The farm-to-table culinary concept is so popular that it’s not just limited to fancy, 5-star restaurants anymore. Nowadays, this sustainable trend has made its way onto menus of local diners and cafes all around the world. We compiled a list of the six best farm-to-table restaurants, leading the way in the “locavore” movement in the USA.
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, California
Rhubarb galette with candied orange ice cream at Chez Panisse
Berkeley's Chez Panisse has established itself as a California culinary institution. Founded by award-winning chef and Francophile, Alice Waters, the restaurant’s original mission was to serve authentic French cuisine made with seasonal, local ingredients in its single, prix fixe menu. The restaurant’s highly anticipated opening in 1971 catapulted it to instant success, essentially launching the farm-to-table movement. The ingredients have always been sourced from a network of local producers, such as Sonoma farmer Bob Cannard, who has now been supplying the restaurant for 30 years. Bookers can enjoy Provençal-style dishes and desserts like rhubarb galette with candied orange ice cream, best paired with a glass of chilled rosé. The restaurant is reservation-only, but upstairs is a café where the à la carte menu delivers the same exceptional quality without the white tablecloths. Just a 20-minute walk away is the Berkeley City Club Hotel, housed in a building dating back to 1929 with vaulted ceilings and stone floors.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York
Eighty acres of gardens, meadows, and woodland for foraging at Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns is more than just a restaurant. It’s a world-renowned destination for both dining and agriculture set amid 80 acres of pristine land. It was featured in the Netflix series, “Chef’s Table,” where founder and co-owner Dan Barber discussed his locavore vision and the restaurant’s origins in a New York City basement. The original Greenwich Village venue is still open and serves tasting menus inspired by the week’s harvest for those who can’t make the one-hour drive from New York City. Rather than a menu, Bookers are served a tasting experience that Barber calls “Grazing, pecking, rooting,” which features home-grown delights like ricotta-filled gnocchi with mushrooms and Parmesan. It’s in such high-demand that tables have to be booked months in advance. Check the website to gauge what the menu might feature, based on the season’s produce. Stay in NYC at the Washington Square Hotel, which is just a 2-minute walk from the Greenwich Village Blue Hill restaurant.
Spruce, San Francisco, California
The city many believe to be the birthplace of the USA’s locavore movement
San Francisco is packed with farm-to-table restaurants and believed to be the birthplace of the American locavore movement. And Spruce is one of its most popular restaurants. A local ranch sources 80% of the produce used in all of its innovative dishes, which served in a romantic space with vaulted ceilings, smoked glass, dark woods, and leather furnishings. The prix fixe harvest menu features dishes like roasted beet risotto with radish, Parmesan mousse and candied pine nuts, spring pea tartine, and roasted strawberries with sesame ice cream. There’s also a separate bar menu with smaller, simpler meals, like pastrami sandwiches or steak tartare with jidori eggs and fried capers. Just a 7-minute walk away is the Laurel Inn, where all the suites have a mid-century aesthetic with walnut furniture, geometric wallpaper, and herringbone flooring.
Farm & Table, Albuquerque, New Mexico
The final touches to a freshly harvested dish at Farm & Table in Albuquerque
Having dinner on the patio of this Albuquerque favorite—under glittering fairy lights and a desert sunset—is as cozy as being at home. Farm & Table’s menu reflects owner Cherie Montoya’s responsible, community-driven philosophy, only using ingredients grown by local producers or on the restaurant’s own 11-acre farm. The menu changes with the New Mexico harvests, from grilled artichoke hearts with goat’s cheese and crunchy farm fries with homemade aioli, to porcini crusted pork chops with bacon fig butter. Bookers can stay at The Inn at Paradise, just a 10-minute drive away across the Rio Grande.
Kaimana Farm Cafe, Honolulu, Hawaii
All ingredients used for the Kaimana Farm Cafe’s menu are grown by local farmers
The farm-to-table scene is thriving in Hawaii, which is great since the quality and diversity of its locally grown produce make it among the best in the world. Of the many locally-sourced restaurants across the islands, Honolulu’s Kaimana Farm Cafe in particular is worth any Booker's time. Everything it serves is grown by local farmers and prepared by a friendly Japanese couple in its small kitchen. Menu highlights include the soufflé omelette, creamy potato skillet, a variety of deli salads, and bento boxes. Just a 20-minute walk from the farm café is the oceanside Queen Kapiolani Hotel.
Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta, Georgia
The names of the farmers who source each item is listed on Restaurant Eugene’s menu
Downtown Atlanta’s Restaurant Eugene fuses farm-to-table ingredients with traditional Southern cuisine. Run by the husband-and-wife team of chef Linton Hopkins and sommelier Gina Hopkins, it has a delicious menu that rotates with whatever foods are in season, listed alongside the names of the farmers who source them. Bookers shouldn't miss the roasted duck breast with confit kossak kohlrabi and mandarin, followed by a dessert of Pearson’s strawberries, whipped rhubarb vinegar, pecans, and pickled rose petal pudding. There’s also the southern vegetables—an expertly curated and prepared medley featuring the best of the season and region—all served on a broad copper platter. After an unforgettable dinner, grab a nightcap in the courtyard of Artmore Hotel, complete with a fire pit, fairy lights, and comfy seating.
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