South Grand Becomes St. Louis City’s First Green-Dining District

South Grand in St. Louis City has become one of the top destinations for healthy eats. Restaurants such as Lulu’s Local Eatery, Pizza Head, and Guerrilla Street Food are some of the top stops for city residents looking to fill up on eats with a sustainable cause. On May 17, South Grand will recognize its efforts toward clean living and clean eating by celebrating its new designation as a Green Dining District via its 10th Annual Taste of South Grand/International Dine Around.

The six-block district will become the first in the City of St. Louis, the third among the city and county, and the third business district in the nation to receive this designation. According to a press release by the South Grand Community Improvement District, South Grand is joining Maplewood and The Loop in providing certified restaurants that “recycle, never use Styrofoam and reduce their environmental impact through targeted strategies.” Restaurants in the St. Louis area work with the Green Dining Alliance to become certified through a three-step process of committing to the organization’s core concepts, participating in a walk-through audit to ensure sustainable practices—from food sourcing to energy sources—and only becoming a member after passing the preceding steps. South Grand alone diverts 14.719 tons of material per month (!) away from the landfill through recycling and composing efforts.

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Prior to becoming a Green District, South Grand had already began to implement features to promote its focus on sustainability. Spread out over the district’s six blocks are 14 rain gardens that capture and soak up stormwater that grows plants native to Missouri. Those walking past are invited to learn about the gardens via the six walking-tour signs that provide information on cleaner and greener streets and keeping streams clean. In addition, the district reduces energy use with LED lighting in Ritz Park and its free South Grand Parking Lot, as well as providing recycling bins and cigarette-recycling containers along the street.

At the Taste of South Grand – which will take place from 5-10 p.m. – attendees can enjoy food from participating restaurants such as the aforementioned in addition to Rooster, Mangia Italiano, Gelateria del Leone and Café Natasha’s. Five tickets can be purchased for $30, providing an array of selected small plates, drinks and desserts to choose from. While the spotlight will certainly be on this new sustainable accomplishment, the event features 20 restaurants with food from 14 countries, including other South Grand favorites such as King and I, Lemon Grass and MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse.

Photo courtesy of Hermes Rivera.

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