In recent years, the farm-to-table restaurant concept has been triumphing all over the globe.
It’s little wonder, considering the benefits farm-fresh ingredients bring not only to consumers’ taste buds but also to the local economy. Since these restaurants deal directly with local farmers, you can have the peace of mind that your dining experience is going to help grow nearby businesses and boost the economy.
Let’s take a look at 7 best farm-to-table restaurants southwest Florida has to offer!
1. Buckingham Farms Restaurant
Fort Myers, FL
Originally a fresh produce stand on an 80+ acre farm, Buckingham Farms was born when customers began asking for advice about how to prepare healthy meals with ingredients such as kale. Realizing that many people were interested in eating fresh healthy meals, the little produce stands evolved into a quick-service restaurant.
Of course, the farm uses its space efficiently to have as little impact on the planet as possible. In addition to growing their own vegetables, they have a cattle herd and chickens that provide all the eggs for their restaurant. Their farm also boasts a beautiful rustic barn that serves as a venue for celebrations and events.
2. LaBelle Brewing Company
If the word “sustainable” or “fresh” reminds you of veggies and vegans, LaBelle Brewing Company is here to prove you wrong. They’ve taken the farm-to-table concept and applied it to one of America’s favorite beverages. Not only do they offer a wide selection of brews, but they also use peak season ingredients.
Rather than sit around for months in bottles or kegs, beer at LaBelle is brewed on-site and served directly into your glass. The Caloosahatchee Hoochie, weighing in at just 4% alcohol by volume (ABV), is the lightest of their beers, whereas the Peregrination, has a whopping 10% ABV.
In addition to serving up cold ones, there’s plenty of delicious food to go around. The brewery has partnered with Buckingham Farms to feed their customers mouthwatering sandwiches, salads, and more. Every week, they host Food Truck Sundays on their lot.
3. The Local
With a name like “The Local”, you can be sure that chef Jeff Mitchells is committed to serving up fresh ingredients. His inspiration is the bounty of Florida itself, along with the extended growing season the land has to offer. For that reason, everything in his kitchen is prepared from scratch and designed to connect guests with the nearby farms, fields, and sea they came from.
Mitchells works closely with growers in the area, such as Inyoni Farms, and finds uses for in-season crops of which the farm has a surplus. The Local’s menu certainly has appetizing options for just about everyone including salads, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, steak, pasta, and desserts. Also, the only items you’ll find in their freezer are ice cream, sorbet, and granita.
4. Chez Boet
When Lisa and Philippe moved from France to the United States, it was their dream to bring the essence of France with them through traditional recipes. Since French cuisine embraces fresh and locally sourced ingredients, it was always clear that their restaurant should do the same.
Their vegetables are organically grown in nearby fields, the Kobe Wagyu beef served comes from the local butcher, and the fish is wild-caught straight out of the Gulf of Mexico and Northern Atlantic. Eating a meal at Chez Boet is meant to feel similar to eating at your French grandmother’s home—that is, if you have one. If their restaurant leaves you craving more, the Boets host their very own culinary group-tours of France.
5. Twisted Vine Bistro
Fort Myers, FL
Located in historic downtown Fort Myers, Twisted Vine Bistro offers a selection of over 30 wines by the glass. Of course, great wine is to be served with great food, and in this the restaurant prides itself. The herbs and spices in their dishes originate from the courtyard garden, where private parties and events are held.
Their fresh ingredients come from Roots Heritage Urban Farm, which grows select produce exclusively for the bistro. The best part is that whatever isn’t used in the restaurant is donated back to the community, helping those who don’t have access to fresh produce eat healthier.
6. Caffe Toscano
Fort Myers, FL
Caffe Toscano takes a slice of Italy and brings it right to the city of Fort Myers. Chef Antonio Durante loves sharing his country’s dishes and the joy that comes from eating them. This Florence native creates dishes that fuse specialty Italian foods with locally sourced in-season ingredients.
These might include Pine-Island clams, wild boar, or hogfish, just to name a few. Because most of his dishes are specials, the menu is small and changes frequently. However, the chef’s joy and love for what he does always remains the same.
7. Rooster & The Till
Voted the best restaurant in Tampa Bay two years in a row, Rooster & The Till doesn’t actually label themselves as a Farm-to-Table restaurant. For the chef/owner Ferrell Alvarez, it is how a restaurant should be run. However, critics are noticing their diligent efforts to obtain only the freshest ingredients.
In order to use only peak season ingredients, the chefs must adapt their menus and work with whatever they can get from the local farms. However, consumers don’t seem to mind as it means that their meals are nutrient-dense and tasty. The chefs always keep diners on their toes with new flavors and pop-up events.
Give These Farm-to-Table Restaurants a Visit
With choices for just about any food palette, Southwest Florida certainly leaves nothing to be desired with its farm-to-table restaurant options. Sustainable, tasty, and good for the local economy, the restaurants mentioned above are the perfect places to dine tonight!
Interested in what else we have to offer? Check out our website for more information or contact us today!