The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and it feels like summer time. It was a long winter filled with rain, but now it’s time to enjoy the city of sunshine. Local farms are flourishing with fresh fruits and vegetables, making it the perfect time to try some of the wonderful Farm-to-Table restaurants in our city. The Farm-to-Table movement has seen its fair share of controversy with some restaurants even fabricating where their ingredients are sourced.That’s why we’ve put together a small, but tried and true list for you to check out. Enjoy!
You’ll instantly feel at home when you enter Farmer’s Bottega. The restaurant is filled with reclaimed decor and vintage pieces that give it a cozy feel. It’s getting harder to stand out in the trendy Mission Hills neighborhood, but Farmer’s Bottega has lived up to the task. Their menu is expansive; with weekend brunch, weekly specials, happy hour and dinnertime fare. We love their P.E.I. Mussels appetizer and the Lasagna Ratatouille, but nothing on their menu disappoints. Farmer’s Bottega sources their ingredients from Citrus Valdivia farms, Cafe Moto, Specialty Produce, and Bread and Cie to name a few. You must check out their weekly Wednesday Date Night Special, which is only $42 per couple. It’s the best way to sample their dinner specials without breaking the bank.
The new IT restaurant on the block has arrived, and surprisingly people aren’t flocking to Downtown or La Jolla for this one. Farmer’s Table is located in the heart of La Mesa, bringing farm-to-table to East County’s up and coming food scene. The restaurant boasts “honest food done right,” with their menu of breakfast classics and comfort food. Farmer’s Table uses only locally sourced, organic ingredients so you can check them out for dinner, or on your lunch break. With a menu specializing in pizza, benedicts, and a full array of entrees, you can bring your pickiest eaters to dine here. We recommend you go in for brunch and try their Barn Yard Bloody Mary, which has an entire rotisserie chicken in it! Make sure you bring a couple friends to help you tackle the pitcher sized drink, and on your way back from brunch you can join our North Park Walking Food tour!
The Red Door
The Red Door is the epitome of Farm-to-Table. All of their produce comes from their own garden or local farms. Yes, you read that correctly, their own garden. The Red Door has their own garden where they grow their sustainable produce. You can follow their Instagram to see life in the garden with their farmer Trish. Aside from setting the bar for sustainability, The Red Door dishes up amazing cuisine. Because they’re constantly changing their menu for the seasons, make sure you act fast if you see something you like. We recommend trying the Farm-to-Fork dish so you can get a taste of their delicious produce. If you’re not hungry check out Bar by Red Door, for their new small plates and drinks concept.
If you go a little off the beaten path you’ll find Garden Kitchen, a Farm-to-Table restaurant with an unbeatable price. Garden Kitchen rotates their menu every day so their dishes are always fresh and in-season. They source their ingredients from Stehly Farms, Dickinson Farm, JR Organics and Be Wise Ranch to bring you the best local produce. The entire restaurant is outside on their covered patio so we recommend going when it’s warm. Although they make sure their menus have something for everyone, Garden Ranch is especially great for vegetarians and vegans. Make sure you check their Facebook page before you go to see what’s on their daily menu.
We love to see restaurants working to make the local food industry sustainable, and tasty! With Summer soon approaching any of these spots will be sure to wow your family and friends.