Farmers' Market, Los Angeles
Farmer's Market has been a hot spot for 75 years and about 10 years ago The Grove was added, making for an unusual mix of the traditional and the modern LA.
Farmer's Market has been a tourist destination for many decades. There are some "touristy" shops selling mini license plates with names on them, t-shirts, etc. but there's not nearly as many shops like that as there used to be. New shops have added some modern class to the market. There's a tea shop, a dog bakery, and the best kitchenwares shop in LA, Sur La Table. Plus they kept some of the classics like the top notch newsstand and Du-par's restaurant, known for their breakfasts - thank goodness! Old-timers and traditionalists still come here regularly and, despite the new additions, if you want to get a sense of LA 50 years ago, this is a good place to get it.
Then walk through the parking lot over to the LA of the new millennium. The Grove brings in a new crowd. There are some high class shops here - Lalique and Stella McCartney just to name a couple. The mall also has a trolley that runs the length of the main street so if you get too tired shopping you can get a lift back to your car.
What to buy: It's up to you - mostly it's fun just to look.
What to pay: The prices cover the whole range here - you can find simple, inexpensive souvenirs up to the priciest of things.
As for shopping....Melrose is great. I don't think the Beverly Center is all that impressive. It's an older mall...kind of dated. You may want to look into the outdoor walking malls such as "The Grove" on Fairfax & 3rd street (great eating there too thanks to the Farmer's Market) or check out "The Americana" in Glendale if you don't mind taking a short drive out of LA. If you don't mind taking the subway from Hollywood to the Gold Line terminal in Chinatown you can then continue on the train to Old Town Pasadena for some more good shopping, eating, and nightlife (best visited on a weekend in the evening).
The Farmers Market is not at all a market in the sense that you might expect - that is, I always think of rows and rows of stalls selling inexpensive and/or artisan type items when I think of a market. The Farmers Market is more of a food court where there are lots and lots of chip-van type structures selling hot and cold food which you can eat walking along or at tables in front of the sales units. The tables are outdoors in the main but most are covered by awnings to shelter from the weather. The day that I visited it was very hot and to be honest I didn't like the combination of heat and smells. I refused to eat there and went elsewhere.
There are also a number of very inexpensive shops, though again I didn't buy.
I believe that there are a couple of shops where the very best of fresh fruit and vegetable produce in LA is to be found. Unfortunately I didn't see them.
In addition to food there's quite a bit to be seen here which would be of interest to history buffs. I have posted a pic of the clock tower at Farmers Market and in time I will post pics of some other interesting landmarks/monuments/historical items.
What to buy: Food here really - there are 36 restaurants on a very casual theme selling everything from Japanese to Brazilian to French!
What to pay: It's very inexpensive here - but I didn't buy so can't give exact prices.
The farmer's market is not actually a farmer's market. It's a mix of outdoor shops and restaurants with pleasant atmosphere. You will find all the brand name chain stores here plus a few unique shops. Restaurants vary from tea/coffee stands to fast food to nice, sit-down meals.
I am one of the rare girls who hate shopping. If I must go to a mall for the expressed purpose of girly "shopping", I perfer to spend my time here browsing a few shops and getting a descent (but not spectacular) meal afterwards.
Adjacent parking structure.
What to buy: Everything you can buy at a mall
This doesn't compare to other farmer's market such as Pike Place Market in Seattle or Granville in Vancouver, but it is charming. Many food stands, produce stands and local crafts.Farmers Market was created in 1934 when 18 farmers parked their trucks on vacant land at Gilmore Ranch to sell fresh produce to “locals” who flocked to the location. Farmers Market is home to 70 shops. About 3 million people visit the market annually. There is a newer section right next door to the Farmers Market called ,The Grove. It's an outdoor mall that includes the stand by's Nordstrom, Barnes & Nobles, Crate and Barrel and a movie cineplex. While here we saw the paparazzi following Victoria Beckham(Posh Spice) as she was shopping.
Some interesting notes about Farmers Market:
*James Dean is believed to have eaten breakfast at Farmers Market on the day of his fatal car crash (9/30/55).
*On an average day, Market visitors purchase more than 1,000 gallons of coffee.
*Walt Disney sat a Market patio tables when he was preparing designs for Disneyland, and elements of the Market are incorporated into those original designs.
Just a simple normal shopping area. There are many people come to get something for reasonable price.
What to buy: I spend quite long time to be here to enjoy buying local thing and suvenir for friends.
What to pay: Different price from cheap to a little more expensive only.
Here at the market are private individuals who run their own shops and eateries, selling or creating unique goods and services at good prices. In the neigboring "The Grove" are mostly large and pricey establishments that are so commercial and, well, less special. Experience the old village like atmosphere by dining at the original farmer's market and buying here too!
Farmers Market Has a huge variety of shops to choose from. We were there on a public holiday so it was pretty busy but i've been told that apart from weekends it isn't usually so packed. The central Mall has many unique shops and theatres and restaurants to choose from. We especially liked the Pottery Barn Store as we dont have them here in Australia. It has gorgeous Kids stuff from clothes to Bedroom accessories, linens ect.. The Hot Dog stand ( I cant remember the name of it but its very easy to find - at the end of the outside mall right in the middle of the grassed area, had awesome hot dogs with ver unique titles and great fries!
The Farmers' Market is not just about food. There are more or less 20 shops there to browse around in.