We are often told not to judge a book by its cover, and such is the case here. Beneath its classical high-end restaurant appearance, Culina Hortus (‘vegetable garden’) distinguishes itself with a plant-based offer. A rarity in the French gastronomic scene, this unique venue showcases vegetables at the center of the plate.

On top of his creative approach, the head-chef Adrien Zedda, values seasonality and organic produce, that he predominantly sources locally. Vegetables, grains, fruits, eggs and dairy products are all carefully selected in order to guarantee exceptional quality and taste.

© Tim Douet

Thomas Bouanich is the brain behind Culina Hortus. Following renovation works that revealed authentic architectural features, he opened this venue in the Autumn of 2018 in Lyon, France. French ceilings, arches and exposed stone are complemented by a carefully curated contemporary decor.

With the ever-growing demand for more plant-based alternatives, it was not long before Culina Hortus was rewarded for its approach to food. In 2020, it was elected as the world’s best vegetarian restaurant by the We’re Smart® Green Guide.

“Adrien Zedda may only be in his twenties, but he can still count himself one of the finest vegetable chefs in the world. And at Culina Hortus, he transforms vegetables into a veritable feast with exceptional creativity, resulting in refined, well balanced, healthy and above all delicious dishes.”, announced Frank Fol, The Vegetables Chef® and founder of We’re Smart® at the awarding ceremony.

© Agence Min

Culina Hortus’ biggest challenge, that also makes for its success, is satisfying both omnivores and vegetarians with enticing and innovative dishes. Zedda has mastered the art of delighting taste buds with plants by playing on the diverse flavours, colours and textures of vegetables. His signature – in line with nature and much to our taste-buds delight – is a continuously changing menu, weekly at lunchtime and monthly for the evening service.