BUY LOCAL: 15 GO-TO FARMERS MARKETS IN LOS ANGELES

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NICHOLAS MANNING

MAY 29, 2019

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Here’s a riddle for you: How can you tell the difference between summer and winter in always-sunny Los Angeles? Simple. Head on over to your local farmers market and check out which seasonal goodies are lining the stands!

The LA farmers market scene is large and year-round, meaning you’ve got a lot of ground to cover and a ton of food to eat. So, rack up some extra steps, work up an appetite, and discover what healthy eats these farmers markets have in store for you.

At this festive, outdoor farmers market, you’ll find the finest, California-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, breads, juices, and specialty items (like gourmet tamales and French crepes). And with over 60 farmers and vendors along the 9300 block of Civic Center Drive every Sunday, there’s always something new to catch your eye. Plus, this market regularly plays host to a handful of fun, community-focused events, like an annual pie baking contest and PickleFest.

While the Altadena Farmers Market runs on the smaller side, you won’t leave feeling like you missed anything. They have the usual fresh produce and homemade sweets, but it’s the delicious prepared food that really makes this market stand out. Our favorites are the Jackfruit Cafe food truck and Mama Musubi (musubi = rice sandwiches with veggies, fish, or meat). Open on hump day, come after class or break away from the office to curb that hangry feeling we all know too well! Fitt Tip: The market is rain or shine, but during the fall and winter, their hours shift from 4-8pm to 3-7pm, so plan accordingly.

With all of the incredible sounds, smells, and entertainment, it’s easy to see how one could lose track of time at the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market. Dance along to one of three resident DJs, drop off your pooch with Dog Walker Extraordinaire, and enjoy cooking demonstrations. This Sunday market really has it all. In addition to the standard fresh produce and meats, they also offer some unique, hard-to-find items like pink oyster mushrooms, purple artichokes, and pink lemons, plus a variety of vegan-friendly items (like cake from Cheesekeka).

Held at three different locations every week, the Santa Monica Farmers Market is as robust as it is popular. On Wednesday, head over to Arizona Ave. where you’ll find over 75 farmers and vendors selling a wide variety of organic products — from Asian staples like taro and lemongrass to savory and sweet cakes. If you’re too busy hustling during the week to make the trip, you can stop by on Saturday or explore their other Saturday market at Virginia Avenue Park. Cap off your farmers market marathon on Sunday by hitting up Main Street, where Groundwork Coffee Company can help ward off any Sunday Scaries.

For our friends in the Valley, drop by the ONEgeneration Encino Farmers Market, a local staple in the community since 1994. Grass-fed bison, beef, pork, and lamb rub set up next to freshly-caught fish in this tight-knit Sunday market. A portion of the proceeds (as well as donations at the front) goes to ONEgeneration programs and services, which assist seniors, children, and at-risk youth in the SFV. Buy and eat to make a difference!

With a climbing wall, a petting zoo, and a lawn for relaxing after you shop, Studio City Farmers Market has activities everyone can enjoy. But, it’s more than just that — it sports some of the best Salvadorean pupusas (a thick, stuffed corn tortilla) in town. From grass-fed beef to artisan bread, olive oils, and homemade jellies, you’ll come to eat breakfast or lunch and leave with enough food for dinner.

In the heart of Hollywood, locals and LA’s premier chefs mingle at this massive, walk-in pantry that sets up on Sundays. Hosting over 160 farmers, producers, and artisans, Angelenos have access to seasonal, local crops and a wide range of other cultural activities. While you’re shopping, enjoy the music from street musicians, as well as a number of free events, including cooking demos and workshops. Just promise us you won’t leave without trying Fat Uncle Farms’ amazing almond butters or devouring a melt-in-your-mouth lemon bar from Exceptional Desserts by Marybeth.

Score delicious eats (and spot a celeb or two) every Sunday at this Westside farmers market. This open-air market features all sorts of delicious, fresh-picked produce and so much more. And if you're looking to brighten up the house with some flowers, this market is known for their incredible bouquets. Stopping by after a morning run? Erva Maté Blends always quenches our thirst. Fitt Tip: Parking can be tough, so check Montana or the nearby residential streets to find a spot!

Setting up next to the Gold Line South Pasadena station, this large, award-winning market hosts over 70 agricultural and non-agricultural vendors and features everything from sheep’s milk yogurt to balsamic vinegar, succulents, organic breads, and the list goes on. Even better, it takes place in the evening on Thursdays, so you won't have to worry about missing out because of work. Fitt Tip: Free public parking is available in the Mission Meridian Parking lot, just north of Mission Street on Meridian Ave.

Between Broadway and Spring Street, Angelenos can discover a farmers market on 5th Street that reflects the unique community of the DTLA’s Historic Core. The weekly Sunday market prides itself on making fresh, affordable food accessible to everyone in the area — from those on fixed incomes to entertainment execs. And while fruits and vegetables are always plentiful, visitors can also find Mediterranean dips and spreads, sweet pastries, empanadas, dog food and pooch products, and much more.

Trust us when we say, it's impossible to be disappointed by a trip to La Cienega Farmers’ Market. It’s not the largest market (only about 50 vendors), but you can count on each stall selling something new, fresh, and exciting. Get your fruit, veggies (many of which are organic), fresh-cut flowers, nursery plants, prepped meals, and all-around real food every Thursday in at the corner of La Cienega and 18th.

If your goal at a farmers market is to grab and go, the Echo Park Farmers’ Market is the move. Although this market only sets up between 15 and 20 stalls each Friday, you can expect the hustle and bustle you'd find at a much larger operation. Not only that, you can easily pop in to stock up on everything you need for weekend snacking, including hummus, roasted peanuts, and sushi. And when you haven't planned for dinner, they also have some pretty awesome prepared food vendors.

The Tutti Frutti Farms tomatoes and La Bahn Ranch eggs should be a big enough draw to get out to Atwater. The market here has some signature items that make shopping here better than going to a specialty food store. So snag a fresh-made cup of coffee from the Pocket Coffee Bar stall, sling your reusable tote over your shoulder, and make sure you've given yourself enough of a buffer to really take your time — you're going to need it. Oh, and expect live music, it's a thing here.

Are you the type that can’t go to a farmers market without Instagramming it? Make the farmers market in Bank of America Plaza your spot. Vendors assemble around the giant orange sculpture while the skyline sets the background. Being that it’s a Friday morning set-up, expect to see suits, ties, and dress shoes shuffling between stalls. Fitt Tip: check out their Facebook page, where they regularly post recipes featuring produce from the market.

Another mini-operation in DTLA, the Wednesday afternoon Pershing Square Farmers Market makes for a solid mid-week restock with vendors selling artisan crafted goods and freshly-prepared food to complement the local greens and beans. And it also makes for a great lunch spot if you forgot yours — they’re slinging Mom’s Products’ hummus!

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