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10 Best Sustainable Dining Hotspots In The World

A food lover’s guide to the most delicious, guilt-free gastronomic adventures to have now

In line with our sustainability series with First Philippine Holdings (FPH), we are encouraging sustainable eating and the inclusion of a vegan meal in your daily diet. This will make a profound impact not just on your health but also on the environment. Check out more on this series on Metro.Style's sustainability section. 

The time for revenge travel is now. But we say, travel better than you used to in the past. Travel responsibly, doing your best to be careful with the environments you explore, and respect the communities you visit. Some easy rules for responsible travel: eat local, buy local, and stay green.

If you're a food lover, food is a huge motive for why you want to travel, and we understand. There's nothing like experiencing a place and culture through its food, from street food and night markets to fine dining and cooking classes with local chefs. But where do you go and how to find the places that offer sustainable travel experiences?

We put together this list to help you.

Alegria Manila Has New Filipino-Latin American Menu


Alegria Manila Has New Filipino-Latin American Menu

1. Wilderness Scotland

Explore the wild beauty of the Scottish Highlands with a clean conscience. As one of the first to sign up for the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency Initiative in 2020, to reduce carbon emissions, Scotland has a Green Tourism certification scheme that lets you choose the best options for eco-friendly accommodations and activities. 

Tour the Highlands on e-bikes, and explore sustainable local businesses like the Inshriach Estate and Distillery which makes small-batch craft gins (you can stop for cocktails in their hidden speakeasy). Dine at the Corrour Station House, and order venison from their estate. Stay at the dramatic Crossbasket Castle in Glasgow. 

Partake in a summer dining experience with Chef Raymond Blanc at Blanc Le Manoir in the heart of the Highlands — a magical place for a unique fine dining experience featuring the best of seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Finally, explore East Cambusmoon Farm in Loch Lomond which has eco-friendly holiday cottages with traditional architecture and green technology. It’s a hard heart that won’t fall in love with Scotland, you’ll see.

2. Bhutan

A holiday in this tiny kingdom in the Himalayas is not cheap with a $200 levy per night contributing to Bhutan’s Sustainable Development Fund to offset your carbon footprint. But, may we say, the experience is worth every cent. 

Go on an iconic walking tour over the Trans Bhutan Trail with its postcard-perfect scenery: valleys with ancient temples, breathtaking mountain ranges, sacred sites, and charming villages. You'll be issued a 'passport' that can be stamped at over 60 participating farmhouses where locals open up their homes to serve traditional meals, sharing their culture and heritage, along with cooking demos, hot stone baths, and Bhutanese cuisine. You can even stay overnight. 

Get a taste of the cuisine, from jaju (traditional soup) to chicken curries. Looking for luxury? Check-in at Amankora, Bhutan’s Aman Hotel, where the restaurant serves Bhutanese, Western and Indian dishes using local ingredients like yak meat, and where private dining can be arranged. We suggest asking for a barbecue dinner under the stars, with dinner crafted by personal chefs, with live Bhutanese music, and the heady pleasure of dining in the fresh mountain air.

Cabel Serves Nostalgia And Fine Filipino Comfort Food


Cabel Serves Nostalgia And Fine Filipino Comfort Food

3. Costa Rica 

A world leader in biodiversity, Costa Rica is home to six percent of the world's species. It's also a leader in promoting eco-tourism, with over a quarter of its land set aside as protected parks to safeguard against deforestation. Among its many sustainable hotels and isolated nature lodges, we love Finca Luna Nueva, a boutique ecolodge that offers hiking trails, herbal gardens, farm-to-table experiences, yoga, and tropical bird watching. The Cala Luna Boutique Hotel in Guanacaste province offers sunny beaches and delicious local food.

4. Tokyo, Japan

No need to go off the beaten path for sustainable travel. A well-curated tour of Tokyo and its surroundings will unearth many extraordinary places that embody sustainable values. 

If you’re a foodie interested in traditional foodways, spend a day exploring Chiba prefecture with its ancient fish shop, tofu shop, and tempura restaurant all still run like daily life in an old village. 

Stop by the 230-year-old soy sauce factory Kinbue to see how tradition is preserved in the ultimate slow process of this craft. End the day with a fine dining dinner at Yoshihiro Narisawa, among the first recipients of the Sustainable Restaurant Awards, its innovative dishes celebrate the rich nation of Japan's sceneries. 

Go on a dining tour of the many sustainable restaurants in Tokyo, including L’Effervescence with its whimsical menu, and poetry on a plate, which has been in the Michelin Guide Tokyo since 2012 and has won the first Green Star for Sustainable Gastronomy.

5. Barbados

Although tiny, beingly only 21 miles by 14 miles long, this Caribbean island is setting new benchmarks as it transitions to renewable energy, and more nature-positive, community-focused travel experiences. If you love local colors, you'll enjoy exploring the island. 

