These L.A. Farmers’ Markets Are Essential to Living Your Best Produce Life

Smugly revel in the bounty of year-round local veg

This piece originally appeared as part of our Be A Tourist in Your Own Town guide, in the December 2017 issue of Los Angeles magazine.

Los Angeles a lot of unique perks (midnight al pastor from Leo’s Tacos Truck, workout pants as office wear). One of the very best is access to exceptional produce nearly 365 days a year. The city alone has 57 farmers’ markets that are always rife with delicious treasures, and a handful go above and beyond quirky finger limes. This crop is our favorite.

1. Hollywood

Sundays at Selma and Ivar

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Fresh oysters for breakfast? We’re into that. San Diego’s Oyster Boys serve up a selection of bivalves at the market every week. Eat ’em on the spot, or buy a few dozen for dinner (you can even hire the crew to shuck for private events). We can’t exactly recommend you bring a Klean Kanteen filled with rosé, but we can say that sounds like a great idea.

2. Pasadena

Saturdays at Victory Park

Apart from vegetables, the market supplies everything you need to start your own garden, from Calscape’s succulents, grasses, and other drought tolerant California natives to baby lettuce, tomato, and pepper plants from Mario Gallo (no, not the Mario Gallo from Raging Bull). Pick up a jug of the Compost Tea Guy’s special fertilizer brew while you’re there to ensure those babies thrive.

3. Santa Monica 

Wednesdays on Arizona Avenue

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Some people call it the chef’s market (keep your eyes peeled for kitchen royalty like Felix’s Evan Funke), and it’s no wonder why. With nearly 80 farmers—Mangoes from Riverside! Spot prawns from the Channel Islands!—the market has earned its rep for being among the county’s best. It’s the only one in L.A. County where you can find SoCal-grown bananas (from Andy Sheaffer’s Ventura ranch) and the only one in the state that sells more than 200 varieties of stone fruit from Andy’s Orchard in the summertime (Andy Mariani drives his bounty all the way down from the Bay Area).

4. Torrance

Tuesdays and Saturdays at Wilson Park

Shop for nutrient-packed super-greens like moringa from Thao Farms (try adding it to your chicken soup), then beeline it to Munch Bakery for classic French macarons that combine owner Melanie Santos’s Filipino American heritage with her South Bay roots. Purple ube, coconut and pandan, and horchata are just a few options you won’t find anywhere else.

RELATED: Your Definitive Guide to L.A. Farmers Markets, By Neighborhood

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