Let me start off by saying I am no great fan of the term “foodie” and, in fact, I’m surprised my spellchecker is letting it go without a stern red underline. I mean, aren’t we all foodies? In that we all need food? And don’t we already have the term “gourmand” to… well, whatever. The airwaves are cleared!
We’re taking a step back from discussing specific regions and the lovely condos they offer again today. Today I am going to tell you about some of the finest markets and shops for those… gourmands among you. If you love to cook and you live in L.A., this article is the one for you. If you hate cooking but live in L.A., maybe forward this to a friend. If you love cooking but live in Macon, GA then maybe when considering your next move… ah forget it.
Los Angeles boasts scores of locations where the foodie set thrives. There are dozens of farmer’s markets, fish markets, vegan only specialty shops, spice stores, etc. Today I am going to brief you on five places, all of which are very different from one another but representative of the wonderful variety of spots available the Angeleno who is a real food lover (see, that works too!).
Farmer’s Market – “The Original”
Humble? No. Excellent? Pretty much. The Farmer’s Market at Third and Fairfax is open every day, offers all sorts of crazy-good fresh food and boasts extras that really none of L.A.’s other markets can, what with its permanence. There are prepared food vendors spread out among those selling fresh foodstuffs, so you can fill up as you stock up. You can even grab a drink at one of the two fine bars there! Or just get your arugula and saffron and off you go.
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
Hey, are you way into cheese? Like… really into it? Like $70 platter of assorted goat cheeses sounds totally fine with you? Then welcome home, mon amí! Or… something that makes sense in French. From caviar to charcuterie to spreads and crackers and – you guessed it – lots and lots of fine cheeses, if you’ve got the pocketbook for it, this is the place to get cheese in L.A.
Passing through the up and coming and ever so hip neighborhood of Silver Lake? Say, while you’re here, you should stock up on lemon pepper and coriander and sugars in colors and varieties you did not know existed. And much, much more. The Spice Station is basically unbeatable if you want the obscure, the extreme… the… spiciest? And you can buy as much or as little as you want, so it’s perfect for that oddball ingredient you need for that rub you are making without leaving you the proud owner of a useless ounce of blanched paprika (no, that does not make sense). (They also have a Santa Monica location FYI!)
This excellent market in the Venice neighborhood boasts all the right foodstuffs, will happily deliver to your location and offers catering services and gift baskets to boot. You know what this market looks like and offers – it is what you picture when someone says “gourmet market.” So if that’s your thing, come on by! Or rather head on over there… don’t come by here, I’m busy.
The Oaks Gourmet
If you’re a Hollywood denizen (or just passing through), you owe it to yourself and your taste buds to check this place out. It’s newer, barely two years old, but excellent indeed. The cheese and wine selection alone are reason enough to visit. Ditto the coffee and pastries. And, y’know, everything about it, really. There’s chocolate like you read about (um… like you just did… 2 seconds ago), prepared food, etc. Just take a look at their website and then head on over.