California Local Foods

Guide to Eating Local in California

Eating local in California is relatively easy: 80% of the country's fruits and vegetables are grown in the state. Find ideas, inspiration, and information on eating more local foods below.

  • 01 of 09

    California Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

    Fresh Artichokes
    Artichokes. Photo © Molly Watson

    Growing seasons are long and multiple in California, but produce items still have their seasons. Find out what to expect when with this Guide to California Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables.

  • 02 of 09
    Dino Kale at the Market
    Lacinato Kale (Dino Kale). Photo © Molly Watson

    Californians are surrounded by farmers markets. Find a Certified Farmers Market (one where farmers sell produce from their farms directly to consumers) near you with this Listing of California Farmers Markets.

    Whether you're new to farmers markets or an old hand, check these Farmers Market Shopping Tips before you head out.

  • 03 of 09

    California Food Festivals

    Fresh Asparagus. Photo © Molly Watson

    The Golden State is awash in food festivals from big splashy fairs to smaller community events. Find a festival near you or featuring your favorite California ingredient:

  • 04 of 09

    California Specialties

    Pan-Fried Abalone. Photo © Molly Watson

    Eat like the locals eat in California with these great recipes for classic California dishes:

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    California CSAs

    CSA Box June 24, 2009. Photo © Molly Watson

    California has plenty of community supported agriculture programs to choose from.

  • 06 of 09

    California Meats

    Clark Summit Farm
    Clark Summit Farm. Photo © Molly Watson

    There are several sustainable, locally focused ranchers and livestock farms in California.

    • Clark Summit Farms in Tomales Bay raises pastured beef, pork, chickens, eggs, and sometimes geese
    • Marin Sun Farms provides beef, pork, lamb, goat, chicken, and eggs to the San Francisco Bay Area
  • 07 of 09

    California Favorites: Abalone

    Trim Abalone Slices. Photo © Molly Watson

    Once upon a time, abalone was so plentiful on the California coast that beach-goers would simply pluck them off rocks at low tide and cook them up over bonfires. Such a defenseless condition, combined with richly flavored meat that always strikes me as a cross between scallops and foie gras, led to a threatened population. Wild abalone harvest is now strictly regulated, and limited to recreational diving only. Luckily, some intrepid souls raise farmed abalone. No matter what kind you have, see ho...MOREw to clean it and how to cook it.

  • 08 of 09

    California Favorites: Dungeness Crab

    Dungeness Crab
    Dungeness Crab. Photo © Molly Watson
    Dungeness crabs crawl along the shore from Central California on north to Alaska and are a seasonal favorite, especially in Northern California. The crab season usually opens in mid-November in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Dungeness crab is a traditional part of Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas Eve crab-picking dinners. Learn more About Dungeness Crab here.
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    California Favorites: Green Almonds

    Green Almonds
    Green Almonds. Photo © Molly Watson

    You need almond orchards to get green almonds, and California grows a whole hell of a lot of almonds. Look for delectable green almonds at farmers markets and some specialty markets in April and, depending on the year, into early June sometimes.