A vegan restaurant in France has been awarded a Michelin star, a first for the legendary eatery honors. ONA, which stands for Origine Non Animale, was launched in Ares, near Bordeaux, in 2016 after a crowdfunding campaign and a loan from a green bank—because traditional banks in the country weren't so sure about the idea. "They said the outlook for veganism and plant-based food was too uncertain," owner Claire Vallee tells AFP. Here we are years later with the restaurant being awarded a Michelin star, and Vallee says she "felt like I got hit by a train" when she was got the call.
A Michelin Guide spokesperson confirms ONA is "the first vegan restaurant in France to win a star." Though it's not clear whether it's the first-ever vegan restaurant to have the honor bestowed upon it, Verdict reported in 2017 that very few Michelin star restaurants around the world even offered vegan dishes. ONA was also awarded a green star, which Michelin gives restaurants with a strong record of ethical practices. (Read more Michelin star stories.)