September 21, 2015
Organic food is especially big across much of Boulder.

Organic food is especially big across much of Boulder.

In recent years, as people have become more conscious of our effect on the planet, there has been a rising trend in the restaurant industry. As its name might imply, organic restaurants use mainly locally grown fruits, vegetables and other ingredients, cooking in a way that is healthy to both a person’s body and the surrounding environment. In fact, there is even a special certification for organic eateries as designated by the nonprofit organization the Oregon Tilth, who rewards these rankings to select restaurants across the U.S. Organic eating has become especially popular in Boulder, Colorado, where graduates from Boulder culinary school have opened up a slew of eco-savvy diners, cafes and other happening spots.

Want to do your part in saving the world while enjoying a great meal? Check out these awesome organic restaurants:

1. Naked Lunch: Since opening back in October 2014, the folks behind Naked Lunch have taken the organic approach rather seriously. They source all their ingredients solely from local farms and communal gardens. And to ensure the ingredients are handled properly, staff do everything in-house, including boiling potatoes and roasting every slab of beef. That commitment shows in an especially rich menu, one that focuses mostly on a wide array of sandwiches. Favorites include The Hummos, a a tasty combination of kalamatta olives, cucumbers, red onions and artichokes layered on ciabatta bread, and the Reuben, made with spicy turkey and corned beef. The shop also offers several unique takes on salad, including the signature Michigander, which features walnuts, green apple, goat cheese, dried cranberries and maple dressing. Want to indulge your sweet tooth? There are also a line of organic donuts and a biscuit served with brie and jam.

2. Mateo: Not all organic restaurants are made the same. Whereas some emphasize simple dishes like sandwiches and salads, Mateo presents slightly more high-end foods. The staff of chefs draw inspiration predominantly from the Provence Region in Europe, the historical area around both France and Switzerland. Those inspirations are felt across the entire menu. That includes brunch favorites like buckwheat pancakes and classic eggs florentine; community plates like steamed bouchot mussels and house-made chicken liver mousse. There’s also a slew of dinner standbys, namely charcuterie – a plate of chicken liver pate, pork rillettes and cured meats – and summer squash gratin. Mateo’s commitment to organic cooking includes its rich wine list, with many bottles from local wineries or specific French vineyards. Favorite varieties include the Chateau Moncontour and the Cartogne-Taillet, plus a collection of dessert sherries.

3. Mod Market: Though it is be a chain – with locations up and down the Western seaboard – Mod Market still has a profound dedication to organic cooking and eating. At every location, the staff prepare and cook only locally-grown ingredients, many of which cater to either vegetarian or vegan consumers. And there’s plenty of options to choose from. Mod Market’s biggest draw are the salads, which include the Wintergreen – a medley of spinach, goat cheese, walnuts and roasted potatoes – or the spicy Fiesta, which pairs romaine lettuce and roasted corn with radish, Pepper Jack cheese and red pepper vinaigrette. For something more substantial, try any number of sandwiches, like the basil chicken or the BLT with basil and avocado. Mod Market also sells pizza, including a pie with prosciutto and gorgonzola and another with shiitake and crimini mushrooms and heaps of fresh kale.