5 Sustainable SF Restaurants To Support This Earth Day

Ella Chakarian | April 16, 2021 | Food & Drink Feature

Celebrate Earth Day at these San Francisco-based eateries that are making eco-friendly choices every day.ella olsson earth day

San Francisco is a trailblazer when it comes to eco-conscious practices and procedures. Ingrained in the framework of the city, sustainability is considered a way of life for residents, companies and eateries alike. This guide to some of San Francisco’s most sustainable restaurants is an ode to the city paving the way for urban sustainability through environmentally-friendly practices. From cutting-edge soil ecology methods to low carbon footprint meals, these spots have some delicious offerings on the menu.

Kitava

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What once was the location of a McDonald’s is now the home of the warm and neighborly Kitava, an eatery serving food that is truly good for you. Currently open for delivery and takeout to all of San Francisco and Oakland, Kitava is a diet-friendly spot that strives to work with local farmers and distributors. “We seek partnerships with farms that use holistic land management and regenerative practices that contribute to healthier soil, crops, water and quality of life for their animals,” owner and co-founder of the establishment, Bryan Tublin, explains. With a gluten-free and vegan Power Bowl, a Cuban Bowl filled with naturally sweet plantains and a Burrito Bowl with all the vegan works, Kitava truly is the destination for nutrient-dense and filling bites. According to Tublin, “Every day is Earth Day for us.” 2011 Mission St.

Nopa

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Simply delicious food that is locally and seasonally sourced, Nopa’s alternating dishes are what dreams are made of. With new menus built weekly depending on ingredient availability, Nopa specializes in organic wood-fired cuisine. In the past, Nopa’s menu has included dishes like the refreshing burrata citrus salad and the vegetable tagine, a flavorful harissa spiced tomato stew that can be made vegan without the yogurt. Once indoor dining resumes, diners can enjoy thoughtfully crafted cocktails while watching the collaborative and talented team of chefs create menu items in the refined open-air kitchen. For now, the restaurant is open for outdoor patio dining and takeout. 560 Divisadero St.

Gracias Madre

“At Gracias Madre, we honor Mother Earth by serving only plant-based organic food 365 days of the year,” founder and owner of the Mexican restaurant, Matthew Engelhart, says. With a clear mission to spread love for health and sustainability through food, Gracias Madre’s colorful, vegan items are flavorful beyond compare. Their menu features handmade heirloom corn tortillas, along with a creamy and spicy cashew cheese used to top appetizer items like the potato-masa gorditas and fried cauliflower. In addition to their delightful vegan options, Gracias Madre is implementing innovative, eco-conscious methods in how they cumulate their produce. “Some of our produce comes from our very own regenerative Be Love Farm that uses cutting-edge practices to sequester carbon and promote a healthy soil ecology,” Engelhart describes. As warmer weathers approach, take advantage of their patio dining and enjoy an evening of over delectable, plant-based dishes. 2211 Mission St.

Little Gem

This restaurant believes that “everyone’s a little gem” — meaning, everyone deserves to feel nourished and fulfilled with exceptional food made with sustainably sourced ingredients. Little Gem cares about the source of seasonal ingredients, all of their produce is naturally tended and free of additives, preservatives, hazardous chemicals and modification. The lunch and dinner menu includes Asian-style beef short ribs and small bites like mushroom pupusas. Head over to the eatery before 2:30 p.m. for a brunch featuring avocado toast and short rib quesadillas on the patio. 400 Grove St.

The Plant Cafe

Awarded the highest environmental honors and certification in the Bay Area by The Nature Conservancy and Eat Real, The Plant Cafe offers contemporary California cuisine and Asian-inspired flavors for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. The eatery uses 100% organic and low carbon footprint ingredients, ethically raised organic meats and sustainable seafood to craft their salads, sandwiches, bowls and more. “I spent three weeks at a health retreat in 2004 after a family friend passed away from cancer,” Matthew Guelke, the founder of The Plant Cafe tells of his journey. “After eating plant-based organic food and juices, the health benefits became very evident. That was enough to convince me to get into the business of proliferating clean and sustainable food to as many people as possible.” The eatery supports local San Francisco brands and designs their welcoming cafes using local, recycled, energy-efficient and non-toxic materials. And, you certainly won't want to miss Earth Day at The Plant Cafe. Guelke discloses that “For Earth Day, we will be offering half-priced ‘Plant Burgers,’ our plant-based award-winning organic vegetarian burger, and half-priced freshly made organic juices.” Multiple locations



Photography by: Ella Olsson/Unsplash