Living in the East Bay we have access to tons of restaurants and eateries with impressive food and practices. Sustainably sourced ingredients, low-energy production, and compostable service ware are paving the way to a sustainable local food scene. Berkeley is leading the charge!

Photo Credit: Saturn Cafe's Facebook

1. Saturn Café, Downtown Berkeley

This retro classic café stole the heart of Berkeley from day one. An outer-space twist on a traditional American diner creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere for brunch, dinner, and late night munchies (they’re open until 12 AM!).

Saturn Cafe's huge menu and portions make eating here feel like a guilty pleasure until you discover the restaurant’s commitment to health, sustainability, and social justice.

By offering an exclusively vegetarian menu, Saturn Café estimates that their customers save the equivalent of 500,000,000 miles per year of driving. Want more? They use 100% biodegradable to-go products, buy all local and organic ingredients, and repurpose their fryer oil into BioFuel!

Even more? They use trans-fat-free oil for cooking and all of their burgers are cholesterol free. Now that’s out of this world!

2. Cancun Sabor Mexicano, Downtown Berkeley

You must try this hidden gem in Downtown Berkeley! Cancun Sabor Mexicano is the epitome of farm to table. All the veggies are sourced from their own organic farm in Sonoma! They also have one of the most impressive salsa bars north of the border, with flavors such as strawberry, mango, chipotle and even papaya. Cancun has something for even the most adventurous palates!

Chef and owner, Jorge Saldana, extends his passion for cooking to sustainability. Sabor Farms works closely with Marin County to advocate sustainable tourism through Eco Ring, a non-profit dedicated to protecting the environment, improving the economy and educating locals about sustainability. They’ve been featured on Bay Area Green Tour’s guide, whose mission is to connect people to sustainable solutions and resources.

Ajanta, Solano Avenue, Berkeley Photo Credit: Lee Foster Travel Photography

3. Ajanta, Solano Avenue

Ajanta boasts a sophisticated dining experience with a menu that changes every month. It’s always a surprise what creative Indian dishes you’ll have the option to choose from.

Ajanta sources ingredients that are seasonal and local. They purchase organic, free-range, hormone and antibiotic-free meats and sustainable seafood. All items on the menu can be prepared vegan or gluten-free.

4. Gather, Downtown Berkeley

Gather is a place to experience. It's set in a stunning space of natural elements and boasts a warm, inviting atmosphere. The restaurant specializes in Northern California food, wines and craft cocktails, changing its menu daily.

Gather is also a leaders in everything sustainable. The building’s very structure, The David Brower Center, is the “greenest” building in the East Bay and a hub of environmental and social nonprofits. Gather's owners only source local ingredients and cook whole, humanely raised meats. No artificial anything in this kitchen! They won’t even buy from farms whose soil is depleted!

On the menu you’ll see items such as Cuban sandwiches, summer squash brick-oven pizzas, halibut and pepper salads, and much more.


Final Thoughts

Whether you’re craving comfort food, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, or New American, you’re sure to find it in Berkeley. Not only do these places offer delicious food, they’re doing their part to preserve our home. By supporting them, you’re helping support a broader movement of sustainability that’s transforming businesses every day.

Want more? Check out our article on 4 more sustainable eateries you must visit.

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