Although typically more expensive, organic food is much more beneficial to your body and health in the long run and lacks the chemicals conventional farms use to preserve food and meats, especially chicken. To find some great organic local meals, see the list below.
Mica is housed in a small stone townhouse along the cobblestone main street of the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia. Acclaimed chef Chip Roman has created an ever-changing menu that has been recognized nationally in magazines such as Food & Wine and GQ. The main dining room may be sparse, but Mica’s food is anything but. Chef Roman’s daily menu is exquisite and consists of things like Lancaster County chicken (with bacon, fingerling potatoes, sour-cherry puree), Cape May Black Bass (with fava beans, parsnip, madras curry) and Chilled Cucumber Soup (Enoki mushrooms, spearmint, peanut, pickled pineapple).
This BYOB restaurant on South Street has a menu that changes everyday based on what is in season and available. In its 10 years, Pumpkin has quickly become a Philly classic. While during the fall it offers a number of pumpkin dishes (like its delicious pumpkin bread), the summer has seen things like New Jersey Skate (paired with corn veloute, arugula, mussel vinaigrette) and warm escarole salad (with bacon and mustard see vinaigrette, coddled egg, sweet potato). Don’t forget to bring cash – Pumpkin is cash only.
Southwark has built lasting relationships with many local family farms, and all of its ingredients come from local farms and co-ops. This means the restaurant is able to create some of the freshest and most flavorful dishes Philly has to offer. Here, the menu changes with the seasons. Some examples of recent items include lavender chicken paired with snails, grilled peach, mustard and creamed potatoes and crispy lamb shoulder with corn, peppers and stone fruit. Southwark also has a late-night menu and a special Sunday supper and is known for its creative cocktails.
Talula’s Garden is Washington Square’s collaboration between Aimee Oxley and Stephen Starr. Sitting in the garden at Talula’s will make you think of simpler times and, to go along with its gorgeous al fresco patio, Talula’s Garden has some of the freshest organic food around. Talula’s has an ever-changing menu with things like marinated and spiced block island swordfish, but there’s one thing that doesn’t change: its giant (and delicious) selection of cheeses! Hop into Talula’s Daily, an organic market next door, for more treats to take home.
White Dog Café has been a University City staple for more than 25 years and, as far as organic restaurants go, you can’t get any better. In fact, just head to its website to view a map on where it locally sources its environmentally-friendly ingredients from farms that are certified organic (and less than 50 miles away from its location). White Dog Cafe has built strong relationships with local farms to create some of the freshest, healthiest and chemical-free food around. Sample plates include the Kennet Square mushroom soup (with truffle creme fraiche, grilled Griggstown chicken, snipped chives) and Lancaster County tandoori chicken (with English cucumber, turmeric scented Greek yogurt, Israeli couscous, minted apricot vinaigrette and coconut chicken jus).
Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.