Spring, Covent Garden

What: Skye Gyngell’s restaurant is often admired for its beautiful and elegant dining room, so it isn’t the first place you’d think of when it comes to tackling food waste. Nonetheless, Gyngell has created a pre-theatre ‘scratch’ menu (three courses for £20), which uses overlooked ingredients which would normally be discarded for being misshapen or ugly. The uncomplicated menu changes often, but you can expect the likes of house-made pasta baked with leftover cheese, and yesterday’s bread transformed into warm bread pudding served with a spoonful of gooseberry jam – book Spring now   

Where: Somerset House, Lancaster Place, WC2R 1LA

Tiny Leaf Notting Hill London restaurant vegetarian zero waste

Tiny Leaf, Notting Hill

What: This Notting Hill resident uses surplus produce from organic suppliers which would otherwise go to waste. Chef Justin Horn serves up a daily-changing menu according to what’s in stock, but the offering is always organic and vegetarian. Breakfast on the likes of quinoa and spelt porridge with sweet apple and spicy cinnamon, lunch on red and gold beetroot salad with sage and parsnip, then tuck into chargrilled broccoli and celeriac steaks with baba ganoush come dinner, washed down with botanical cocktails or Taste, a beer made using leftover bread – book Tiny Leaf now

Where: 209 Westbourne Park Road, W11 1EA

If you’re a fan of green things in general, take a look at our pick of vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in London.

This article was published 17 August 2017