Ghent’s Vrijmoed is second-best ‘vegetable restaurant’ in the world


The We’re Smart Taste Summit has declared Vrijmoed in Ghent the world’s second-best restaurant when it comes to the creative use of veggies, while Humus & Hortense in Brussels is the best vegan restaurant

Graanmarkt 13 in top 10

The Michelin-star Vrijmoed in Ghent has come in second on the list of the “best vegetable restaurants in the world”, announced earlier this week at the We’re Smart Taste Summit in Amsterdam. Also on the top 10 list are Graanmarkt 13 in Antwerp, which came in at number six, and Humus & Hortense in Brussels, at number seven.

Chef Michael Vrijmoed worked for the three-Michelin-star Hof van Cleve before opening his own restaurant in Ghent in 2013. It now has two Michelin stars. In 2017, it was at the top of We’re Smart’s best use of veggies list.

“When vegetables come into the hands of a chef who has worked in one of the best restaurants in the country, wonderful things happen,” writes We’re Smart. “Michael Vrijmoed surprised us with a five-course vegetarian menu in which he illustrated the unlimited creative possibilities and combinations of vegetables.”

‘Fresh and light’

Humus & Hortense, meanwhile, was named the Best Vegan Restaurant in the World at the summit yesterday. “Flemish chef Nicolas Decloedt’s dishes are inspired by healthy creativity,” says We’re Smart. “They are fresh and light, rich in taste and completely in the spirit of the times.”

Decloedt was also named Vegetable Chef of the Year by Gault&Millau last autumn. Before opening Humus & Hortense in 2017, he had trained in some of Belgium’s finest restaurants, including In de Wulf, Bon Bon and Le chalet de la Forêt.

We’re Smart is based in Flemish Brabant and is dedicated to providing guidance for ecological and sustainable approaches to food. Along with its annual awards, it produces a digital Smart Green Guide to help consumers find restaurants in 38 countries across the world that put sustainability, vegetables and organics first.

Photo: The Vrijmoed team, led by Michael Vrijmoed, bottom centre
©Courtesy Vrijmoed