shutterstock_83568892bFrom sandy beach boardwalks to cool refreshing pools and delightful reprieves at the local lake, summer is all about basking in the sunshine. But it’s not just your friends and family that have been enjoying those warming rays – so have the summer crops!  As seasons change, so does the produce at the top of its game and restaurant menus often reflect these seasonal variations.

So what should you look for now, at the height of summer?  Plump blueberries, succulent melons and sweet figs are at top of season, perfectly ripe and ready to be enjoyed.  Corn on the cob, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, peaches and kiwis are all in season too, giving chefs a lot of delicious fresh veggies to work with.

We showed you the delicious reasons why farm to restaurant table dining is so appetizing, and now is the perfect time to try it out.  When you are searching for restaurants on, remember you can search by “Locally-Grown Ingredients” under Special Features.

Here are a few refreshing examples of scrumptious summer fruits and vegetables dishes that can be found at our Partner Restaurants.

After a day of exploring  downtown Asheville, North Carolina, sit back and relax at onefiftyone Boutique Bar & Kitchen located in Hotel shutterstock_134368016Indigo and try the Panzanella Salad which includes fresh tomatoes and cucumbers! Cucumbers are crisp and cool.  Plus, they are a good source of fiber, potassium and magnesium.

Perhaps seeing the sights of Chicago, from Navy Pier to the Lincoln Park Zoo, has left you and your family hungry. A stop for breakfast at Kanela on North Clark Street will satisfy your hunger with some delicious berry dishes! You can eat pancakes topped with fresh blueberries, which are a great shutterstock_128897672source of vitamin C and antioxidants.  Or, try the Red Velvet French Toast, Strawberry Waffle and Banana Split Crepes with fresh strawberries, also a delicious source of vitamin C and antioxidants. What a mouthwatering way to get vitamins!

Visiting Seattle not only has its advantages for a variety of participating restaurants, but you can escape the heat in a city that on average stays below 80 degrees in the summer! Plan a visit to In the Red Wine Bar where they take advantage of the juicy, in-season watermelon.  Their watermelon salad is drizzled with a lime and chili vinaigrette and topped with prosciutto. Amazingly, watermelon has the highest shutterstock_86243599concentration of lycopene in any fruit or vegetable, which helps fight heart disease!

Stay healthy and hydrated this summer, and enjoy this season’s delicious AND healthy harvest. Check out some of our restaurants while doing it and let us know your favorites by commenting below. We’d love to hear about your experience!