Gainesville’s outdoorsy scene encourages many environmentalists to come and celebrate the beauty of nature. This, combined with the city’s foodie culture, has brought several vendors to combine both their passion for sustainability and love for food. Let’s check out how a couple of Gainesville restaurants are devoting their time to making delicious, sustainable meals. 

Fresh Kitchen

Although located a bit further from UF’s campus, I can assure you that Fresh Kitchen is worth the hike. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, keto, or will eat anything (like me), this restaurant offers something for everyone. Their menu ranges anywhere from sweet potato noodles to grilled steak and allows each customer to build their own bowl. If you're trying to find ways to eat less meat and dairy, Fresh Kitchen is the perfect place for you.

When it comes to ordering at Fresh Kitchen you have three options: The Six Bowl, The Four Bowl, and a kids bowl. As you can see, they like to keep it simple! I typically go for The Four Bowl which comes with 2 bases, 1 veggie, 1 protein, and 1 sauce. However, I like to load my bowl up with their unlimited toppings. Can you tell which bowl is mine?

Cate Williams

As if it can't get any better, Fresh Kitchen devotes a lot of its efforts to creating a more sustainable business model. In their 2022 impact report, they state, “we are making strides towards aligning with B Corp standards so we can ensure the highest level of social and environmental accountability.”

By merely acknowledging a need for more sustainable practices, Fresh Kitchen is already ahead of many other restaurants regarding their impact on the environment. They have also implemented a 3-step plan to redirect 50% of their waste produce to other areas such as compost and recycling. Not only this, but they have swapped their single-use plastic cutlery to plant-based, compostable cutlery!


Another restaurant that contributes its efforts to sustainable consumption is Plantology. Located at Midpoint Park and Eatery, Plantology offers a menu full of plant-based comfort food. From “Buffalo Ranch Chick’n Mac Bowls” to “Bacun Chedda Loaded Fries," their menu is definitely one to indulge upon. I tried a side of their mac n’ cheez, chick’n caesar wrap, and spicy chick’n sandwich. 

Cate Williams

Although this food doesn’t appear to be the healthiest, vegan food has been proven to have several health benefits such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. So, now you can work on your heart health while eating your favorite, deliciously fried foods!

Even better, having a full vegan menu works to mitigate carbon emissions and reduce human-driven climate change by eliminating animal products altogether. Additionally, Plantology challenges the notion that going vegan means you can no longer eat your favorite foods. This food truck gives customers the satisfaction of eating a burger without the consequences of animal consumption, like unnecessary methane release that advances global climate change. 

So, if you’re looking for a way to consume more environmentally friendly while still eating the same delicious foods as always, be sure to check out these two Gainesville favorites.