The Original Farmers Market: Farmers Market L.A.

Written by Ella Coppola
Published: March 2, 2023
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Are you in California and looking for something fun to do in Los Angeles this week? The Original Farmers Market is free and open daily: bring your family and friends and explore this market’s many stalls! Just south of West Hollywood, residents and tourists alike are welcome to meet the original market vendors at 3rd and Fairfax. Boasting over 100 vendors, The Original Farmers Market provides fresh organic produce, top-tier grocery purveyors, and gourmet restaurants. Visitors can shop, drink, snack, and relax at L.A.’s favorite farmers market.

You can visit throughout the week, but hours depend on the day. Entry to the market is free, but we recommend bringing some cash for the fresh produce and ready-to-eat snacks. Visitors with valid tickets can park in one of the market’s two parking lots. Fees apply for parking after the allotted 90 minutes and for non-validated tickets. Almost all merchants accept credit cards, with one or two exceptions. In addition, there are three ATMs on the premises if you need cash for your purchase.

The Farmers Market is a fully-operating grocery store. They have fruits and vegetables, two butcher shops, a fishmonger, several bakers, a spice shop, and multiple souvenir shops. You can eat worldwide cuisine simply by visiting the market. The restaurants provide an array of diverse nationalities of food, from Brazilian to Cajun and French to Japanese. Some stand-out specialty foods include Anaheim House of Jerky and Nonna’s Empanadas

Basket of colorful organic fruits and vegetables at farmers market, Los Angeles

Basket of colorful organic fruits and vegetables at The Originals Farmers Market, Los Angeles.

©Sitara_Y/Shutterstock.com

Why the Original Farmers Market is Special

The Original Farmers Market differs from other markets because it’s a historical landmark of Los Angeles. The original market opened in 1934, but the story begins in 1880 with the Gilmore family. It started as a dairy farm when A.F Gilmore took control of a sizable 256-acre ranch, including the now famous corner of 3rd and Fairfax. The massive city of Los Angeles would eventually surround the property.

The Farmers Market is unique because it is one big family. The tenants within the market are multi-generational families, and the Gilmore family is still in operation and control of the property to this day. 

Aside from its longevity, the Farmers Market is unpretentious and unassuming. It remains a comfortable place to be with friends and family. Walking through the market, you can find something different and unusual at every turn. 

History of the Original Farmers Market

 In 1900, A.F. Gilmore started drilling new wells for water when he discovered oil. The dairy herd was quickly replaced with a field of oil derricks. The property successfully generated crude until around 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression. Under the weight of the Depression, the land was mainly vacant until two entrepreneurs approached A.F. Gilmore’s son, Earl Bell Gilmore, with an idea. The two entrepreneurs wanted to build a village near 3rd and Fairfax where local farmers could gather and sell fresh produce. Thus the Orignal Farmers Market was born. Gilmore agreed to the idea, and the rest is history. In July 1934, dozens of farmers and merchants parked their trucks at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax to sell their fresh fruits and vegetables out of their trucks. 

By October 1934, just a couple of months after it opened, merchants, farmers, restaurants, grocers, and service providers moved into permanent stalls in the Farmer’s Market. The new Farmers Market was so beloved that its founders staged a celebration, the Fall Festival, which is still celebrated there today.

The Grove 

After you’re done visiting Farmers Market LA, head to The Grove. The Grove is a huge outdoor mall with all your favorite shopping, dining, and lifestyle needs. Explore trendy retail, restaurant, and entertainment activities in an open-air environment famous for its L.A. energy and style. The Grove delivers its customers a dynamic shopping experience as the best destination for clothing, accessories, beauty, and more. In addition, the Grove has the best collection of stores and an ever-changing array of pop-up shops. More information about The Groves stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and special events is on their website here.

The Grove, Los Angeles

The Grove is a huge outdoor mall with all your favorite shopping, dining, and lifestyle needs.

©Steve Rosset/Shutterstock.com

Parking and Transportation 

The Market has two lots, and parking rates are enforced 24 hours daily. Visitors get 90 minutes of validation with a purchase from a Farmers Market merchant or 2 hours free with a purchase from select grocers. After the 90-minute validation period, visitors are charged $3.50 for the next 15 minutes and $1.50 for each additional 15 minutes. It’s a $32 maximum fee, and lost tickets will be charged the full fee. 

If you are parking without validation, it’s $2.50 for every 15 minutes and $40 maximum. Again, lost tickets pay the maximum. 

In addition to the two lots, drivers can look for 30-minute parking zones on the north and south sides of the market. The Grove Parking structure also has additional parking. 

Visit the Market 

633 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Current Hours

Monday-Friday 9 AM-9 PM, Saturday 9 AM-8 PM, Sunday 10 AM-7 PM

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Gabriele Maltinti/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

My name is Ella Coppola. I graduated from Southern Methodist University with degrees in Journalism and Ethics in Dallas, Texas. I'm a huge animal lover and have two dogs named Charlie and Meatball.

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