The judging is over, the shortlist has been announced, and Oxfordshire’s Sustainable Restaurant of the year is soon to be decided at a glittering awards ceremony on 1st November 2016. You can check out the nominees here. Here’s a quick rundown of our shortlist…

Restore Garden Café, Oxford

The Garden Café at RestoreA beautiful oasis off the Cowley Road with a wonderfully kept garden for outside eating and a welcoming inside area filled with interesting displays and items for sale. The café is fully integrated with Restore’s mental health charity and its many activities, generating a unique atmosphere and many interesting and unusual features. The food is simple and good quality, focusing on healthy and good value dishes made with fresh ingredients.

Why do we love it for sustainability?

It’s a social enterprise supporting mental health recovery, vegetarian options are fully integrated in to the menu, it uses Oxford Food Bank ingredients that would otherwise go to waste, it does some excellent ethical sourcing, and uses its own produce from the Restore gardens and allotments. Other stand-out features are its solar panels and composting.

When should I go?

Pop in for a quick lunch and on a sunny day, spend time sitting in the gardens or on the terrace.

The Partridge, Wallingford

The Partridge, WallingfordThe Partridge is a welcoming gastro pub with rooms. It is cosy and homely, with a lovely rustic feel. You get a sense that sourcing is important, from talking to the team, who are great ambassadors, to seeing a display of what is used in the kitchen. The food is really excellent, and even tastier knowing that it is either local, or from small independent producers, or from the ethical wholesaler Suma. This is a place where good food matters.

Why do we love it for sustainability?

It has a good range of meat and vegetarian dishes making it easy to swap over to the vegetarian offer, a fantastic relationship with suppliers which is “farmer first”, a whole philosophy of putting local, seasonal produce and good sourcing at the heart of eating out, excellent connections with the local school, LED lights and a great attitude to reducing food waste.

When should I go?

For a special night out, whether a romantic evening or with friends and family. This is a chance to enjoy the best Oxfordshire has to offer. Eating out really is this good!

The Vaults & Garden Café, Oxford

Vaults and Garden CaféThe Vaults is an Oxford favourite. Set in the glorious Oxford University Church and gardens, it is a lovely venue with a great buzz. Despite being extremely busy, staff take time to explain the food and highlight organic, vegan and healthy options. The food is delicious, healthy and affordable.

Why do we love it for sustainability?

Vegetarian and vegan options are given equal prominence with the meat dishes. Dishes are cooked in batches and takeaway is encouraged to reduce waste. The Vaults has a clear vision and strategy set out on its website with a comprehensive listing of local suppliers so you really know what you are getting. The Vaults prides itself on its “synergistic sourcing” policy, working with farmers to take their on-farm surplus. With such a longstanding relationship with many local suppliers and organic producers, it’s very clear that sustainability is much more than a passing trend here.

When should I go?

If you want to impress a visiting friend, bring them to the University Church, take a trip up the clock tower, and then pop down for a delicious lunch at the Vaults. Vegans and special diets particularly well catered-for!

See what you think of the shortlist and why not make it a night out – buy your ticket here!

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