The farm-to-table movement is something that’s really taken off in recent years, particularly as consumers become aware of the benefits.
Farm-to-table is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: It means buying meat, produce and even certain pre-made items, like jams and cheeses, locally – and putting those on your table instead of heavily processed food.
Whether you rely on the products you can find in your local farmer’s market for your meals at home or you choose to frequent dining establishments that offer locally sourced food items, farm-to-table consumption can help you diversify your diet and protect the environment. It’s also the best way to ensure that the food you are eating is fresh and full of nutrients – not something that was packed into a shipping crate to ripen or frozen for weeks before it got to you.
So, where can you go locally around Indianapolis to fill up on farm-fresh goodies? Here are some of the options:
Root & Bone Indy
Root & Bone specializes in creative takes on rural American dishes, all made from farm-fresh ingredients – all under the watchful gaze of a former “Top Chef” competitor. Their summer season menu includes fan-favorites like “Drunken Deviled Eggs” and a fried green tomato BLT. When you want Southern food that’s made with sustainable ingredients, this is the place to go.
Indianapolis City Market
You don’t have to leave the downtown area to find fresh food when the Midwest’s Original Farmers’ Market is close by. The market runs every Wednesday from May through October. Pick up the fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs and homemade bakery items you need for your table. The market also sponsors a “Buy 2, Give 1” program that helps feed healthy meals to the homeless through three downtown missions, which makes this a great place to shop and contribute to the community welfare.
The Loft at Traderspoint Creamery
At Traderspoint Creamery, the motto is always “Fresh. Simple. Organic.” The seasonal menu reflects this restaurant’s commitment to sustainable farming and local food. Their goals include connecting consumers to the most nutritious farm products possible through fine dining. Once you’ve eaten, however, make sure you check out the farm store for everything from fresh baked goods to local honey.
Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market
This is a “Saturday in the summer” tradition for some Indy families – and we totally see why. Every Saturday from May through October, the Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market offers homemade ice cream, produce from local farms, fresh meat, eggs, live music and tons of special treats. This is a great place to take your family or your dog if you want to explore. If you happen to already know what you want, however, pre-ordering is available from many of the vendors.
Late Harvest Kitchen
Late Harvest Kitchen is the place to go when you want a globally inspired menu made from fresh, local ingredients. The outdoor fire pit and herb garden create an ambiance that’s definitely envied, and everything from the main courses to the Sticky Toffee Pudding dessert have received rave reviews from customers.
Every Thursday from the end of May through early October, the Statehouse Market comes alive. You can find all kinds of locally grown produce and homemade treats – and get a farm-fresh lunch from one of Indy’s finest local food trucks. The folks here want to demonstrate that healthy food is delicious food – and that high-quality items don’t have to be overly fancy.
You’ll often see Cafe Patachou mentioned on lists of Indy’s finest dining – largely because the food is just that good. The restaurant turns farm-fresh ingredients into dishes that manage to keep it modern while still evoking the nostalgia and comfort of the past. If you’re looking for a world-class place to brunch, this is the spot.
Garfield Park Farmers Market
When you’re looking for a place with a real sense of community, head over to the Garfield Park Farmers Market some Saturday morning between 9 AM and 12:30 PM. They’ve made it their mission to create “a gathering place for community interactions” that support sustainable farming and craftsmanship. You can find everything from fresh mushrooms to delectable baked goods for your table.
An award-winning restaurant, Public Greens is also an urban micro farm that supplies its table with everything from local honey to edible flowers. Public Greens also has the distinction of being a Three Star Green Certified Restaurant because of its commitment to sustainability and the environment. The menu rotates according to the availability of local items, but you will always find an impressive array of soups, salads, brunch items, desserts and drinks on hand.
Binford Farmers Market
If you’re looking for the broadest array of local vendors, Binford Farmers Market is the place to go. They have more than 80 local craftsmen and farmers with meat, cheese, fruits and veggies on any given Saturday morning from May through October – all with delightful options for you to browse through and take home to your family.
Are you looking for a farm-to-table experience that’s still elevated and sophisticated? Bluebeard Indy is a James Beard semifinalist that specializes in romantic, meaningful fare. Their partnership with local farmers helps ensure that everything you see on their seasonal menus is the freshest food possible. Even the bread is baked in-house!
Farm-to-table dining isn’t just good for you and good for the environment, it’s also good for local businesses. If you want to do more to support local farmers, restaurants and businesses, skip the chain restaurants and explore more of Indy’s family favorites.