California's Best Farm-To-Table Restaurants & Local Eats

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Cherry tomatoes | Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Makaela Anderson

Eating sustainably grown food is more than just a fad in California. Some of the best restaurants in the state are dedicated to the idea that the highest-quality ingredients are sourced locally. Indeed, some diners specifically choose to eat at restaurants that purchase the freshest local ingredients, discovering economic, social and environmental perks. Below is a list of 10 of the most respected and acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants across the Golden State.

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A. R. Valentien

Recognized as a Top 10 Farm-To-Table Restaurant by Epicurious Conde Nast Traveler and one of America’s Top Restaurants by Zagat Survey, the A.R. Valentien at The Lodge Torrey Pines in La Jolla has established itself as a serious contender in both the farm-to-table and overall restaurant communities. Located close to the University of California, San Diego and some of the most beautiful and diverse beaches on the West Coast, the menu at A. R. Valentien is based on the seasonally available local produce.

Assemble Restaurant, Richmond

Right next door to the historic Craneway Pavilion sits the industrial themed Assemble. Whether it is the exposed ceiling or the many large pieces of equipment left over from Assemble’s time as a Ford Assembly Plant in pre-World War II San Francisco, the highly unique décor is sure to eliminate any lulls in conversation. Assemble boasts their own organic garden that grows many of the herbs and vegetables served daily as well as an in-house bakery that produces the freshest savory and sweet baked goods throughout the day.

Bumble

Since Bumble first opened in 2011, their passion for local, healthy ingredients has been the driving force behind this Los Altos gem. They refer to themselves as ‘farm-to-fork’ and are proud to serve meals made entirely form ingredients sourced from California. Their menu is a fusion of the constantly changing seasonally available produce and the talented culinary staff continuously create new and exciting dishes so nothing goes to waste.

Chez Panisse

Attention to detail and sustainability have been key attributes of Chez Panisse since it opened in 1971. The restaurant has a new fixed menu every night and is intended to feature the best of what the surrounding farms have to offer. Even after over 40 years, Chez Panisse still believes the best meals come from organically and locally grown food and continues to work with suppliers who hold these same values.

La Casita Mexicana

Mexican coffee

Customers at La Casita Mexicana are leaving Twitter comments in Spanish raving about the mole and you can see why. All of the chefs are Mexican natives from Jalisco, ensuring the very highest quality. Their aguas frescas and traditional Mexican coffee are not to be missed.

Madera

Inside the luxurious Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel is the hotel’s signature restaurant, Madera. Based on the importance of the wood-burning kitchen in the early Spanish missionary days and the popularity it has maintained in California ranch homes, the restaurant’s title literally means ‘wood’ in Spanish, honoring the history of the local region though the cuisine.

Terra American Bistro

Terra American Bistro is a bastion of great farm to table fare. Voted ‘Best New American Restaurant’ by the 2013 San Diego A List and one of the leaders pushing for more farm-to-table dining in San Diego, Terra is a local favorite. The restaurant’s dedication to local foods and ingredients is obvious in the lunch, dinner, and brunch menus, as well as in the cocktail and drinks menu.

The French Laundry

It is almost impossible to go to Napa Valley and not hear tell of The French Laundry. Awarded three stars by Michelin and countless additional accolades, the restaurant obtains ingredients locally from Northern California farms and is known to have the chefs pick their own ingredients straight out of the ground. Tables book up months in advance, so plan ahead now for this ultra-fine dining experience.

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