In honor of Greta Thunberg being named TIME’s Person of the Year 2019, we’re highlighting the top environmentally-conscious and sustainability-driven restaurants in the cities we serve. The food industry is responsible for over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, making environmentally-conscious restaurants more important than ever. (Business Insider) Stop by any of these incredible restaurants for a meal that with serve not only your tastebuds, but also the environment.
Here is a list of some of the top environmentally-conscious restaurants in Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, and Boston.
Read on for a further look at each of these stellar restaurants!
A leader in the farm-to-table movement in Chicago, this cozy spot has an ever changing seasonal menu filled with adventurous, sustainably-sourced creations that are sure to excite your palate. Join them for their “simple yet sophisticated” brunch or for their fixed menu dinner where the menu is different every day!
Established in 2015, this fresh and casual spot aims to bring its diners the best of the midwest. Utilizing local farmers, markets, and their own rooftop garden, Farmhouse provides “honest to the heartland” plates that highlight their premium ingredients. Try their fan-favorite Open Faced Breakfast Sandwich when you join them for brunch, or any of their warm and inviting dinner entrees, such as tender Short Rib and heavenly Mac n Cheese. You can also feel good about dining here as 10% of their profits go to local organizations that support their mission of responsible and sustainable restaurants.
As Chicago’s first certified organic brewery, and the nation’s first certified organic rooftop farm, Uncommon Ground is no stranger to being a leader in sustainable dining. Owner and leader in the “Good Food” movement, Helen Cameron created Uncommon Ground to follow four words: Nurture Nature, Nourish Community. The menu provides thoughtful and flavorful dishes that are perfectly paired with the warm and rustic setting that is sure to make you feel welcome.
The name speaks for itself. Located in Silicon Beach, Sustainabowl defines themselves as “ethically-sourced poké and artisanal açai bowls with a low-waste initiative.” This fresh and flavorful spot utilizes local ingredients that are delivered daily, as well as biodegradable containers, to ensure sustainable sourcing, and minimal waste. Their “Get in my Belly” bowl is a must-try along with their Signature Acai Bowl.
Plant Food + Wine
Set in the heart of Venice, Plant Food + Wine offers a charming outdoor patio that provides an escape from the city. Their seasonal menu utilizes local sustainably sourced ingredients to create delicious health-conscious and vegan fare. As the name would suggest, Plant Food + Wine also provides an extensive list of biodynamic wines that are sure to pair perfectly with your meal.
Tip from Plant Food + Wine: Eat Local!!! Plant Food + Wine makes a point to grow much of their own food and source everything else from local farms. They also use as much of the vegetables as possible, whether it is composted, pureed, reduced, pickled, or dehydrated, Plant Food + Wine finds a place for it.
Los Angeles is known for its top-notch Mexican cuisine, but Gracias Madre exceeds all expectations. They pair traditional techniques with a vegan and contemporary menu that is sure to please even those who aren’t vegan. With farm fresh, organic ingredients that are locally sourced, their dishes are full of vibrant flavors and lots of love.
Established in 2015, Farm Spirit provides delicious plant-based meals highlighting the local produce Portland has to offer. This creative spot serves multi-course tasting menus that allow diners to experience an array of what nature has to offer. With offerings ranging from Beet Terrine, Juniper Marshmallow, Mustard & Mint to Broccoli Leaf & Hazelnut Yogurt, you never know what exciting creation you will discover.
With a self-proclaimed “rebellious” cuisine, Quaintrelle provides seasonal and local fare that is made with passion and intention. This modern and unique spot focuses on quality ingredients to ensure diners are never disappointed. Inside tip - take advantage of their Wine Wednesdays for 50% off hand-selected bottles!
ClarkLewis has been setting the standard for farm-to-table restaurants in Portland since opening their doors in 2003. They transform local, sustainably sourced ingredients with Italian and French influences to provide top-notch fare. With large glass windows, an open kitchen, and rustic design, the space feels warm and inviting.
Whole Heart Provisions
Inspired by the freshest produce they can find, owners Rebecca and James created Whole Heart Provisions to be healthy, fast, affordable, and flavorful. They hope to provide food that is not only good for your tastebuds, but also your body, and the environment. Their menu highlights flavors from all over the world, from house kimchi to pineapple and corn salsa, this quick and easy spot is sure to have something for you.
Dig Inn seeks to change the food game by respecting their ingredients and developing one-on-one relationships with each of the 102 farmers that they work with, stating that “mindful sourcing” is their bread and butter. Each farmer is involved in conversations surrounding new recipes to ensure that every ingredient is being used in the best possible way. Dig Inn also seeks out transitional farmers who are moving towards organic technique in order to better the environment. This intentional approach to recipes ensures that diners are getting the best that Boston has to offer with a delicious and creative twist.
A balance between Italian and Peruvian cuisine, Taranta has been providing creative and exciting dishes in the heart of Boston’s Historic North End for over 19 years. Dedicated to creating a sustainable and eco-friendly environment, they have made 46 changes to their process, including composting, energy and water conservation, sustainable food procurement, and countless others, and are continuing to look for ways to benefit their community further. They take pride in the ingredients that make their dishes so unique, including Aji Amarillo, Chancaca, Pancetta Abruzzese, and more.
Written By: Maxine Kasznia
Author bio: Maxine is a Chicago Native and UCLA grad. She has a passion for sustainable eating and loves to find the best environmentally friendly spots in every city she visits. After living in both Chicago and LA, she has an appreciation for local cuisines and continues to look for ways to expand her palate.