Snapshot: The Farmer's Market, L.A., Sweet Respite!

Snapshot: The Farmer's Market, L.A.
Sensing our general lack of celebrity enthusiasm and gnawing hunger, our Hollywood tour guide took us to the Farmer's Market for lunch. Now we were talking!

The Market was established in 1934 when 18 farmers got together to sell their fruit, vegetable and flower crops from a dirt parking lot, paying just 50c for their spot. Now, it's an institution housing 85 shops and restaurants – 90 per cent independently owned and operated – which employ more than 700 people. You can watch store proprietors ply their trade from the windows, which gives the whole thing an old-village feel.
Dining is an alfresco experience. You can choose from shrimp at Tusquellas Fish & Oyster Bar, seafood gumbo with corn bread at The Gumbo Pot ("the best Cajun/Creole Cooking in LA!"), Gourmet Pizza at Deano's, Manny and Angie Chang's Chinese dishes, French crepes... Mexican, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine are all represented here. Visitors and locals alike can also stock up on fruit, veggies and bread.

For treats, taking home and gifting, there's the Ultimate Nut and Candy Company, which sells candied fruits and a range of nuts; Magee's Nuts, which sells 100,000 pounds of peanut butter each year; Bob's Doughnuts (1,000 freshly baked each day); Bennett's Ice Cream (made from scratch); Littlejohn's House of English Toffee; as well as a range of non-food shops selling everything from stickers to jewellery.

Frequented by locals, celebrities and tourists, it's a welcome, wholesome respite – full of life – from the Hollywood lights.

Girl With a Satchel