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Eager diners line up during a weekend lunch rush at Holbox inside Mercado La Paloma. (Ron De Angelis / For The Times)
Eager diners line up during a weekend lunch rush at Holbox inside Mercado La Paloma.
(Ron De Angelis / For The Times)

13 food halls for getting lost in L.A.’s diverse cuisines

The bustle of hungry visitors, the clang of woks, the hiss of sizzling meats and the aromas of baked goods, chiles and freshly brewed coffee — these are some of the sensory experiences at L.A.’s thriving food halls. Bringing a global selection of cuisines under one roof, these open-format markets have reemerged in recent years, with several openings across Southern California.

For a century, food halls have nourished Los Angeles as gathering spaces and served as launchpads for some of our most exciting dining establishments.

Grand Central Market, the city’s first and largest food market, first opened its doors in 1917 in the heart of downtown. The Original Farmers Market, located on 3rd and Fairfax, followed suit in 1934. What was once a place for farmers to come and sell their fruits and vegetables out of their trucks has expanded with vendors that encapsulate the far-reaching variety that can be found in Los Angeles.

These restaurants are so defining of what it means to eat and live in Southern California — that they’ve earned a place of honor for all time.

Dec. 5, 2023

Aside from pleasing eager food enthusiasts, food halls also provide opportunities for up-and-coming chefs to springboard into brick-and-mortars as well as established restaurateurs who want to reintroduce their food in a fast-casual format.

Nigerian chef Tolu Eros began his residency in L.A. with an underground tasting menu celebrating the food of Lagos before landing a temporary stall at Culver City’s Citizen Market, creating build-your-own bowls with his famous jollof rice.

Chef Alvin Cailan took his success with Eggslut, which went from food truck to Grand Central Market stand in 2013, and has since spun it into new restaurants, a burger-themed show and a successful cookbook.


Many of the food halls on this list have opened within the last 10 years — and as recently as this year— reflecting an ongoing desire for one-stop spots that carry diverse and affordable options.

Heavily curated superettes are popping up in neighborhoods all over Los Angeles, offering artisanal pantry, grab-and-go and other small-batch items from local businesses.

Dec. 8, 2023

In addition to food, many of these locations also have stages and meeting spaces, used within the community for events and holiday functions. There are trivia nights, comedy shows, mariachi performances, cookie-making classes — and that’s just a sprinkling of events this month. The best part about visiting a food hall is that there is something for everyone: vegan options, sweets and coffees, wine and beer, and an assortment of delicious meals. Let’s dig in.

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The Bada Bing pizza from La Crosta at BLVD Market in Montebello.
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)


Montebello Mexican Salvadoran Guatemalan Pizza American $
This dog- and family-friendly market is a cornerstone of the downtown Montebello community. Opened in the summer of 2021, BLVD MRKT hosts frequent events and live music alongside its eight food and drink vendors in repurposed shipping containers. Find pork and cheese-stuffed pupusas and fried yuca at Vchos, Oaxacan coffee and chocolate drinks from Cafe Santo, Mexican American comfort food at Solrad and wood-fired pizza from La Crosta. The duo behind downtown L.A.’s Pez Cantina has a spinoff location at BLVD that focuses on burritos inspired by L.A. neighborhoods, appropriately named LA Burrito Company. The outdoor courtyard, which has plenty of greenery and umbrellas for shade, is a scenic backdrop.
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Oxtail stew plate at Caribbean Gourmet, Blossom Market Hall
(Bill Addison/Los Angeles Times)

Blossom Market Hall

San Gabriel Valley Caribbean Mediterranean Sushi Coffee Bakery $
Located in a historic Masonic lodge in the heart of San Gabriel, Blossom Market Hall, which opened in 2021, is a one-stop shop for any and all dining needs in the 626. For a caffeine fix, head to AK Fresh Roast, which has unique coffee drinks featuring Asian-inspired flavors like pandan coffee, lemongrass coffee tonics and Vietnamese-style egg lattes. Tensevenrolls has spectacularly chewy bánh cuốn, or steamed Vietnamese rice flour rolls that can be stuffed with pork, beef or mushrooms. For a spicy kick, try Caribbean Gourmet’s jerk chicken, or the extremely flavorful and tender oxtail stew. There’s also oysters, sushi and more to be found among the 12 vendors of this food hall.
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CULVER CITY, CA - November 19, 2021: Brooke Matthias and her brother Paul Chesne, enjoy a platter of oysters while sitting at the counter at The Jolly Oyster, one of the restaurants located inside Citizen Public Market, Culver City's newest food hall. Located in a restored former publishing house, the two-story space features eight restaurants, with seating on its back patio and rooftop deck. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
(Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

