More and more people are attempting to buy as much of their food locally as possible. This trend makes sense because not only does buying local reduce your carbon footprint, but the food is fresher, and you can see exactly where the food is grown.
Where it gets challenging is finding restaurants that use local meats and produce since, oftentimes, local, organic foods are more expensive, and eateries are always looking to reduce their costs.
Luckily, there are some venues in South County that are fully on board with the local, sustainable trend, so here are a few of them to try the next time you're having a meal out.
Small Axe Cafe
Located at The Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown, the Small Axe Cafe is perhaps the most unique venue on this list. The cafe has a rotating menu featuring locally-produced foods, many of which are grown on-site. There is a vegetarian menu, but you'll also find pork, beef, seafood, and chicken dishes available.
There are live music performances periodically at the Small Axe, so if you happen to be in the area, stop by for lunch or dinner during one of the shows.
High Tide Juice Company
As its name suggests, the High Tide Juice Company specializes in freshly-squeezed juice, but you'll also find smoothies, fruit bowls, salads, sandwiches, and coffee at its Westerly location.
The company is committed to supporting both the local community and the planet, which is why most items sold here are local, sustainable, and organic. Of course, if you order a dish with banana, pineapple, or mango, it'll come from a tropical location.
The High Tide Juice Bar is open from 8 AM until 5 PM every day except Tuesday, when it's closed, and Sunday, when it closes at 2 PM.
Misquamicut Sandwich Company
Another Westerly location that serves locally-produced, organic food is the Misquamicut Sandwich Company on Shore Road. Here, you'll find both vegetarian and meat options, depending on your diet, and there are even vegan and gluten-free meals available.
The restaurant is dedicated to using humanly-produced dairy, eggs, and meat as much as possible. Local businesses the Misquamicut Sandwich Company sources from include Greenview Farm, Hillandale Farm, Watch Hill Farms, and FreeBird Chicken.
In Wakefield, Auntie's Kitchen has become a staple over the years, thanks to its breakfast and lunch menu. The restaurant started as a vegetarian establishment but has since grown to include turkey and ham sandwiches for the carnivore in your family.
For the most part, however, you'll find vegan and vegetarian options made with locally-produced ingredients here, and that's why Auntie's Kitchen became popular in the first place.
The idea behind Auntie's Kitchen is that whole foods are far healthier than those made using processed ingredients, and the restaurant promotes clean eating as part of an overall lifestyle change.
Caf-Bar Coffee and Food
Located on Main Street in Wakefield, Caf-Bar is a coffee shop that has expanded and also serves sustainable, locally-sourced, organic, non-GMO food.
The lunch menu is mostly made up of salads, wraps, and sandwiches, although you'll also find smoothies, coffee, tea, and juice if you're not hungry enough for a full meal. You can even build your own sandwich or salad by letting the staff know what you want. For breakfast, toast, bagels, eggs, and oats are available, as well.
Caf-Bar is open from 7 AM - 5 PM between Monday and Saturday and 8 AM - 2 PM on Sunday.
Matunuck Oyster Bar
A lot is going on at Matunuck Oyster Bar, and the end result is a venue that is committed to serving you fresh, local, sustainable, organic food in Wakefield.
For starters, most of the seafood available at Matunuck Oyster Bar is wild-caught, although you will find a few farmed items, as well. The oysters, for example, are cultivated in Potter Pond, which the restaurant overlooks.
All of the vegetables served at Matunuck Oyster Bar come from Matunuck Organic Vegetable Farm, which is just down the street. The farm grows salad greens, spinach, carrots, peas, kale, tomatoes, beets, peppers, rosemary, and sage, plus much more. In the winter, the produce comes from the on-site greenhouse, so no matter when you visit, you'll have farm-to-table, organic food available.
You'll also find an extensive wine list and a variety of local beers on the menu.
Healthy and Sustainable
Visiting these restaurants means doing something a little extra for the environment and your own health. Eating whole foods is important because processed items have additives that aren't good for you, while organic foods are free from cancer-causing pesticides.
It's hard to find healthy, sustainable food when eating out, so it's nice to see that these establishments in South County are doing their part and making it slightly more manageable.