All of the photos that appear in this post were photographed with a Samsung Galaxy S5, which was provided to L.A. Foodie by Verizon Wireless. L.A. Foodie thanks Verizon Wireless for making this tasty post possible!
If you live in L.A. then you already know all about the Farmers Market. If you’re planning a vacation here, then you’ll definitely want to add the Farmers Market to your list of spots to visit (and eat). This food lovers’ mecca first opened in 1934, and it’s been charming locals and tourists 7 days a week for decades. This quaint, charming, and slightly odd configuration of restaurant stalls, specialty food stores, and trinket shops is central to defining the food culture of Los Angeles. You’re going to love it.
Here are the top 10 best foods to eat at the Original L.A. Farmers Market…
10) Bo Nuage Cloud Cake from Monsieur Marcel
Layers of baked meringue surround flavored whipped cream. The outside is coated with shaved chocolate curls. It’s like a cupcake for the advanced dessert-eater. Grab one from the cold case and browse the aisles of Monsieur Marcel’s cute French market. Maybe grab a baguette and some cheese for the road.
9) Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Bennett’s Homemade Ice Cream
Bennett’s has been churning homemade ice cream since 1963. Take advantage of over 50 years of frozen-treat expertise. Like any respectable ice cream shop, Bennett’s has a bunch of flavors to choose from. But Mint Chocolate Chip is my personal favorite. Everything is made on the premises, so freshness is a sure thing. If you’re feeling extra fancy, grab one of Bennett’s famous frozen bananas.
8) Fresh Peanut Butter from Magee’s House of Nuts
There’s a photo of Dwight Eisenhower hanging over the Magee’s Nuts storefront that depicts the former president stopping by Magee’s for a jar of peanut butter. “He was a nice man,” says the old lady behind the counter, who was there that day. This diminutive food stall is almost entirely filled with mounds of nuts, a deep fryer, and a combination peanut grinder and peanut butter churn. Ask for a sample and you’ll get a dollop straight from the churn. There are nut butters to fit every foodie’s fancy. But you fancy folks can keep your pecan, cashew, and macadamia nut butter. My favorite is still the humble foot soldier of the nut butter army, good ole peanut butter.
7) Cheese & Strawberry Danish from Short Cake
Pastries are like prime time sitcoms—there are so many crappy ones out there that you forget that they can be really great when made by passionate dedicated artists. This awesome Cheese & Strawberry Danish is a good choice, but you really can’t go wrong at Short Cake. Just pick whatever looks good behind the glass. You won’t be disappointed. And if you’re a coffee drinker, this is also your stop. Short Cake has some of the best coffee drinks in town.
6) Crunchy Beef Taco from Magee’s Kitchen
Most people know Magee’s for either their fresh grated horseradish that “Kicks like a Missouri mule” or their thick, hand-cut slices of turkey, corned beef, or roast beef—all of which are proudly on display. Most people I’ve asked don’t have any idea that Magee’s even serves tacos. They’re on the menu, so they’re not exactly a secret. But you might impress your friends with your expert foodie knowledge when you order this yummy taco: seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, and a mild tomato salsa. It’s the best suburban high school cafeteria taco you’ll ever munch.
5) Beef Nachos from Lotería Grill
Almost every time I order the beef nachos, passers by slow down to feast their eyes on my full plate of molten cheese and tortilla chips. One or two of the gawkers eventually ask, “Where did you get those?” The other varieties of nachos are just fine, but the beef nachos are the best. They come in small and large portions. In addition to the tortillas and ridiculously surplus amounts of oozing cheese, these tasty nachos are dressed with stewed black beans and heaps of slow-cooked beef. Just a warning: the nachos are filling and the portions are huge. Save room!
4) Nancy’s Backyard Burger from Short Order
This great spot is best known for hamburgers. But Short Order has other great dishes, amazing custard, and terrific cocktails, too. Grab a seat at the upstairs bar for a unique view of the bustling corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax. If you’re going to get a burger at the Farmers Market, make it this one. Nancy’s Backyard Burger is stacked with beef, bacon, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, red onion, and mayo. Order it medium rare, and it will arrive exactly medium rare. Damn good.
3) English Toffee from Littlejohn’s English Toffee House
The whole shop looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. Stand at the huge windows and watch as the candy makers inside use wooden oars to stir bubbling, steaming copper cauldrons of candy. You’ll be hard-pressed to find finer English toffee anywhere. All of the handmade candy here at Littlejohn’s is awesome. You can’t go wrong. Just remember to buy plenty of toffee for sharing.
2) Bacon Cheese Tots from Fritzi Dog
Lord have mercy, these are so good. Don’t be misled by the word “bacon.” These cheesy tots are topped with smoky cubes of pork belly. Fritzi Dog is bound to show up on any top-10-hot-dogs-in-L.A. list, so if you’re in the mood for a frank, this is your spot. But, man oh man, those crunchy tater tots are good. All alone, they shatter in your mouth to reveal a fluffy and moist interior. But then Fritzi Dog cranks it up and puts cheese and smoked pork atop these perfect little Donkey-Kong-barrel-shaped spuds. This is a heavy snack, so share with a friend. Or share with a stranger and make a friend.
1) Apple Fritter at Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts
I submit that this apple fritter is the best in the observable universe. I’ve tried dozens of apple fritters from around this great country of ours, and I’ve never found one to come even close to Bob’s. Some magical combination of ingredients, heat, and texture join forces to produce three distinct layers of fritter: (1) The glazed layer, flaky and sweet; (2) the crust, crunchy and deeply browned; (3) the interior, airy and creamy. As a bonus, you’ll find the best iced tea at the Farmers Market right here. Don’t forget to validate your parking!