Due to a recent resurgence of interest in where our food is coming from, farm-to-table restaurants are experiencing popularity like never before. In a return to simpler times, many of the ingredients used at these restaurants are sourced locally or even grown on site. These efforts support community farmers and fishermen and guarantee the freshest produce, meat, poultry and seafood possible. Not only is using ingredients in this manner better for the local economy and environment, it’s also healthier for us. Local farmers can grow produce for optimal flavor and nutritional value instead of focusing on the resiliency needed for produce to travel long distances before being consumed. Visit these top farm-to-table restaurants in Philadelphia to enjoy the finest, freshest ingredients the area has to offer.
The Farm and Fisherman
1120 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 687-1555
www.thefarmandfisherman.comDespite opening just a little over two years ago, The Farm and Fisherman has already become one of the most highly praised Philadelphia restaurants. In fact, Philadelphia Magazine honored the restaurant by naming it “Best Farm-to-Table” in the 2012 annual “Best of Philly” issue. Husband-and-wife team, chefs Josh and Colleen Lawler, demonstrate true nose-to-tail and root-to-leaf cooking with inventive dishes such as beef heart and beet steak. Using old-school butchering techniques taught to him by his grandfather, Josh Lawler is able to prepare whole animals without using walk-in refrigerators for product storage. The meals you’ll enjoy at this intimate 30-table BYOB are prepared only with the finest sustainably sourced poultry, meat and fish.

306 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625-9425
www.forkrestaurant.comOver the past 15 years, this New American bistro has developed both an outstanding reputation and strong relationships with local farmers and fishermen. Fork’s 15th anniversary brought about a few changes to the décor, and more notably, a new chef. Chef Eli Kulp brings fresh eyes to the menu as well as an abundance of experience in New York. Selected as one of Star Chefs 2013 Rising Stars, Chef Kulp has created a menu that changes seasonally to reflect the efforts of the best farmers in the area. A fresh menu with favorites including handmade pastas, roast pork, guinea hen and a mid-Atlantic seafood feast combined with a thorough wine list and exemplary service makes this Old City restaurant well worth the visit.

Golden Pheasant Inn (Credit, Michelle Hein)

Golden Pheasant Inn
763 River Road (Route 32)
Erwinna, PA 18920
(610) 294-9595
www.goldenpheasant.comJust a short scenic drive from Philadelphia, Bucks County’s Golden Pheasant Inn is the longest continuously operating restaurant/hotel along the Delaware. Michel Faure, the restaurant’s owner of 26 years, recently passed the torch to his three daughters as co-owners. After nine months of renovation, the restaurant reopened last fall with the youngest daughter, Blake Faure, and Jon Ramsey as co-executive chefs. The restaurant’s new menu honors the inn’s roots in French cuisine and supports the local community by using fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from a half share with Tinicum CSA, Blue Moon Acres and Zone 7 Farms, along with poultry from local providers. Favorite dishes include roasted duck breast from Joe Jurgielewicz and roasted pheasant from MacFarlane Farms. Wednesday through Friday, a “Love our Locals” special available in the tavern highlights local ingredients while also celebrating local diners.

M Restaurant (Credit, Michelle Hein)

M Restaurant
Morris House Hotel
231 S. 8th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 625 6666
www.mrestaurantphilly.comNot only is M Restaurant the site of what’s arguably the most beautiful outdoor dining area in Philadelphia, it’s also one of the only restaurants in the city that grows many of the herbs and peppers used in the dishes right in the restaurant’s garden. Taking the concept of farm-to-table one step farther, this unique concept of seed-to-table means that the chefs of M Restaurant are actually involved in every step of the ingredient – from the planting of seeds to the produce on your plate. The majority of fruit and vegetables that aren’t grown in the restaurant’s outdoor garden are actually from the owners’ farm in Frenchtown. Produce such as zucchini, squash, tomatoes and herbs are harvested weekly and brought to M Restaurant to use in the wonderful menu items.

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REX 1516
1516 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(267) 319-1366
www.rex1516.comChef Justin Swain of REX 1516 serves upscale comfort food with a Southern twist. With a menu that changes seasonally, local food is used as often as possible. Some ingredients are produced as locally as the restaurant’s own backyard. Two types of oregano, three types of sage (essential in Southern cooking), four types of mint, six varieties of heirloom tomatoes, fennel, scallions, chives, thyme, edible flowers, lavender and rosemary are just some of the herbs and produce currently being grown to use in the restaurant’s seasonal drinks and dishes.

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Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open. Examiner.com.