America's Greenest Restaurants of 2012 Slideshow

The Grey Plume, Omaha, Neb.

The Grey Plume serves seasonally driven cuisine made from ingredients from local producers and purveyors. It was the first restaurant to receive four stars from the Green Restaurant Association.

Green Features: Vegan Purchases, High-Efficiency Water Heater, Composting

Total Points: 381.63


Kona Pub and Brewery, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

The Kona Brewery is a family business that has become the one of the largest craft breweries in Hawaii. Their pub serves a selection of pizzas and salads.

Green Features: Vegan Purchases, Salvaged Décor, Pre-Consumer Waste Composting

Total Points: 359.03


Ruggles Green, Houston

Yelp/Alexandra V

As Houston’s first Green Certified restaurant, Ruggles is committed to serving all-natural, organic, locally sourced food and beverages. Signature dishes include their 98 percent-lean buffalo burger and selection of wood-fired pizzas, and they often donate a portion of their profit to Houston environmental organizations.

Green Features: Certified Organic Items, Energy Star Appliances, and Deliveries Made by Foot or Bicycle

Total Points: 318.8


Xoco, Chicago

This quick-service café from Top Chef Master and Chicago culinary icon Rick Bayless is just around the corner from his other restaurants (which are also Green Certified), Topolobampo and Frontera Grill. The specialties here are a selection of thoughtfully prepared tortas (Mexican sandwiches), hot chocolate, and caldos (Mexican soups), all made with locally sourced premium meats and produce.

Green Features: Local Food Purchases, High-Efficiency Water Heater, and Composting

Total Points: 258


The Sushi Bar, McCall, Idaho

The Sushi Bar features Japanese cuisine with a lakeside view and an extensive menu of microbrews.

Green Features: Sustainable Seafood, Energy Star Appliances, and Water Catchment and Reuse

Total Points: 244.39


Founding Farmers, Washington, D.C.

Owned and run by the North Dakota Farmers Union, Founding Farmers serves up modern American comfort food dishes prepared using locally sourced ingredients from farms, meat purveyors, and fisheries in the surrounding areas.

Green Features: Certified Organic Items, Touchless Sensor Faucets, and No Paper Towels in Restrooms

Total Points: 229.9


Claire’s on Cedros, Solana Beach, Calif.

The simple bistro fare offered at Claire's on Cedros is based upon the products available from local farms. The restaurant itself was constructed bearing eco-friendly practices in mind.

Green Features: On-Site Renewable Energy, Vegan Purchases, Energy Star Appliances

Total Points: 227.73


Sugar & Olives, Norwalk, Conn.

This casual French bistro has a seasonally changing menu prepared using locally sourced ingredients. The crepes and desserts are the highlighted offerings at Sugar & Olives; there is also an on-site recreational cooking school.

Green Features: Energy Star Appliances, Water Catchment and Reuse, and Vegan Purchases

Total Points: 204.83


Ellis Island Concession, New York City

With a menu featuring everything from burgers to wraps, visitors to Ellis Island can enjoy their meals while taking in the beautiful scenery in the outdoor picnic area.

Green Features: Renewable Energy Credits, GRA-Certified Cleaning Products, Composting

Total Points: 198.75


Del Posto, New York City

Maryse Chevriere

Del Posto is a fine dining restaurant from Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Joe Bastianich that serves modern Italian cuisine, and earned a coveted four-star rating in The New York Times (the first Italian restaurant to do so since 1974).

Green Features: Reused Décor, Alternative Fueled Vehicles, Vegan Purchases

Total Points: 196.46


The Milky Way Café at Organic Valley, LaFarge, Wis.

The Milky Way Café offers organic lunches to the employees of Organic Valley, an organic dairy and health food company.

Green Features: Insulated Boiler and Pipes, Water Catchment and Reuse, Composting

Total Points: 190.46


Hamburger Mary’s, Chicago

The burgers at Hamburger Mary’s in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago strike the difficult-to-achieve balance between indulgent and excessive. Some burger places use fancy toppings to disguise a tasteless, overcooked patty — this is not the case at Mary’s, where the patty is both juicy and liberally spiced with salt and pepper. Plus, burgers have a crispy crust — another desirable trait.

Green Features: Natural Meat (No Hormones or Antibiotics), Biobased Cutlery and Dishware, and Recycled Menu Paper

Total Points: 189.47


Dell’anima, New York City

At Dell'anima, the menu changes daily but home-style Italian cuisine is always featured.

Green Features: Vegan Purchases, Renewable Energy Credits, Reusable Napkins

Total Points: 187.78


Luce Restaurant and Bar 888, San Francisco


Chef Daniel Corey uses locally sourced, seasonal ingredients to prepare globally inspired cuisine; the wine and cocktail menus are very progressive as well. In the lobby of the InterContinental San Francisco, Luce’s sister venue, Bar 888, serves up a selection of grappas.

Green Features: Sustainable Seafood, Alternative Fuel Refueling Station, and Composting

Total Points: 184.76


Mammoth Hotel Dining Room, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.

In the dining room at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins, diners can enjoy a casual meal while taking in views of what was once the parade ground of the original Fort Yellowstone. The restaurant specializes in small-plate dining.

Green Features: Vegan Purchases, Renewable Energy Credits, and Touchless Hydro or Solar Faucets

Total Points: 183.54


Brasserie JO at the Colonnade Boston Hotel, Boston

Located inside the Colonnade Boston Hotel, Brasserie JO serves up traditional French brasserie-style fare. Specialties of the house include coq au vin, Uncle Hansi’s onion tart, and profiteroles.

Green Features: Renewable Energy Credits, Biobased Takeout Containers, and Recycling Grease to Biodiesel or Energy

Total Points: 183.21


Bamboo Sushi, Portland, Ore.

The first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world, Bamboo Sushi in Portland is dedicated to educating diners about the importance of eating sustainably raised seafood.

Green Features: Sustainable Seafood, Local Purchases (100 Miles or Less), and Tankless Water Heater

Points: 176.95


The Publican, Chicago

This self-described beer-focused restaurant in the West Loop by chefs Paul Kahan and Brian Huston is much more than ambiance and even beer. This may look like a European beer hall, but the food is next-level. Yes, there are potted rillettes, aged hams, duck hearts, boudin blanc, and suckling pig, but there are also fresh oysters, hamachi crudo, cured meats, and daily pickles. You sit, you drink, you eavesdrop on the people next to you, and on no occasion do you skip ordering the amazing spicy pork rinds.

Green Features: Local Food Purchases (100 Miles or Less), Sustainable Merchandise, and Recycled Paper Takeout Containers

Total Points: 143.85


Le Bernardin, New York City

Think Le Bernardin and you think accolades: Michelin, The New York Times, James Beard Foundation. Is it a little stuffy? Sure… But with a super sleek renovation recently completed and a lengthy new lease, this iconic restaurant isn’t going anywhere.

Green Features: Sustainable Seafood, Recycled Paper Takeout Containers, and No Bottled Water Served On-Site

Total Points: 129.77


Fearrington House, Pittsboro, N.C.

The Fearrington House Restaurant has kept its AAA Five Diamond rating for 17 years. Executive chef Colin Bedford offers a highly refined blend of classical French and New American cuisine, inspired by his commitment to environmental sustainability.

Green Features: Recycling to Biodiesel or Energy, Composting, Vegan and Vegetarian Purchases

Total Points: 112.32