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 08

    California Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables

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    Growing seasons are long and multiple in California, but produce items still have their seasons.

  • 02 of 08

    California Food Festivals

    Local cheese
    Debby Lewis-Harrison / Getty Images

    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:

  • 03 of 08

    California Specialties

    California rolls
    pjohnson1 / Getty Images

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

  • 04 of 08

    California CSAs

    Organic produce
    Morsa Images / Getty Images

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

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    California Meats

    Chickens on farm
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    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
  • 06 of 08

    California Favorites: Abalone

    Fresh abalone clams
    Multi-bits / Getty Images

    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 how to clean it and how to cook it.

  • 07 of 08

    California Favorites: Dungeness Crab

    Dungeness crabs
    Steven Krug / Getty Images

    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 holiday dinners and Christmas Eve crab-picking dinners.

  • 08 of 08

    California Favorites: Green Almonds

    Green almonds
    Evgenija Lanz / EyeEm / Getty Images

    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.