Farm-to-Table… Enjoy the Best of LA’s Farmers Markets

Photo courtesy of Julian, Flickr

Find fragrant bouquets of freshly picked flowers, dewy bundles of organic lettuce, baskets of crisp apples and trays of flaky, artisanal pastries that beckon to shoppers from the stalls at LA’s numerous farmers markets. While you’re in town, make sure to visit one of these open-air gatherings to see what local farmers, bakers and crafters have to offer.

THE ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET

If you only have time to visit one farmers market, this one should be it. With more than 100 restaurants, shops and food vendors, this Los Angeles institution has been offering fresh produce, specialty foods and authentic ethnic cuisine to Los Angeles visitors and locals for nearly 80 years.  Check out their interactive directory to plan your shopping list.

Third and Fairfax, www.farmersmarketla.com, Mon.–Fri.: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat.: 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sun.: 10 a.m.– 7 p.m.

LARCHMONT FARMERS MARKET

What this quaint market lacks in size, it makes up for in quality. Fill your basket with ripe, juicy tomatoes, generous bundles of sweet basil, flavored olive oils and fragrant, hand-poured soy candles.

209 N. Larchmont Blvd Lot #694, Sun.: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

HOLLYWOOD FARMERS MARKET

Before heading to the Walk of Fame, experience Hollywood like a local by walking through its vibrant farmers market. Whether you’re stocking up on groceries or filling up on pre-prepared foods, this centrally located gathering has everything a hungry shopper could crave. Tip back freshly shucked oysters on the half shell, nibble on grilled sweet corn on the cob, and sip mouthwatering watermelon lemonade while meandering through the aisles of produce and meat stands.

Ivar and Selma Ave., between Hollywood and Sunset Blvd., Sundays: 8a.m. – 1p.m. 

SANTA MONICA FARMERS MARKETS

Head to Santa Monica, where three days a week various farmers markets tout entertainment for the whole family, including a petting zoo, pony rides, live music and plenty of hot food stands. Take advantage of the free parking or free bike valet, and get ready for an afternoon of entertainment, picnicking and shopping near the ocean. Watch for special events like cooking demonstrations, “ask the dietician” sessions and appearances by local chefs.

City of Santa Monica Farmers Markets, Arizona Ave. & Second St., Wed.: 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.; Arizona Ave. & Third St., Sat.: 8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.; 2200 Virginia Ave., Sat.: 8:00 a.m.–1 p.m.; 2640 Main St., Sun.: 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

BRENTWOOD VILLAGE FARMERS MARKET

Sure, this weekend gathering has all the hallmarks of other neighborhood farmers markets, but it also boasts an impressive selection of handmade jewelry. While you’re deciding on something sparkly to buy, munch on a treat from the Great Harvest Bread Company, or opt for a pork and cheese-filled pupusa from a mom-and-pop stand.

741 Gretna Green Way, Sun.: 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m

VENICE FARMERS MARKET

The Friday market in Venice is on the small side, but the vendors here are known for being super friendly. Don’t be surprised if you end up hearing all about the potato grower’s special blend of soil or if you snag a from-memory recipe for grilled zucchini salad. The market comes with a dose of Venice’s famous bohemian vibe — everything is compostable or recyclable, there’s plenty of bicycle parking and it’s not too hard to find a shot of wheatgrass.

Venice Blvd. & Venice Way, www.venicefarmersmarket.com, Fri.: 7 a.m.–11:00 a.m.,

CENTURY CITY FARMERS MARKET

For a mid-week jaunt through an open-air market, head over to this outdoor event, where shoppers line up for Hawaiian barbecue chicken, made-to-order empanadas and a variety of flavored hummus and pitas.

Constellation Blvd. and Avenue of the Stars, Thurs.: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m

ECHO PARK FARMERS MARKET

This mellow market might skimp on the crafts and jewelry booths, but it has plenty of fresh produce to make up for it. Stock up on groceries for the weekend, such as flavorful heirloom tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, massive avocados, free-range poultry and herbed goat cheese.

1125 Logan St., Fri.: 3 p.m.–7 p.m.

BEVERLY HILLS FARMERS MARKET

This mid-size market boasts easy parking, live music, a petting zoo, and plenty of ready-to-eat staples like kettle corn, made-to-order crepes, tamales and burritos. Before leaving, try the ruby-red strawberries at Harry’s Berries and the artisanal pretzels rolls from Rockenwagner Bakery.

