Eco-Friendly Restaurants: Where to eat well without harming the planet

Last update on June 03, 2021
adresses éco responsables

Eco-Friendly Restaurants: Where to eat well without harming the planet

Eco-friendly eating is the new frontier! The environment has never been talked about as much as it is right now, and rightfully so. As climate change becomes more pronounced around the world, awareness of our impact as consumers is on the rise.

It is undeniable that the food industry has a major effect on the wellbeing of our planet. From transporting  products across oceans, over-consuming resources and overusing disposable packaging, the steps involved in preparing a dish can have an enormous ecological weight. However, there are several solutions to minimize your ecological footprint on both a small and large scale. Focus on composting, purchasing local and organic products, supporting sustainable fishing practices and reducing your consumption of animal products and production of waste. These are all incredibly simple and effective ways to consume responsibly, without sacrificing the pleasure of great food.

Gourmets are becoming increasingly interested in the quality and origin of the ingredients on their plates. Responsible practices are gaining traction amongst restaurant industry professionals. Restaurants are in a great position to advocate for eco-responsible eating, and to raise awareness of ecological gastronomic practices. Of course, we are not willing to accept a sacrifice in flavour, texture or presentation.

Although the Tastet team is not an expert in eco-responsibility, we like to eat healthy, quality products from local producers. In collaboration with Blue Organization, we wanted to highlight the efforts made by eco-friendly restaurants in terms of their respectful use of resources. For example, we love the use of organic Quebec products, and business relations with environmentally responsible suppliers.

The Blue Organization was founded in 2018. This special group is a non-profit organization that raises awareness for the environment through popular science. Their goal is to equip the public with the necessary tools to face the changing planet over the next decade. The Blue Organization constantly strives to push boundaries in order to deliver information in a way that is appealing and accessible. Initiated by a generation dazed by the environmental warnings in the media, the goal is to educate those who are at the forefront of the changing planet. We need to open the eyes of those who still have the ability to change their consumption habits.

What the Blue Organization proposes:

A vision and discussion focused on finding accessible solutions around the environment that are based in science. Positive, active and realistic steps to take, lead by their strong presence on interactive digital media.

To make this daunting task a little easier, here is a list of eco-friendly restaurants that are reducing their carbon footprint. These restaurants are leaders in the industry of sustainable gastronomy, and we hope they can encourage others to follow suit!

Restaurant Manitoba

Manitoba is an original restaurant where you will enjoy delicious, inventive, and carefully prepared dishes. The restaurant works mainly with wild plants and products sourced locally. Chef Simon Mathys is in charge of the great menu, with specialty dishes featuring smoky flavours in the form of seal or deer meat. The house adapts to whatever the pickers bring in that day. The menu changes with the seasons and, in summer, it changes almost daily! This only gives us more reason to visit frequently, and experience a beautiful surprise with each visit. An address to discover for its unique concept! © Photo Alison Slattery — Instagram
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Hidden between Notre-Dame Street West and Avenue Lionel Groulx, restaurant Candide has a unique charm. The restaurant is actually located in a converted presbytery! Chef John Winter Russell’s cuisine is extravagant and delicious – you will want to come back over and over again. At Candide, you will find great local gastronomy that is both tasty and thoughtful. The establishment is taking multiple steps to minimize its carbon footprint. The kitchen carefully chooses pesticide-free ingredients from nearby areas (virtually nothing travels by air!) and reduces food waste as much as possible. In addition to composting and preparing 4000 litres of canned food for winter cooking, the address does not use any single-use plastic, and every plastic container used is recyclable. Well done! © Photo Alison Slattery — Instagram
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Bouffe Dave Plant

In the Village, Bouffe Dave Plant composes sandwiches, organic and local salads and all kinds of side dishes and pastries. The entire menu is not vegetarian, but the establishment offers a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options! We have a real thing for their homemade pastries, which aren’t the healthiest items on the menu, but make for the perfect minimal-guilt indulgence. The address works as much as possible with local and organic farmers, and they try to use each ingredient to its fullest potential. © Photo Alison Slattery — Instagram
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La Panthère Verte – Mile-End

We would eat at the Green Panther everyday if we could! This restaurant offers a menu composed entirely of pesticide-free, locally sourced and sustainably grown products. The menu is also entirely vegan! Expect to eat soups, salads, and sandwiches (but remember that they are most famous for their falafel). The nature inspired environment is consistent at each of their locations. The company educates their customers about recycling and composting- they do not offer any plastic materials and all of their take-out containers are compostable! They also offer a small discount for customers who bring their own reusable containers and cutlery. They are open 7 days a week and offers a delivery service. © Photo Jessiguesss
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Chez l’Épicier

Located on Saint-Paul Street, this restaurant is trademarked by the talented chef Laurent Godbout, as well as by the presence of new chef Sammy Benabed. At Chez l’Épicier, you can expect a refined and charmingly surprising cuisine. The house has a private lounge that can accommodate 10 to 40 guests in adition to the dining room. The atmosphere is chic and welcoming, and the service is consistently pleasant. This restaurant is very concerned about its ecological and environmental footprint. The chef uses mainly local products from ecologically responsible agricultural practices. The result is very creative and absolutely delicious. © Photo Chez l’Épicier
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Lola Rosa

