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Ocean Friendly Restaurant Spotlight: Mitch’s Seafood

It was a little more than a year ago that Mitch’s Seafood discovered the Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant (OFR) program and decided to implement sustainable practices in order to meet OFR criteria. Moving away from all single-use plastics was their highest priority. I have to admit that I was skeptical that Mitch’s would pass their OFR compliance check since, during my last visit as a customer, they were using single-use plastics and bioplastics. I was blown away by the changes they had made!  In fact, I was so impressed by their efforts that I decided to interview AnaLeesia Tripp, Mitch’s Seafood General Manager, to share their challenges and successes in becoming an OFR.  

AnaLeesia also helped me with the compliance check. First, we went through the criteria and toured the very small kitchen where the magic happens. They have a small dishwasher and a 3 sink system where all the reusables are washed.


At first, AnaLeesia said the employees pushed back, saying it would be too difficult to wash reusables. “Sometimes the pushback would be a little discouraging, but knowing the impact of reducing our eco-footprint would always keep me looking toward our vision—to reduce single-use items.” Due to AnaLeesia’s commitment and persistence and the employees' willingness to try and adopt new methods, Mitch’s Seafood is not only helping the environment but also saving money!

AnaLeesia provided us with the numbers to show their savings by switching to reusables:

Mitch’s Seafood will be saving $1,194/year by switching to reusable wine cups.

It cost us $3,237 less last year by switching to washable 2 oz. ramekins compared to single-use.

Mitch’s Seafood saved $4,386 in 2023 during our busy months (June-August) compared to 2022 by switching to reusable items.

Customers are excited about the move away from plastics. AnaLeesia said, “We have received great feedback about our changes. I think our customers enjoy drinking from the aluminum cups much better than the plastic, since it seems to keep drinks colder and more refreshing than plastic. Also, our food looks so much more presentable on reusable dishes compared to single-use items.” 


Mitch’s Seafood follows California AB 1276 and saves money by providing to-go accessories only upon request. It advertises this with a large sign posted next to its to-go pick-up area. Mitch’s Seafood has gone STRAWLESS, saving even more money and preventing straws from falling or blowing into the San Diego Bay, which is located right under its outdoor seating.


Next, we checked out their beverage cooler, which was completely void of single-use plastic beverage bottles (an OFR mandatory criteria). AnaLeesia decided to switch to using only glass and aluminum containers.  It’s the classiest beverage cooler I have ever seen.


Mitch’s buys its seafood from local fishermen through Tunaville Market, which is a short walk from its kitchen. Employees walk a wheelbarrow down the sidewalk to Tunaville every morning to pick up seafood. Not only are the fish local and fresh, but no fossil fuels or plastic wrap were used during the fish transfer from Tunaville to Mitch’s.  


I asked AnaLeesia why she and the owners wanted to become a Surfrider OFR. “Surfrider helped give me the nudge I needed to make the entirety of the switch, because of your Ocean Friendly Foodware Guide and the fact that I was keen on doing collaborative events with the Surfrider Foundation. This is Mitch’s second year hosting cleanup initiatives with I Love a Clean SD through community outreach. Collaborating with Surfrider has been one of my goals because I share in the passion to make the Earth a cleaner place for generations to come.”

We are proud to have Mitch’s Seafood as an OFR. If you are looking for local seafood, a great atmosphere, with no single-use plastics, head to Mitch’s Seafood in Point Loma.