Farm-to-table, or Locavorism, is a sustainable way of eating, and lucky for us Toronto has many restaurants who are committed to buying fresh, local ingredients with minimal carbon footprint. Farm-to-table restaurants have talented chefs at the helm of this food movement and who always come up with exciting and innovative menu items. Here are the restaurants that do it best. [Photo: Montecito by Jennifer D'Agostino]
The menu at Ruby Watchco changes daily. That is how committed owner and Chef Lynn Crawford is to using local ingredients. Referred to as market-inspired food, Crawford alongside Chef Lora Kirk, serve a four-course prix-fixe menu nightly.
The menu at Montecito is inspired by Californian cuisine, yet it highlights the best in Canadian produce and protein. The focal point of all of the dishes is local ingredients that are foraged in a sustainable manner. The two-story restaurant is located in the heart of the Entertainment District.
With a last name like Hunter, it seems as though owner and chef Michael Hunter was destined to open Antler. The restaurant celebrates regional ingredients, which are present all throughout the seasonal menu, and they even make an appearance in the cocktails, which are made with Antler’s own natural infusions and syrups. With freshly foraged ingredients in hand, Hunter aims to define Canadian cuisine at Antler.
Chef Brad Long’s Café Belong is dedicated to the sustainable food movement. Procuring local ingredients, he uses the menu to showcase the connection between natural food from the land, the farmers that grow it and harvest it, and finally the diners that enjoy it.
It’s not just the decor at Farmhouse Tavern that takes inspiration from the farmhouses of rural Ontario - the menu does too! Often referred to as farm-driven food, it sources all the ingredients locally from farms across Ontario. Farmhouse Tavern first opened in 2012, and has made a name for itself due to its attention to detail and delicious food. Try the renowned Farmhouse Brunch Burger, made with freshly ground chuck.
Located in the Danforth neighbourhood, Globe Bistro may be responsible for reenergizing the farm-to-table movement in Toronto. The restaurant offers a unique menu filled with dishes from around the world, with ingredients that are, of course, all local. Globe Bistro is open for dinner and brunch on the weekends.
All of the ingredients at Beast Restaurant are sourced from Ontario producers and farmers. Open in 2011, it’s known for its use of rare cuts and parts of meat, like beef heart and liver. The restaurant has a 120 menu, which means the menu is only available for 120 minutes, more specifically between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. nightly. There is also a dinner menu and weekend brunch.
Woods might be the only truly Canadian restaurant in Toronto. The menu is based on local, organic and seasonal ingredients; items include House Smoked Ontario Elk Carpaccio, Seared Quebec Foie Gras and more. The restaurant only plays Canadian music during dinner service.
There is a certain sequence of events that occurs at Union and it goes a little something like this: farm, chef, table. Executive Chef Teo Paul ensures that all of the products used in the kitchen at Union come from Ontario farms, including Blue Haven Farms, Hope Farms and StoneyField Elk Farm. The menus are updated daily for lunch and dinner service.
Harvest Kitchen provides local, affordable and versatile meals at the Harbord Street location. Consciously sourced, all the ingredients come from Harvest Kitchen’s own farm (Skinny Barn Farm), which is located north of Cobourg. It is so dedicated to the local food movement that the Chef Owen Steinberg, has been a member of Slow Food International for more than 20 years.