South Orange County Chapter

Ocean Friendly Restaurants

The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program recognizes restaurants that are committed to making sustainable choices for our ocean so that people can dine with peace of mind. Find an Ocean Friendly Restaurant near you.

What makes a restaurant “Ocean Friendly?”

Mandatory Criteria (All 7 Required):

  1. Only reusable foodware is used for onsite dining.*
  2. Paper straws are provided only upon request.**
  3. No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).
  4. No plastic bags are used for takeout or to-go orders.
  5. Single-use utensils, straws, condiments, and other accessory items are provided only upon request.
  6. Beverages are not sold in plastic bottles.
  7. Proper recycling practices are followed.

*Foodware includes dinnerware, drinkware, silverware, and ramekins/containers. ** Exceptions may be made for naturally occurring materials (e.g. hay, bamboo) and reusables (e.g. metal, glass), not including bio-based plastic. Straws should be provided to anyone who needs one, including people with disabilities. Read more here.

Optional Criteria (Choose At Least 3):

  1. A discount is offered for customers with a reusable item (e.g. cup, container, bag).
  2. Vegetarian and vegan food options are offered on a regular basis.
  3. All seafood is ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch, or no seafood is served.*
  4. Water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented.**
  5. Energy efficiency efforts are in place.***
  6. Concessions and pre-packaged food items are not sold in plastic packaging.
  7. Composting efforts are in place for food waste.
  8. Neither single-use plastic nor bio-based plastic containers are used for takeout or to-go orders, reusable containers are preferred.

*Locally sourced, sustainable seafood is preferred and should be prioritized when Seafood Watch recommendations do not apply. ** Examples include installing low-flow faucets and toilets, offering drinking water upon request only, no hosing down outside to reduce urban runoff, proper disposal of FOG, and up-to-date septic or sewage to prevent wastewater pollution. *** Examples include switching to LED lighting, installing solar panels, using Energy Star certified appliances and/or other efforts to use less energy.

THANK YOU for committing to ocean friendly practices

Do you own, manage, or can you recommend a restaurant that you would like to signup as an Ocean Friendly Restaurant? Join today.

Restaurant Benefits

Your Ocean Friendly Restaurants membership aligns your restaurant with a nationally recognized nonprofit with thousands of members and supporters all helping to keep our ocean healthy and protected. Ocean Friendly Restaurant members are part of a growing community of ocean-loving, planet-saving, plastic-free leaders!

  • Ocean Friendly Restaurants marketing collateral including window stickers, brochures, and bill inserts to promote your membership to customers.
  • Use of Ocean Friendly Restaurants logos for restaurant menu, website and other restaurant marketing materials.
  • Restaurant listed on Surfrider national and chapter websites.
  • Restaurant included in Ocean Friendly Restaurants national map on Surfrider national and chapter websites.
  • Launch parties and collaborative promotions with your nearest Surfrider chapter.
  • Access to national vendor discounts on sustainable restaurant and to-go products.
  • Tax-deductible donation opportunity.
  • Association with a nationally recognized nonprofit with thousands of members and supporters working hard to keep our ocean healthy and protected!