Everything You Need to Know About Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Festival
Sacramento has had many monikers over the years: City of Trees, Capital City, River City, and The Big Tomato to name a few. But no nickname has garnered more attention (or more pride!) than the city’s recognition as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.
Sacramento earned the designation in 2012 to highlight the abundance of farms that surround the city — 1.5 million acres producing 165 different varieties of produce to be exact. Fertile farmlands are found in every county surrounding the greater Sacramento area, including Yolo, El Dorado and Placer counties. The region produces everything from apples to almonds, wine grapes to walnuts.
The mild weather in the greater Sacramento area means there’s always something in season. Browse any one of the area’s farmers markets (there are more than 40 in all, including the state’s largest), and you’re sure to find a wide variety of just-picked fruits and vegetables.
The greater Sacramento area was focusing on farm-to-table cuisine long before it was a thing. Top-name restaurants have been serving locally grown produce for decades, and now it’s the centerpiece of menus the region over. And it’s not just high-end restaurants that tout farm-to-fork leanings. Even low-key spots like pizza places, ice cream parlors, burger joints and cocktail bars use seasonal ingredients in their offerings. You can check out some of the greater Sacramento area’s best farm-to-table restaurants any time of year!
Celebrating the bounty of the greater Sacramento area is the annual Farm-to-Fork Festival, a two-week event featuring food, wine, music, and local vendors. This year, the Farm-to-Fork Festival will be held Sept. 8-24 in downtown Sacramento.
Legends of Wine
The festival kicks on Sept. 8 with the Legends of Wine, which features tasting from some of the area’s top wineries. Held at the State Capitol, the event will feature varietals from regional wineries selected by international wine legends Darrell Corti and David Berkley. Area restaurants will also be on hand with selections of farm-to-fork cuisine.
Tower Bridge Dinner
The ultimate celebration of farm-to-fork takes place on Sunday, Sept. 11. The Tower Bridge Dinner features dishes prepared by some of the world’s top chefs made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The dinner takes place along the scenic Tower Bridge, which is closed to traffic and transformed into a beautiful dining space. Unfortunately, tickets for this year’s events are already sold out, but check early next summer for your chance to score public tickets for 2023.
Farm-to-Fork Street Festival
The event culminates with a two-day street fair on Friday, Sept. 23 from 4–9 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Held along Capitol Mall, the Farm-to-Fork Street Festival features plenty of local food, wine and craft beer, plus local vendors and cooking demonstrations. There will also be live music, including alternative pop band Japanese Breakfast; jazz/soul vocalist Gregory Porter; country crooner Carter Faith; rockers Jocelyn & Chris; blues/soul band Southern Avenue; Latin rock-pop group The Last Bandoleros; and folk/pop quartet The National Parks, among others. You can even check out a Spotify playlist with all the performers!
There are other farm-to-fork related events held throughout the Sacramento area as well. Some to consider include Camden Spit and Larder, which is partnering with Bogle Vineyards for a five-course meal on Sept. 10. Another event to consider is Farm-to-Fork Uncorked, held Sept. 3–5 at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg. The three-day event will feature food trucks, a local artisan’s market, live entertainment, and of course, tastings at 14 wineries under one roof.