Maui Food and Dining

Ocean-Friendly Restaurants Program Marks Milestone

January 17, 2017, 11:24 AM HST
* Updated January 17, 11:34 AM
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In less than nine months, the Surfrider Foundation and its partners have certified more than 100 Ocean Friendly Restaurants in Hawaiʻi.

The statewide program, which kicked off on Earth Day 2016, recognizes restaurants leading the way in environmental protection by operating without foam and plastic.

Koko Head Café will host an event to celebrate 100 Ocean Friendly Restaurants! Tickets are $20 and available now. Photo Courtesy: Surfrider Foundation

To celebrate this milestone, Koko Head Café, one of Hawaiʻi’s first certified ocean friendly restaurants, is hosting a fundraiser party on Thursday, Jan. 19 from 5:30-8 p.m.

Former Top Chef contestant Lee Anne Wong will create sustainable seafood and vegan pupu, to be accompanied by Lanikai Brewing Company beer.

“We are excited to honor those restaurants that are doing the right thing as leaders across the state, and soon, the nation,” said Stuart H. Coleman, Hawaiian Islands Manager for Surfrider Foundation. “With the success of our program in Hawaiʻi and Southern California, the Surfrider Foundation will launch the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program on a national level in the Spring.”


Some of the restaurants that are certified in the program are Seascape Mā‘alaea, Tin Roof Maui, Maui Brewing Company, Honolua Farms Cafe, Maui Fresh Streatery, Market Fresh Bistro, and Choice Health Bar on Maui; 12th Avenue Grill, Mud Hen Water, Mahina & Sun’s, Bevy, The Nook, Blue Tree Cafe, and Kona Brewing Company’s Koko Marina Pub on Oʻahu; Kona Brewing Company, Village Burger, Fish & Hog Market Cafe, and Sweet Cane Café on Island of Hawaiʻi; and Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza, Little Fish Coffee, Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company, and Lava Lava Beach Club on Kauaʻi.  See the full list of participants at the ocean-friendly restaurant program’s website.


Tickets to the O‘ahu celebration are $20 and available in limited quantities here.

Restaurants participating in the OFR Campaign MUST follow these three criteria:

1.No EPS foam (“styrofoam”) use; take-out food containers are recyclable (in your area) or compostable
2.Only reusable tableware is provided for onsite dining inside restaurants*
3.Proper recycling practices are followed throughout the restaurant


*Food trucks and take-out restaurants with no significant on-site dining are exempt from requirement 2.

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

1.Plastic straws are provided only upon request or are replaced with compostable straws
2.All take-out beverage containers are recyclable (in your area) or compostable
3.Takeout bags are not made of plastic and are provided only upon request.
4.Only compostable utensils are provided for take-out, upon request
5.No beverages sold in plastic bottles.

For more information on the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program and its coalition of partners, the full list of 100 certified restaurants, and how to get certified, click here.

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