Food, whether cooked or fresh, paints a vibrant picture of the diversity of Los Angeles. Bustling farmers’ markets are tucked into every corner, to the point where picking one to visit seems impossible. Though they each feature unique vendors, they have one thing in common: the fresh fruits, veggies and artisanal goods on sale at each market reflect the fine quality of the region’s produce.
Atwater Village Farmers’ Market
Farmers' Market, Street Food
Many people overlook this small market, but it’s easy to find your basics and then some. Every Sunday, fresh produce and vegan cheeses are offered at the Atwater Village Farmers’ Market, but the true stars are the food vendors. Caribbean Gourmet serves up Guyanese cuisine and is the only reliable beef patty purveyor on the east side of town. From pupusas to oysters, the other vendors make this market a great place for lunch, not just shopping.
Since its beginnings in 1934, The Original Farmers’ Market is the oldest market in Los Angeles. In stark contrast to Atwater, this market’s size is such that it cannot be conquered in a single outing. Luckily, it’s open daily for 12 hours (9am to 9pm) and for nine hours on Sundays. It takes true commitment, a big stomach and an even larger fridge to hit more than 100 grocers, food stalls and shops. The market mainly features readymade foods from across the globe.
Right in the middle of Hollywood, this large market’s vendor count hovers around 150. The Hollywood Farmers’ Market takes over a few blocks of the neighborhood on Sunday mornings from 8am to 1pm. This produce-heavy market features hidden gems like Forbidden Fruit Orchards’ blueberry wine, as well as farmers’ market darlings Jimenez Farms, your best bet for niche meats like goat and rabbit.
The quaint main strip of Larchmont Village turns the cuteness up a notch on Sundays. The Larchmont Village Farmers’ Market might be small, but you can get most of your shopping done here. There aren’t too many readymade food vendors, but the local shops, such as ice-cream parlor Salt & Straw, provide ample treats. On the produce side, you can satisfy most of your Asian greens needs, an increasingly rare feat at Eastside markets.
The Altadena Farmers’ Market is the most underrated market in LA. For the majority of Angelinos, yes, it’s quite the trek that sends you past the already far-flung Pasadena to the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. But your Wednesday evening drive will be rewarded with a small, efficient, cozy farmers’ market. The tight spread leans towards produce, but it’s also one of the few markets featuring subscription-based fishmonger Trashfish, specializing in sustainable and lesser-known seafood.
The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is open year-round on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, though offerings and location vary by day. Wednesday is the most revered day to hit downtown Santa Monica and rub elbows with the area’s top chefs and foodies. The Wednesday market is also the most competitive for new vendor applicants. A mix of high vendor standards and tantalizing unique fare brings approximately 9,000 people to Arizona Ave every week to pick up their premium ingredients. Those looking for a market with more organic produce and some readymade foods should check out Saturday’s vendor lineup instead.