Gallery: The Plant Cafe Organic: SF’s Ultra Green Restaurant

Flora Grubb's floral designs and living wall installations are a favorite here at Inhabitat.

The Plant Cafe was honored this year with the Best Vegetarian Restaurant Award by SF Weekly, but the accolades don’t stop there. San Francisco Waterfront Partners also named it the greenest restaurant in San Francisco as a tribute to both their almost purely organic and primarily locally sourced menu as well as its many green design features. The owners of the restaurant wanted a new space to reflect their sustainable ideals as well as to provide a hip, green space for people to enjoy good food.

CCS Architecture, who designed their other restaurant at the Marina, took the lead in designing the new structure at Pier 3, which was part of a large revitalization project encompassing the Embarcadero. Two large historic pier warehouses were renovated to create a 112-seat restaurant and a separate, counter-service cafe. The tall 18 foot ceilings, exposed timber beams and the casement windows were retained to maintain the feel of the original pier. Outdoor seating areas were built on the side of the bay, which would normally be chilly, but have canopies and heating for year round comfort.

Eco friendly materials are a main feature of the restaurant with a strong focus towards healthy and natural materials – a reflection of the food. Locally sourced and reclaimed wood were used to create many of the tables and interior spaces, while cold rolled steel, stainless steel, zinc and recycled content tiles round out the mix. The vibrant green flooring is made out of coconut shells, while daylighting, composting, recycled or biodegradable take out containers and energy efficient lighting are also big parts of the restaurant.

On the roof, a 6 kw solar system generates enough electricity to power the restaurant’s kitchen, even in foggy San Francisco. An innovative water Electrolyzer system converts tap water into acidic and alkaline cleaning fluids for counters, floors, windows and dishwashing. And to top it all off, the very talented Flora Grubb designed a beautiful living wall installation out of air plants for the back wall of the restaurant.

+ The Plant Cafe Organic

+ CCS Architecture

Images ©CCS Architecture


or your inhabitat account below

1 Comment

  1. fstirling December 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    This restaurant looks amazing. It’s so wonderful to see a restaurant going above and beyond to minimize their eco footprint, but also maximize awareness about the issue of sustainability. Reading this article reminded me of the Green Restaurant Association, a non profit that certifies restaurants as Green Restaurants and provides consumers with all the details of the restaurants environmental practices. Seeing as Plant is already as environmentally friendly as it is, it couldn’t hurt to look into becoming officially certified! Keep up the great work!

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home