Eat Local in Greater Phoenix: Farm-to-Table Dining in the Valley of the Sun

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Flight Network Foodie  

When you think of Arizona, lettuce is probably not top of mind. But the state produces almost all of the leafy greens Americans eat during the winter months, as well as a whole host of other crops, from citrus to garlic and everything in between. In the Greater Phoenix area, plenty of restaurants are building a reputation for maximizing local farmers’ bounty. Here are six spots in Phoenix and the East Valley to get a taste of what the area’s farm country has to offer.

True Food Kitchen

Crudites at True Food Kitchen Photo: Christina Newberry
Crudites at True Food Kitchen. Photo: Christina Newberry

Serving “honest food that tastes really good” based on anti-inflammatory diet principles, True Food Kitchen currently has locations in 10 states. With a focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, but omnivores can also tuck into grass-fed beef and sustainable seafood.

In Phoenix: Biltmore Fashion Park, 2502 E Camelback Road, Suite 135
In Scottsdale: 15191 N. Scottsdale Road #101

Flower Child

Kale Salad and Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon at Flower Child Photo: Lauren Topor/CC BY
Kale Salad and Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon at Flower Child. Photo: Lauren Topor/CC BY

The motto “happy food for a healthy world” is reinforced by the owners’ commitment to buying ingredients from ranchers who treat their animals (and plants) right. That means naturally raised meat and organic produce that adheres to guidelines set by the Environmental Working Group. Wash it all down with kombucha on tap.

In Phoenix: 5013 N. 44th Street or 100 East Camelback Road
In Scottsdale: 10460 N. 90th Street

Joe’s Farm Grill at Agritopia

Joe's Farm Grill. Photo: Christina Newberry
Joe’s Farm Grill. Photo: Christina Newberry

At Joe’s Farm Grill, the produce is literally grown next door. Part of the Agritopia master-planned agricultural community, this popular diner incorporates ingredients from the farm right on site. The menu’s not particularly focused on healthy eats – the motto “common food done uncommonly well” is highlighted in the burgers, ribs and pizza – but there’s an extensive salad list and a sign to advise which ingredients are currently in season and picked right on the farm.

In Gilbert: 3000 East Ray Road

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. Photo: Shawn Parker
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. Photo: Shawn Parker

With ales crafted from heritage wheat grown at the local Sossaman Farms and milled at nearby Hayden Flour Mills, the first brewery in Gilbert, AZ, offers local drinking as well as local eating. Every Wednesday, there’s a local food special showcasing ingredients from the region’s farms to round out the farm-to-table experience.

In Gilbert: 721 N. Arizona Avenue #103

Eatery at Queen Creek Olive Mill

Olives at Queen Creek Olive Mill. Photo: Visit Mesa
Olives at Queen Creek Olive Mill. Photo: Visit Mesa

Arizona’s climate makes it perfect for growing olives, but this is the state’s only working olive farm. The site-pressed extra virgin olive oil features prominently on the menu, showing up as a prime ingredient in waffles and cupcakes as well as savoury items like sandwiches, salads and pizza.

In Queen Creek: 25062 S. Meridian Road

Dinner Down the Orchard at Schnepf Farms

Dinner Down the Orchard at Schnepf Farms
Schnepf Farms. Photo: Visit Mesa

On two dates each spring, the largest peach grower in Arizona sets a long table in the middle of the organic orchard with white linen tablecloths and plenty of mood lighting. A top local chef showcases ingredients from the farm and other local producers in each evening’s four-course meal. (Note: The second of this year’s events is coming up on April 30.)

In Queen Creek: 24610 South Rittenhouse Road

If these places have made you want to catch the next flight, there are lots of amazing hotel options that are close by to these amazing restaurant options.

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About the Author: Christina Newberry

Christina Newberry is a Vancouver-based freelance travel and lifestyle writer. When she's not travelling, Christina can be found in her community garden plot or exploring Vancouver's unique neighbourhoods. Connect with her atchristinanewberry.com.

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