Stay at La Maison Michelle, a reclaimed sugar plantation with seven luxury suites. Visit Coco Hill Forest to reconnect with nature over its 53 acres. If you’re there in season, view turtles hatching on Dover Beach

And sample the best of Bajan cuisine. Mamu’s Cafe for indigenous fruit and vegetables, Local and Co, which champions cooking from hyper-local wild food sources. La Cabane is an idyllic beach seaside restaurant for local Barbadian food.

6. Bavaria

Munich has 12 Green Michelin-starred restaurants in one city, second only to Japan. With an emphasis on green and solar power, Bavaria is considered an avante-garde destination in green travel. There are plenty of eco-friendly hotels and inns to stay in. And the restaurant scene is unmatched. 

Among the many sustainable cafes and restaurants, Klinglwirt is the first ecological inn that serves sustainable Bavarian cuisine. The Roecklplatz is an acclaimed restaurant with a high-quality menu and plenty of vegan dishes. In the early evenings, head to Giesinger Grünspitz, an open space under chestnut trees where film evenings and small concerts are held, with delicious food to be had from small kiosks scattered all over. Bavaria is more than just beer and bratwurst, and it’s lovely.

7. Slovenia 

With its baroque churches, ancient forests, and alpine peaks, Slovenia is a country of fresh, natural beauty — and it's good to know a tenth of this gorgeous countryside is formally protected. The best, most sustainable way to get there is through an overland train via Austria, Germany, and France. 

Slovenia is the best place for a climavore diet, with chic and delicious restaurants to choose from. Zlata Lladjica is a 400-year-old riverside property known for its organic cuisine. Vipava Valley has a stable of small-scale biodynamic wine producers. Visit Cejkotova Domacija, a homestead capsule of the oldest village in Slovenia. 

Looking for something more modern? Stay at the new boutique hotel Sunrose 7 or the Alpina Bohinj. Everywhere you go, you can feast on dishes made for flexible, climate-conscious eaters who savor nature-sensitive food supplies. All reasons why the Slovenian city of Kranj was awarded the 2023 Sustainable Tourism Pioneer by the EU Destinations of Excellence!

8. Taiwan 

If you like cultural engagement, heritage tours of the rich past, and delicious local delicacies, head to Taiwan. Go on a slow tea tour in the villages of Pinglin in northern Taiwan where you can enjoy local brews, converse with old tea masters, and focus on the simpler pleasures of life. 

In the city, immerse in the culture of its deep-rooted local food and drink scene, from old-fashioned wooden tea houses to night markets. Discover local favorites like danzai noodles and shrimp rolls. You'll be amazed by what you learn about Taiwan and about yourself.

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9 Easy Ways To Be A Sustainable Restaurant Diner

9. South Africa 

It's hard to beat South Africa for sheer romance and adventure. We say, go on a culinary and wine tour that will change your life. At Stellenbosch Mountain, a town with oak-lined streets famous for its superb vineyards, immerse yourself in the world-class wine scene. 

Go on an eco-friendly wine route tour (choose from a network of more than 200 grape producers dedicated to biodynamic, eco-friendly wines). Unwind at the family-run Deux Frères Luxury Villas with its bespoke furniture and swimming pool set against a backdrop of grape vines, with no single-use plastics in sight. 

Dine at sustainable restaurants like the Wild Peacock with its use of micro herbs and cheese, or The Table At De Meye, set in the middle of vineyards, a sheer pleasure of the senses, and where the menu changes every week depending on what the garden has to offer. 

There are off-the-beaten-track tours, and before you head home, stop at Cape Town for dinner at a sustainable restaurant like Pool Room with its farm-to-fork African cuisine.

10. Finland

Finland's air and water have been proclaimed the clearest in the world by the WHO. This is the perfect place for a sustainable fantasy forest adventure. The Sustainable Travel Finland program has a blueprint for eco-friendly escapes that let you engage with nature and local culture, like the Octola, the most exclusive private wilderness retreat deep in the Arctic Circle, its 10-room luxury lodge surrounded by hectares of Lapland Forest. 

See the Northern Lights and the spectacular natural scenery, the clear blue skies. The Barö Luxury Hotel, sustainably designed not to disturb wildlife, has rooms connected with nature trail walkways. Go glamping at Reindeer Park to meet the reindeer who can even join you at breakfast! Dine at Nolla, the first zero-waste restaurant in the world. 

Even in Lappland, a new wave of sustainable fine dining establishments is now open, including Restaurant Kaunis which celebrates ancient cooking techniques using staple ingredients from the Finnish forests and lakes, from fish and game meat to wild berries.

A Wholesomely Delicious Summer


A Wholesomely Delicious Summer

First Philippine Holdings (FPH)  is a pioneering holding company with principal interests in clean and renewable energy, real estate, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and education. FPH is a member of the Lopez Group of Companies.

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Lead photos: Klingwirt in Bavaria, Amankora Bhutan, Restaurant Kaunis in Finland, Slovenia Tourism, Raymond Blanc from Scotland, Vipava Valley in Slovenia