Everything we eat has a carbon cost and trying to calculate the environmental impact of each meal is exhausting. For those putting in the extra effort to buy organic produce, reduce meat consumption and support local farms; we salute you! Take a much-deserved night off at one of the following Seattle restaurants committed to minimizing their environmental impact in one or more ways.
*We realize this is not an exhaustive list and we’d like your help to make it so! Please, share your favorite Seattle restaurants and what makes them Earth-friendly in the comments or on our contact page.*
Follow @emeraldology for shopping discounts and lighthearted content about eco-friendly actions.
Seattle restaurants with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients
Location: 2234 1st Avenue, Seattle (Belltown)
Specialty: Serving brunch, dinner, desert and drinks using locally sourced ingredients and products.
Emerald Credentials: Local 360 sources 90% of its ingredients from within 360 miles of Seattle (hence the name), and prioritize USDA Certified Organic products. Find sourcing info and suppliers here.
Location: Nine locations in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Southcenter Mall.
Specialty: “Slow food, served fast” featuring sandwiches, bowls, breakfast items and soups made from locally sourced ingredients. See our review here.
Emerald Credentials: Homegrown sources its ingredients from its own certified organic farm in Woodinville and other local, sustainable sources. It’s also partnered with 1% for the Planet and outfitted its stores with LED lighting, Forest Stewardship Council certified materials, and 100% compostable and reusable materials.
Location: 1141 N 45th St., Seattle
Specialty: American cuisine prepared with locally sourced, certified organic and wild ingredients. Serving brunch, dinner, desert and tastings with many vegan/vegetarian options.
Location: 1501 Melrose Ave, Seattle (Capitol Hill)
Specialty: “Earth to plate” seasonal dining featuring ingredients from local growers and artisan producers. Paella every Monday and plenty of vegan/vegetarian options..
Emerald Credentials: Terra Plata supports sustainable farming by using local, organic ingredients and products. One of our favorite Seattle restaurants!
Location: Four Seattle locations: 65th, Roosevelt, Ballard and South Lake Union.
Specialty: Brunch and lunch prepared with local, organic ingredients. Check location for brunch hours.
Emerald Credentials: Organic, fair-trade and locally sourced ingredients. Vegan and vegetarian options and suggestions listed on the menu.
Specialty: Expertly crafted espresso and new world coffee, touted by chef Emeril Lagasse as the best coffee in the US, if not the world.
Emerald Credentials: Planted 5,000+ native conifers in Seattle’s Interlaken Park in 2004-05 as part of its carbon sequestration program. Entirely compostable materials, including coffee bags, cups, lids straws, stir sticks, etc. Vivace delivers products in a Vantage electric van and sources beans from farms that are complete, diverse eco-systems. Read more here.
Location: 2675 NE University Village Lane (University Village)
Specialty: The world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant now has a location in Seattle!
Find zero-waste home products in the Emeraldology Shop!
Seattle restaurants with an emphasis on vegan and plant-based options
Specialty: “Imaginative and dynamic” vegan and vegetarian dishes for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, dinner and dessert.
Emerald Credentials: Cafe Flora (and its sister locations) utilize “local, organic and sustainable produce” through partnerships with Washington farms. Its eco-conscious philosophy has driven decision making since opening in 1991. Cafe Flora makes in-kind donations to a number of Seattle community organizations. One of the best Seattle restaurants for vegan breakfast and brunch!
Locations: One Seattle location (717 Pine St) and two in Vancouver, WA.
Specialty: Northwest inspired bowls, bentos, sandwiches and more, all with vegan/vegetarian options. Don’t leave without a jar of vegan “Yumm! Sauce.”
Emerald Credentials: 50% of Cafe Yumm! ingredients are certified organic. It has earned a significant amount of sustainability awards, and has a great selection of vegan/vegetarian options.
Locations: Capitol Hill (1010 E Union St) and Ballard (1411 NW 70th St)
Specialty: 100% vegan plant-based ice cream. Finally!
Emerald Credentials: Most ingredients are certified organic, all are grown organically and sourced as locally as possible. All ice cream flavors are 100% vegan.
Location: 5410 17th Ave NW, Seattle (Ballard)
Specialty: 100% vegan “beach food” including wings, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more. Open for “brunchies,” too!
Emerald Credentials: 100% vegan, locally and organically sourced ingredients when possible. Donates to a different animal rights group each month. Committed to spreading the idea that “just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it sucks.”
Locations: Plum Bistro (1429 12th Ave, Seattle); Plum Chopped (1419 12th Ave, Seattle); Sugar Plum/Pantry by Plum Bistro (305 Harrison St, Seattle); Plum Truck (track down on Instagram)
Specialty: Everything vegan! Plum Bistro is “Capitol Hill’s Most Loved Vegan Restaurant,” Plum Chopped offers grab-and-go vegan breakfast/lunch options, and Pantry by Plum has sit-down lunch and Sugar Plum treats.
Emerald Credentials: 100% vegan cuisine using organically grown ingredients from local farms. Chef Makini Howell makes a monthly appearance on King 5 to “recreate traditional recipes without animal products.”
Locations: Three Seattle-area locations: University District (5240 University Way NE); Madison Valley (2808 E Madison St.) and Bellevue (10246 Main St)
Specialty: First Vegan Thai restaurant in the Northwest. Lunch buffet daily from 11:30 am to 3 pm.
Emerald Credentials: 100% vegan and family-owned since 1987! Using local produce when possible. A sneaky Emerald gem in a crowded field of Seattle restaurants.
Locations: Two Seattle locations: Uptown (111 Queen Anne N) and Uni District (4757 12th Ave NE)
Specialty: Farm-to-fork vegan breakfast foods, lunch items, smoothies, juices and more. Brunch at the U-District location from 9-2 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Emerald Credentials: Committed to “vegan food that is highly organic, truly local, truly sustainable, and true to our community.” Check out their local vendors here.
Locations: 1100 North 11th St, Seattle (North Seattle)
Specialty: Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free drinks, small plates, entrees and daily specials. Signature dishes include veggie pot pie, hemp x cashew quiche, and baked potato remix.
Emerald Credentials: 100% vegan and 100% organic produce.
Locations: Three Seattle locations: Queen Anne (1525 Queen Anne Ave N); West Seattle (3770 SW Alaska Street); and Greenwood (8404 Greenwood Ave N)
Specialty: Vegan and organic breakfast food, lunch items, smoothies, juices and “elixirs.” Menu may vary by location.
Emerald Credentials: Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe is on a mission to have zero environmental impact by sourcing local, organic ingredients. It also gives back to local charities.
We’re not done yet! Help us by sharing your favorite Earth-friendly restaurant in the comments below.
Feature photo: Marcona almond, sone fruit brulee and fromage blanc hors doeuvres from Tilth. Photo by Tiffany Mathewson