LA has some of the biggest and most eccentric flea and farmers’ markets in the US. Thanks to the city’s sunny disposition, markets are often found outside – sometimes even by the beach. With their laidback, cool vibe and excellent fresh produce, Los Angeles has taken to farmers’ markets in a big way. It’s a popular weekend activity for locals and a great way to sample the local culture if you’re visiting the city.
Below is a selection of some of the best flea and farmers’ markets around LA. You may even spot a few celebrities during your shop…
Rose Bowl Flea Market
A real find for fashion fans
Located in a stadium, the Rose Bowl Flea Market features rows and rows of vendors selling old and new items ranging from crafts to clothing. Meander your way through this massive market – which has over 2,500 stalls. For those fashion fiends, there’s a whole section dedicated to antique and vintage finds. Stalls sell everything under the sun; expect antique jewelry, collectibles, furniture, books, ceramics and even plant and food produce.
The market is held on the second Sunday of every month, from 9am to 4.30pm, and is $10 per entry (not including children below 12). The market is very popular, so get there before 9am or buy pre-booked tickets online to avoid queueing at the entrance.
Artists & Fleas Market
A Brooklyn-style market for vintage shopaholics
The Artists & Fleas Market is found in the ever-vibrant and artsy neighborhood of Venice. The market has expanded cross-country, from their flagship markets in New York’s Chelsea, Williamsburg and Soho. With these roots, you can’t help noticing an element of NYC-cool in the displayed vendors; stalls feature racks of trendy, hip clothing – some of which you’d only see fashionable New Yorkers wear. The indoor market screams edge with its dangling, golden lights, graffiti scrawled across open-brick walls and frequent live DJs. The outdoor market, usually basking in sunlight, seems more LA. The market is held every second and fourth Saturday of the month.
Arts District Co-op
Shopping with live-music
The Arts District Co-op allows local artists and contemporary designers to set up stalls and sell their products to the public. Held in an indoor warehouse space, stalls are dimly-lit, creating an intimate atmosphere where customers and vendors can engage in friendly chit-chat. The array of vendors sells unique artwork, homewares, vintage clothing and bicycles. Before heading into the market, stop by the next-door Urth Café to pick up their signature Honey Vanilla Latte. Make sure to snap a few pictures with the colorful murals on the outside of the market. The co-op is closed every Monday.
Melrose Trading Post
Shopping for a good cause
Melrose Trading Post is found in Fairfax High School and the money raised each week at the market is donated to the school. That should make each purchase less guilt-riddled than normal. This outdoor marketplace hosts a friendly, easy-going atmosphere where students man stalls and help around the market. Vendors sell everything from vintage homeware, antiques, collectibles, art, handmade items, eco-friendly and recycled items. Visitors have to pay admission and vendor fees, which are used to fund school trips, sports equipment and other upkeep for the school. Come here to do a little shopping, laze on the grass and listen to great live music.
Topanga Vintage Market
Haggle for gorgeous vintage items
Topanga Vintage Market is an open-air marketplace with eccentric vendors selling amazing vintage finds. Expect to find hippie fur coats and every type of cowboy boot you could imagine. Items are usually sold at reasonable prices and 9 times out of 10, prices can even be haggled down even more. In this casual atmosphere, vendors and visitors are often found mixing and making small talk about items on sale. If you find yourself sweltering under the Californian sun, make a visit to one of the gourmet food trucks selling delicious street-food and refreshing drinks. The market is on every 4th Sunday of the month. Parking is free.
Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market
Where to spend a sunny Sunday morning
The Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market is held every Sunday morning in an outdoor space filled with stalls offering fresh produce and vendors selling tasty prepared food. Head over to the market to pick up food to start your day; freshly baked pastries fill the air with their scent. The market is also heavily family-oriented with live-music, kids’ activities and a live petting zoo. Vendors sell only the best Californian-grown produce from succulent tomatoes to green apples; check the website for seasonal fruit and vegetables. The market is easy to wander around but is not shaded so remember to bring a hat and sunscreen. Look out for the fresh juice bar – the orange juice is amazing.
Hollywood Farmers’ Market
A small market with loads of Hollywood charm
The Hollywood Farmers’ Market sits between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard and is an ideal place to pop into and grab a snack as you explore the famous streets of Los Angeles. This small market stocks fresh produce and goods from local farmers, ranchers and vendors; only the best Californian-grown fruit, vegetables and nuts are sold here, along with free-range poultry and eggs, fish, honey, meats, cheeses and much more. Walk around the stalls and try the testers. If you have a bit of time, watch acoustic musicians perform live. As you leave, look down the boulevard where you’ll see the Hollywood sign in the distance. The market is only on Sundays.
Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets
A literal feast for the senses
The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market come in 3 forms: The Downtown Santa Monica Market, The Pico Boulevard Market and The Main Street Market. Each market is known for different produce and specialties; the Downtown market dubbed as the ‘organic market’, the Pico Boulevard market known for its superb, wild local seafood and the Main Street market hugely popular with local families. The Downtown market takes place every Wednesday from 8am to 1pm and Saturday from 8am to 1pm, the Pico Boulevard market every Saturday from 8am to 1pm, and the Main Street market every Sunday from 8.30am to 1.30pm. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself bagging some fruit alongside some A-list celebrities or revered chefs.
Studio City Farmers’ Market
Open every Sunday, rain or shine
The Studio City Farmers’ Market is a kid-friendly open-air market with vendors showcasing colorful displays of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as mouth-watering street food. A stroll down Studio City market is a quintessential Hollywood farmers’ market experience; pure blue skies and tall, skinny palm trees surround the white-tipped tents that sell locally produced artisan foods and crafts. Yummy hot food is offered such as rice balls, lobster from Maine, breakfast burritos and wood-fired pizzas. The proceeds from the market are given to local charities. Watch out for celebrities such as Hilary Duff or Jenna Dewan, who are frequent visitors.
The Original Farmers’ Market
An old-timey cluster of stalls, circa 1934
The Original Farmer’s Market is an area full of sit-down eateries, fresh produce stalls and prepared food vendors lined with lush Californian palm trees. Situated near the famous Grove mall, the market attracts thousands of tourists because of its location and its status as a historic landmark of Los Angeles. The market was started by a dozen local farmers who parked their trucks on an open field to sell their produce; they wanted to open locals’ eyes to the worthiness of locally produced foods. These days, Los Angeles doesn’t shy away from this fact, with more and more people turning to support local farmers. Stop by early and grab a breakfast burrito or a stack of pancakes.