Localized food systems (LFS) are an important element of regional development, yet understanding why some regions develop strong LFS while others do not is unclear. Research from two contrasting regions, in the UK and in Italy, demonstrates the complexity of LFS, and the important role of place in determining how policy-makers understand and support LFS in these regions. Regions that are marginal to intensive agriculture are often viewed as the stronghold of LFS. This paper challenges this view through evidence of a growing number of LFS in East Yorkshire. Both case study regions share similar issues in developing LFS.