Best destinations for farm-to-table dining: East Coast


Related Articles

Last week we checked out farm-to-table dining destinations in Middle America — you know, places that emphasize buying locally sourced ingredients, usually from smaller-scale producers. 

Farm-to-table restaurants are popping up across the country with chefs devoting their menus to local, sustainable ingredients. Part three of our series explores the best places for farm-to-table dining on the East Coast.


New York City

At first glance, NYC might not seem like somewhere to go for farm-to-table dining. But beyond the concrete jungle lie acres of farmland across a number of states producing everything from wine to cheese to cherries. 

New York doesn’t have a reputation as one of the world’s foremost food cities for nothing. Many restaurants make it a habit, if not a principle, to buy local — prepare for your next trip to the Big Apple by checking out this list of farm-to-table dining suggestions from Lonely Planet.


Providence, R.I.

Would you have guessed Travel & Leisure ranked Providence America’s third best city for foodies? Another farm-to-table pioneer, this small New England city takes it one step further with restaurants serving seafood fresh off the boats of area fishermen. 

And that’s not all. Farm Fresh RI, founded in 2004, operates farmers markets and delivers food from farms to restaurants across the state, in addition to its community support programs. Hopefully the initiative will serve as a model for other regions to make the most of farm-to-table opportunities. 


Portland, Maine

Portland is no slouch when it comes to the food scene — allegedly the city has as many restaurants per capita as San Francisco. Sitting right on the coast, Portland’s in a prime location for fresh seafood, arguably the superstar of any cuisine-oriented trip to New England. 

This October marks the sixth “Harvest on the Harbor” festival, touted as Maine’s premier food and wine event. The festival highlights Maine ingredients and chefs, including a competition to determine the state’s best farm-to-table restaurant.


Asheville, N.C.

Asheville, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, has built a reputation as one of America’s healthiest, greenest cities. It’s especially a hot destination for artists, chefs and retirees who thrive in the city’s creative atmosphere. 

The city’s tourism site lists dozens upon dozens of restaurants that focus on local ingredients and farm-to-table dining. And Epicurious named Asheville’s Tupelo Honey Café one of the top 10 farm-to-table restaurants in the country. Need more convincing than that?


Washington, D.C.

Finally, our faith has been restored that not all activists and lobbyists in our nation’s capital are working for gun and cigarette companies. The slow/local/farm-to-table movements are big in D.C., where everyone loves a cause. This dedication manifests itself in any number of ways, including urban garden tours and a farm-to-table restaurant week.

Tour operator Taste of Place recently launched farm to table tours, which include visits to a local farm and vineyard, plus a food tasting session back in the city. Other tour companies: Take note.