The Original Farmer’s Market at Third & Fairfax is celebrating 80 years in business. In July 1934, eighteen farmers paid a few cents to park their pick-up trucks on land belonging to the Gilmore family at the corner of Third and Fairfax in Los Angeles. They lowered their tailgates to sell fresh fruits and vegetables to the housewives of Los Angeles. Figuring that those farmers had to be hungry, Blanche Magee packed up some of her favorite sandwiches and sold lunch to those farmers. Magee’s Kitchen became the first sit-down restaurant along with fruit and vegetable vendors to make up what has become today, a world-class attraction at Third & Fairfax. Today only two produce stands remain, but Magee’s Kitchen and Magee’s House of Nuts are there along with food vendors selling cuisine from around the world. Brazil, Singapore, Italy, France, Mexico, Louisiana and more delicious food can be found.
To celebrate the 80th Birthday of Farmer’s Market, on July 15 a big cake was served during the day, followed by the 6th Annual Taste of Farmer’s Market that evening. More than 50 of the Farmer’s Market vendors offered food and drink samples to guests who had purchased a ticket to this special event. My friends and I made it to just 21 of the tastings before we ran out of room…in our stomachs that is. We carefully juggled our plates, utensils and drink cups while navigating the crowds. Some of the standouts were the Truffle Mac ‘n Cheese from Planet Dailies, the Brownie Bites from Short Cake Bakery, Chocolate Mint Granitas from Zia Valentina and the Harris Ranch Tri Tip Sandwiches from Huntington Meats & Sausage. After a little break to peruse Dylan’s Candy Bar (and sample a chocolate covered strawberry) I had a final tasting at Bennett’s Ice Cream and declared myself officially done for the evening.
Interestingly, I didn’t visit the Original Farmer’s Market until The Grove opened in February 2002. I had been living in LA over a year by then. Now it’s one of my favorite places to meet friends for a bite to eat and a walk down memory lane. It was so fun to be part of their special 80th Birthday celebration, and I look forward to many more years of dining and shopping. Meet me at Third & Fairfax!
By Trish Procetto