Now entering its 8th decade, the original market was little more than an empty lot with wooden stands set up by farmers during the Depression so they could sell directly to city dwellers. Eventually, permanent buildings grew up, including the trademark shingled 10-story clock tower. Today the place has evolved into a sprawling marketplace with a carnival atmosphere, a kind of "turf" version of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. About 70 restaurants, shops, and grocers cater to a mix of workers from the CBS Television City complex, locals, and tourists brought here by the busload. Retailers sell greeting cards, kitchen implements, candles, and souvenirs, but everyone comes for the food stands, which offer oysters, hot doughnuts, Cajun gumbo, fresh-squeezed orange juice, corned beef sandwiches, fresh-pressed peanut butter, and all kinds of international fast foods. You can still buy produce here -- it's no longer a farm-fresh bargain, but the selection's better than at the grocery store. Don't miss Kokomo (tel. 323/933-0773), a "gourmet" outdoor coffee shop that has become a power breakfast spot for showbiz types. Red turkey hash and sweet-potato fries are the dishes that keep them coming back. The seafood gumbo and gumbo ya ya at the Gumbo Pot (tel. 323/933-0358) are also very popular.
At the eastern end of the Farmers Market is the Grove, a massive 575,000-square-foot Vegas-style retail complex composed of various architectural styles ranging from Art Deco to Italian Renaissance. Miniature streets link the Grove to the Market via a double-deck electric trolley. Granted, it's all a bit Disney-gaudy, but the locals love it. Where else can you power-shop until noon, check all your bags at a drop-off station, get a spa treatment at Amadeus Aveda Spa (tel. 323/297-0311; www.amadeusspa.com), see a movie at the 14-screen Grove Theatre (tel. 323/692-0829; www.thegrovela.com), have an early dinner at Maggiano's Little Italy (tel. 323/965-9665; www.maggianos.com), and be home by 7pm?
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about Farmers Market and The Grove
Ask West Hollywood Locals about Farmers Market and The Grove
- Highly Recommended 2010