New Food Spots with an Eco-Friendly Twist

This week has been filled with news of brand new food spots in and around DC that all have green or sustainable elements. By this, we mean anything ranging from sourcing sustainable, local ingredients to using recyclable material to full-on organic menus. Here’s a sampling of what’s already open and what’s to come in the next few months:

  • Organic to Go: It was only a matter of time before a natural alternative to Cosi and Au Bon Pain came to town, thank goodness. Organic to Go is a USDA certified organic cafe and catering company that’s opening several locations in the area including Dupont Circle, McPherson Square, and Rosslyn. Based in Seattle, the company already has 170 locations including 33 cafés and 120 wholesale locations. Everything on the menu is made with organic ingredients whenever possible and is natural and free of harmful chemicals. Along with recyclable packaging material and biodegradable plastics, the company uses Prius vehicles whenever possible for catering and delivery.
  • Hello Cupcake: Who doesn’t love an adorable cupcake? And while the trend may be late to hit our dear city, the offerings at Hello Cupcake (opening late summer) look to be delightful. There’s 24 Carrot, Peanut Butter Blossom, and Triple Coconut, to name a few. Plus daily gluten-free and vegan selections. The modern shop with “old-fashioned elements” is in the same building as the U.S. Green Building Council (the people responsible for LEED certification), and has “inspired” HC’s owners to use recycled or recyclable packaging (they wrap their cupcake boxes with biodegradable twine and a reuseable carry handle, for example).
  • Commonwealth: Jamie Leeds, who runs the two popular Hank’s Oyster Bars, is slated to open a “gastropub” at 14th and Irving, right by the Columbia Heights Metro in the Highland Park Building. Anglophiles will delight in loads of British fare such as fish and chip, pork pastie (meat pie), and steak and Guinness pie, not to mention britpop on the sound system, British beer and American microbrews, backgammon and checkers in the pub area (what, no darts?), and a traditional British “Sunday Roast.” The pub’s design will be eco-friendly using reclaimed wood salvaged from barns, while meats and other ingredients will be locally sourced whenever possible. My only suggestion? Add English Triffle to the menu, and you’ll have yourself one very loyal customer.

Thanks to Metrocurean, Washingtonian, and Collaborations in Health for the tips.


Top 10 Green Hotels in DC

The fine folks over at have compiled a list of DC’s top green hotels based on a “Green Score” that uses criteria such as recycling, organic food offerings, water conservation, use of Energy Star appliances, non-toxic cleaning products, and more. Props to Kimpton for dominating the list:

1. The Hotel George – A Kimpton Hotel
Green Score: 19
Priced From: $168.75

2. Jurys Washington Hotel
Green Score: 18
Priced From: $235.00

3. Hotel Helix – A Kimpton Hotel
Green Score: 17
Priced From: $128.75

4. Hotel Madera – A Kimpton Hotel
Green Score: 17
Priced From: $98.75

5. Hotel Monaco DC – A Kimpton Hotel
Green Score: 17
Priced From: $168.75

6. Hotel Rouge – A Kimpton Hotel
Green Score: 17
Priced From: $138.75

7. The Fairmont Washington DC
Green Score: 17
Priced From: $189.00

8. Topaz Hotel – A Kimpton Hotel
Green Score: 17
Priced From: $128.75

9. Phoenix Park Hotel DC Capitol Hill
Green Score: 14
Priced From: $128.66

10. Hotel Palomar Washington DC – A Kimpton Hotel
Green Score: 13
Priced From: $158.75