San Francisco Surfrider Foundation

Ocean Friendly Restaurants

From Table to Trash

Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day.

  • An estimated 100 billion plastic bags are used ANNUALLY in the United States.​
  • An estimated 500 million straws are used DAILY in the United States.
  • 49.4 billion plastic water bottles were sold in one year’s time with only 31.1% recycled, leaving roughly 34 billion plastic bottles that were littered or went into a landfill in 2015.

Restaurants Making a Change

By reducing disposable waste, restaurants have the power to greatly reduce their impact on San Francisco’s ocean and beaches.

The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program offers restaurants an easy way to show their commitment by making sustainable choices for our ocean.

Restaurants participating must follow the first five criteria:

  1. No plastic straws – paper or reusable straws provided only upon request
  2. Only reusable tableware is provided for onsite dining
  3. Takeout food and beverage containers are compostable
  4. Non-plastic takeout bags – condiments, disposable utensils, and napkins are provided only upon request
  5. Proper recycling and compost practices are followed throughout the restaurant with standardized labels

And choose a minimum of three of these criteria as well:

  1. Ashcan available on-site
  2. No beverages sold in plastic bottles
  3. Large size water dispenser available
  4. All paper products are 100% recycled
  5. Wood cutlery for to-go ware (instead of compostable plastic)
  6. Customers are able to use their own to-go containers
  7. Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis
  8. All seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable

Find an Ocean Friendly Restaurant in San Francisco

  • Show your support by frequenting Surfrider’s certified Ocean Friendly Restaurants and let them know you found them on our OFR webpage
  • Say “no straw” whenever you order a drink (even take-out and drive-thru)
  • Ask for water and other drinks in a reusable glass instead of plastic
  • Bring a reusable water bottle
  • Bring your own reusable cup for takeout coffee, and remember to ask for a reusable mug when ordering “for here”
  • If you think you may have leftovers, bring your own reusable container instead of getting a disposable container from the restaurant
  • Bring your own bag when picking up takeout food

Contact our OFR lead, Lucy Hale at with any questions.