Top 12 Austin Restaurants for Locavores

“What is a locavore?” you may ask. No, it isn’t a new diet trend or an exclusive club reserved for those in the know. Locavores are those whose diets consists principally of locally-grown or -produced food. Taking a locavore approach to eating means a step back into simpler times, before the industrialization of the food system. Before the existence of genetically-modified crops and the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Before monocropping practices and animal production facilities dominated the U.S. food supply.

The USDA defines “local” as less than 400 miles from the origin of the product, or within the same state where the product is produced. Austinites have the unique opportunity to dine with a distance from farm to table of literally only a couple of miles (and in some cases, only a few feet). That is a big deal, considering the average American meal travels about 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate (source: Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture).

Much like a new car immediately depreciates in value upon driving off the lot, the nutritional value of a tomato immediately depreciates upon being picked from the vine. The produce found in your local supermarket can be anywhere from one week to one year old by the time it reaches shelves. In addition to the positive impact consuming locally-produced food has on your health and the environment, it also allows you the opportunity to promote sustainable farming practices and support Austin’s vibrant local food community–both farmers and restaurants.

In the interest of keeping it hyperlocal, I’m focusing on restaurants that source ingredients from the four urban farms on Austin’s east side: Boggy CreekHausBarRain Lily and Springdale. All four of these farms provide organic produce to local restaurants.

With help from a couple of urban farmers and V. Broussard Consulting, I came up with a list of 12 Austin restaurants bringing you the most delicious, responsibly-sourced food via the shortest route possible. All 12 feature seasonal menu selections that are constantly changing based on the availability of local ingredients.

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