On the back wall of Rice Village’s Local Foods hangs a large, orange neon sign that casts its glow on the open kitchen, where chefs and other staff work together to create fresh and inventive soups, salads and sandwiches for their guests, largely using ingredients procured from the Greater Houston area.
In stylized cursive writing, the sign reads “Local,” reflecting the restaurant’s primary inspiration and commitment to its mission.
“As our name implies, our mission is to bring as many local products as we can into a format that has some familiarity with the public,” said Dylan Murray, chef and partner of Local Foods.
The idea for restaurant began after Benjy Levit, owner of Benjy’s and co-owner of Local Foods, hired Murray as an executive chef in 2003.
Years later, the two came up with the idea of creating a restaurant that relies on local ingredients for its food.
In November 2011, the first Local Foods location opened next door to Benjy’s in the Village.
The restaurant relies on the cheese, bread, meat and other ingredients sold by over 15 other businesses in Texas to create its seasonally changing menu.
Murray described the food the restaurant serves as “archetypal, American, everyday food” that tastes good and acts as a showcase for the produce that makes up each menu item.
Local Foods has five locations in the Houston area, and Murray said the company is considering branching out even further.
“It’s more work, and it’s often more expensive, but we feel like it’s still a win-win in the sense that the food is almost always fresher, and it supports the local economy,” Murray said. “Often I’ll see the guys who sell us food in here eating, and that just makes me super happy because that’s the full circle of the economics of it.”
2424 Dunstan Road, Houston
Hours: Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.