Since the summer of 1934, the Original Farmers has been a gathering place for locals and visitors. The slogan ‘Meet Me at Third and Fairfax’ tells the location, but walking inside reveals the charm of this bustling open-air marketplace. Some businesses have sold meats, produce, fish and prepared food for decades, giving the feeling of a classic shopping experience, while newer tenants are helping to keep the spirit of the place changing and evolving.
With so many things to see and taste visitors and locals alike find their favorites. Classic vendors like Littlejohn’s for their English Toffee, Du-par’s for pancakes, and Bennett’s Ice Cream offer old world charm. Newer stalls serve up artisanal coffee, small batch hot dogs, and gourmet grocery items. While exploring the market, be sure to check out some of the best bites the market has to offer.
The Original Farmers Market
633 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Short Cake and Short Order
Short Cake Stall #316
Short Order Stall #110
From artisanal coffees made with freshly roasted Verve and Handsome coffee beans served with handmade pastries to burgers and melts made with local ingredients, Short Cake and Short Order cover all-day cravings. Lattes come with the option of house-made vanilla and caramel syrups. Signature sesame date scones and orange chiffon cakes covered with toasted meringue satisfy the sweet tooth. Short Order’s fresh salads, patty melts, and rustic torn spuds are made to order and served with custard shakes and craft cocktails.
With the motto “No Junk” Fritzi Dog, Executive Chef Neal Fraser applies his extensive culinary experience to the world of a classic hot dog stand. The menu options appeal to purists and food adventurers. Chili cheese dog lovers are covered, but they can also experience more unique offerings like the Tokyo Dog with wasabi aoli, mori and sriracha ketchup. Buns come original, pretzel, and gluten free. Dogs include pork, kosher-style beef, turkey and duck, and a veggie carrot version served with a long list of optional toppings.
In 2002, Chef Jimmy Shaw opened ¡Loteria! in the Original Farmers Market to serve the kind of food you would find in the taquerias and restaurants where he grew up in Mexico City. Not only is his Farmers Market location thriving, Shaw now also has full-service restaurant locations in Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, and Westlake Village. Even when there is a line at the Farmers Market ¡Loteria! , the tacos, enchiladas, and chilaquiles are worth the wait.
Magee’s House of Nuts
This is your grandmother’s nut shop. The nice people who weigh the filberts, pecans, pistachios, always have a big smile. All good reasons to go to Magee’s, but there is one product there that shines above the rest. At the southeast corner of their stall is a classic peanut butter-making machine. The peanut butter, ground fresh every day, tastes creamy and delicious and makes a perfect gift. Magee’s also makes other nut butters and jams.
Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts
Bob’s is so old school they do not even have their own website. They are too busy making delicious doughnuts. Standouts include the maple cake, classic cinnamon roll, and cute shaped kittens and dinosaurs. Bob’s regulars are loyal. Desserts trends come and go, but classic doughnuts stands that are as good as Bob’s are here to stay.
Julie Wolfson (@juliewolfson) is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. She covers travel, lifestyle, art, pop culture, cocktails and food for Cool Hunting and several other media outlets. Most days you’ll find her out and about in Southern California and around the world tracking down stories about talented people doing amazing things.