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Jun 8, 2009 11:19 AM

New to LA from NY - Looking for a Union Square Greenmarket Replacement

Hi Everyone!

I just moved out to LA from NYC, where I was a freakish devotee of the Union Square Greenmarket on weekends. The produce is just amazing, and I was always able to find new veggies/herbs/etc. that I had never tried and was able to experiment with.

I was really excited about the farmer's markets out here, but I went to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market this past Sunday and was INCREDIBLY disappointed with the quality and selection of the produce.

Anyone have suggestions as to where I can find great, different produce on the weekends? Somewhere on the west side would be the easiest.

Thanks so much!!!

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  1. a better bet on sunday is the beverly hills farmer's market. for a santa monica farmer's market stick to wednesday or saturday. the sunday one on main is (IMO) a brunch destination for families with a sprinkle of produce for good measure.

    also IMO, nothing compares to the Union Square farmer's market. that same vibe t doesn't exist here. it's just a different animal.

    2 Replies
    1. re: NYCnowLA

      LA FM's of course has superior produce to the NYC FM's, it's the atmosphere at the Union Square FM that make me long or it, that and the fact dogs are allowed!

      1. re: NYCnowLA

        not huge, but i do really like the Beverly Hills FM... plenty of fresh herbs, good fruit/veg selection, and some interesting vendor/purveyors of some goods (crepes! breakfast burritios, tamales, fresh squeezed juice, kettle corn...)

      2. Not on the Westside, but I would also recommend the Torrance Farmer's Market on Saturdays.

        1. The Santa Monica Sunday market sucks compared to the other SM markets. It's the equivalent of the 9th Avenue greenmarket. Nice if you live right there but nobody would travel for it.

          You want the Santa Monica markets on Wednesday (biggest) and Saturday, both at the 3rd Street Promenade and Arizona Avenue. There's a second Saturday market at Pico and Cloverfield which is just... eh.

          The big Sunday market is Hollywood, on Ivar between Hollywood and Sunset. Slightly smaller but still good are Studio City and Encino, if you're up in the Valley.

          Down here in OC, the big market is Saturday mornings in Irvine.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Second Hollywood farmer's market on Sundays. Blows the Union Square Greenmarket out of the water produce-wise and fruit-wise. Second only to SF's Ferry Building on Saturdays. The Hollywood farmer's market is much more affordable than either one. The exception is that ramps are not as pretty during season. Strawberries and corn are phenominal.

            1. re: Porthos

              Third the Sunday Hollywood farmer's market. Not just for the amazing produce/fruit, but also chickens, there's a beef and pork guy, eggs, breads, etc., etc...

              1. re: Porthos

                I'm with Porthos. Having lived in NYC, SF and LA, I would rank the Ferry Building market first, followed by Hollywood, and then, somewhere after a number of other California markets, would I rank Union Square. (Sadly I have never been to the SM Wednesday market).

                Unfortunately, I've become sidetracked by the fairly weak Sunday Atwater Village market -- because it has Big Mista's BBQ, which is incredible and worth the reduced produce selection.

              2. Hollywood Hollywood Hollywood - the best market by far, imho, then again, I refer to it as my church.
                For the westside, I think you want the Wednesday Santa Monica market -that's one of the biggies.
                If you google 'los angeles farmers markets' you will find a list of all the markets by neighborhood w/ days/times listed as well.
                But the widest selection will always be Hollywood and Santa Monica - I just think that the Wed. one probably has a wider selection given the number of chefs purchasing for area restaurants for the week.
                I've been to the Union Square and it's got nothing on us 365 days/year! Enjoy!!!

                2 Replies
                1. re: cinzia

                  yeah, i meant to mention too, wednesday is THE day for Santa Monica Farmer's Market. Sunday is far smaller, with far less selection, buty agree with the above -- new york has nothing on us...we have markets and great produce all year long.

                2. I'm also a farmers market fanatic and NYC transplant. As others have noted, the premier farmers market in LA is the Wednesday SM farmers market. For weekends, Hollywood on Sunday is excellent but not as good as Wednesday SM. SM farmers market on Saturdays (on Arizona) is decent. Beverly Hills on Sunday has convenient parking albeit somewhat slim pickins.

                  For more info on the markets, listen to Evan Kleiman's radio show Good Food on KCRW at 11am on Saturdays, which always starts with the weekly farmers market by Laura Avery who is the manager of the Wednesday SM market. You can also download podcasts of the show from or iTunes.

                  I would also recommend the Santa Monica Farmers Market Cookbook by Amelia Saltsman -- she makes very specific recommendations about what to get from the many different farmers who come to the Wednesday market. Amelia also has an eponymous website with some helpful links if you're really into the seasonal, locally grown food thing.

                  Other good sources of info about what to buy at the SM market are Russ Parsons of the LA Times and David Karp, who publishes from time to time in both LA Times and NYT.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: houndofmusic

                    Oh good points Hound, good points!