I was invited to The Original Farmers Market to explore the market and learn about it's history. I had been to the Market so many times before, and even though I always felt the uniqueness of the Original Farmers Market, I didn't know much about the history behind it. While taking a full tour of the market, visiting every single eatery and shop, and learning about it's history, I was completely intrigued.
Let me start by telling you about the fascinating history of The Original Farmers Market.
In 1880, Arthur Gilmore acquired the property and operated it as a Dairy Farm. Some years later he discovered oil on the property, and he developed The Gilmore Oil Company on the property. In 1934, the property was used for a stadium that had car races, boxing matches, rodeos, and entertainment.
In the same year, a couple of entrepreneurs approached the Gilmore family and suggested to use the land as a combination of village and farmer's market. In July 1934, farmers came to the corner of Fairfax and 3rd Street, and sold their produce right out of the back of their trucks.
Almost immediately, the concept was so popular that farmers and other merchants were asking for permanent stalls, and began to build them over the course of that summer, which became the Farmers Market as we know it now.
The very first Restaurant, "Magee's Kitchen", arrived at Farmer's Market in 1934 and after almost 85 years, folks still line up for outstanding roast and corned beef, delicious turkey, and ham platters.
Another example of a historical restaurant at the market is "Patsy D'Amore's Pizza", which bakes their pizza in the original brick oven brought from Catalina Island almost 80 years ago. They also serve outstanding lasagna and spaghetti.
There are approximately 40 restaurants, eateries, coffee shops, candy shops, bakeries, and butcheries at the Original Farmers Market with variety of delicious and authentic food and products, which makes it a perfect venue for families. Everyone can just choose whatever they like from one of the eateries and join each other at a table in the Courtyard of the farmer's market under the sunny sky of our beautiful city, Los Angeles.
Among other popular restaurants are "Bryan’s Pit Barbecue" with excellent Texas-style beef, pork and chicken dishes; "Du-par’s Restaurant" with comfort food dishes that will take you back to your childhood; "Pampas Grill" which is a churrascaría, and is my personal favorite. At Pampas Grill, you get to select from beef steak, sausages, chicken, and other dishes and pay by the weight of the food in your plate.
Some of the restaurants with separate dinning areas are ideal for a date night, as they serve beer and wine, and you can even watch your favorite sport as you eat and spend quality time with your spouse.
I also have to mention "The French Crepe Company", which is another favorite of mine, serving light and luscious crepes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, including magnificent sandwiches.
After you are done with your food, we suggest visiting one of the ice cream shops or bakeries to satisfy your sweet tooth. "Local Ice" serves delicious cold treats on the Market's West Patio. Their creamy ice cream and dairy-free Italian ices are hand-crafted on site using organic ingredients. Another ice cream shop is "Bennett's Ice Cream", which has been at the market since 1963. They make their own ice cream from fresh ingredients mixed on the spot.
If you want to try something new and different, head over to "Zia Valentina", and try a delicious Sicilian ice drink. Their menu also features breakfasts, snacks, great packaged items like biscotti, muffins, cookies, apple butter and pesto.
Things To Do:
Other than satisfying your appetite, there is so much to do at the market. You can shop at various specialty food shops such as "Dragunara Spice Bazaar", which features the freshest spices, sauces, blended seasonings, and more. Or visit "Light My Fire", that stores hundreds, maybe thousands, of hot sauces from around the world. I guarantee you will be amazed by the selection of hot sauces you can find at this store.
Don't forget to stop by "Magee’s House of Nuts" to taste and buy varieties of peanuts in charming gift boxes. I also highly recommend stopping by "Magic Nut and Candy Company" and get the kids some mixed nuts and candies. They offer so many wonderful varieties of candies and flavored popcorn, that it’s difficult to keep track of. You can also find sugar free sweets here.
Don't be surprised if I tell you that you can even find a dog bakery at The Original Farmers Market. You can treat your dog to fresh, fun and healthy bakery goods at "The Dog Bakery".
At the market, you can find everything you need for making a perfect lunch or dinner as well. Your kids would love to select fresh fruit and veggies at the two grocery stores, and shop for fresh fish, poultry, turkey, and meat at the sea food and butcher shops.
Then stop by "Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market" with thousands of imported specialty foods, olive oils, spices, sauces and best chocolate collections, and do the rest of your shopping for making a great meal at home.
Another must visit with kids is the "Kip's Toyland". This toy store is the oldest toy store in Los Angeles, and family owned for more than 70 years. You can find lots of fun toys, games, dolls, puzzles, costumes stuffed animals, and much more here.
My 7 year old loved browsing around the "Sticker Planet", which is located in the middle of the market. We were amazed by thousands of unique stickers, perfect for project making at this store.
When you walk outside the Courtyard, you will find a Newsstand with variety of magazines and newspapers, which offers postal services too. Basically, you can dine, shop, have fun, and even do some of your chores at the Original Farmers Market. It really doesn't get better than this!
For the full list of all the amazing merchants at the Farmer's Market, click here.
I should also mention that you may bump into a celebrity at the market at any given day. Among the celebrities spotted at the market are Jimmy Kimmel, Alton Brown, Guy Fieri, Susan Sarandon, Anthony Hopkins, and more.
The Original Farmer's Market features several seasonal events throughout the year, such as Lunar New Year Celebration, Mardi Gras Celebration, Dance Parties, Pet Parade and Costume Contest, St. Patrick Day Celebration, Hanukkah Party and Lighting, Christmas Festivities and many many more. For calendar of events please click here.
Location & Hours:
The Original Farmers Market is located at 6333 W.3rd St.Los Angeles, CA 90036, in the corner of Fairfax and 3rd Street. The Market is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, and Sundays from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
90 minutes free parking is offered at two parking lots with validation if you purchase at the Farmers Market, or 2 hours free parking with validation from select grocers.
I was invited to the Original Farmers Market as a guest. All opinions are my own.
Videos Credit: The Original Farmers Market