Belgian vegetable restaurants win radishes


Plant-based cuisine has been on a steep rise for about a decade. Two Belgian restaurants, Ghent's Vrijmoed at 4 and Brussels' Humus x Hortense at 10, are in the top 10 best vegetable restaurants in the world. They are awarded radishes rather than stars.

Both were awarded five radishes, the maximum, in the new edition of the online gastronomic guide We're Smart® Green Guide. The rigorous selection is based on the Think Vegetables! Think Fruit!-philosophy of the peerless Belgian vegetable chef and founder of the guide, Frank Fol. To begin with, the restaurant must offer menus consisting of at least two-thirds vegetables and fruit. Besides the health aspect, flavour, originality, presentation, preparation techniques, the use of natural colours and good communication about the fruit and vegetables in each dish are very important. Whether seasonal products are used creatively and a variety of sustainability criteria, such as carbon footprint and social impact, also play a role.

Vegetable restaurants have become ubiquitous on the culinary landscape. Nowhere more so than in Belgium, which boasts no fewer than 20 spots in the guide's top 100. The two champions are notably followed by L’air du temps in Éghezée (12), Arabelle Meirlaen in Marchin (17), Hof van Cleve in Kruisem (22) and De Vijf Seizoenen in Brakel (25). Finally, fully plant-based Amaranth from Merelbeke won the Discovery Award for best newcomer.