Marking its 100th anniversary this year is Grand Central Market, a 30,000-square-foot open-air arcade of food vendors that, in 1917, was declared “the largest and finest public market on the Pacific Coast.” Standing at the intersection of culture and cuisine, the market and its transformation in recent years continues to be both lauded and scrutinized as newcomers—such as food truck sensation Eggslut and Golden Road Brewery— take up residence beside icons like 60-year-old China Cafe.
Wherever you stand on the issue, the fact remains that from prepared food and grocery essentials to spirits and sweet treats (try a scoop of McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream), Grand Central Market offers 37 vendors that will satisfy any flavor you seek. Join us as we dive deeper into this downtown landmark’s history, tantalizing array of foodstuff, and summer-long calendar of events.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Though still a major thoroughfare in central Los Angeles, Broadway was once the principal commercial and entertainment corridor of downtown. In the early-to-mid twentieth century, if you were to look west to Bunker Hill, you’d see stately Victorian mansions and residents flocking to Grand Central Market to shop for their week’s supply of groceries.
In 1984, downtown visionary Ira Yellin, a successful developer, bought Grand Central Market and adjacent properties including the Million Dollar Theater and landmark Bradbury Building across the street. By continually vetting the roster of vendors that get to call this place home and adding curated events that bring the community together, Yellin’s legacy to champion the needs of a vibrant downtown is carried out to this day.
Many a story has been written about “The Best Thing To Eat At Grand Central Market”, yet our advice to you remains as so: follow your nose and be adventurous.
Alas, here are some highlights that we couldn’t resist sharing:
- Burritos at Roast to Go (open since 1952)
- Shrimp Butter Boil at Bombo
- House Wonton Soup at China Cafe
- Porchetta Sandwich at Knead Co. & Pasta Bar
- Oysters and Poke at The Oyster Gourmet
- Smoked Fish Bagels at Wexler’s Deli
- The Fairfax at Eggslut (if you’re willing to wait in that long line)
- Fastburger at Belcampo Meat Co.
- Coffee Milkshake at G&B Coffee.
*Photo courtesy of L.A. Times
The fun doesn’t end when you slurp your last helping of ramen at Grand Central Market. Visit their event page for a full run-down of nightly offerings, including Game Night every Thursday until 10 p.m. (located on the Hill St. Platform), Trivia Tuesdays (on the first and third Tuesday of the month, and DJ sets on Fridays.
317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. Open from 8AM – 10PM seven days a week.