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The Most Socially Responsible Restaurants In San Francisco

Picture of Courtney Holcomb
Updated: 9 February 2017
A city filled with the socially conscious and known for its monstrous foodie culture, San Francisco has dozens of restaurants to satisfy both your palate and your moral compass. Check out a few of the best restaurants in the city focusing on sustainability, local food sourcing, and ethical business practices.
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Trace is a restaurant located inside the W Hotel in the heart of SoMa, near such cultural institutions as SFMOMA and the Yerba Buena Gardens. Run by executive chef Jason Rea, the restaurant has a mission to create ‘an enriching and thoughtful culinary experience by fusing the vibrant, local personality of the Bay Area with our dedication to socially responsible food.’ The food is prepared with ingredients that are either locally sourced and sustainable, or taken from partners with sustainable practices.

Trace, 181 3rd St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 817 7836

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The Perennial

The Perennial is a restaurant and bar in SoMa with a focus on progressive agrarian food. The restaurant prides itself on its farming practices, with a firm belief that agricultural processes have the potential to stop climate change. These practices include carbon farming and aquaponics, sustained by an aquaponic greenhouse in Oakland. The greenhouse reduces food waste, conserves water, prevents pollution, and allows the restaurant to grow whatever it wants. The Perennial also partners with the non-profit Zero Foodprint, helping restaurants lower and offset their greenhouse gas emissions. The restaurant is even designed with sustainable and recycled materials.

The Perennial, 59 9th St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 500 7788

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Little Gem

Little Gem is a restaurant in the Hayes Valley neighborhood serving up modern Californian food with a focus on simplicity. The ingredients are fresh, seasonal, and flavorful, including produce that is naturally raised, responsibly sourced, and chemical-free. The food comes from farmers and artisans who practice environmental mindfulness, and it is also gluten-free, dairy-free, and prepared without refined sugar. Little Gem partners with ethical food providers including the likes of Marin Sun Farms, Ora King Salmon, Five Dot Ranch, and Counter Culture Coffee. Plus, all of the wood in the restaurant’s fixtures is reclaimed from a single tree in Marin.

Little Gem, 400 Grove St, Suite C1, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 914 0501

So many new restaurants, so little time. #sanfranciscoproblems #glutenfreegoodness

A photo posted by Chef Bai (@chef_bai) on

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Mission Heirloom

Mission Heirloom is the only spot on this list that’s outside San Francisco – in Berkeley, to be specific – but it’s well worth the trip to the East Bay. The restaurant is dedicated to providing delicious and healthy meals made with a conscious dedication to chemical-free ingredients. The food is organic, naturally raised, sustainably and ethically produced, and free of gluten, grains, refined sugars, legumes, and more. The restaurant even features an onsite greenhouse with an edible garden.

Mission Heirloom, 2085 Vine St, Berkeley, CA, USA +1 510 900 1307

Outdoor seating at its finest // @missionheirloom

A photo posted by R'el Dade + Marcus Lloyd (@theplaceiwastellingyouabout) on

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Commonwealth is a progressive American restaurant in the Mission district led by executive chef Jason Fox. The food is a combination of flavors from around the world, cooked with the most modern techniques available. The restaurant demonstrates a commitment to bettering the community, donating a portion of each month’s profits to local non-profits. Ten dollars from each tasting-menu purchase is donated to a local charity – a generous action that backs up the sentiment behind the restaurant’s name.

Commonwealth, 2224 Mission St, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 355 1500

Mushroom fritto misto + Shichimi aioli by Chef Jason Fox of Commonwealth. So good.

A photo posted by DYLAN + JENI (@dylanandjeni) on