We haven’t tried every restaurant in Durango. We have a tendency to find a few that we like and just go back to the favorites. These three restaurants stand out, not only for their delicious food, but also for their above-and-beyond green initiatives:
- Carver Brewing Company
Carver’s is a classic go-to for us. It’s got great beer, good vibes, tasty food, and some impressive sustainability initiatives. Carver’s has heated its hot water with 16 solar hot water heaters since 2008, the largest solar hot water system in Durango at the time. All of the electricity they purchase from La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is certified “Green Power,” and Carver’s was the first 100% wind-powered restaurant in Durango. Much of their produce comes from the local Twin Buttes Farm, Carver Farm, Turtle Lake Refuge, and other local and regional growers. Carver’s is a sponsor of the Green Business Roundtable, and also house the Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado’s monthly Green Drinks event. They’ve also got a great Sunday Brunch.
Favorite Dish: Sagamity Vegetarian Chili
Favorite Beer: Jackrabbit Pale Ale
- Cyprus Cafe
Cyprus is a favorite when we want something a little fancier. It has a very cozy feel, a friendly staff, and exceptional Mediterranean cuisine. Much of Cyprus’s food is sourced from local farms, and their menu changes with the seasons, which means there’s always something new to try. Their supporting farms include El Dorado Cattle and Sunnyside Meats (steak and hamburger), Homegrown Farm and Adobe House Farm (salad mix and other summer veggies), and Fields to Plate Produce and 550 Farms (winter root veggies). They also have their own garden in Animas Valley that supplements many of their summer herbs and vegetables, and is the destination of much of their food waste for composting. Lastly, Cyprus Cafe is one of the only (or perhaps the only) restaurant in Durango that sources local milk.
Favorite Dish: Warm Duck
Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake
- Zia Taqueria
Who doesn’t love a good burrito, especially one filled with locally sourced ingredients and cooked using renewable energy? Zia is a Durango staple, but you may not know that their restaurants are also home to solar arrays that generate about 40% of their power, and the other 60% is purchased renewables from LPEA. Not only do they source much of their menu from local farms, but they’ve also got more other green initiatives going on than we have space to mention here. Some of the highlights: kitchen scraps go to local farms to feed chickens (Save The Scraps!), used vegetable oil goes to a local reuse program, and they have 2 greenhouses and 1 hoophouse that grow many of their own vegetables!
Favorite Dish: Baby Burrito with Guac and Mango Hotsauce
Favorite Snack: Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie (seriously try them)