9300 Block of Civic Center Dr., Beverly Hills, Sun.: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.,www.beverlyhills.org/attractions/market/default.asp

STUDIO CITY FARMERS MARKET

This Saturday market is a favorite among the toddler set — it offers pony rides, a petting zoo, train ride and bouncy slide in addition to plenty of locally farmed produce. Epicureans won’t be disappointed, either. Vendors sell homemade sauces, pastries and preserves, and one will even sharpen your favorite kitchen knives.

Ventura Place between Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Radford Ave., Studio City, Sun.: 8 a.m.–1 p.m.,www.studiocityfarmersmarket.com

ENCINO FARMERS MARKET

During peak summer months, dozens of regional growers converge at this farmers market in the Valley, where you’ll find everything from locally made honey to local eggs, meat and cheese. Oh, and endless piles of colorful, fragrant fruits and vegetables.

17400 Victory Blvd, Encino, Sat.: 8 a.m.–1 p.m., www.localharvest.org

DOWNTOWN LA FARMERS MARKET

Because this market features just as much delicious, ready-to-eat street food as it does produce, it’s a favorite among Downtown workers, who fill up for lunch on Thai barbecue chicken, falafal wraps, roasted nuts and authentic tamales and then take home local veggies and artisan bread for dinner.

Bank of America Plaza, 333 S. Hope St., Fri.: 11 a.m.–2 p.m

……………………………..

Article courtesy of DiscoverLosAngeles.com

Advertisements

LA’s Best Hiking Trails

Hiking in LA is a great to discover why LA is the Sunshine state. Discover beautiful views, native planet and if your quite wild life. Remember a few things when hiking, wear sturdy hiking shoes, carry plenty of water, use sun screen and wear sunglasses. Also, take a long a camera and stay on the trails that are marked.

Heart-of-Hollywood Hike

Trail: Runyon Canyon Loop
Distance: About 3 miles round-trip

By no means is this hike a wilderness experience, so if you’re looking for solitude, you might want to try other trails. On the other hand, this is a great hike for people-watching, and it gives beginning hikers a chance to check out the Hollywood Hills and the amazing views at the trail summit, known as Cloud’s Rest. Whether you’re wearing the latest hiking gear or just sneakers and sun hats, this is a fun hike highlighted by million dollar mansions and priceless views of the Hollywood sign, the Sunset Strip and the LA Basin.

Griffith Park Trails

Trail: Griffith Observatory West Loop
Distance: About 2.5 miles

The hike starts at the Fern Dell picnic area near Los Feliz Boulevard. You can pick up the trail near the creek past the restrooms. Stay to the right and head uphill toward the Griffith Observatory. You’ll be able to stop and enjoy views of the city along the way. As the path flattens out, you’ll see a trail to the right leading up to the observatory. On the way back, stay right all the way down the hill. The trail will curve around a bit and then take you back to the Fern Dell picnic area.

Trails: Brush Canyon Trail
Distance: About 2 miles

You can park in the lot on Canyon Drive, located just past Bronson Park. From there, head uphill past the gate and pick up the trail on the fire road heading toward the Pacific Electric quarry. You’ll pass a park and a picnic area and then climb out of the canyon. After about 3/4 of a mile, the trail intersects with the Mulholland Trail. Follow the trail to the right and continue another 1/4 mile to Mount Hollywood Drive. To get back, follow the same route, taking a left at the Mulholland Trail junction.

Will Rogers State Park Trek

Trail: Rustic Canyon Loop/ Inspiration Point Trail
Distance: About 6 miles round-trip

During the 1920s, Will Rogers, one of Hollywood’s Royalty,  bought land in Santa Monica, where he developed a ranch and Hiking Trails.  Hikers can enjoy a moderate 3-mile loop to Inspiration Point. Adventurous hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians can tackle the Backbone Trail into the Santa Monica Mountains, which can take you all the way to Point Mugu.

Santa Monica Mountains Waterfall Trek

Trail: Escondido Canyon and Fall
Distance: 4.2 miles round-trip

Not all of Malibu’s riches are multi-million-dollar mansions. Tucked among the gated seaside mega-homes, Escondido Canyon Park holds a liquid asset for everyone to cash in on: Escondido Falls, the highest waterfall in the Santa Monica Mountains. The 4.2-mile round-trip trek to this multi-tiered stunner begins on a paved residential road overlooking the Pacific; after about a mile, the road links with the Escondido Canyon Trail.

 

 

Source: DiscoverLA