Sustainability is important to us at Ag Solar Solutions. Not only do we use solar power to help farmers reduce energy costs and make the world a little bit greener, we’ve also planted more than 650,000 trees to offset runoff and CO2 emissions. And we love to partner with and highlight farmers, restaurants and other businesses tied to the agricultural industry that are committed to the environment.
So, while we may not be able to go out to eat everywhere right now, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite sustainable restaurants that will be first on our list once we can. Not only do these companies deliver excellent food and unforgettables experiences, they also deliver something that’s hard to come by: true passion. After all, as anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
This revolutionary eatery refers to themselves as a “roving restaurant without walls.” You won’t find booths, traditional tables, or even a ceiling here! Instead, expect a dining experience like no other.
Instead of sourcing ingredients from around the world, they take their restaurant directly to the farms, orchards, vineyards, docks, and seashores where ingredients are harvested. Outstanding in the Field is all about telling the story of food and the people that grow it.
They set up a (giant!) community table and fill it with guests, farmers, producers, chefs, and artisans. One week, they might feature sustainable seafood on a beach, while the next week, they cook with wine on the grounds of a castle and vineyard. The food is completely seasonal and based on the best local ingredients available.
If you venture into the upcountry farming community of Kula, Hawaii, you’ll find eight acres of beautiful, completely sustainable farmland. There, two surfing buddies grow fruit and coffee trees, lettuce and garden vegetables, and tomatoes, herbs, and flowers. They turn that fresh produce into delicious roasted coffees and stunning, healthy meals.
When you arrive, you can take a tour of their roasterie or gardens, learning all about the vegetables that will make their way onto your plate. While their menu is seasonable, expect garden-fresh dishes like focaccia bread with summer squash and scallions, chicken with a coffee rub and lemon cucumber cream, and coffee chocolate cherry decadence for dessert.
More than just farm to table, Osso Farm Restaurant is, well, pasture to plate. Located about 45 minutes away from Cleveland, Ohio, they serve a menu focused on seasonality, sustainability, and availability that utilize ingredients straight from their fields. They’re all about teaching people where food comes from and being transparent about how it gets on their plate.
During the week, guests can choose from a rotating menu, but Saturdays require reservations for their stunning, six- to eight-course meals. But this isn’t typical farm food. Expect impossibly fresh ribeye steaks, gorgeous ribbons of tagliatelle pasta, and creamy risotto topped with short ribs that were braised for 12 hours.
Uncommon Ground was the very first certified, organic rooftop farm in the U.S. Yep, unlike the other restaurants on this list, they’re located in the heart of the city — Chicago. On top of their urban roof, you’ll find earthboxes and planter boxes full of peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, beans, greens, beets, a variety of herbs, and flowers that encourage pollination. The beehives also help with that process and provide delicious, fresh honey for the restaurant.
Their brunch, lunch, and dinner menus feature everything from comfort food (like bacon wrapped meatloaf, smash burgers, and lemon blueberry pancakes) to dressed-up favorites (like spring risotto, spring pea hummus, and flourless chocolate tortes).
While this Baltimore-based restaurant isn’t on a farm, it is incredibly sustainable. In fact, their commitment to sustainability goes beyond most other restaurants around the world!
All ingredients are sourced from local farmers and watermen, including wines and beers. They return shells used in cooking to the Chesapeake Bay, which helps regenerate oyster beds. Food waste is ground and extracted, and ash from their wood-burning oven is given to nearby farmers for fertilizer. And, as though that isn’t enough, their furniture and decor are made by local artisans using salvaged materials. Talk about dedication!
But, don’t worry, the food is incredible, too. Think fresh-baked breads, oyster chowder, creamy grits, roasted fish, and braised chicken. This one’s a don’t-miss!
This sea-to-table eatery (yes, it’s a thing!) was the first restaurant in Miami to use 100% renewable energy sourced from wind and solar power. They’re all about sustainable seafood and all the fish and shellfish they cook are caught daily in Florida waters. They turn that seafood into hearty chowders, light, flakey tacos, and Instagrammable sandwiches, all delivered in a fun, casual environment. Diners can wear shorts and flip-flops, enjoy incredible, local food, and listen to Blues with friends.
Plus, they use recycled and repurposed materials in all of their decor and source murals and paintings from local artists.
Did we leave your favorite sustainable restaurant off the list? Is there a local business you’d love to mention? Let us know in the comments!