Ahead of Earth Day which is this Friday, April 22nd, we wanted to talk about some of Denver’s restaurants that are secretly doing good for the planet with initiatives, partnerships, and more. From wind and solar-powered buildings, to specially humane certified sourcing, Denver’s got a ton of restaurants who are ahead of the curve when it comes to being sustainable and environmentally friendly. Here are 8 sustainable restaurants that you can enjoy with a clear conscience in Denver.
Coperta has been hailed as one of the best restaurants for Italian food in Denver, particularly from Rome. They source heritage meats from local farms that are included in their dishes like their Cavatelli Ragu or Goat Cheese Ravioli that you can eat knowing its goal is sustainability.
2. Root Down
Everything about Root Down, from the building to the menu, is environmentally conscious, making it easy on your conscience decision for a night out. Their menu is made up of 100% certified humane meat and Marine Stewardship Council approved seafood and 20% of their produce is grown in their 6,000 square foot organic garden. Their building itself is also 100% wind-powered and constructed from upcycled and recycled materials. More than 80% of their waste is composted or recycled instead of tossed and the staff uses biodegradable cleaning products.
Blue Sparrow Coffee released its first equity report this year that included information about employee demographics, wages, and the company’s community impact. They began a single-use cup initiative on January 1st that increased the chances of customers using reusables by “126.8 percent,” and have vowed to do more composting and even dug through the trash to get a clear idea of waste for their sustainability report.
4. Mercury Cafe
Mercury Cafe is doing a lot to reduce their carbon footprint, from having an entirely wind and solar-powered building, to maybe their most unique trait: their building is covered with vines that block out the windows, which helps keep the building cooler and and also absorbs CO2. They also have an organic menu filled with breakfast and brunch items. All of their meats, cheeses, and produce are sourced locally and listed on their website for transparency.
5. Jax Fish House
Jax Fish’s House gets a special mention here on this list for being the first restaurant in Denver to earn a certification from the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, who rates fisheries depending on how sustainable and ethical they are. Jax Fish House only sources their seafood from fishmongers who maintained sustainable fisheries as well.
Ghost Kitchens have been making quite the splash in Denver and we are excited to know that ChefReady founder Nili Poynter is committed to sustainable practices. The virtual kitchen has added more environmentally friendly aspects to their building like their steel solar panel canopy. “”As restaurants historically use more electricity than any other type of business in a commercial building, it was important for us to both lessen our carbon footprint for these 10 commercial kitchens as well as reduce the electricity bills for our chefs. We partnered with Buglet Solar to build it, which results in electricity savings of up to 25% for tenants.” They’re only the second establishment to have one but they’re hoping it becomes the standard in the industry.
Aside from their ping pong tournaments and Asian fusion food, Ace Eat Serve has souped up its building with solar panels on their awnings and runs on wind-powered energy. Come in, order a bowl of spicy pork ramen or some xiao long bao dumplings and know that you’re eating at an environmentally conscious establishment.