What to Expect from a Farm-to-Table Restaurant

If you're looking for a unique dining experience that emphasizes quality, responsibly grown food, then a farm-to-table restaurant is the perfect choice. This type of restaurant is more labor intensive than industrial agriculture, which supplies most restaurants with cheaper and less environmentally friendly products. Farm-to-table restaurants strive to source nutrient-rich, responsibly grown food from local farms, regardless of the price. When a restaurant truly embraces the farm-to-table movement, the food on its menu comes directly from local farms or farmers' markets, not hundreds of miles away.

This means that the food is selected at its peak of freshness and is packed with flavors and vitamins. In addition, most farm-to-table restaurants prefer foods grown naturally, as opposed to farms that use harmful pesticides or added hormones. If you value quality, responsibly grown food, farm-to-table restaurants are well worth it. It's true that farm-to-table restaurants often have a few more obstacles to overcome than other restaurants.

However, you can expect to pay around “12% more” than you would pay for food from a standard restaurant that serves similar dishes. Food from sustainable small farms may contain more nutrients than conventional products from large-scale industrial farms. One of the first farm-to-table restaurants to open was Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, in 1971. Chez Panisse was highly successful, and the farm-to-table movement began to grow steadily during the last decades of the 20th century. If a restaurant that claims to offer farm-to-table products is unwilling to provide sourcing information, this may be a reason to double-check their claim. Farm-to-table restaurants may not be the perfect solution to every factory farm problem, but they are a start in the right direction that you can easily take today. Broccoli, romaine lettuce, lamb, and veal are great starters to inspire farm-to-table menu ideas in spring.