Growing up in a small town in rural Northern California, I felt so blessed to be surrounded by some of the best produce. The farmer’s market in our town square boasted the best blueberries from my vendor friend and our ranch’s orchard was teeming with Asian pears, figs, pomegranates, apples, and table grapes by summer’s end.
Moving to L.A., I was convinced the farmer’s markets would not measure up to the one’s I’d been accustomed to. I was definitely wrong. Every Sunday, I can get a taste of home.
The Studio City Farmer’s Market on Ventura Place is the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. Chances are, you’re probably running low on groceries and need to go to the store anyway. Why not buy organic fruits and vegetables from farmers and their families who you can actually meet?!
The best advice I can give when visiting any farmer’s market is:
- Bring a basket or rolling cart for purchases and leave the bulky purse at home.
- Go to the ATM beforehand. Vendors prefer cash and it makes negotiating easier.
- Do an initial walk-through before purchasing anything. Many vendors offer the same products, so you may notice better deals as you peruse.
- Don’t be shy about sampling. Many vendors are happy to give you samples of their fruit, veggies, salsas, you name it.
- Don’t visit on any empty stomach! Eat before shopping so you’re not impulse buying.
The strip of vendors is long, but not exhaustingly long like some I’ve been to, and offers everything from grass fed beef and fresh seafood to artisan breads and pies, olive oils, honey, fresh flowers, loose leaf teas and spices, and of course, lots of fruits and vegetables. You can also get lunch from the prepared food vendors at the farmer’s market; they offer Maine lobster rolls, wood-fired pizza, Salvadorean pupusas, tamales, bacon wrapped hot dogs and more.
I opted for Joan’s On Third, which is on the same street as the market (and also at another L.A. location), but look forward to trying a lobster roll next time! Joan’s is open-atmosphere restaurant and marketplace definitely worth checking out.
Although I don’t have kids, I love how fun-spirited this particular farmer’s market is; it’s actually been voted the “Most Kid Friendly Farmers Market” by Los Angeles Magazine. At the end of the strip, there are pony rides, a petting zoo, a bouncy slide, and even a train that takes kids on a sweet ride through the nearby neighborhood. I’m not sure if they let adults on the train, but this kid-at-heart may try to hop aboard next time!
I happily walked away with a big container of strawberries (their sweet aroma alone lured me in), a bunch of gorgeous sunflowers, a container of fruit salsa, and a lovely loose leaf tea (Green Tea Lavender Rose).