Living local is part of the Santa Barbara mantra, and for good reason—not only is it healthier and tastier to consume produce and other edible delights from local purveyors, but it’s also so much better for the environment. That’s why, each year, we celebrate the Sustainable, Organic, Local food movement (SOL) with the SOL Food Festival, kicking off this Saturday, September 28 at Plaza Vera Cruz Park (130 E. Cota St.) from 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
SOL Food Festival, now in its fourth year, pays homage to local food artisans, beer and wine makers, restaurants and chefs who all live by the same code—to eat as locally as possible. This food festival is on par with some of the greats, offering hands-on workshops with experts in the field, whether you want to learn how to make cheese or compost, brew beer or kombucha.
And no food festival would be complete without a little healthy (no pun intended) competition. The SOL Chef competition brings local chefs and food together (much of it sourced from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market across the street), and the salad eating competition provides a new twist on the popular hot dog eating contests of other foodie fests.
Kids also have the opportunity to learn about where their food is coming from, whether through the Hungry Caterpillar workshop or a handful of other fun youth-friendly activities. Adults, head to the beer and wine garden while your children get their brains molded.
And, of course, don’t forget about the eating. Head to the Garden of Eatin’ for your fix of local food from restaurants such as Full of Life Flatbread, the SOL Food Kitchen, SOhO‘s On the Road, and others. Samples throughout the festival from local artisans will also hit the spot.
Whatever you do, make the SOL Food Festival a stop in your Saturday (or, with all there is to explore, the whole day!). For more information, please click here.
—Taylor Micaela Davis