If your family has been staying out of restaurants lately simply because you can’t agree on what to go out for (“Pizza!” “No, Chinese!” “No, sushi!”), you’re missing out needlessly. There are plenty of places where kids can choose from a range of global eats in the LA area, but our favorite, where each type of food is done well, is the Original Farmer’s Market. For more than 75 years, this open-air market and seating area at Third and Fairfax has provided Angelenos with an inexpensive fix of fresh and tasty fast food in a low-key setting that’s great for kids.
What started off as a Farmers’ Market in an empty lot has now been enveloped by the Grove, a shopping and entertainment center nonpareil. The market, located under the large clock tower, still retains its slightly separate charm, away from the flash of the Grove.
With stands selling outstanding Greek, Singaporean, Korean, Cajun food, and much more, everyone, from the pickiest meat-and-potatoes eater, to the most daring vegetarian, will find a new standby and favorite dish. It’s the perfect place to introduce kids to ethnic food without a lot of pressure (don’t like mom’s curry? go get a milkshake to cut the spice), and there are plenty of desserts and treats on hand to reward adventurous eaters.
While you roam the aisles with kids to see what’s available and what strikes their fancy for dinner, don’t forget to eye up the grocery stands for goodies to take home. Locally-grown produce, artisanal sausages and grass-fed beef, even fresh English toffee are among the items on offer.
The Thursday and Friday night free summer music series kicks off on May 26 with some great live jazz. There market offers highchairs for little tots, and beer and wine is for sale at several vendors. And if you’re in and out in under two hours, with your parking validated from a merchant, it’s free!
—Sarah Mueller Bossenbroek