How do we judge a vegetable restaurant?
Every year we choose the best vegetable restaurants. Our rigorous selection process is based on the Think Vegetables! Think Fruit!® philosophy and follows an in-house ranking system based on our symbol of recognition; the “Radish”.
We rank each restaurant from 1 to the highly rated 5 Radishes. In order to be included in our Green Guide, and evaluated alongside the best vegetable restaurants out there, the main event of the meal needs to be vegetables and fruit. Besides the restaurant’s ratio of plant to animal ingredients, important factors are taste, originality and creativity, presentation, preparation techniques, the use of the ingredient’s natural colors, and effective communication (both online and at location) of the fruit and vegetables used.
We also evaluate on criteria based on the use of local and seasonal ingredients, food waste levels and waste management, ecological footprint, and social impact. The highest ratings are awarded only to those restaurants going above and beyond to operate in a way that is both ethical and environmentally friendly.
Throughout these Guidelines, you’ll notice us using the term “Pure Plant", a term which captures the essence of what we stand for and what think the future of food should look like. Pure Plant, the future of food, is a powerful statement that represents our mission and vision of a healthier, more sustainable world. In this guide, we embark on a culinary adventure that explores the fullest potential of pure-plant food experiences and unveils a future that is not only tasty and endlessly diverse, but also healthy and ecologically responsible.
What it means? It all starts with a firm commitment to embracing the abundant gifts that nature offers us, in its most natural (“Pure”) forms. Vegetables and fruit (“Plant”) are the foundation on which our restaurant-assessment is built. We focus on the natural product, vegetables and fruit in all their natural glory and greatness, with processing kept to a minimum and with maximum respect for their authentic taste, colour and texture.
What Pure Plant does not represent, however, is 100% plant-based. We do not tend to exclude or prohibit animal-based ingredients all together. We are a movement determined to create healthier diets around the world by including more vegetables and fruit. By doing so we automatically decrease our consumption of animal-based ingredients, without losing track of what’s actually healthy. This often is the case in plant-based or vegan diets; French fries and crisps, for example, although being plant-based and vegan, are not Pure Plant foods. Pure Plant is therefore a much broader term in which not only ethical and sustainable, but also health factors come into play.
The Think Vegetables! Think Fruit!® philosophy follows three steps:
- Step 1: When you create your menus, think first about the vegetables and/or fruit you want to use, and which vegetables and fruit are in season that time of year. In this way, vegetables will be at their best whilst having a lower footprint, they will become the focus of each dish, and they will be the determining factor in the way each dish tastes.
- Step 2: Choose among the 58 techniques featured to discover new and less well-known ways to prepare fruit and vegetables.
- Step 3: Then think about additions such as certain types of grain, meat substitutes, meat, fish or other protein. The goal is to have each meal throughout the week to be mostly Pure Plant.
- Use healthier vegetable-based sauces to enhance the flavour of your dish. For example, tahini, guacamole, olive oil based sauces such as pesto and Légumaises® sauces are a healthy and delicious alternative to many mayonnaise-based sauces.
- Pay attention to the colours on your plate. Vegetables and fruit often have distinctive colours that can jazz up a dish. Plus, the brighter the colours, the more antioxidants you’ll find in your vegetables.
- Follow the seasons. Local vegetables are best in taste and nutritional value only during their respective season.
- Use only high quality produce. Choose the freshest regional fruit and vegetables you can find.
Are you looking for guidance and advice on how to increasingly integrate our philosophy into your organization? Do you need support with matters such as pure plant cooking, product development, education on healthy or sustainable food, or is your organization in need of more exposure into the sustainable food industry, please feel free to contact our advisory team at any time through the following mail: email@example.com
We rank each restaurant we visit around the world according to the following Standards:
1 Radish: “A traditional restaurant in evolution, offering exceptional vegetable and fruit preparations“
- At least 50% of the entire meal is composed of Pure Plant ingredients
- Leverages the advantages of fruit and vegetables, and combines flavours successfully with fruit and vegetables playing a key role.
- Offers the possibility of a vegetarian meal, with several vegetarian options.
- Works with sustainably sourced or ethically farmed fish and meat.
2 Radishes: “A vegetable ambassador, offering surprising vegetable/fruit preparations”
At least 60% of the entire meal is composed of Pure Plant ingredients
Same criteria as for 1 radish, plus:
- Mentions fruit and vegetables on the website, the menu, social media, etc.
- For each dish, mentions vegetables and fruit before any other ingredient.
- Uses mostly seasonal ingredients, leveraging their optimal flavour and nutritional value.
- Utilizes the health and taste advantages of ingredients that are mostly in season
- Optimizes the use of every part of the fruit and vegetables utilized.
3 Radishes: “A vegetable-forward restaurant, with extra focus on sustainability”
At least 70% of the entire meal is composed of Pure Plant ingredients
Same criteria as for 2 radishes, plus:
- Shows good understanding of combining flavours successfully with fruit and vegetables playing a key role, affording a memorable taste experience.
- Creates meals based on vegetables and fruit, which are the fundament of each dish.
- Offers a vegetarian tasting menu and/or a wide range of vegetarian and plant based dishes a la carte.
- Actively reduces food waste and the foodprint to a minimum.
- Offers a selection of non-alcoholic drinks (mocktails, botanic, and/or fermented)
4 Radishes: “An extraordinary vegetable restaurant, fundamentally innovative and creative”
At least 80% of the entire meal is composed of Pure Plant ingredients
Same criteria as for 3 radishes, plus:
- Shows a remarkable level of innovation and creativity in the way vegetables and fruit are used.
- Demonstrates firm commitment to the principle of combining flavours successfully, with fruit and vegetables playing a key role, affording a unique taste experience
- Clearly and predominantly refers to fruit and vegetables on the website, the menu, in written materials, social media, etc.
- Promotes and consumes local produce; promotes small local producers through high quality products.
5 Radishes: “A Pure Plant Pioneer, paving the way into untouched territory”
Up to 100% of the meal is composed of Pure Plant ingredients
Same criteria as for 4 radishes, plus:
- Shows an outstanding level of creativity and skill in the way vegetables and fruit are used.
- Mastering the successful combining of flavours with fruit and vegetables as the stars of the show, offering a truly exciting, unique and memorable taste experience.
- Offers a selection of house-made mocktails, botanic and fermented non-alcoholic drinks, and the possibility to choose a non-alcoholic pairing with your menu.
- Shows social and ecological responsibility at the local level.
Mission Statement We’re Smart®
Are you looking for restaurants where fruit and vegetables are the main event? If so, our We’re Smart® Green Guide is just what you need. We aim to bring together people and organizations that share a healthy, ecological and sustainable attitude, be it in the food sector or elsewhere. Our goal is to accelerate the global transition from animal to plant based, and from harmful to healthy food, all through the irresistible force of human nature; our appetite. Why? By enabling and encouraging people to make better food choices, we create a healthier and better future for all. We’re Smart, serving the future of food.