South Orange County Chapter

Ocean Friendly Restaurants

The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program helps restaurants minimize their impacts on the ocean by adopting practices that reduce single-use plastic waste and conserve resources.



Restaurants must follow these 5 criteria:

  1. No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
  2. Proper recycling practices are followed.
  3. Only reusable foodware is used for onsite dining.*
  4. No plastic bags offered with take out or to-go orders and utensils are provided only upon request.
  5. Paper straws are provided only upon request.**

*Foodware includes dinnerware, drinkware, silverware, and ramekins/containers.
** Exceptions may be made for alternatives made from other naturally occurring materials and reusables.

And choose a minimum of two of these criteria:

  • No beverages are sold in plastic bottles.
  • A discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, container, bag, etc.
  • Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis.
  • All seafood is ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch, or certified as sustainable.
  • Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented.
  • Energy efficiency efforts are in place.

Restaurants that meet all 11 criteria are recognized as a Platinum Level Ocean Friendly Restaurant.


  • Taco Rosa – Irvine
  • Taco Mesa Tortilleria Organica & Cafe
  • Taco Rosa – Newport Beach
  • Harvest
  • Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
  • Trevor’s at The Tracks
  • The Cellar
  • H.H. Cotton’s
  • Hendrix
  • Ocean at Main
  • Harley Laguna Beach
  • Central Laguna Beach
  • Zinc Cafe & Market
  • Bistro Provincia
  • Waterman’s Harbor
  • Still Water
  • Sunsets Bar & Grill
  • Maison
  • The Deck
  • Antoines Cafe
  • Monarch Bay Beach Club


  • 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.1
  • In 2018, the Surfrider Foundation conducted over 400 beach clean-ups and removed over 100,000 lbs of trash from our coastlines. Ocean Friendly Restaurants is a complement to beach clean-ups that allows us to stop plastic pollution at the source, before it makes its way to the beach.2
  • Plastic straws are not recyclable, and are one of the top items found at beach clean-ups worldwide.
  • In 2015, about 730,000 tons of soft plastic bags, sacks, and wraps were generated in the United States—that’s equivalent to 390 plastic bags for every American every year.3 Plastic bags are problematic in the litter stream because they float easily in the air and water and millions of barrels of oil are required to produce them.
  • Less than one-third of plastic bottles were recycled in the US in 2016.4
  • While plastics may break down into smaller pieces, they persist in the environment and can enter the food chain. In fact, recent studies estimate that fish in the North Pacific ingest over 12,000 tons of plastic per year.5
  • Restaurants use an average of 5,800 gallons of water per day.6 Water conservation practices like low-flow faucets and toilets reduce stress to our freshwater resources!

One restaurant, one customer at a time, Ocean Friendly Restaurants increases awareness, drives change in behavior, and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic (and water!) footprint.

Want to learn more about Ocean Friendly Restaurants?