Summer is here, which can only mean one thing – farmers market season is in full swing. From Hollywood to Santa Monica, it seems like there's a new farmers market popping up each weekend in L.A. After all, how many other places boast a friendly outdoor community where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, while you yak it up with really cool locals? That is if yakking is your preferred method of speech. Here are some really great farmers markets currently happening around the city.
Hermosa Beach: A farmers market by the beach – how can you not like the sound of that? The Hermosa Beach Farmers Market maybe one of the few that happens on a weekday afternoon, but that doesn't mean there's any shortage of produce. Freshly grown strawberries, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, pistachios and much, much more is what you'll find here every Friday, rain or shine.
1007 Valley Dr.; Fridays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Hollywood: It's been in the news a lot lately, with the recent ousting of CEO and Founder Pompea Smith, but the Hollywood farmers market is still one of the liveliest famers markets you'll find in L.A. And with 150 vendors selling everything from fresh oysters to corn tamales, street musicians, community events and free balloons for kids, as it's also the largest. Parking can be a bit of a pain (it is Hollywood, after all!), so public transportation is probably your best bet.
Ivar Ave. & Selva Ave.; Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Santa Monica: Fresh produce, fresh produce, fresh produce – it's one of the many advantages of taking a trip down to Santa Monica for the Sunday famers market on Main Street. It's also known for its wide selections of organic products, with vendors selling everything from honey and pancakes, to
2640 Main St.; Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Larchmont Village: The cool little shops and small town vibe, make Larchmont Boulevard the perfect place for a weekly farmers market. It's here that every Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can find dozens of vendors selling fruits, vegetables, arts and crafts, even hummus! There's even a little sidewalk set-up where you can adopt a dog or cat. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
542 ½ N. Larchmont Blvd.; Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Downtown: If you work downtown, the Hope Street Farmers Market is a bit of a godsend. It happens during lunch hours at the Bank of America Plaza, meaning it's here that you'll find a lot of food items you won't at any other farmers markets in the city – like breakfast burritos, empanadas, Indian food, Chicago style kettle corn, and some of the best Hawaiian BBQ chicken you'll ever bite into.
333 S. Hope St.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Los Feliz: It's not quite as big as the long-running Hollywood market, located just a few miles away. But what the Los Feliz Farmers Market lacks in size, it makes up for with its fresh produce and friendly vendors. One of the highlights is The Gastrobus food truck, which is there every Sunday morning. The owners makes it a point to whip up lots of interesting dishes using only fresh food bought at the market that morning. Now that's talent.
Vermont Ave. & Franklin Ave., 90027; Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
West Hollywood: The West Hollywood Farmers Market is unusual because it happens on Monday rather than the weekend. So if you're too busy to make the Sunday market in Hollywood, it's definitely worth a visit. And unlike the sprawling Hollywood market, this one is small – very small. In fact, the whole thing takes place in the parking lot of a tennis court, which is good if you're looking to chat it up with vendors. One of the highlights is the rotisserie chicken vendor. For about $10 you can get a quarter of a chicken that's
N. Vista and Fountain Ave., Mondays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Beverly Hills: The Beverly Hills Farmers Market takes place every Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and features more than 60 vendors, selling everything from gourmet tamales to some of the best, and freshest, kettle corn you'll find in the city. Did I also mention they have a petting zoo with pony rides? Hey, you got to give the kids something to do while their parents are shopping for produce (boooooring!).
9300 Block Of Civic Center Dr., 90209; Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Echo Park: The great thing about the Echo Park farmers market, which takes place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Friday, is its intimacy. There are usually between 10 and 15 vendors, all of who are friendly and willing to answer all of your questions. That's the type of personal service you just won't get at the larger markets. You can buy all the typical fruits and vegetables sold at the other markets, as well as hormone-free eggs, hummus, and freshly baked bread. Plenty of street parking is also available if you plan on driving.
1125 Logan St., 90026; Fridays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Silver Lake: Don't underestimate the smallness of the Silver Lake Farmers Market, because what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. You'll find only about two dozen vendors here, selling everything from organic produce, to traditional Salvadorian pupusas, but all of them are friendly and eager to talk about their products. That's the kind of personal attention you just won't find at the larger markets. The Silver Lake Farmers Market happens twice a week: Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
3700 Sunset Blvd., 90189; 323-661-7771
Melrose Place: If you’re expecting to see Heather Locklear, you’ve come to the wrong place. Sure the Melrose Place Farmers Market has the same name as one of the most popular prime-time soaps of the 90s. But that’s only because it’s located on Melrose Place and Croft in West Hollywood – so there! It’s not as big as the Hollywood market, and doesn’t have as wide a variety of vegetables as the Sunday market on Larchmont Boulevard. Then again, neither of those markets has a cheese truck selling everything from goat cheese to crumpled blue cheese, like the Melrose Place market. Other highlights include a fresh hummus stand, homemade tamales, and so many free samples that you’ll feel guilty trying them all. That being said, no one’s going to scold you if you do.
Melrose Place and Croft in West Hollywood; Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mar Vista: The Mar Vista Farmers Market isn’t as big as its neighbors to the east, but it does have something the others don’t – crepes! And for under $10 you can get them with pretty much anything, from bacon and ham, to fresh fruit and vegetables – even goat cheese. Café Laurent in Culver City is the establishment that makes all the crepes, and they also serve Belgian waffles and French toast. Other highlights of the Mar Vista Farmers Market include an arts and crafts market, which happens on the first Sunday of every month, holiday festivals, and DJ’s bumping tunes from both the past and present. For more information visit www.marvistafarmersmarket.org.
Grand View Ave. and Venice Blvd., Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.