The 10 Most Eco-Friendly Restaurants in NYC
You already recycle religiously and always remember to bring a canvas tote for your Trader Joe’s haul. But being green means a lot more than just ditching plastic straws. These restaurants are committed to not only protecting the planet but also serving great grub while they’re at it.
This popular Greenwich Village spot brings a bit of Paris to downtown with its brightly colored salads packed in reusable jars and served with compostable utensils. Even better: All the restaurant’s food waste is sent to a community garden in the East Village, part of the reason the restaurant is certified carbon neutral.
58 W. Eighth St.; ancolie.co
This summertime oyster bar located aboard a historic wooden schooner may be most well known for its killer views of the city, but it’s also committed to zero-waste operations. Grand Banks uses no plastics, no paper (even receipts are digital) and no cans (all beer is now draft-only). Any leftover food waste is composted in collaboration with Hudson River Park.
Pier 25, Hudson River Park; grandbanks.nyc
Known for its sustainable business practices, this homegrown coffee chain is also making moves to be greener in its stores. The to-go cold cups are now made from Ingeo biopolymer, which, in plain English, means they’re made from plants and are 100 percent compostable. The company was also one of the first coffee businesses to compost its food waste.
Multiple locations; joecoffeecompany.com
Talk about a clean restaurant: These charming French-inspired cafés actually recycle their Toby’s coffee grinds and work with Brooklyn’s 2nd Ground to fashion them into soaps (they’re for sale, natch). Pro tip: Bring your own cup (from Maman’s house ceramics line, perhaps) for a discount.
Multiple locations; mamannyc.com
The jewel of Prospect Heights, this farm-to-table restaurant is committed to eliminating food waste. To wit: Carrot pulp from the signature carrot crepe dish at dinner becomes carrot pulp falafel at brunch the next day. Even the melted ice from the wine buckets is reused to water the plants in the backyard.
659 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn; olmstednyc.com
At the buzziest new vegan spot to open in Brooklyn (and that’s saying something), chef Champ Jones makes sure that no excess food or even “ugly” produce goes to waste. Leftover bits or veggies not quite fit for plating are used in the restaurant’s in-house shrub and kombucha production. (Plus, animal-free eating is considerably more eco-friendly already.)
329 Smith St., Brooklyn; sansbk.com
This mini chain has always been committed to sourcing sustainable seafood for its restaurants, but its recent partnership with the Billion Oyster Project goes even further in protecting the seas. Seamore’s now sends the project its used oyster shells, which go straight into New York Harbor to help restore the reefs.
Multiple locations; seamores.com
SUNDAY IN BROOKLYN
Sure, the pancakes here are legendary, but another reason to support this Williamsburg charmer is its eco-friendliness. Especially of note is how the kitchen and bar collaborate to reduce overall food waste. Recently, the bartenders created a toasted pepita syrup made from the leftover seeds from chef Jaime Young’s squash and pumpkin dishes.
348 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn; sundayinbrooklyn.com
THE 18th ROOM
This new speakeasy in Chelsea specifically highlights sustainable and low-waste cocktails, repurposing kitchen scraps into drink ingredients (with terrific results, we might add). Even more impressive? The use of spent citrus rinds to create a house-made eco-friendly cleanser, eliminating harmful cleaning chemicals entirely.
134 Ninth Ave.; the18throom.com
It makes sense that a California-inspired all-day eatery would also be (chicly) eco-conscious. Even the napkins here are thoughtfully sourced; they’re made from denim scraps salvaged from a downtown L.A. factory. Careful menu planning means food parts that are often discarded, like broccoli stems, are repurposed into new dishes like falafel.
137 Sullivan St.; westbourne.com