Celebrate Earth Month by Ordering from These Restaurants in NYC

Discover some of our favorite eco-friendly restaurants.

Photo courtesy of Vineapple Cafe
Photo courtesy of Vineapple Cafe

Earth Day has been around for over a half-century now. Ever since the first one birthed the modern environmental movement on April 22, 1970, the date has been celebrated as a way to educate folks about ongoing environmental issues. As our treatment of our planet has, unfortunately, gotten worse over the last few decades, it has since grown to be a national event and expanded to the entire month of April. While we believe every day should celebrate the Earth, now seems like as good a time as any to share some of our favorite restaurants with eco-friendly practices, so you can frequent them in honor of Earth Day, Earth Month, and all year long.

From using compostable food delivery packaging to upcycling cooking oil into biofuel to offering a fully plant-based menu with locally sourced ingredients, Earth-friendly restaurants in New York City are employing a variety of ways to lower their impact on the planet. To help you decide what to order next while remaining environmentally conscious, we’ve rounded up tasty dishes from NYC restaurants with top scores in sustainability.

Photo courtesy of Le Botaniste

Pasta Bolo at Le Botaniste

SoHo, Midtown, Upper East Side, Upper West Side
Founded by the creator of Le Pain Quotidien, Le Botaniste is its vegan and eco-conscious counterpart that puts the health of people and the planet at the forefront of everything it does. Aside from being fully plant-based and organic, it has carefully determined all of the carbon emissions for each menu item (and shares it on the menu—the Pasta Bolo, made with gluten-free quinoa fusilli and a vegan bolognese sauce—has the lowest emissions) and offsets each one by financing a Gold Standard-certified climate project in Ghana that distributes efficient cookstoves. It’s now certified carbon neutral.

In 2021, it began planting the Le Botaniste Forest in a region at risk for deforestation in northwest Peru, which it plans to add to every year, further offsetting its carbon emissions. Guests can join in by “adding a tree” to any order for $3 and, for Earth Day, the company will match all donations. It also upcycles food waste, like making beet caviar from leftover post-juicing beet pulp, and works with food rescue app Too Good To Go. Thankfully, all of this Earth love doesn’t compromise the taste of its menu items, including hearty grain bowls, fresh salads, and starters (like coconut ceviche and a veggie sushi roll). Best of all, they’re delivered in compostable World Centric containers.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Photo courtesy of Loco Coco

Green Smoothie at Loco Coco

Upper East Side, Williamsburg
This new, vegan smoothie and juice spot currently has locations in the Upper East Side and Williamsburg, with plans to expand to five more NYC spots over the next few months. The brand uses or freezes all fruit it orders so there’s no food waste and works with local farmers to use their compost for its on-site garden. When you go in or order delivery, Loco Coco uses eco-friendly bowls and utensils made from sustainable materials, like bamboo and paper. But the best option is to upgrade to a reusable coconut bowl—customers who return with their coconut bowls receive 10% off their order. Plus, for Earth Month, Loco Coco will donate a dollar from every purchase of a green product (i.e. a green smoothie, matcha latte or smoothie, and the green gazoz drink—its Earth Month special) to Earth Alliance.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Farmer’s Favorite Market Bowl at Dig

Multiple locations in Manhattan, Williamsburg
Not many restaurants in NYC own a farm, but ubiquitous fast-casual lunch spot Dig (formerly known as Dig Inn) has a 12-acre one upstate in Orange County. There, it grows dozens of different types of crops to supply its restaurants, ensuring the veggies—which are highlighted in the Farmer’s Favorite Market Bowl— are on menus within 48 hours of picking. Anything extra is sourced directly from small-scale partner farms. Plus, Dig is rigorous about using entire and “ugly” vegetables, leaving almost zero food waste. Its chefs even create dishes around blemished produce that can’t be sold elsewhere. The same goes for any meat it sources, employing a nose-to-tail butchery philosophy.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Photo courtesy of Blank Slate

Breakfast Pizza at Blank Slate

NoMad, Midtown
Husband-and-wife team Zach Israel and Ashley Jaffe own and operate this cozy neighborhood cafe that does its best catering to nearly every food preference, with plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan menu options. They also strive to produce no food waste by ordering small amounts of food six days a week instead of in bulk and repurposes leftover ingredients. For example, day-old bread becomes croutons for the next day's salads. When you order delivery via Grubhub, your sandwiches and salads are packaged in certified compostable containers made from biodegradable, renewable, and unbleached plant fibers. To start your day on a high note, pair your morning coffee with the Breakfast Pizza made from egg, parmesan, wild mushrooms, red onion, arugula, and truffled pesto on flatbread.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Photo courtesy of Lekka Burger

