Slow-Cooked German Cuisine at the Cutting Edge of Sustainability

Berkeley-based Gaumenkitzel Restaurant has long been praised for its organic and slow-cooked German cuisine, but the restaurant’s green business practices are also exceptional. The owners are taking steps to reduce the carbon footprint of the restaurant’s energy, waste, water, and transportation needs.

In order to decrease energy consumption, Gaumenkitzel works hard to ensure all food is cooked from scratch without excessive ingredients and energy-intensive equipment, such as freezers and deep-fryers. The owners purchased a used 15 kW photovoltaic system for $40,000, which currently generates monthly savings of $416. They also use 100% LED lighting, and purchase wind-generated electricity from Arcadia Power.

The restaurant also saves $30 per month by using an energy efficient water heater, and $10 per month from water-saving faucets. These actions combined conserve up to 1,500 gallons of water each month. The in-house laundry machines are also saving both water and energy with their front-load, energy efficient design. Laundry is done with environmentally-friendly detergents and dryer sheets are banned.

All of Gaumenkitzel’s food waste, including customer leftovers, is composted. Organic produce is delivered in recyclable boxes, and plastic, glass, and paper are separated and recycled. In addition to internal green business practices, the owners also bike to work every day and rely solely on this mode of transportation to run errands.


The Gaumenkitzel staff are happy to be working for a business committed to sustainability.


Local media has even picked up on the Gaumenkitzel’s commitment to sustainability, and they were featured on the TV show “Check Please Bay Area” for their status as a certified Bay Area Green Business.

Gaumenkitzel serves as a role model for small businesses looking to move forward with environmentally-friendly initiatives to gain a competitive edge. Gaumenkitzel Restaurant encourages their clients to make green choices in their own lives such as by carpooling for a visit.

As the German saying goes “Fünf sind geladen, zehn sind gekommen; gieß Wasser zur Suppe, heiß alle willkommen!” (5 are invited, 10 came, don’t worry, add water to the soup and welcome them all! It is all about sharing). Gaumenkitzel Restaurant is proving that they can share good food with their customers now, and protect the environment to share with future generations. This recognition, dedication, and distinct approach to addressing food waste is making Gaumenkitzel Restaurant a leader in its industry.



Gaumenkitzel Restaurant
2121 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702

Business Snapshot

Berkeley-based Gaumenkitzel Restaurant has long been praised for its organic and slow-cooked German cuisine, but the restaurant also stands out for its green business practices.  

Green Actions:
  • 100% of food waste is composted and all plastics, glass, and paper waste are recycled
  • Owners bike to work and encourage staff to do the same
  • Energy intensive equipment such as deep fryers and freezers are avoided
  • Only green-certified products are used for cleaning
Facility Renovations:
  • Installed solar panels
  • Replaced 100% of lighting with LEDs
  • Installed ultra high efficiency water heater
  • Use water conserving toilets and faucets to save up to 1500 gallons annually