Local is Near and Dear

Local is Near and Dear image

When you go out to eat, do you ever consider where your food really comes from?

While many restaurants are supplied by trusted and reliable distributors, others prioritize the sourcing of their ingredients directly from farms, whether it’s seasonal produce, meat, fish, or dairy. Often called “farm-to-table,” these restaurants source their food locally, preferring to buy from the community and have a relationship with the farmers instead of shopping abroad. There are many benefits that include preserving the environment, higher product quality, and supporting local community: less food travel, higher quality of nutrition and freshness, and keeping money in the pockets of local businesses. 

At Iron Ox, we are committed to decreasing our “foodprint” and reducing the number of miles our fresh produce has to travel by making our farms accessible to everyone. We are just beginning.

“Farm-to-table” is a category of its own, so we asked a few of our engineers, marketing, and greenhouse production employees for their favorites near our greenhouse locations in the Bay Area, CA and Austin, TX areas. These restaurants value sourcing locally for peak freshness and taste.


A few local “farm-to-table” restaurants in the Bay Area, CA include: number5 kitchen, Johnston’s Saltbox, Green Leaf Bistro, and Culturas.

Michelle V.

Customer Success Manager

Restaurant: number5kitchen

number5kitchen has been such a great addition to San Carlos! We are so fortunate to have the ability to walk downtown and experience locally grown, fresh and delicious meals. Henry does an amazing job of creating exceptionally tasty dishes. The menu changes seasonally allowing for the use of the freshest ingredients, and for us to continually experience new delights from the kitchen. The mushroom pizza and Autumn soup from their pizza pop-up was amazing!

Source: Johnston’s Saltbox Instagram

Brianna V.

Workplace Lead

Restaurant: Johnston’s Saltbox

I grew up pretty close to Johnston’s Saltbox when they opened up and was very excited by their concept of a changing menu based on the plants they grew on their roof, and what they could purchase from local farmers that are in season. It’s become a staple for brunch whenever I am back in town and the rotating menu keeps things fresh and interesting! If they run out of ingredients they simply will close up shop and get ready for the next day. Such a refreshing and sustainable take on the concept of restaurants.

Source: The Californian

Victor R.

Greenhouse Operations Manager

Restaurant: Culturas Hidalgo & Oaxaca

Plant based foods, craft cocktails, certified by the Health and Wellness focused Blue Zones Project, and of course, a great selection of regional Mexican cuisine from Hidalgo and Oaxaca! What’s not to love?!

Source: Green Leaf Bistro Yelp Page

Adam W.

Manufacturing Engineer

Restaurant: Green Leaf Bistro

“Having grown up in the Bay Area, there are so many great options to choose from. A personal favorite is Green Leaf Bistro, where my friend is the creator and the food is prepared from scratch daily. They prioritize using local, fresh ingredients, and the Pan Asian comfort food is truly delicious.”


A few local “farm-to-table” restaurants in the Austin, TX area include Odd Duck, Hillside Farmacy, and Pie Society.
Source: Odd Duck Facebook Page

Mario E.

Food Safety and QA Manager

Restaurant: Odd Duck

Odd Duck brings what is best in season, and not what is best year-round. I love that the menu is never the same, yet uses only local ingredients. Their farm-to-table produce is usually harvested at peak ripeness, with the best nutritional value and animal products are fresh and never frozen (unless freezing is required for food safety). They have a list of all the places the local producers they work with and it extends outside of just produce and meat and seafood, but also cheese shops, olive ranches, egg farms, and more.

Source: Hillside Farmacy Facebook Page

Amanda M.

Social Marketing Manager

Restaurant: Hillside Farmacy

I first went to Hillside Farmacy in 2018, before working at Iron Ox. When I found out Iron Ox employees stay at a hotel near this gem I was ecstatic! Not only is the vibe and decor unbeatable – an old pharmacy with amazing preservation, but the food focuses on supporting local farms and ranches. Make sure to book a reservation, it fills up quickly!

Source: Pie Society Facebook Page

Angie T.

Production Manager

Restaurant: Pie Society

The owners are the Katz brothers, who own Zelick’s Icehouse (roadhouse bar), Dos Gatos (fresh pastries/vegetarian friendly), and North Street (Indian fusion), all of which are in San Marcos. Pie Society is New York-style pizza with veggie and vegan options. They serve homemade TX goat cheese, TX honey, and make their own flatbread and in-house for delish calzones.The quality of all of their restaurants is fantastic, the staff is friendly, the menu selection is unique, and the atmosphere is laid back and comfortable.”

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Iron Ox

We believe the best food is grown locally and recently. Our growing facilities use advanced robotics to cultivate perfect, nutritious produce by giving each plant the specific attention it needs, and then getting it on a store shelf nearby within about a day of harvest.