For every foodie longing to try sustainable and organic restaurant options, Madrid is expanding its offer and becoming a great city to visit.
Buenas y Santas
After nearly a decade, this healthy ecological restaurant opened by two Argentinian sisters is still very successful. “We wanted to create a restaurant project that would offer people just what we ourselves would have wanted as customers - fresh homemade food, with a focus on natural ingredients in a friendly atmosphere. A real microclimate of happiness” explains co-owner Yamila Fisbein.
The restaurant’s menu is varied with many options for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone with a food allergy. It is worth going at lunchtime, to try the freshest seasonal products available, as the lunch offer changes weekly. What you will find in your plate will depend on what the local producers can offer, as well as what is grown in the restaurant’s very own vegetable garden.
This is a little garden that truly makes Buenas y Santas stand out with delicious fresh veggies, allowing the restaurant to offer original and seasonal dishes with the lowest ecological impact possible. For the sisters, it’s also a great way to educate customers about what ingredients are seasonal too, to try and replicate this concept at home. In the current climate, for instance, you might see that leeks are the stars on the menu; while with the return of the warm Madrid summer days, juicy tomatoes will be found at every stage of the meal, prepared with great care in the Buenas y Santas kitchen.
Mama Campo is a sustainable restaurant project created by publicist Nacho Aparicio and food distributor David Yllera. It has now become THE reference in Madrid when it comes to tasty ecological dining. The Mediterranean menu is based on organic ingredients that have all been produced by small local producers.
Here, the care given to the products that end up in your plates is a personal matter. Their origin is traceable and always associated with a name and a personal story. So at Mama Campo, you will be able to try the eggs come from Celia’s much-loved hens in the Andalusian region of Los Pedroches, but also the tender piece of beef that comes from Marina’s best cows grazing high up in the mountains, the tasty vegetables and juicy fruits all cultivated with great care and brought to the restaurant by Albano, David, Cristina, Guillermo, Marcelino, Pilar…
The restaurant space itself is a little architectural gem: its walls and roof are the work of the Qatay studio, which specializes in sustainable architecture using the principles of bioconstruction to create luminous spaces.
An ecological catering service is also offered by the restaurant for those seeking to organise private events. And beyond Mama Campo’s close attention to reducing its ecological footprint, the restaurant also wants to have a real social impact. It collaborates with local Spanish NGOs which promote youth education and employment, as well as with the social canteen located in the Chamberi district.
El Huerto de Lucas
If you’re looking for a warm and cosy atmosphere where to grab a quick lunch break in an environmentally-friendly space, El Huerto de Lucas is just right for you. Located in the vibrant neighbourhood of Chueca, it is a great place to try if you are seeking a strong commitment from the restaurant industry in favour of fighting climate change and food waste.
Only organic food from local producers, free of chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, or any kind of artificial additives, is served to customers. They can also buy the raw products themselves and cook them at home, thanks to the little organic market that is also part of the space.
The space itself was built around the same principles, using local and natural materials such as hemp, clay, wood or stone as well as ecological paints and varnishes. Energy waste has also been limited through the use of innovative ventilation systems and the orientation of solar panels, in addition to the installation of temperature probes that regulate the air conditioning, and to the reuse of the heat emitted by the refrigerators and other machines in the restaurant. It also counts with a beautiful amovible roof decorated with plants that work like a vegetal cloud invading the patio.
Under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Rodrigo de la Calle, El Invernadero is your best option in Madrid if you are looking to impress your date with fine, gourmet ecological dining.
With a fascinating career spanning 25 years, this innovative chef has developed an original gastronomic offer and a cooking style based on the concept of respect for the natural world, which he describes well in his own book Gastrobotanica. He has worked with some of the world’s most famous chefs, including french chef Joël Robuchon.
Seasonal products are at the heart of the elegant dishes cooked in El Invernadero. Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, and mushrooms are the main ingredients you will find in your plate, mixed with natural seasonings to create a rich and healthy gastronomic experience. Prices range from 95 to 135 euros for a full menu.
If that sounds like something you would like to try, note that only four tables are available in the restaurant. Clients are served all the dishes presented on the menu, to make sure they get a real sense of chef Rodrigo de la Calle’s versatile cooking, as well as to combat food waste. So book well in advance!
La Vaquería Montañesa
At La Vaquería Montañesa, the menu revolves around delicious products created with love by the restaurant’s “green heroes”. These are not your typical Batman or Superman, but hard-working and passionate producers.
The restaurant has made a habit of working with small organic producers based in Spain’s natural parks or in remote villages. To give just a couple of examples, the restaurant works closely with Rafael de Beje, a shepherd from a family that has produced generations of shepherds for 400 years, to get quality meat and milk rich in high omega 3 and 6.
It also collaborates with the “hero” farmers working within the ecological cooperative “Siete Valles de Montaña”, a group that promotes the slow food movement and takes steps against waste as well as to protect animal welfare as part of its production process.
The goal at La Vaquería Montañesa is simple: create hearty meals that feel good, and are actually good for the body, with the lowest environmental impact possible.
Writer: Léa Surugue
Header Picture: El Invernadero