The growing consciousness for healthy eating is reaching more and more restaurants, food trucks and fast food joints. Let’s take a look at five of the most innovative eateries from around the world.

The sustainable food movement has gained popularity in recent times. Vegetarian meal options, superfoods and local produce provide a healthier way of eating. It is no surprise that restaurants, markets and even the fast food sector are becoming increasingly aware of this shift in eating habits.

These five innovative projects are no different – and could change the way urbanites will eat in the future. These initiatives’ ideas are as hot as the food they make.

Everytable (Los Angeles, USA)

The LA-based restaurant chain Everytable has one mission: making healthy food an affordable option. By adapting food and beverage prices to the average income of the respective restaurant’s neighborhood, Everytable makes sure that the locals will not be repelled by sky-high prices for a green smoothie or a quinoa salad.

The company opened its first location in South Los Angeles, where not many people own a car, making grocery shopping a strenuous task. Additionally, for those citizens who are juggling multiple jobs, cheap junk food is often the only option during the day.

Everytable wants to offer healthy, affordable meals for everybody. With every meal being cooked in a central kitchen in Redondo Beach, the individual locations require only little space and staff.

Everytable fast food restaurant
Everytable wants to offer healthy, affordable meals for everyone.
Photo: Rudy Espinoza
a meal at Everytable
Photo: Jason Clark
shelves filled with packaged meals at Everytable
Photo: Gina Cella
packaged meals from Everytable
Photo: Gina Cella

Amy’s Drive Thru (California, USA)

Drive-through restaurants have been a staple to American food culture since the late 1940’s. This fast food joint in Rohnert Park, California, is returning to the roots of American diner culture, while offering a healthy and sustainable twist.

The staff at Amy’s Drive Thru has made it their mission to “nourish hard-working citizens, busy families and road-weary travelers.” While all this sounds like the perfect material for a road-trip movie, there’s more to the story. Most of the ingredients used in the kitchen are locally sourced.

The restaurant’s roof is covered with small plants, creating a habitat on top of the building. All of the greenery on the property is very drought-friendly and require only little rainwater, which is collected in the water tower next to the restaurant.

This fact, as well as the organic and exclusively vegetarian food make Amy’s Drive Thru a forerunner in a new fast food culture, which we would love to see expand to other locations as well.

Instock (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

By literally putting food waste on the menu, Amsterdam-based restaurant Instock is drawing attention to the fact that 1.3 billion tons of food are thrown away worldwide each year. Instock’s delicious meals are almost exclusively cooked with unsold or surplus products from local supermarkets and other producers.

The restaurant’s mission: to create awareness on the topic of food waste and show that throwing away food is not only about money, but also about the waste of the energy that went into packaging and logistics.

In addition to three brick-and-mortar locations, Instock runs a food truck. The mobile kitchen, a repurposed Mercedes-Benz 409 fire truck, tours the country, delivering sustainable dishes on street level.

Instock helps people see and appreciate the value of food again – by organizing frequent cooking workshops and educational events in their Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague locations. Hopefully soon, more people will feel encouraged to do their part in fighting food waste as well.

Instock's food truck
Instock’s mobile kitchen tackles food waste.
Photo: Lynn Meijer
a meal at Instock
Photo: Ruben de Ruitjer
Instock café
Photo: Arnoud Clijncke
inside the sustainable restaurant Instock
Photo: Arnoud Clijncke
Instock team serving sustainable meals
Photo: Lynn Meijer
Instock team in a food truck
Photo: Lynn Meijer

Green Truck (California, USA)

The name already gives it away: This food truck from California only uses fresh and organic ingredients, straight from local farmers. “Pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later,” is the main mission of these organic-loving food truckers. It seems like nothing goes to waste in the Green Truck’s ecosystem.

The whole kitchen is powered by solar panels on the roof, the vegetable oil used for cooking is also used to power the truck the next day – you could say the truck is running on veggies! Furthermore, all packaging is either recyclable or compostable.

Once composted, the material is used to grow more food on the farm. The team behind the Green Truck has created a small circular economy on its own. Grab one of their delicious lunches at different locations across all of California.

avocado salad at the Green Truck
Fresh and organic, straight from local farmers.
Photo: Green Truck
sustainable fast food innovation: Green Truck
The Green Truck: powered by solar power and vegetable oil.
Photo: Green Truck
people having a meal from the Green Truck
Photo: Green Truck

The Guggenheim’s hot dog cart (Bilbao, Spain)

Featuring the best of both design and street food, the hot dog cart outside of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao is an urban food innovation that supplies hungry art lovers with a tasty hot dog and a chilled bottle of local craft beer.

“Salchibotxo” – a combination of the word for sausage and the nickname for Bilbao – impresses with sleek, functional design, containing up to 150 bottles of beer and 500 sausages from a Bilbao-based family butcher shop.

But that’s not the only thing: the designers of the cart equipped it with a sound system and made sure the cart can be plugged into streetlights. This way, the mouthwatering designer hot dog can be enjoyed just about anywhere, by anyone.

man pulling a hot dog cart in Bilbao
First art, then hot dog – or the other way round?
Photo: Arquimaña