Maplewood: The Nation’s First Green Dining District

By Rachelle L’Ecuyer

One of the pleasures of dining in historic downtown Maplewood is the prevalence of “farm to table” practices embraced by many of its food purveyors putting good food on the table for you. However, that isn’t how a business becomes a St. Louis Earth Day’s Green Dining Alliance (GDA) member. (www.greendiningalliance.org) GDA member practices include banning indoor smoking, not using Styrofoam products; participating in Single Stream Recycling; phasing in CFLs and/or LEDs; and setting waste reduction goals. Maplewood became the nation’s first Green Dining District when 25% of the businesses joined the GDA. The area stood out as a natural model for a district with a high walkability score and concentration of independent businesses in the 7200 and 7300 blocks of Manchester and the 2700 block of Sutton.

Let’s take a quick tour of the district starting with Schlafly Bottleworks, a longtime supporter of St. Louis Earth Day’s GDA. The Schlafly Bottleworks is a beehive of activity that includes the Schlafly Farmers Market. Of course, there’s lunch, dinner and beer.

Water Street Café is known for its delicious food and specialty cocktails. The establishment is family owned and operated. You will often find Water Street’s chef at the Schlafly Farmers Market.

Nationally recognized, award-winning chocolate, need we say more? Kakao Chocolate is home to famous sea salt caramels but they have an entire store filled with delicious confections often made with products from area businesses.

Foundation Grounds serves organic food made with love. Breakfast and lunch menus are available in this friendly neighborhood coffee shop. Foundations Grounds’ business model is based on strong sustainability practices.

Great Harvest Bakery offers hearty flavorful breads made fresh daily. The bakery partners with many local businesses and you will find delicious combinations of ingredients baked into their products.

The Post Sports Bar is an award winning sports bar that has embraced sustainability. The Post serves their fare in a vibrant atmosphere lit by LED lights.

While you sip delicious teas, hot or cold, you should know that Traveling Tea has a GDA 5-star rating which means an exemplary performance for enhanced sustainable practices.
What’s fresh and in season? Whatever the time of year, Pie Oh My! is baking it into a pie. Sweet and savory, you will find mini pies to quiches to pot pies.

You can learn more about these businesses or take a self-guided tour of Maplewood’s Green Dining District, please visit online at www.cityofmaplewood.com/gdd.