Latest Best of LA

Best Of LA’s Original Farmers Market

August 2, 2015 12:01 AM

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(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)


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
www.farmersmarketla.com

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)


Short Cake
Stall #316
www.shortcakela.net

From artisanal coffees to handmade pastries Short Cake covers 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 Cake even has you covered on the savory front, offering a selection of salad, paninis, and open-faced toasts.

(credit: Farmers Market )

(credit: Farmers Market )


Singapore’s Banana Leaf
Stall #122

A celebration of one of the world’s great food meccas, Singapore’s Banana Leaf offers a taste of southeast Asia. While familiar offerings such as satay and chicken curry are worth order, stick to the dishes not commonly found in Los Angeles like beef rendang and lasa, a perfect spiced coconut based noodle soup.

(credit: Little John’s)

(credit: Little John’s)


Little John’s English Toffee House
Stall #432

It’s no wonder Little John’s English Toffee House has been around for over 90 years. In fact the beloved confectionary stand’s longevity can basically be summed up in three words: Best. Toffee. Ever. Little John’s crunchy, buttery, sweet and salty slabs of toffee goodness will have you hooked from the first bite, dentists be damned.

(credit: D. - Yelp)

(credit: D. – Yelp)


The French Crepe Company
Stall #31
www.frenchcrepe.com

You know the drill. Decide if you’re team savory or team sweet. Then pick from an array of fillings like chicken, mushrooms, carrots, and green beans in a white Dijon sauce (La Normadie) or keep it simple with the Parisian classic, Nutella (maybe even add some strawberries if you’re feeling crazy). Watch as your crepe is cooked to order. And boom, the perfect meal. Sure, you’ve probably tried this before, but The French Crepe Company does it better.

(credit:  Jennica R./Yelp)

(credit: Jennica R./Yelp)


The Gumbo Pot
Stall #312
www.thegumbopotla.com

Serving up a menu of beloved New Orleans classics, The Gumbo Pot is a must stop on a Farmers Market culinary tour. Jambalaya, fried chicken, and blackened catfish are all top notch. But make sure to save room for the namesake gumbo which comes in three varieties including the spicy YaYa, seafood, and for the more adventurous eaters, gator.

(credit: Andrea F./Yelp)

(credit: Andrea F./Yelp)


Pampas Grill
Stall #618
www.pampas-grill.com

There always seems to be a line to grab a meal at Pampas Grill, but it’s definitely worth the wait. While all you can eat churrascarias may be tempting, Pampas Grill’s a la carte selection of Brazilian grilled sausages, chicken, pork, and steak is sure to be easier on your stomach and your wallet.

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)


Fritzi Dog
Stall #742
www.fritzidog.com

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.

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)


Loteria Grill
Stall #322
loteriagrill.com

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.

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)


Magee’s House of Nuts
Stall #624
www.mageesnuts.com

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.

(credit: Moruno)

(credit: Moruno)


Moruno
Stall #110
www.morunola.com

Farmers Market newcomer Moruno, helmed by two Mozza alums, arrived with high expectations. Unsurprisingly, Moruno has already built a following of devotees for their expertly spiced Spanish skewers and hearty sandwiches (aka submarunos). The unassuming take-out window’s main attraction might just be the gunpowder fries, laced with curry leaf, black pepper, and chile de arbol. Maruno’s upcoming expansion into the former Short Order space can’t come soon enough.

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)

(credit: Sofia Wolfson)


Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts
Stall #450
www.farmersmarketla.com

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.
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