Grand Central Market – The Mother of All Farmer’s Markets

By Renee Camus

Among the many healthy activities that Downtown Los Angeles has to offer, farmers’ markets are definitely some of the best. If you chose to, you could attend a farmers’ market nearly every day of the week.

The California Certified Farmers Market runs three of Downtown’s markets: one on Seventh and Figueroa, and two on the peripheries of plazas, at Pershing Square (Olive Street) and at Bank of America Plaza (Hope Street).

Inside the Core, The Historic Downtown Los Angeles Farmers’ Market on 5th street features gorgeous fruits and veggies such as berries, peaches, nectarines, melon, carrots, and leafy greens. Most stands freely offer samples and tastes.

Tent upon tent of gorgeous fresh produce tempts the eyes and the senses. In addition, you can also find local and multi-cultural prepared foods, from Gourmet Tamales to pupusas, from hot dogs to Mediterranean foods.

Many of the tents offer free samples so you know exactly what you’re getting. While primarily foods and produce sellers, they also offer a few crafts sellers, such as new vendor Scentsational Soaps.

But surely the mother of all farmers markets for DTLA has to the Grand Central Market located inside the historic Homer Laughlin Building 4th between Broadway on Hill Streets.

Established in 1917, the indoor market feels like it’s inside a subway station, with concrete walls, fluorescent lighting, and an echo bouncing through the building. While unassuming and not terribly attractive, it didn’t turn off the many people making purchases and enjoying a meal.

Plenty of multi-cultural food choices filled the aisles, especially Chinese and Mexican street food, but also Hawaiian barbeque, pupusas, kebabs, and Thai street food.

You could also find meats, a very impressive fresh fish market, nuts and candies, and ice cream and frozen yogurt. There were at least three very large stands with wide selections of fresh and unusual fruits and vegetables.

Huge varieties of grains, beans, and spices.

In addition to spices and supplements, the Grand Central Market offers vitamin supplements and teas for all ailments. Selling remedies for  cold & flu, diabetes, and arthritis, and teas that are actually meant to alleviate these problems, like Uña de Gato (cat’s claw), reportedly good for cancers and tumors.

The corner stores, easiest seen from the street, offered the finer vices: alcohol on one corner of Broadway, Jose’s Ice Cream Corner on the other, and G&B’s coffee on Hill street. Inside the market was a huge candy place with all your favorite childhood treats, and Casa de Dulces (House of Sweets) presented a beautiful array of pastries, including rather enormous brownies, which two very happy children purchased, and a sign that reads, “we have boba,” which apparently is bubble tea.

The jewelry and key cutting place, with its knockoff Disney earrings, seemed oddly out of place. The restrooms located under the market required a quarter to get in, but were clean and functional. G. C. Discount store is also in the basement.The Grand Central Market is open from 8 am – 6PM daily and its official address is

317 S. Broadway, LA , CA 90013.

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