Lola Rosa is an unpretentious, charming and welcoming address. They offer very good vegetarian meals; salads, quesadillas, hempburger, burritos, curries, chilis, lasagna, soups and other healthy dishes. Honest, humble and tasty dishes. The menu features a selection of choices made up of as many organic and local ingredients as possible, as well as a delivery service in compostable or recyclable containers. The facility also composts. We like it a lot! © Photo Lola Rosa
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When we think of a culinary centre in the city, Sherbrooke Street isn’t necessarily what comes to mind. However, bracing yourself for the traffic is far worth a stop at restaurant Renoir inside the Sofitel hotel. French cuisine is at its best here, and it is not afraid to celebrate local products. The facility has developed an innovative process to reduce its waste: it turns it into liquid to massively reduce its use of garbage bags and waste transport. The fish cooked here are also certified by Ocean Wise. A beautiful and environmentally friendly address to discover! © Photo Restaurant Renoir
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Leméac is a restaurant that we have had a long standing love affair with, as its quality is always consistent. In an elegant and classic setting, you can enjoy a classic French brasserie menu, with tasty dishes and reasonable prices. The service is always courteous and efficient; everything here is perfectly balanced. The highlight of the show: this address promotes organic, local products, sustainable fishing and actively tries to minimize its waste. ©Photo Jimmy Hamelin
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Restaurant Toqué!

Toqué! restaurant is a Montreal institution that has dominated the Quebec gastronomic scene for more than 20 years. Quality, consistency and resistance are the hallmarks of Toqué! This establishment has had a significant impact on the restaurant industry: chef owner Normand Laprise is one of Canada’s most important chefs in the field of gastronomy. He is also very active in reducing his establishment’s ecological footprint; they rigorously manage waste production, draw as many of their ingredients as possible from local producers, and they strongly support sustainable fishing. The establishment has even banned disposable towels in its bathrooms! © Photo Hans Laurendeau
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Brasserie T! Quartier Dix30

Brasserie T!

Adding to the exciting ambiance of Place des Arts, Brasserie T can be understood as the little brother of restaurant Le Toqué – they share the same owners. In the brasserie’s kitchen, classic dishes are executed exquisitely, and all using ingredients from the Quebec terroir as much as possible. Chef Normand Laprise enforces the same eco-responsible practices here as he does in his restaurant le Toqué, and the result is just as amazing! © Photo Brasserie T!
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Chez Victoire

Chez Victoire is on our list of the best Quebec restaurants in Montreal. We come here to taste great local cuisine prepared by chef Alexandre Gosselin. There are excellent small and delicate dishes to share, and which perfectly compliment the festive atmosphere. The address partakes in several eco-responsible practices: procurement by local producers who practice responsible agriculture, and presentation of a wine list highlighting Quebec and Canadian products. We like it a lot! © Photo Félix Hallé
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Ah Graziella! Graziella Battista is one of the best chefs in Montreal. Since 2008, the chef has been in charge of this incredible restaurant on McGill Street in Old Montreal. In a chic and impressive setting, Graziella’s cuisine remains without a doubt one of the best Italian restaurants in Montreal. Graziella surprises its diners with the simplicity of its cuisine, its respect for tradition, the freshness of the products used, and the precision of each dish. For several years now, the house has been very proactive in reducing waste; sourcing from local producers, minimal use of plastic, banned straws and eco-friendly cleaning products are household standards. We love it! © Photo Alison Slattery — Instagram
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Restaurant de l’ITHQ

Opened in 2005, the restaurant of the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) showcases the dishes prepared by the students of its associated school. Located on the ground floor of ITHQ with large windows overlooking Saint-Denis Street and Square Saint-Louis, restaurant ITHQ is a showcase space for students put their knowledge to the test, and to become sommeliers and cooks for the night.  The establishment opts for eco-responsible practices in a variety of ways: compost, mostly local ingredients, sustainable fishing. They even have sparkling water that is homemade to avoid the use of plastic bottles! We love this place for the affordable and eco-responsible dining experience they offer. © Photo ITHQ
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Café Dei Campi

Barista Nicola Vardarro and pastry chef Isabelle Deschamps (formerly H4C) are the owners of this special café. Right in front of Père-Marquette Park, the café offers one of the best Italian coffees in Montreal! The address is also known for its pastries made without eggs, butter or milk, which leave you feeling fully satisfied. On the counter, you will find delicious pizzettes and vegetarian sandwiches that are perfect for a lunchtime break. In line with its desire to exclude animal products from the kitchen, the house composts, uses local and organic products as much as possible, and uses preserving techniques so we can taste the summer flavours of Quebec all year round. The packaging they use is also 99% compostable and recyclable. © Photo Odile Joly-Petit
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