Andalucia is without a doubt one of Spain’s most scenic region, attracting thousands of tourists each year. Thanks to its culinary scene, the region has plenty to offer beyond the traditional salmorejo (cold and garlicky tomato soup), seafood and tortilla de camarones. With a focus on ecological, healthy, local ingredients, sustainable restaurants are putting something different on the table. We take you on a journey to discover a selection of some of the best Andalucian restaurants.
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Fargo: 95% of the menu is organic and varies weekly
Ten years ago, Yann Coucharriere came to the beautiful city of Sevilla. After three years working as a restaurant manager, he decided to open his own establishment, Fargo. A unique establishment now attracting a crowd of locals and tourists alike, all keen to try fresh, seasonal homemade organic food.
As both owner and Chef, Coucharriere puts a lot of passion in crafting a weekly changing menu: “The huge majority of the 2600 restaurants in Sevilla are offering the same menu based on what the local public wants and the tourists love. What happens is, once they’ve eaten in three restaurants and seen the same menu everywhere, which mostly features fried food and zero homemade desserts, that's when they come to us,” he explains.
Fargo abides by two key words: local and seasonal. 95% of the menu is organic and varies weekly depending on what's in season and local farmers' production. The region is particularly famed for its wide choice of fruits and vegetables. During summer months, Coucharriere even manages to find exotic fruits, nuts, cereals and even quinoa, which makes for a colourful and delicious selection of dishes. “We don't make stock at all, since we use organic, small scale local fresh product. We don't buy anything frozen neither.” he says.
Those in need of a good, quality drink also turn to Fargo for its diverse and top notch spirits collection, which includes old Cognacs, Armagnacs, Rhums, Bourbons, Islay, Japanese, Scottish, Irish and French Whiskeys. A success which has led Fargo to be recommended in many tourist guides as the place to be, including the Guide du Routard and the Michelin Guide.
Beyond its commitment to seasonality and organic ingredients, the restaurant also goes a long way to pursue its efforts in favor to sustainability. From using organic cleaning products to recycling glass and offering a private patios for staff to put their bikes thus inciting them to cycle to work.
Address: C/ Pérez Galdos, 20, Seville | Website
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La Noria: km zero, slow food and support for small producers
This gourmet restaurant opened last year right on the famous Plaza Nueva in Grenada, close by the mythical Alhambra palace. A unique culinary offer in the city diverting locals and tourists from the traditional tapas route.
The philosophy of the restaurant revolves entirely around the concept of sustainability. Its values are km zero, slow food and support for small producers. The seasonal menu is made up with fresh certified ecological products that come from nearby farms. They are showcased behind the glass window of La Noria, so that people can see first hand the fresh ingredients they are going to indulge in.
To get those local products, La Noria has formed partnerships with local associations of small producers, and always seeks to bring artisanal products to the table. Some of these local producers have been planting seeds that have almost disappeared which is a way for La Noria to maintain the region’s ancient gastronomic traditions alive and to preserve the natural ecosystems. Working locally also allows them to reach their objective of reducing their carbon footprint.
As a bonus, check out the wide selection of ecological, bio-dynamic wines that comes in great part from the region. People can try different ones during a meal and even choose to bring bottles of the finest back home.
Address: Calle Ánimas, 7, 18009 Granada | Website
Breathe : an oasis of freshness in Marbella
Breathe, a trendy restaurant in the trendy city of Marbella, is an oasis of freshness and particularly ideal summer comes. The space is the result of a collaboration between architects Rodolfo Jacobson and Mathieu Lèbre who designed the building and its garden by getting their inspiration from the natural world in an effort to communicate the symbiosis between men and nature. All their decisions, from the selection of the materials to the choice of the plants in the garden, were taken with the goal of reducing energy consumption.
One of the most original initiatives at Breathe is that unused drinking water and rain water are used to water the lush 175 m2 vertical garden and the small wooded area surrounding the restaurant. Breathe also owns its own geothermal energy plant, allowing the space to have a sustainable system to regulate temperatures according to the season, and to get running hot water all year long.
All the dishes are created from ecological and local ingredients, in line with the restaurant’s values of km zero and “farm to table”. Some of the fruits and vegetables even come from Breathe’s own gardens. A concept that has seduced many of the locals and tourists walking the streets of Marbella, looking for an original and ethical restaurant to have dine in.
Address: Nueva Andalucia, Calle los Lirios, 29660 Marbella | Website
Casa SiempreViva: a peaceful environmentally-friendly haven
Near Malaga, Casa SiempreViva is a peaceful environmentally-friendly haven located inside a small hotel. Dishes are essentially vegetarian, with a focus on edible flowers: “We started cooking with them and now it’s difficult to find one of our dishes that doesn't contain some flowers” owner Mayte and Javier comment.
Here, you won’t find a set menu either. The food is made each day depending on the ingredients found in the garden and surrounding local markets in order to keep everything fresh and seasonal, and to avoid waste. “Our main idea when it comes to the food we serve is eating meals that are free of chemicals and completely seasonal. We really like ingredients that don’t need much cooking, like homemade guacamole with veggies. We are big fans of raw food,” Mayte and Javier say.
A for the hotel, it's also working towards a reduced impact on the environment. Soaps are made with ecological herbs picked in the garden. The swimming pool is equipped with an ozone-based purification system, the sheets and pillows are made of ecological materials, and the rooms are filled with recycled furniture or objects made with wood from sustainable forests with a FSC seal.
Address: Calle Gloria Fuertes, 29793 Torrox, Málaga | Website
Words: Léa Surugue