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Being one of downtown LA’s most well-known attractions, the Grand Central Market has been a unique cultural hub for all things food in Los Angeles since the market’s opening in 1917. Bringing together the diverse cultural tastes of Los Angeles cuisine, this international food market offers a dining experience that’s unlike any other in California. With the pandemic still in full effect, the market’s developers and vendors are committed to preserving the legacy of this historic landmark while also adjusting the market’s dynamics in accordance with social distancing and health protocols. Check out this walk through Los Angeles Grand Central Market for an overview of what’s in store on your next visit.
Grand Central Market in LA has it all
On a normal day when the market is operating at full capacity, crowds of foodies are shoulder shrugging in line while stuffing their faces with handcrafted pizzas in one hand and an ice cream sandwich in the other. But presently, the market’s reopening has focused on maintaining strict rules and protocols for health safety; things like data tracking software have been installed to keep track of how many people enter and exit the market, while staff are in constant rotation of sanitizing all surface areas for guests wanting to sit down and eat. Despite the ambience lacking the liveliness the market usually carries, the quality of food and commitment to the community has yet to fail.
With more than 30 different varieties of food vendors scattered underneath one single floor building, Grand Central Market is sure to have something for everyone. From handcrafted Filipino rice bowls to boxes of the freshest fruit doughnuts in Los Angeles, some of the best food is happening here at the Grand Central Market. Start off by taking a quick walk through all the aisles and don’t skim over anything. Know that each vendor is unique in its own way and is in the heart of Los Angeles for a reason.
Why not start by quenching your thirst? Walk to Golden Road Grand Central Market to sip on a little taste of California. This brewery has twenty freshly tapped beers for you to sip on as you walk around spying what you want to eat. If you aren’t up for a fresh beer, try out The Juice where they serve a core lineup of juices and wellness shots for those seeking a healthier alternative.
Next, you’re going to want to start small and light so you can leave plenty of room for your main course and dessert. Small bites or appetizers are the perfect way to begin your food journey. The Oyster Gourmet shucks the highest quality oysters and offers some of the most refined appetizers at the Grand Central Market if you’re looking for somewhere to satisfy your seafood cravings. If not, La Tostaderia is fairly new, but has already achieved status with their fish ceviche tostada; a medley of fresh ingredients like white fish, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers lathered with lime juice and sliced avocado.
Once the appetizers have settled in, look around to see what catches your eye or follow the scent to whatever whiff may be calling out to you. One of the food vendors that always seems to have the longest line is an eatery known as EggSlut. Being one of the most recognizable breakfast spots in Los Angeles, EggSlut is known for having the best breakfast sandwich one can imagine. Know that you might be waiting awhile, but the wait is worth it. If you’re looking for something hearty, China Cafe is one of the original tenants of Grand Central Market and has been serving Chinese American classics to the community since 1959. Their wonton soup pairs well with their off the menu egg rolls, but don’t forget to ask for their house chili sauce to bring it all together.
Craving tacos? Although there’s a few taco spots here at the Grand Central Market, Tacos Tumbras a Tomas is always a go-to for locals looking for authentic Mexican food. People stand in line here not for the carne asada or the birria on the menu, but for their famous melt in your mouth carnitas. Right across the way is Olio Wood Fired Pizzeria offering handcrafted artisan wood-fired pizzas.
By now, you should be about ready for dessert! Opened last year, The Donut Man has been running since the early 70s and is iconic for their soft glazed donuts with fresh West Coast strawberries stuffed inside. For unique flavored ice-cream, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams offers delectable flavors like Boysenberry Rose Milk Jam or Double Peanut Butter Chip. Make an ice-cream sandwich or simply get a single scoop cone for the drive back home.
If you’re too full for dessert, the market has plenty of things you can take to-go instead. With a mission to provide the healthiest meat, Belcampo strives to offer meat that’s good for people, the planet and animals. They have a number of cuts like filet, burger patties, rib-eye and T-bone steaks – all which you can take back home to that nice bottle of Cabernet you’ve been saving. Need some fresh bread for the upcoming week? Clark Street Bread has been producing freshly made bread at the market since 2015. Not too far away is DTLA Cheese and Kitchen, downtown’s first full service cheesemonger where they serve domestic and imported cheese plates. Fresh cheese and bread to-go? You can’t go wrong.
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