The farm-to-table movement is one that has grown rapidly across the U.S. in recent years, with restaurants popping up in both major cities and small towns. For those of us who believe in eating fresh, good-for-you, amazingly tasty meals, the movement has been a blessing. The teams behind farm-to-table restaurants are dedicated to finding quality ingredients and sourcing from sustainable small business farms, ranches, fisheries and vineyards. The beauty in eating local ingredients is that produce tastes divine as-is when picked at the height of the season. For those of us living clean, well-rounded lifestyles, these four restaurants should be added to your farm-to-table bucket list pronto.
Friend of Farmer | New York, NY
Friend of Farmer—the name says it all. After one meal, I deemed this farm-to-table restaurant one of my favorite spots in New York City. The restaurant has two locations in New York: one in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn. Both have a cozy appeal, Vermont vibes, and amazing food. In the winter, have a drink at the bar before dinner and then head upstairs for a heartwarming meal next to one of two fireplaces. Your meal will be kicked off with a warm skillet of fresh cornbread. In the warmer months, head over for a brunch that cannot be beat. Be prepared to wait for a table but know that it is worth it. The menu is stocked full of farm-fresh and seasonal ingredients, and the atmosphere is perfect for any meal, anytime of year.
Farmshop | Santa Monica, CA
The reason we are such fans of the farm-to-table movement is the dedication to quality these restaurants have. When visiting Farmshop you will see how important freshness, taste, and quality are to the chefs and owners. The Santa Monica–based artisanal restaurant, bakery, and market offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The shop and restaurant highlight local farmers and artisans from California. A list of their purveyors can be found right on their site for proof of how diligent they are, even when it comes to wine and beer. Chef and owner Jeff Cerciello prides himself on the relationships he has built with California farmers and artisan producers over the course of his culinary career. For a menu that evolves by the week and season, head to Farmshop. And if you live in the Bay Area, visit Farmshop’s Marin County location.
Restaurant Eugene | Atlanta, GA
Restaurant Eugene, located in downtown Atlanta, mixes Southern roots with fresh ingredients, paying an ode to history, tradition, and the region. While dining in this great restaurant you will notice farmers and artisans highlighted throughout the menu. The culinary team has created a pantry of local and fresh ingredients which they work from. The food is amazing and you cannot skip the cheese for dessert. The offering is amazing and one you will not forget. If you’re a meat eater, order the bacon-veiled pork tenderloin—it’s out of this world.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns | Pocantico Hills, NY
In 2004, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a restaurant with a working four-season farm and educational center, opened in the Hudson River Valley. This stop is a farm-to-table dream that should be at the top of your bucket list. The mission at Blue Hill is to create a consciousness about the effect of everyday food choices. As a guest you will not be offered a full menu to pick from; Instead, you pay for “grazing, pecking, and rooting.” What this means is that the culinary team creates an out of this world culinary experience for their guests using in-season, fresh local ingredients. Plan to make a trip to Blue Hill Stone Barns for a celebratory dinner and plan your trip ahead of time as the restaurant typically books up two months in advance.
What are your favorite farm-to-table restaurants around the country? Share your tips below.