One of L.A.'s oldest institutions, the Farmers Market (website) was conceived when a dozen local farmers started parking their trucks on a field to sell their fresh produce to residents. Since then, the Farmers Market has retained its laid back, open-air atmosphere and selection of fresh-from-the-farm goods, while becoming a world-class haven for gourmands, offering fare from nearly every region imaginable. The compact, maze-like space houses more than 70 stalls, stores, markets and cafes, some of which are nearly as old as the market itself.
Highlights among the exceptional array of vendors include Bennett's Ice Cream, Bob's Coffee & Donuts, DuPar's Restaurant, The Gumbo Pot, Huntington Meats & Sausage, Light My Fire, Littlejohn's English Toffee House, Loteria Grill, Kip's Toyland, Magee's House of Nuts, Shine Gallery and Sticker Planet. As the list above attests, the majority of retailers are unique to the market or at least to L.A., and, as a result, they possess an authentic, one-of-a-kind appeal. However, there are a few large-scale stores such as Bath & Body Works, Pinkberry and Starbucks. Still, the Farmers Market's old-time roots are evident, in part due to historic displays scattered throughout it such as the self-serve gas station (the country's first) and handmade two-wheeled wooden shopping carts, not to mention the landmark 1941 Clock Tower.