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Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 | 16 comments

Los Angeles Farmer’s Market

What you guys think about continuing the gastronomic theme in here? On Tuesday, I wrote about Granville Island Public Market and why it is an ideal place for food lovers.  Today, I want to share my experience about a place where taste buds can enjoy all type of flavors.

I am talking about the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market.  This place claims to be the “original farmer’s market”.  They may be right.  The market started to operate in 1934 with farmers selling their goods from their trucks to the community.  With time great eateries and restaurants were established in the area and it became a popular place to have lunch or dinner (especially for Hollywood stars).

Los Angeles Farmer's Market Tower

Inside the market

Today, the market is a historic Los Angeles landmark and a popular tourist attraction.  You can see tourist buses dropping people from all around the world in the area.  It gets pretty crowded on weekends (they even run out of parking space).  In fact, it gets so crowded that you can’t even walk properly down the aisles.  The key is to visit during the week or early on the weekends.

Produce section

Candied Oranges

For what I saw, this place deviates a little from the whole “market” concept. In a farmer’s market you expect to see a lot of people selling fruits, vegetables, flowers or plants. There are also fresh meat and fish vendors. There are others selling their homemade or artisanal goods.Some sell their country of origin, hard to find specialties. The focus is on local people selling their goods to the community. These places usually have space for some stalls serving ready to eat food to hungry shoppers but this is not the focus of the whole event. 

Fresh Crab

Dried Fruit

Hot Sauce

I felt like the tables were turned in the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market.  It fills more like a giant food court.  The majority of the stalls are dedicated to restaurants instead of locals selling their raw, unprocessed or homemade goods.  I am not saying the Market is not good because of this reason.  I am just saying that for me, the place does not necessarily fit the “farmer’s market” proper description.  I expected to see a wide variety of produce, meats and fruits from all the greater Los Angeles and surrounding areas (since we are so close to the food growing areas).  Instead, I just found restaurants and prepared food stalls.  That is the difference between what is here in Los Angeles and what I saw in Vancouver’s Granville Island.  In Granville, there are people doing different and unique things with food. Here is Los Angeles, well, there is variety but not necessarily uniqueness.

Even ground meat has style in Los Angeles

Tiramisu

Like I said, don’t get me wrong.  The Farmer’s Market deserves a visit.  The place claims more than 100 restaurants, shops and stores.  Here is a list of the food you can try:

  • Italian
  • Crepes
  • Mexican
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Chinese
  • Argentinean/Brazilian
  • Middle Eastern
  • Barbecue
  • Cajun
  • Seafood
  • Spanish
  • Singaporean
  • Vegetarian
  • Ice Cream
  • Gelato
  • Doughnuts
  • More bakeries that you can imagine

With all this selection, you will need to go like five times to try a lot of these restaurants.  I have tried the Middle Eastern and Singaporean food.  The food was really good.

Next to the Market, you can find The Grove which is a big retails and entertainment complex.  After you get stuff with food from the Market, take a stroll thru this shopping area.  There are a lot of stores to see (some are affordable).  The scene is great and there are entertainment possibilities for all the members of the family. There is even a trolley that makes a fun ride for all the family. 

The Grove

Trolley running around The Grove

Jumping Waters Fountain

Now the water if going down!!!

Old car

The Farmer’s Market is located at 3rd and Fairfax and it is really close to Wilshire Boulevard (where a lot of museums are located).  If you are around the area, consider stopping by to get some delicious food.

Tip: bring enough money because the food prices are quite high (expect to pay 10 dollars per person for a plate of food).

Pay a visit to this special place in Los Angeles. You may get a surprise.  When we went earlier this year, there was a spring celebration.  There were performers from different parts of the world.  I absolutely loved the performance from these Japanese drummers (see the video below).

YouTube Preview Image

And remember you can have anything you like for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

For lunch banana split

16 Comments

  1. I definitely don’t think “farmer’s market” when I think of LA, but everything looks delicious here. Interesting that it was the “original” farmer’s market.
    Laurel recently posted..Wine Walks in GermanyMy Profile

    • I am not sure if they are the original on the area (or what original means to them). The Los Angeles country is surrounded by many food growing area. That is why I was expecting to see more fresh variety. I have been to others markets in other cities and they offer tons of local products.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Zion National Park, UtahMy Profile

  2. This market looks like a great place to wander for awhile. I’m like you and prefer actual “farmers markets” but I do like wandering markets. I haven’t been to this one but will make note of it for my next trip to LA
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Romantic Lago MaggioreMy Profile

    • You are right. It is a great place to walk around, decide what you want to eat, absorb the atmosphere and then stroll thru The Grove. Fun (and yummy) place to spend half or full day.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Zion National Park, UtahMy Profile

  3. This looks like an incredible farmer’s market. Something for everyone! Looks like the Grove would be fun, too. I’d like to ride the trolley — I’m a sucker for rides like that.

    • The trolley ride is actually short but it’s fun. The thing is that the place has offering for the whole family. When we went, even the Eastern bunny was around saying hi to kids.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Zion National Park, UtahMy Profile

  4. Yes, I was surprised when we went there too – I was used to our Farmer’s Market here in Lexington, Kentucky with lots of fresh local fruits and veggies. It’s mostly restaurants, as you said. But still worth a visit, especially if you are hungry!
    Jan Ross recently posted..The Engineering Marvel That is the Hoover Dam:Part OneMy Profile

    • At least, I am not the only one who have noticed this. Like you said, it is worth a trip but not sure why they still call it Farmer’s Market. I guess it has to do a lot with the history of the place.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Zion National Park, UtahMy Profile

  5. Hi Ruth, the place looks absolutely beautiful. You know, over the 6 times I have visited Los Angles since 1997-2001, I never quite got the chance to visit this place and now regret it. One day, I will go back.
    David @ MalaysiaAsia recently posted..Yu Yuan Gardens in Shanghai PictureMy Profile

    • Don’t get me thinking about the ice cream and baked goods. You can easily forget about eating a proper lunch (if there is something like that) and have only cake, cookies and ice cream. I will need to go one day and try that.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Zion National Park, UtahMy Profile

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