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L.A.'s Best Farmers' Markets
A great way to get a taste of Southern California's bounty is to visit its farmers' markets, where hundreds of family farmers, sustainable ranchers, and artisan producers sell their products. A cross-section of the city—chefs, foodies, families, and seniors—mingle and sample their way through the best of the region's fresh produce, meat and fish, baked goods, and specialty products. Fruits and vegetables both recognizable and exotic get scooped up by the bag-full and local vendors offer tantalizing snacks like grilled corn, crepes, omelets, and tacos.
Markets are held every day of the week, but weekends are the most popular. Many have special events such as cooking demonstrations, pony rides, and live music. Get there early to avoid a crowd.
Southland Farmers' Market Association. Check with the Southland Farmers' Market Association for locations, days, and times of the more than 70 local markets. www.cafarmersmarkets.org.
Here are a few of the best:
Beverly Hills Farmers' Market. The Beverly Hills Farmers' Market, held Sunday 9-1, showcases more than 60 farmers and vendors every week. Civic Center Dr. between Alpine Dr. and Foothill Rd., Los Angeles, CA, 90210. 310/550-4796.
West Hollywood Farmers' Market. The West Hollywood Farmers' Market, on Monday 9-2, is as busy and cheerful as a street fair. 1200 N. Vista St., at Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90046. 323/845-6535.
Hollywood Farmer's Market. The Hollywood Farmer's Market is held Sunday 8-6. Ivar and Selma Aves., Los Angeles, CA, 90028.
Santa Monica Wednesday Market. The best farmers' market in L.A. is the Santa Monica Wednesday Market. Running from 8:30 to 1:30, it draws all the area's top chefs and amateur foodies alike. Depending on the time of year, you might be tempted by heirloom tomatoes, Chinese long beans, Persian cucumbers, or blood oranges. On Saturday 8:30-1, there's an organic produce market at this same location. Other Santa Monica markets are held Saturday at Pico and Cloverfield boulevards (8-1) and Sunday at Main Street and Ocean Park Boulevard (9:30-1). Arizona Ave. at 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA, 90401. 310/458-8712.
Los Angeles Farmers' Market. If it's authentic tacos, award-winning pies, or other snacks you're after, head to the landmark Los Angeles Farmers' Market, is crammed with prepared foods from all corners of the globe. Most spots are fast-food-style eateries sharing a common seating area—good for people-watching. An authentic croque monsieur sandwich, as well as crepes both savory and sweet, are available at the French Crepe Company (323/934-3113 www.frenchcrepe.com). Some of the city's best tacos, wrapped in freshly made tortillas, are found at Loteria! Grill (323/930-2211 www.loteriagrill.com). Folks line up for the bold flavors of Louisiana—including jambalaya and one of the few authentic New Orleans-style muffuletta sandwiches in L.A.—at the Gumbo Pot (323/933-0358 wwww.thegumbopotla.com). Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts (323/933-8929) is legendary for its raspberry-filled "Bismarck" donuts, and some of L.A.'s most beloved pies are peddled at Du-par's (323/933-8446). 3rd St. and Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90036. 310/993-9211. www.farmersmarketla.com.
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