This article is supported by the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association.
It’s easy to see why so many people are interested in buying local these days. Locally grown, organic foods stay fresh longer and simply taste better. Going to local wineries, breweries, restaurants and markets also supports small businesses and farms within the community.
Lucky for us, there are plenty of places for visitors and residents alike to find delicious farm-to-table foods right here in Southern Minnesota. Here are some of our favorite picks from around the region:
Minnesota Prairie Land
If you’re searching for the best way to sweeten up your summer, Anderson Honey Farm located between Ivanhoe and Lake Benton should be your first stop. Not only will you be able to purchase freshly bottled honey, you can also see the bees creating it right before your eyes.
Another must-see in this region is Round Lake Vineyards, which boasts stunning views of Round Lake. This winery features both red and white wines from 18 acres of vines on the western shore of Round Lake. Between the winery’s events, delicious food and delectable wine selection, Round Lake Vineyards is a wonderful place to spend the day.
Minnesota River Valley
Looking for fresh produce without all the work of planting a garden? Guldan Family Farm outside New Ulm in the Minnesota River Valley boasts 25 acres of produce and 29 years of experience growing melons, peas, beans, tomatoes, sweet corn and other seasonal produce. May through October, you can find them at the New Ulm and Mankato farmers markets.
Good wine is difficult to pass up. Combined with local flair and stunning views of Grandview Valley Winery in Belview, makes for the perfect pairing with any day trip or weekend away. Each varietal at Grandview is made from 100% Minnesota-grown grapes, and the menu includes made-from-scratch pizzas with the freshest ingredients.
On Saturdays from June through October in historic downtown Northfield, you will find the Riverwalk Market Fair on Bridge Square. The European-style market features both organic and sustainably grown produce from local farmers, as well as artisanal foods, seasonal flowers, and a selection of the region’s top art and fine crafts.
Yearning for home cooking like grandma used to make? Look no further than the Amboy Cottage Cafe in the small town of Amboy, outside of Blue Earth. This former gas station turned cafe is tucked neatly into a corner of Maine Street downtown. The cafe uses fresh, wholesome ingredients, including local meats, dairy and produce whenever possible. The comfort of a communal dining room, warm atmosphere and made-from-scratch food makes it feel like your home away from home.
In the Mississippi Bluffs region, Pedal Pushers Cafe in Lanesboro is the place to find quality local eats. The owners work directly with local farmers to procure and create the freshest, most delectable meals around. You simply can’t pass on their wide menu, artisanal coffee and beer selections, thanks in large part to their dedication to sustainable food.
The small town of Reads Landing sits along the banks of the Mississippi River. Inside a historic two-story storefront building, you will find Reads Landing Brewing Company. Whether you’re searching for a hearty meal using locally sourced fish, poultry and meats or a few craft beers with friends, this historic Minnesota brewery is worth a visit.
Southern Minnesota has so many fantastic choices for fresh and local, farm-to-table foods. Find more places to visit at ExploreSouthernMinnesota.com.