Ithaca, New York, is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the state and it brings with it a wealth of agricultural knowledge, which is seen in its farm-to-table food scene. It's one of the biggest farm-to-table movements in New York and Ithaca has prided itself on not only featuring its farm-fresh meals in restaurants, but also in B&Bs, at farmer's markets, and even farm stays. There's nothing better from a foodie point of view than being treated to a meal that came straight from the farm down the road, and in Ithaca, foodies can be surrounded by these options. The creativity that goes into each meal and presentation is nothing short of artistic, with every ingredient coming from the city itself or close to it. For all the farm-to-table options that a foodie's happy heart can handle, head to Ithaca and see what it's really all about.

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Farms, Outdoor Markets, And U-Pick Fields

Ithaca isn't only a haven for nature lovers, it's also a haven for fresh ingredients and prepared farm-to-table meals. Visitors can find these anywhere from local farms and farmstands to outdoor markets, all of which sell local produce and so much more. Some stops that should be on everyone's list:

  • Ithaca Farmer's Market: Ithaca Farmer's Market is run by more than 130 active members and everything found there is grown within 30 miles of the market. The best advice is to go there with an empty stomach since vendors are always whipping up eat-on-the-go food as well as meals to take home, heat, and eat. It operates from April to December on Saturdays and from May to November on Sundays, with a gorgeous Cayuga Lake view to boot.
  • Indian Creek Farm: Also known as Ithica's 'Orchard Playground' according to the Indian Creek Farm website, this is the perfect place to spend a day picking fresh fruit and berries. Located in the gorgeous Ithica countryside, this farm offers U-pick for strawberries and raspberries during the summer in addition to apple picking in the fall. The orchards are home to all manner of fruit including peaches, and the market has plenty of fresh produce to choose from. Visitors can even sign up for crop alerts so they can get first dibs on U-pick and market finds!

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Farm-To-Fork Restaurants In Ithaca

In addition to farms and farm stands, Ithaca is also home to many farm-to-table, or farm-to-fork, restaurants. Using the same local produce, meats, and dairy, these restaurants, and their culinary teams have whipped up menus that perfectly define what it means to be 'fresh.' Each dish will delight the senses with its creativity and local flair, and these are only a few of the dining options visitors will find in this great city.

  • Stonecat Cafe: According to Stone Quarry House, Stonecat Cafe specializes in 'organic regional cuisine' which is right up the alley of farm-to-table-loving foodies. The best part, though, includes the views that diners will have over Seneca Lake and its wine country. This is the type of restaurant where diners will know exactly where their food is coming from, and they can expect a high level of skill and finesse when it comes to each dish - from mushroom and spinach risotto to Whiskey-cured gravlax or chilled beet salad.
  • Moosewood Restaurant: Moosewood has had a reputation now for some time thanks to its world-famous vegetarian offerings, and its farm-to-table roots only make it that much more divine. The unique thing about this restaurant is that the soups specials change daily according to what's in season and what the local farms are growing. Diners can always count on a selection of soups, salads, sides, and small dishes, along with unique entrees such as an eggplant-mushroom marsala.
  • Ithaca Beer Co.: Chances are, if you're in the region for farm-to-table food, there's a good chance that you'll appreciate a brewing company that incorporates that same idea into their brews. Ithaca Beer Co. also features a full menu at their brewery, complete with selections of small plates, wood-fired pizza, burgers, and sandwiches, all with a local flair. The brews are also exceptional and some change seasonally, with Flower Power, Apricot Wheat, and Lakeside Lager being some of their most popular options.

There are many places to find flawless farm-to-table cuisine around the U.S. but when it comes to local community and flavor, Ithaca is pretty unbeatable. Upstate New York is home to some of the best food trails on the East Coast and Ithaca is another shining example of what local, fresh cuisine can - and should - be.

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