In my opinion visiting your local farmers market is the smartest thing to do when it comes to your grocery shopping. While at the market you can get to know all the farmers and producers, ask them direct questions, and become aquatinted with their process whether it’s organic, grown hydroponically or caught in the wild. Thats exciting stuff to know about, especially because the satisfaction of knowing exactly where your food comes from is hard to come by these days.
Supermarket chains have barcodes on items that no one seems to understand and most places pick up their produce from warehouses which usually mean the items were picked before their peak time (to prolong shelf life) making it less than fresh by the time the item is purchased. I don’t want an “ehh” strawberry, I want an unadulterated, sweet and bright red berry! Thats what I can get the farmers market, so thats where I go.
I believe that the most important aspects of a farmers market are buying local, supporting our farmers and producers, and taking ownership of what you put into your body.
The list below highlights (in no particular order) some of the best markets for top notch veggies, fruits, herbs and more. And by more I mean things like delicious ice cream from Carmela, fresh jams, grass feed meats, baked goods or even fresh shucked oysters.
Hot food stands, live music, and adjacent entertainment are always a nice bonus when you plan a trip to a farmers market, but keep in mind the focus here is what you’re going to buy, take home, and cook with.
To that end I’ve also added some suggestions on how to incorporate fresh and local produce into your daily life at the end of the list, plus a rundown of additional farmers market options in the greater L.A. area that may be closer to where you live.
1. Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market
The Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market is a weekly outdoor certified market taking place on Sundays providing the finest California-grown, fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, juices, breads, specialty items and more in a festive outdoor setting. With more than 60 farmers and vendors each week the market conveniently created a page online called This Month at the Market highlighting different produce at their seasons peak and upcoming events. In addition there are specialty prepared foods that can be enjoyed at the market or taken home like gourmet tamales, French crepes, salads and more.
Location: 9300 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
2. Hollywood Farmers Market
Since 1991, the Hollywood Farmers’ Market brings farmers and producers of fresh juices, dried fruits, nuts, coffee, ethnic food, baked goods and much much more. Situated right in the middle of Tinseltown locals can find plenty of fruits, vegetables,honey, fish, meats and cheeses. Parking can be a pain but validated parking is available at the Arclight/Cinerama Dome across from the market for $3 (2 hours.) Happens every Sunday, rain or shine, 8:00am to 1:00pm.
Location: Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Street, Hollywood, CA 90028
3. Mar Vista Farmers Market
The Mar Vista Farmers Market started in 2006 and it’s already a local favorite for fresh produce, baked goods, fish and red meat. They also have awesome food vendors and a craft/handmade shopping area. Open Sundays from 9:00am to 2:00pm, rain or shine.
Location: 3826 Grand View Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90066
4. Santa Monica Farmers Market
For twice a week in Downtown Santa Monica for over 30 years, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market is where locals go to get buy high quality locally grown fruits and vegetables, small batched cheeses, amazing baked goods, fresh seafood, natural meats, as well as homemade products. This is probably one of the most popular Farmers Market’s in the city, you can find pretty much every veggie and fruit on your list in one stroll. Check it out either on Wednesday from 8:30am to 1:30pm, or Saturdays from 8:30am to 1pm.
Location: Arizona Avenue between 2nd and 4th Streets, Santa Monica, CA
5. Studio City Farmers Market
The Studio City Farmers’ Market offers a wide variety of quality produce like Island Farms who specialize in organic stone fruits and citrus. In addition the market is also the perfect place to meet up with family and friends the Market offers plenty of food vendors from Corn Maiden Tamales, Olive Wood Pizza, Salvadorean pupusas and more. Kids can enjoy pony rides, the petting zoo, train rides and even a bouncy slide. Visitors can find parking at CBS’ Studios on Radford. Happens every Sunday 8:00am to 2:00pm.
Location: Ventura Place, Studio City, CA 91604
6. Brentwood Farmers Market
Regular celebs sighting while you stroll past the vendors offering fresh fruits and vegetables is a regular thing at the Brentwood Farmers Market. Each Sunday the south end of San Vicente on Gretna Green Way comes alive with vendors offering fresh seasonal produce, dried goods, fresh flowers, honey, nut butters, fresh-squeezed juices, fresh eggs, and a great selection of non-produce. The mission of this particular market is to “ensure an environment where genuine California Farmers can sell their fresh picked fruits and vegetables directly to the community,” so by making your purchases at this farmers market you are supporting your local farming community, now that’s a double win!
Location: 741 Gretna Green Way, Los Angeles, CA 90049
7. Altadena Farmers Market
This is the cool kids market, vendors at the Altadena Farmers Market include Chuy’s Berry Farm who uses hydroponic growing techniques to produce a year-round growing season for berries like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, or the critically acclaimed Brassica and Brine who specialize in organic, traditional, wild-fermented foods, brimming with live, active cultures. If you like and understand what I just described this might be your perfect market. They don’t just have artisanal offering you can find plenty of fresh produce, fresh oysters, tasty food vendors and a guy named Ben who will sharpen your knives for you. The market happens every Wednesday 4:00pm to 8:00pm (Spring and Summer) and 3:00pm to 7:00pm (Fall/Winter).
Location: 600 W. Palm St., Altadena, CA 91101
8. South Pasadena Farmers Market
The beloved South Pasadena Farmers Market just celebrated their 13th year anniversary. Managed by the nonprofit South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce they always have awesome vendors like Zuckerman Farms selling fresh produce, Healthy Family Farms selling fresh eggs and chicken, plus the always delicious Carmela Ice Cream. Happens every Thursday rain or shine from 4:00pm to 8:00pm.
Location: Meridian Ave & El Centro St, Pasadena, CA 91101
9. Downtown LA Farmers Market
The Historic Downtown Farmers’ Market was established to “meet the demand of a high volume of residents who have a low volume of healthy produce and grocery options.” Not only can you get local produce you can also pick up farm fresh eggs, flowers, stuff for your pooch and even natural skin care products. They also have an nice selection of yummy prepared, hot food vendors and beverages stands. Happens every Sunday 9:00am to 2:00pm.
Location: West 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
10. Encino Farmers Market
The Encino Farmers Market is a certified farmers market, featuring a great variety of California grown produce, artisanal cheese, fresh flowers, eggs, meats, honey and more. Around a third of the growers practice organic farming methods! Between May and November when it’s peak season, expect about 40 farms from all over central and Southern California to come out and participate at the market. Happens every Sunday from 8:00am to 1:00pm.
Location: 17400 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406
If you can’t find the time to visit a farmers market you can bring the farmers market to you with one of these farm fresh delivery services!
And here are a bunch of other farmers markets in Los Angeles that may be closer to where you live:
- Alhambra Farmers Market
- Barnsdall Farmers Market
- Burbank Farmers Market
- Culver City Farmers Market
- Echo Park Farmers Market
- Larchmont Village Farmers Market
- Long Beach Downtown Farmers Market
- Long Beach Local Harvest Farmers Market
- Long Beach Southeast Farmers Market
- The Original Farmers Market (by The Grove)
- Pasadena Farmers Market
- Sherman Oaks Farmers Market
- Silver Lake Farmers Market
- Torrance Farmers Market
What’s your favorite farmers market in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!