Nature's Plate People's Choice Award Winners

The Nature Conservancy has announced its winners of the Nature's Plate People's Choice Awards for 2012.

The Nature Conservancy, a leading organization in protecting ecologically important lands and water, was on the lookout for the most sustainable restaurants in the country.

After polling 10 major areas across the nation about their favorite sustainable restaurants, the People's Choice winners have been announced. 

And the awards go to:

Los Angeles: Real Food Daily
San Francisco: Gather
Colorado: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Connecticut: Miya's Sushi
Washington, D.C.: Founding Farmers
Florida: Market 17
New Jersey: A Toute Heure
New York: The Green Table
Pennsylvania: Earth, Bread + Brewery
Virginia: Max's Positive Vibe Café
Washington: Café Flora

"At Gather, our food is inspired by the local farmers, ranchers, and artisan food producers and we have an unwavering commitment to sustainability," said Eric Fenster, co-owner of Gather Restaurant in a press release. "We are honored to be recognized by the public for our commitment to sustainability. Our kitchen team carefully sources all ingredients at peak season and we cook from root-to-shoot and nose-to-tail." 

The restaurants had to fit some or all of certain criteria, including serving organic, local, and in-season foods, sourcing sustainably managed seafood, or offering grass-fed or free-range meat options. 

"Food is one of the most personal ways we connect with nature," said Wendy Pulling, California director of conservation programs for the Nature Conservancy. "Support your local restaurants that offer sustainably caught seafood and locally harvested fruits and vegetables. You can boost the local economy, enjoy a great meal, and help the planet."