Once an inoculous small produce merchant lot known as Gilmore Island, the (Original) Farmers Market has become a must-experience attraction of Los Angeles. There are many reasons to make your way here, located at 3rd St and Fairfax Ave. Most reasons are food-related! Here one can grab a bite to eat, dine and shop for FRESH fruits, vegetables, meats, candies and other edible delights (FRESH has to be in caps here because so often we Americans go for the quick, frozen foods and sometimes neglect ourselves from eating fresh foods)
There is a huge variety of ethnic foods at the several outdoor and indoor FM eateries. Choose from French, Greek, Middle Eastern, Russian, Brazilian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Cajun, and yeah, even Singaporean- plus more! Of course, there is good ol' American and specialized california craving from which to choose.
Market patrons have their favorite grubbing destinations. Some of the top ones for a great meal are Dupars (Americana style diner), Monsieur Marcel (fancy French. most foo-foo impressive place to dine here), The French Crepe Company (perhaps my fave of all), Loteria! (Mexican) and Bryan's Pit BBQ (oh my, the kitchen smell from pit alone upon entering the main gate makes your lips smack!). The hardest thing to do will be deciding on just where to dine!
Support local businesses well here at FM. Do upscale French inspired grocery and gift shopping at Monsieur Marcel, buy classic and unique L.A souvenirs and even buy attractive jewelry and knick knacks at several FM stalls.
Freeway direction below and on website. Because of the popularity of FM (and the adjoined Grove center), you may want to take public transit. Several public tranist options can be taken to arrive here, including MTA buses 14, 16, 217, 218, 316, 780 (rapid bus) and Dash (LA DOT) Fairfax bus. Also, FM/Grove is an official Starline tourist bus stop.
MORE PICS AND COMMENTARIES TO COME on ALL THAT IS FM!!!
Interesting Notes on FM:
This is FARMERS Market (no apostrophe. It took me so long to realize this!). It was previously known also as The Farmers Public Market.
FM founder Arthur Fremont Gilmore stuck not gold but oil here in these parts, though initially attempting just for drilling water.
The Gilmore family had make the land diverse by sucessfully adding a stadium where baseball, football and auto racing was enjoyed by Angelenos in the mid 1900s.
Walt Disney drew up some of his best designs while dining at FM back in the day.
Several film and TV scenes have been shot here, most notably on the Dick Van Dyke 's Diagnosis Murder.
About 90% of the merchants at FM are independently owned and operated.
So many places, so little time. If you don't have very much time like I did, my advice is to plan ahead. You can find a map of the market online and from there you can pick and choose a few places to eat. An appetizer at one place, an entree at another, dessert at yet another will give you the opportunity to try more than one food stand without spinning around endlessly. Plus, if you're with multiple people you can divide and conquer.
At 75 years old, the Farmers Market is an LA institution. What started out in 1934 as a few local produce stands has evolved into one of the most visited places in LA. Although it has remained true to its roots - still selling fresh produce today - it's also much more. Spend some time wandering throug the stalls. You'll find dozens of shops selling everything from jewelry, memorabilia, clothing, to souvenirs.
Be sure to stop for a meal or a snack. You'll find cuisines from around the world: Greek, Asian, Brazilian, Mexican, etc. We stopped at the French Crepe Company (delicious chocolate crepes!), grabbed a seat at a patio table and enjoyed people watching while we ate. Magee's Kitchen was the first restaurant at the Famers Market and is still there.
While we were there they were celebrating Mardi Gras. Lots of live music, dancing, partying and beads! Check for events while you're there.
Services available: post office, bank, optometrist, key shop, and shoe repair.
If the parking for the market is full, park next door in The Grove's parking facility. You may want to combine visiting the Farmers Market and The Grove at the same time. (The Grove is a huge shopping, dining, entertainment complex. See my separate tip.)
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
*Some merchants have extended hours
Our first day we went to the Los Angeles Farmer's Market. What a cool place to hang out and people watch - we spotted Yasmine Bleeth of 'Baywatch' pulling up in her Jag. We also snacked on some good food and wandered the stalls looking something neat to buy - I think we ended up with postcards ;-) We went around the corner and caught a movie too.
As much of a Shopping and Restaurant tip as a Things to Do tip, the Farmers Market has been operating in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles since 1934. It began as many current farmer's markets operate with local produce growers coming to a central location and offering their freshly picked fruits and vegetables. More permanent structures were soon added to the facility with the landmark clock tower being built in 1941. Among the many food stalls are take away places with a great variety of offerings including French, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Thai, New Orleans, seafood, BBQ, crepes, hamburgers, sandwiches, and more. One can also purchase produce, quality meats and seafood, nuts, and a variety of other food items. The Farmers Market also features jazz and other music acts during their popular Thursday and Friday evenings during the summer.
A recent addition to the complex is The Grove, a collection of mall stores achored by a Nordstrom department store and a theater complex. A light rail system runs the length of the outdoor walking mall that shuttles visitors from one end to the other.
We came here because its beside The Grove. This place sells lots of fresh food and fruits. Not cheap though. It also has quite a few interesting eateries selling seafood, sandwiches etc. We also came across an interesting stall selling Singaporean and Malaysian food. We tried that. Of course its not as good as those found on the streets in the original places, but it was not bad. I would say the taste is a refined (high-class) version of the street food like satay and nasi lemak. Something you would find in the five-star hotels in Singapore.
One thinfg to note, this place seems to close quite early. My parents went about 6 in the evening and all the stalls were closed.
If you're in the area and you want some good cheap food, there's a ton of cool places here to get some food. It ranges from chinese, to greek , to mexican food. There's also some cool stores where you can buy souvenirs, or some really really hot sauce with dirty names. It's also next to The Grove, an upscale outdoor mall.
If you want something a little special than your average restaurant/cafe fare, then this is the place to head, you will have no trouble finding something unique in amongst the maze of stalls, its easy to get lost and can get pretty crowded (is there anywhere in l.a that isn't) and then catch the tram to the grove.
Look for the special candy stalls.
I first thought it would be boring, but Los Angeles's historic, original Farmers Market was surprisingly interesting. There were a lot of neat gifts and specialty shops clustered in the market. There were also many restaurants/food stands that served some very delicious food from all over the world. The smell of the grilling and barbeque made me really hungry. Of course the market sells very fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat daily. The Farmers Market is worth a stop if you have extra time in Los Angeles.
Here is another stop on your downtown LA walking tour. The Grand Central Market is the oldest market in Los Angeles. It has been in operation since 1917.
Inside you will find a colourful assortment of fruits, vegtables, meat and fish. It is also a great place for a quick inexpensive lunch of mexican fare. Notice the sawdust covering the floor. Apparantly in the old days, this was used to soak up the blood from butchering fresh meat. Nowadays, it is purely decorative.
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