Green Day

Area restaurants are going au naturel.

By Lauren Cohen - April 2017

Green Day

Area restaurants are going au naturel.

By Lauren Cohen - April 2017

-Photography by Scott Suchman

Whether it’s shelves of succulents at Forno or a living wall at Gunther & Co., plants have taken root as a prominent design detail in many area restaurants. Beyond prettying up a place, however, experts say that going green is good for your well-being. In many cases, plants act as renewable air sources that reduce pollutants while expelling clean oxygen.

“Having plants around us is healthy,” says Kate Blom, conservatory supervisor at the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens in Baltimore. “They smile back at you and make you feel good.” Here are some of our favorite spots that are tapping into the horticulture trend.

Alma Cocina Latina: Tall palms and tropical plants contribute to the Venezuelan vibe of this Canton Can Company restaurant, which is meant to evoke the spirit of Caracas-born owner Irena Stein’s home country. “Since Venezuela is near the equator, we always have pleasant temperatures that allow homes to be partly open to the outdoors year-round,” Stein explains. “The décor in the restaurant is meant to feel like our homes there and serves as an introduction to the food.”

Bar Vasquez: Designer Katie Destefano showcases small succulents, tropical plants, and 18-foot palm trees at this South American spot. “I wanted to incorporate the lushness of the rainforests," she says. "Organic elements bring in whimsy and break up hard lines in a space.”

Encantada: The interior of this whimsical spot inside AVAM is supplemented by potted centerpieces, which range from ivy to ferns. “I’m a firm believer in having plants in restaurants,” says owner Robbin Haas. “They make the space feel more lively and real."

Forno: Potted plants and three-tiered shelving units full of succulents add to the rusticity of this downtown cocina. “The plants complement the earthy tones and give the space an organic feel,” says general manager Ricky Johnson.

Gunther & Co.: In addition to herb gardens, this Brewers Hill spot boasts a 16-foot living green wall, which works as an air-filtration system and improves acoustics. Says co-owner Nancy Hart Mola, “There’s something about being around living things. It’s good for the soul.”

R. House: Retractable doors will soon open up to a wall of wisteria and a canopy cascading with flowers and vines. “Plants add to the feel that you're coming into someone's house," says Seawall Development's Jon Constable.





You May Also Like


On The Town

National Tequila Day Specials to Quench Your Summer Cocktail Cravings

Get your fix with discounted margaritas and frozen drinks at these local bars.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: The Tilted Row; Honey’s Cafe; Blue Dog BBQ Co.

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: The Art of Dining Solo

Plus, Whitehall Mill vendor lineup, Restaurant Week tips, and our best bites this week.


Food & Drink

A-Z Guide to Crabs

The ultimate hardshell Bible.

In Good Taste

Larder Chef Helena del Pesco Talks Intersection Between Food and Art

Trading San Francisco Bay for the Chesapeake Bay, the chef makes her mark in Old Goucher.

Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: No Farms, No Beer

Plus, The Charmery in Federal Hill, a fond farewell to digital editor Jess Mayhugh, and best bites.

-Photography by Scott Suchman

Connect With Us

Most Read


What is the Likelihood of President Trump Coming to Baltimore?: With a House Republican conference and an invitation from Elijah Cummings, a presidential visit might be imminent.


Oletha DeVane Showcases Sculptural Works in 'Traces of Spirit' at the BMA: Local multidisciplinary artist explores religion, nature, and humanity in exhibit on view through October 20.

Greektown’s Yard 56 Mixed-Use Development to Open by 2020: Project on former Pemco industrial site will be anchored by Streets Market & Cafe and LA Fitness.

Severe Flooding Plagues Neighborhoods Surrounding the Inner Harbor: Stark images of Harbor East and Fells Point arise on social media as area reckons with heavy rainfall.