Our favourite ethical restaurants

These restaurants make an effort

Ethics are tricky buggers.

Let's take the humble beefburger... Is it good to fly in beef from the Sudan because it supports their ailing economy? ...or is it bad because it racks up rather a lot of those pesky food miles? ...after all they produce beef in neighbouring Essex, Sussex and Middlesex too? And should we be eating beef at all, anyway? What about animal welfare?

Yet if we scrutinise the ethics of everything and their incumbent consequences would we end up eating anything at all apart from the lowly garden pea? And do garden peas not deserve their own rights?

It's a minefield. Most importantly though, it's about balance and consideration. So here's our list of restaurants that we believe have put an awful lot of thought into the ethics of serving up something jolly tasty on your plate.

Itadaki Zen image
Itadaki Zen
139 King's Cross Road WC1X 9BJ
Angel 0.45 miles
Opening Times
Best For

The menu at this Japanese restaurant is vegan and pretty much every element of the décor has been made by hand or rescued from somewhere. The name refers to the Japanese philosophy of sustainability and self-sufficiency, and this ethos is evident on the eco-friendly, seasonal menu.

Roganic image
19 Blandford Street W1U 3DH
Bond Street 0.35 miles
Best For

Ethically ethos, Michelin-star food - what's not to like?

The Clerkenwell Kitchen image
The Clerkenwell Kitchen
Cafes & Tea Rooms
31 Clerkenwell Close EC1R 0AT
Farringdon 0.27 miles
Opening Times
Best For

Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, the menu is kept short and changes daily to ensure freshness. Ingredients are organic wherever possible and sourced from small producers, and chutneys, pastries and breads are made on the premises.

Fifteen London image
Fifteen London
15 Westland Place N1 7LP
Old Street 0.27 miles
Best For

Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant was founded in 2002, funded by his charity the Fifteen Foundation. Each year the restaurant takes on 15 trainees between the ages of 18 and 24 and trains them in all aspects of cooking. The food may be on the pricey side, but the Italian dishes on offer are tasty and innovative, plus the profits are ploughed back into the foundation.

CUB image
153 Hoxton Street N1 6PJ
Hoxton 0.21 miles
Opening Times
Best For

Cub follows a simple premise of bringing people together through great food and drink. They use considered ingredients and apply sustainable methods to create delicious stuff that does good too.

The Duke Of Cambridge image
The Duke Of Cambridge
30 St. Peter's Street N1 8JT
Angel 0.37 miles
Opening Times
Best For

Food, wine and beer are all organic at this pub, the only one in the UK to be certified by the Soil Association. Ingredients are sourced from small, local producers, and the chefs even pop into local schools to help teach pupils how to run a kitchen.

Leon image
7 Canvey Street SE1 9JA
Waterloo East 0.27 miles
Best For

The owners of Leon co-founded the Sustainable Restaurant Association, a non-profit organisation which acts as an advisory body to restaurants where issues of sustainability and eco-friendliness are concerned. Leon’s healthy fast food menu uses free range, fair trade ingredients that are locally sourced wherever possible.

Clarke's image
122-124 Kensington Church Street W8 4BH
Notting Hill Gate 0.18 miles
Best For

Clarke’s has been serving Kensington’s smart set since 1984. The daily-changing menu features British dishes made with carefully selected ingredients, and no artificial additives are used in the shop’s range of products.

Bumpkin South Kensington image
Bumpkin South Kensington
102 Old Brompton Road SW7 3RD
Gloucester Road 0.24 miles
Opening Times
Best For

Ingredients are sourced from small producers, wines are organic or bio-dynamic, and their efforts have resulted in awards from the Soil Association and the Sustainable Restaurant Association. As the name suggests, both the menu and the décor are country-inspired.

The Clink at HMP Brixton image
The Clink at HMP Brixton
Jebb Avenue SW2 5XF
Clapham Common 0.88 miles
Best For

Eating at the Clink is quite an experience; it’s located within HMP Brixton, so to get through to the dining area you need to clear security and leave all electronic devices behind. The restaurant is staffed by current inmates, the aim being to offer valuable training and experience in the hospitality industry to reduce rates of re-offending. The menu is modern European, with dishes like ravioli with wild mushrooms and truffle foam.

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