Eating fresh is easy around The Bend, especially if you know where to look. Want to create your own meal? You can do that. Prefer to visit a restaurant that sources local? No problem. Start with this guide to some of your options if you want to eat fresh in The Bend during your next visit.
5518 Grape Road, Mishawaka
Although a chain store, Fresh Thyme seeks to recreate a weekend farmers market environment with an abundance of fresh produce. It’s often locally grown and/or organic. You’ll also find natural meat, seafood that arrives daily, healthy pre-made meals, gluten-free options and more. Fresh Thyme is located in Mishawaka’s retail district, making it a convenient stop.
Purple Porch Co-Op
123 N. Hill St., South Bend
It doesn’t get much more fresh than Purple Porch — a grocery, café and market rolled all into one. You can find locally sourced fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, honey, baked goods and coffee (among other items). Shelves are stocked with organic products. During summer, there’s a farmers market. Café Max, located inside Purple Porch, is open daily from breakfast through dinner with a full menu.
South Bend Farmers Market
1105 Northside Blvd., South Bend
Farmers markets often reflect their communities. This one is no different. The South Bend Farmers Market is part of The Bend’s fabric, tracing its roots back to 1911. Situated in the middle of the market, the café utilizes ingredients from vendors for a menu that bursts with flavor. Not only that, it was voted one of the 10 best breakfast places in The Bend. Stroll the booths and you’ll find a plethora of local vendors offering everything from freshly roasted coffee — can’t you smell it already? — to specialty cheese to handmade pretzels.
3701 Prast Blvd., South Bend
Unity Gardens is a local nonprofit with a series of gardens in the community. Its main urban farm is located at the address above. You can visit the gardens to pick up a little produce and even get your hands a little dirty by planting something yourself. Unity Gardens also has a booth at the South Bend Farmers Market. We suggest picking up some of its locally produced honey.
Whole Foods Market
4230 Grape Road, Mishawaka
Many people make shopping at Whole Foods part of their regular grocery routine. If you’re one of them and have some items that draw you back to the stores again and again, worry not when visiting The Bend. Whole Foods is conveniently located in one of our major retail shopping districts. Pop in and grab whatever you need.
Insider Tip: Several restaurants in The Bend pride themselves on utilizing fresh, local ingredients to build their menus. Rocky River Tap & Table is probably the most proactive as it partners with local producers to cultivate a true farm-to-fork atmosphere. Give the barbecue duck nachos a try!