The best plant-based restaurants in Luxembourg The selection of the best plant-based restaurants in the We're Smart Green Guide reflects our changing eating habits

Menus that consist of at least two-thirds fruits and vegetables, showcase culinary creativity, offer a limited environmental footprint and a positive social impact are the criteria judged by We're Smart World in their gastronomic guide We're Smart Green. In Luxembourg, ten restaurants have been awarded radishes, which are used to rank the best plant-based restaurants. La Distillerie, run by the chef René Mathieu, has received the title of best vegetable restaurant on the planet for the second year running.

Radishes, small plants for ground-breaking restaurants

The We're Smart Green Guide uses an innovative approach to judge restaurants. It focuses on plant-based dishes. The menus must consist of at least two-thirds fruit and vegetables. However, they also evaluate the culinary creativity, as well as the ecological footprint and social impact. As such, the restaurants selected are given between 1 and 5 radishes.

Would you like to eat in a restaurant where plant-based dishes go hand-in-hand with culinary excellence? Long gone are the days when vegetables were merely a side dish or used to decorate a plate! Here are the top ten restaurants in Luxembourg, ranked according to their radishes by We're Smart Green:

The We're Smart World Awards 2021 ceremony took place at Bourglinster Castle.
© We're Smart Green Guide, all rights reserved
The restaurant La Distillerie, run by chef René Mathieu, has won the title of best vegetable restaurant in the world for the second year running.
© We're Smart Green Guide, all rights reserved

Most of these restaurants are already well-known by Luxembourgers. In fact, La Distillerie was voted the best vegetable restaurant in the world for the second successive year and its head chef René Mathieu was awarded the title 'Chef of the year' by A Taste of Luxembourg 2021 guide - published by Gault&Millau. Moreover, it is the only Luxembourg restaurant to have received a green Michelin star.

For their part, Ma Langue Sourit, Léa Linster, Fani and la Cristallerie are Michelin-starred restaurants.

Working towards a more plant-based diet and cuisine

The approach of the We're Smart Green Guide, which combines high-quality gastronomy and sustainability, is in keeping with the changes witnessed in our societies towards more environmentally responsible consumption habits. The Michelin Guide has also recognised the environmental emergency and launched the green star to award excellence in sustainable gastronomy in 2020. It proves that the leading restaurants and culinary guides are in tune with the times.

In fact, according to a report published in the Smart Protein report (financed by the European Union) overall growth in the plant-based food sector increased by 49% between 2018 and 2020. Increased awareness of the ethical, environmental and health consequences has led many Europeans to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy products, or even to eliminate them completely from their diets.

A brief glossary of vegetarian and vegan terms

Vegetarians and vegans... more and more people are turning to a meat-free diet, but it's easy to get the terms mixed up. Here are a few tips to clear up any confusion!

  • A vegetarian diet excludes the consumption of meat, but there are several variations with regard to the other foods consumed:
    • Lacto-ovo vegetarians consume milk, dairy products and eggs to supplement the plant-based diet, but do not eat fish, molluscs or shellfish.
    • Lacto vegetarians also exclude eggs from their diet.
    • Ovo vegetarians consume eggs but not dairy products
    • Pescetarians eat fish.
  • A vegan diet is solely based on plant-based food sources: no meat, no fish, no milk, no eggs, no honey are permitted in a vegan diet.

Veganism goes beyond food. It is a way of life which excludes any animal-based products, not just in the food chain. For example, a true vegan would not buy leather shoes nor cosmetics tested on animals.

Vegetarianism is all about a healthy lifestyle not the latest fashion or trends. In fact, the World Health Organisation recommends a healthy diet with at least 400g of fruit and vegetables per day and a fat-based energy intake of less than 30%. In Luxembourg and Europe, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers are the leading cause of death. Being overweight and obesity are the main risk factors. To tackle this issue, the Gesond iessen, Méi bewegen programme encourages a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

2021 is the International year of fruit and vegetables

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has declared 2021 the International Year of Fruit and Vegetables, in order to highlight the role of fruit and vegetables in human nutrition and food security.

It aims to raise awareness of food loss and waste. Sustainable production and consumption are also central to the FAO's programme.