The Most Sustainable Restaurant in NYC

If you ever find yourself in Greenwich Village looking for a hot cup of tea or a delicious, locally sourced bite to eat, you’ll want to check out the little shop on W 8th Street that is setting an example for how to be a zero waste, sustainable restaurant in NYC.

I first learned of Ancolie on a Trash Talking with Eco-Warriors podcast episode and knew I had to visit this shop; after all, it was only one train stop away from my office!

It’s funny because I was born and raised in NYC but sometimes I feel like a tourist in my own city, and Greenwich Village is completely foreign to me, so it took a little bit of exploring before I found Ancolie. But once you see the little hanging sign with the sleek lettering and the French flag on the door, you know you’ve found the spot.

When you step inside Ancolie, you’re welcomed by warm staff, and if you’re lucky, the founder Chloe Vichot herself! To your right is a refrigerator stocked with just enough fresh foods and drinks for customers to purchase to dine in, or take out. I knew they had fresh salads and breakfast snacks, but I was surprised to see some more unique items such as apple cider and miso in glass bottles!

Ancolie’s model is simple: every jar purchase includes a $2 jar deposit; if you bring it back, you get a $2 credit on your next purchase!

I chose to dine there, but loved the jar so I kept it for now (until I’m back for more) and I appreciated the fact that they only provide stainless steel utensils and do not supply customers with plastic anything (only compostable cups and utensils upon request, I believe).

With a sustainable, plastic-free, zero waste model in the form of jar deposits, discounts on BYO coffee cups, ensuring their food is locally sourced, and donating food waste to a community garden, it’s easy to see how Ancolie leaves a green impression on their customers. I hope other restaurants take note and follow Chloe and Ancolie’s lead to ensure that we move in the right direction toward sustainability in the food industry.