Image courtesy The Fat Radish by Steve Freihon
Although farm to table dining seems impossible in the urban jungle that is New York City, many restaurants still find a way to locally source their menus. Here, we take a look at 10 of the city’s best farm-to-table restaurants, where the freshest ingredients are used to create seasonal dishes.
Listed in no particular order, each eatery not only features a diverse menu, but also offers a distinct ambience that’s worthy of checking out:
1. Alice’s Arbor (Bed Stuy)
Image courtesy Alice’s Arbor
Nestled away in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn is Alice’s Arbor, a rustic farm-to-table restaurant, located on 549 Classon Avenue. Focused on European-influenced, New American cuisine, the eatery offers both daily and weekly specials using the freshest ingredients from local producers. “We have been open for six years, just trying to be a staple for the regular,” says general manager, Taylor Fogarty. “We buy a lot from local farmers upstate and try to support the neighborhood.”
Inside, the decor features reclaimed materials and wood, which creates an ambience that’s a mix between a farm and mountain lodge. During the spring and summer, outdoor seating is also available so visitors can enjoy fresh air and some greenery. Signature brunch dishes offered include the Cubano and the Steak and Eggs, and dinner entrees like the Sullivan County Farm trout, and the cheddar and goat cheese béchamel Mac & Cheese are house favorites.
2. Union Square Cafe (Union Square)
Image courtesy Rockwell Group by Emily Andrews
Conveniently located near Union Square on 101 E 19th Street, Union Square Cafe has served as a standard for farm-to-table cooking since 1985. Taking inspiration from the Greenmarket and the community, Chef Quagliata focuses on entrees that pay homage to his southern Italian and Californian roots. Accordingly, this non-tipping and market-driven restaurant — self described as “one of the originators of contemporary American cuisine” — features a diverse mix of American, Italian, and French-inspired dishes, including the Berkshire Pork Chop and Ricotta Gnocchi. Restaurant patrons can also enjoy a roomy upstairs bar that serves a great assortment of wines and cocktails.
While “other restaurants have customers; Union Square Cafe has fans, and knows it,” says Pete Wells of the New York Times.
3. PRINT. (Hell’s Kitchen)
Image courtesy PRINT. by Kris Tamburello
Like its name might suggest, PRINT. is located in a renovated and repurposed printing factory on 653 11th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. Boasting a woody ambience that incorporates organic, recycled and modern accents, the restaurant is dedicated to New American sustainable cuisine, which means its menu is updated daily.
In addition to its elegant setting and friendly staff, PRINT. has an in-house forager, Meghan Boledovich, who is responsible for finding the freshest and highest quality ingredients from local markets, regional farms and other purveyors. The casual, but elegant restaurant also offers a rooftop lounge with incredible views of Manhattan, classic cocktails and an extensive wine list.
4. Clay (Harlem)
Image courtesy Clay
Harlem has a rich history focused around jazz and food, and Clay on 553 Manhattan Avenue continues to add to this tradition — quite fitting as its located near institutions like the Apollo Theater and The Studio Museum. Serving food only from local and small suppliers (which are listed its website), Clay develops great relationships with its suppliers to offer the best seasonal ingredients.
Located at the site of the former Perk’s Fine Cuisine — a historic club and restaurant, headed by the former “mayor of Harlem” Henry Perkins, and known for its jazz, R&B, and calypso band — the small space feels warm and welcoming while remaining stylistic and modern. Most notably, there’s white marble bar that matches the white exposed brick of the restaurant, and large windows allow for natural sunlight to flow in. Check out our extended coverage of Clay here.
5. The Fat Radish (Lower East Side)
Image courtesy The Fat Radish by Steve Freihon
Focusing on British seasonal cooking, The Fat Radish on 17 Orchard Street delivers a dining experience that will make you feel right at home. Although the restaurant is currently housed in what used to be a sausage factory, the space has since been transformed into a staple for farm-to-table dining. Here, the signature meal is the crispy duck, but it also serves British favorites such as celery root pot pie.
The Fat Radish’s purveyors are all listed on the website. Also noteworthy is the restaurant’s casual, but cozy ambience: its rustic vibe closely matches that of an apartment in Williamsburg. Guests will almost feel like they’re eating outside as greenery covers the walls inside the space, which is also decorated with benches and stools that allow for guests to feel a sense of community when dining.
6. Amali (Upper East Side)
Image courtesy Amali
The word “Amali” was historically used to refer to modern day Greece, Italy, and Turkey. As such, the restaurant on 115 E 60th Street focuses on sustainable cooking to create Mediterranean dishes that emphasizes vegetables, olive oil, fish and grains. Its menu changes frequently so guests will be able to try new things every time they visit.
Amali has an artisanal cheese and salumi selection to try alongside signature wines (there’s about 400 options to choose from)! The restaurant itself occupies a small narrow space with a relaxed vibe to transport patrons away from the hustle of city living.
7. ABC Kitchen (Union Square)
With Michelin stars under his belt, famed chef Jean-Georges opened ABC Kitchen on 35 East 18th Street in 2010. Sustainability is the hallmark of this New American restaurant, with much of its decor crafted from repurposed materials. In keeping to this mission, the food served is locally and organically sourced as well.
Boasting a casual atmosphere, paired with a trendy vibe and friendly staff, ABC Kitchen is located within the ABC Carpet and Home Department Store. White tables match well with the light brown floors and exposed brick. Head there for signature dishes like the Peekytoe-crab Toast and the Chile-Herbed Sea Bass.
8. The Farm on Adderley (Ditmas Park)
Located on 1108 Cortelyou Rd, The Farm on Adderley is all about community and great food. This rustic, American bistro in Ditmas Park, which includes an outdoor garden and a cozy bar, serves classics like Grits and Eggs and Kale Salad, alongside natural wines and craft beers. Like its rotating menu, the artwork featured on the walls is seasonal as well.
Visit The Farm on Adderley website to stay up to date with the many special events it hosts throughout the year, from cocktail tastings to floral design workshops.
9. Foragers (Multiple Locations)
With two markets, one restaurant and one wine shop in New York City, Foragers Table is a popular choice among New Yorkers. This locally-sourced gem was first founded in Chelsea in 2012. Since then, it’s quickly expanded with a new kiosk at New York City’s newest food hall, Dekalb Market Hall. There, you can also find an old-fashioned, full-service butcher.
Additionally, the team at Foragers maintains a market farm in the Hudson Valley where they grow their vegetables and raise hen to ensure that their food is local and farm fresh. Find Foragers Market on 56 Adams Street in DUMBO and 300 W 22nd Street in Chelsea; Foragers Wines and Table on 233 8th Avenue in Chelsea, and 445 Albee Sq. West in Downtown Brooklyn.
10. Blue Hill Farm (Greenwich Village)
Photo by Thomas Schauer courtesy Blue Hill
Located near Washington Square Park on 75 Washington Place, in a speakeasy-like spot, is Blue Hill, an organic and artisanal inspired restaurant serving local food and wines. Guests must choose from a four-course tasting menu or a six-course meal called the Farmer’s Feast. The restaurant’s ingredients come from local farms and the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, just outside of New York City.
Blue Hill’s executive chef Dan Barber has plenty of experience with sustainable dining and was appointed to former President Barack Obama’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. The dining experience is like no other and raises the bar for farm-to-table cooking.