Green Matcha Shake at Lekka Burger

In honor of Earth Month, from April 17–23, the popular, all-vegan burger joint from Dirt Candy Chef Amanda Cohen is offering a Green Matcha Shake. One dollar from each purchase will be donated to Zero Foodprint, a nonprofit working toward agricultural climate solutions. We suggest ordering the shake along with a Lekka Cheeseburger or Masala Burger, and Curry Fries, of course. When it arrives at your door, your plant-based meal will be packaged in fully compostable materials.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

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Photo courtesy of Ample Hills

Pint of It Came From Gowanus at Ample Hills Creamery

Multiple locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens
One of NYC’s most beloved ice cream shops, Ample Hills locations in Brooklyn are celebrating Earth Day by donating 100% of proceeds from sales of its It Came From Gowanus ice cream flavor on April 22 to support the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, which is dedicated to community stewardship of the Gowanus Watershed. Chocolate lovers will be more than satisfied: It Came From Gowanus, the shop-specific flavor at the Gowanus location, is a salty, dark chocolate ice cream with orange-scented brownies and hazelnut cookies, topped with chocolate white pearls. Ample Hills also uses compostable cups and tries to eliminate single-use plastic wherever possible.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Photo courtesy of Vineapple Cafe

Kale, Apple, and Goat Cheese Salad at Vineapple Cafe

Brooklyn Heights
This Brooklyn Heights cafe uses seasonal, locally sourced, and responsibly raised and harvested ingredients in its Italian-inflected dishes—like its kale, apple, and goat cheese salad, chicken and pesto panini, and brown butter chicken with squash puree and roasted mushrooms. For Earth Day, Beverage Director Jennifer Sandella created a special cocktail called Song of the Sea, featuring Gray Whale Gin (which donates to environmental causes with each bottle purchase), a syrup made from Talea’s DIPA (a female-founded brewery), and grapefruit and lime juice.

Each purchase comes with a reusable straw to take home. Plus, anything you order for delivery or takeout on Grubhub is packed in compostable containers. Finally, you can also find Vineapple Cafe on the app Too Good To Go, which helps eliminate food waste by selling off leftovers at discounted prices.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Photo courtesy of Black Seed Bagels

The Salmon Classic at Black Seed Bagels

Multiple locations in Manhattan & Brooklyn
This local bagel chainlet works hard to upcycle its food as much as possible to avoid having to throw it away. This means turning unsold bagels into bagel chips (which are sold in stores) and then milling any unsold chips into flour, which then goes into its chocolate chip and double chocolate cookies. Who knew a bagel had so many lives? Plus, Black Seed donates $1 from the sale of each cookie to a different charity on a rotating basis. In March and April, the beneficiary is World Central Kitchen, which is assisting with relief efforts in Ukraine.

Other green efforts include donating bagels to community fridges every Monday and being on the food rescue app Too Good To Go. We suggest the Salmon Classic bagel, piled high with Catsmo smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and capers because you can’t go wrong with a classic.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Brooklyn Bridge Park
At this sustainability-focused waterfront restaurant in Brooklyn, eco-friendly practices—like including reusable straws and paper packaging for Grubhub takeout and delivery—are par for the course. It goes several steps further, though, with things like recycling its used kitchen oil into biofuel; having its marina house the largest oyster nursery in the Billion Oyster Project; and being a docking point for both the wine cargo sailboat Grain de Sail from France and the carbon-neutral Schooner Apollonia, which hauls goods from the Hudson Valley.

It also hosts a monthly Green Drinks Happy Hour arranged by Ramon Cruz, president of the Sierra Club, with speakers like Clare Miflin of Center for Zero Waste Design and Michelle Li from Clever Carbon. The restaurant is commemorating Earth Month with a special menu created by new Executive Chef Dennis Hatzinger. When you order the perfectly crunchy fish and chips, you’ll feel good knowing the cod is carefully sourced from the world’s last sustainable cod fishery in Norway.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Photo courtesy of Beatnic

Guac Burger at Beatnic

The vegan, fast-casual joint formerly known as By Chloe is having a “Love Your Mother Earth Challenge” for Earth Month. Members of its loyalty program (which is free to join) who eat four Beatnic meals in April will get one meal free. And, for every person who completes the challenge, Beatnic will plant a tree on their behalf through One Tree Planted. So go ahead and order those Guac Burgers and Hot Chicky Sandwiches (which are delivered in compostable or recyclable packaging), knowing you’re helping the environment in more ways than one this month. After all, according to the Vegetarian Society, a vegetarian diet produces 2.5 times fewer carbon emissions as compared to a meat diet.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

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