From field to fork: Try these 9 Pennsylvania farm-to-table restaurants revolutionizing the local food scene

From Field to Fork: Try These 9 Pennsylvania Farm-to-Table Restaurants Revolutionizing the Local Food Scene

Photo courtesy of Facebook

By Ellery Weil

June 21, 2024

Pennsylvania has an abundance of farm-to-table restaurants where chefs are making creative use of locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients for truly memorable meals.

From Philly cheesesteaks to the country comfort food of Lancaster County, one thing is clear: The Keystone State knows good cooking, and good eating. And since our state spans not one or two, but four distinct regions of the country, from the Northeast to the Mid-Atlantic to Appalachia to the Great Lakes — with farming and fishing throughout — Pennsylvania produces a bounty and diversity of locally-sourced food and drink.

That explains the abundance of delicious farm-to-table restaurants across the commonwealth. Farm-to-table dining, which has existed for decades, has only grown more popular in recent years. With a philosophy of utilizing locally-sourced ingredients, and a distinct overlap with the seasonal and “slow food” movements, farm-to-table dining helps support local Pennsylvania farmers and their communities. Moreover, since the food has less distance to travel, it’s fresher, and more environmentally sustainable — wins all around!

When you’re looking for your next farm-to-table Pennsylvania meal, here are some eateries we recommend you check out:

The Millworks – Harrisburg

From an interior that celebrates local artists, to a seasonally-changing menu that supports local farms, the Millworks prides itself on being a tribute to everything there is to love about Central Pennsylvania. Diners can expect wood-fired pizzas, tasty sandwiches, and hearty entrees like grass-fed New York strip with chimichurri, and penne with house-made vodka sauce and heirloom tomatoes. 

The Trapp Door Gastropub – Emmaus

If you like your farm-to-table dining with a side of entertainment, try the Trapp Door Gastropub, where creative, locally-sourced takes on pub classics pair with live music. Dig into pork belly steam buns with house kimchi or creamy mushroom risotto while you enjoy entertainment, or just take in the friendly atmosphere. The Trapp Door also operates a food truck, and is available to book for private parties.

The Horse Inn – Lancaster

For more than 100 years, the Horse Inn, Lancaster’s oldest continuously-operating restaurant, has been serving a locally-sourced menu with an emphasis on Pennsylvania meats and cheeses. They’ve been serving beef tips on toast for more than a century, and are still going strong. Finish off your meal with some strawberry-rhubarb fried pie, or a signature cocktail. And if you’re in an adventurous mood, the Horse Inn also offers cans of “mystery beer” for a special discount.

Harvest – Hershey

Looking for an elegant dining experience in a popular vacation spot? Take a glance at Harvest, the farm-to-table dining spot at the famous Hotel Hershey. With a menu ranging from locally-sourced vegetable campanelle to barbecue ribs dusted in the town’s famous cocoa powder, Harvest takes inspiration from the town of Hershey and its surrounding farmlands. And save room for dessert, like a “campfire duo” of s’mores cake and mocha mousse.

Broad Table Tavern at the Inn at Swarthmore – Swarthmore

Broad Table Tavern is a popular destination for Swarthmore College students, their families, and locals. Named a 2021 Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice, Broad Table Tavern offers New American flavors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a relaxed setting. From seared dayboat scallops to a classic Philly cheesesteak, their menu offers something for everyone, and with outdoor dining and takeout available, you can enjoy your meal in whatever surroundings you like.

Vedge – Philadelphia

Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just a fan of fine dining, you need to check out Vedge, the highly-acclaimed farm-to-table vegan restaurant in the heart of Philadelphia. Offering a market-inspired menu that changes seasonally, some of Vedge’s classics include their portobello carpaccio and spicy Persian cucumbers with peanuts and fried tofu. Make a meal out of Vedge’s shareable small plates, and be sure to check out the drinks menu for an extensive list of natural wines, plus craft beers and signature cocktails. 

Talula’s Garden – Philadelphia

For a creative, Mid-Atlantic seasonal menu in a bright and friendly setting, try Talula’s Garden. From farm-to-table ingredients to a menu with fun takes on regional classics like miso-accented mushroom soup and lemon brulee spatchcock chicken, to the indoor-outdoor restaurant space, Talula’s Garden is a breath of fresh air in the heart of Philadelphia. Looking for a snack? Try the cheese bar, with a “maitre fromager” sourcing dairy treats, and wash them down with Mid-Atlantic craft beers on tap.

Pocono Organics Market and Cafe – Blakeslee

It doesn’t get more farm-fresh than Pocono Organics, where the cafe, which serves breakfast, lunch, and a special weekend brunch, is attached to a 380-acre organic farm which prides itself on being one of the largest regenerative vegetable farms in North America. You can enjoy the bounty of organic produce grown on site when you stop in for a meal at the cafe, where specialties range from classic burgers on house-made bread, to vegan biscuits and gravy with Pennsylvania mushrooms. Stop by the market afterwards for treats to take home.

Fig & Ash – Pittsburgh

Looking for an upscale take on farm-to-table comfort food, in a location whose roots run deep? Look no further than Pittsburgh’s Fig & Ash. With a locally-designed restaurant in historic Deustchtown, and proprietor Cory Hughes’ past as the Steelers’ training camp chef, Fig & Ash is tied to Pittsburgh by more than its locally-sourced menu. Diners can enjoy short rib and pork belly meatloaf for dinner, followed by cast iron Kahlua fudge brownies for dessert, with innovative signature cocktails to wash it all down. 

 

READ MORE: Meatless in Pennsylvania: Discover the 13 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants Across the State

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CATEGORIES: FOOD AND DRINK
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