Citizen Public Market

Culver City Oyster Bar Japanese American Chinese Coffee American Bar/Nightclub $$
Citizen Public Market is small but mighty. There are eight vendors that range from the viral hand-pulled noodles of Bang Bang Noodles to oysters from Baja California at Jolly Oyster to a rotating chef concept that previously housed the West African pop-up Ilé Bistro. If you need a caffeine pick-me-up or beer and wine, there’s Goodboybob, as well as Weho Sausage Co., a burger bar with local brews. There’s plenty of outdoor seating to soak up the sunshine and atmosphere of downtown Culver City. Find easy parking across the street at the Culver Steps.
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Glendora Public Market

Glendora Boba Tea Bagels Japanese American Mediterranean Desserts Mexican Coffee $
In the foothills of Glendora sits Glendora Public Market, a bazaar with 11 vendors that opened its doors in 2020 in a former Wonder Bread factory. For a brunch vibe, try Bry’s Bagels and a coffee from Penny Coffee Roaster. For parties or potlucks, get a tray of lumpia from Lumpia Mania. There are also whimsical ice cream shakes, Mediterranean cuisine, beer, boba and more. No need to stress about parking: there’s a large parking lot, ample street parking and even bike racks for those coming in on two wheels.
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A photo of the food stall Sushi Rush amidst the array of stalls in Grand Central Market
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Grand Central Market

Downtown L.A. Mexican Bakery Japanese Chinese American Coffee Barbecue Filipino $$
For anyone visiting Los Angeles for the first time, Grand Central Market is a must. The market opened in 1917 and although the vendors and food offerings have changed over time, slivers of the past remain. Torres Produce, which sells fresh fruit and vegetables, is one of Grand Central’s longest-standing vendors, while Roast to Go has been slinging burritos and combination plates since 1952. Grand Central is also home to several L.A. icons. Donut Man, which has been in operation since 1972 in Glendora and specializes in fresh strawberry and peach doughnuts, has an outpost here. And the best part about visiting is that there’s always something new to discover, whether it’s the smoked meats from newcomer Maple Block Meat Co. or Villa’s Tacos, which is expected to open a stall soon. Pair that with the stunning location across the street from Angel’s Flight and it’s a hard-to-beat attraction that locals adore, too.
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Panorama City's new food hall hosts 16 food vendors, including The Greek Souvlaki Kitchen, Taquito y Mas, Funculo pasta, Elno boba and more.
(Mark del Rosario / LA Chef’s Kitchen)

L.A. Chef's Kitchen

Panorama City Greek Mexican Iranian Teriyaki American $
Newly opened on the ground floor of the Panorama Tower building is L.A. Chef’s Kitchen, bringing 16 mom-and-pop food spots to Panorama City. The new food hall serves as the first brick-and-mortar opportunity for many of the vendors, which include Ticas Teppanyaki, with hibachi meats; fried rice and yakisoba from former street vendors Wilber and Helen Ticas; Nantli, with Oaxacan-style tamales honed from owners Elodia and Diego Cervantes’ family recipes; and handmade ice cream, churros and crepes from Icy Rush Co. You’ll also see stalls for burgers, teriyaki, juice bars, tea, aguas frescas, Mediterranean food and more.
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Goat and beef quesabirrias from Mercado Gonzalez
(Danielle Dorsey / Los Angeles Times)

Mercado Gonzalez Northgate Market

Costa Mesa Mexican $
Just opened in a Costa Mesa shopping center is this sprawling food hall from family-owned Northgate Market, a Mexican grocery store chain with more than 40 locations in California. Weave through the maze-like, open-floor plan to stock up on marinated meats, produce and dried spices; fresh tortillas, breads and desserts; Mexican cheeses, chips, mole, guacamole and salsa; a wide selection of Mexican beers, wine and spirits; and even household items and gifts.

The 70,000-square-foot space is also home to an array of vendors, including Mexico City-based churro chain El Moro and Chiva Torta, a long-running Santa Ana food truck specializing in Guadalajara-style tortas ahogadas, plus stands selling aguas frescas, paletas, tamales, tacos, Sinaloan-inspired sushi, birria and mariscos. For a sit-down experience, there’s Maizano, a masa-focused modern Mexican concept from Gruppo Apapacho, behind Cha Cha Chá in Downtown L.A.’s Arts District and sister restaurant Terraza Cha Cha Chá in Mexico City. The restaurant group is also behind Entre Nos, a full-service bar slinging micheladas and agave cocktails at the back of the market near the stage where mariachi bands play. Seating is available across the interior and two patio areas.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 11, 2023: Diners seated at the counter during a recent weekend lunch rush at Holbox inside Mercado La Paloma on June, 11th, 2023 in Los Angeles . (Ron De Angelis / For The Times)
(Ron De Angelis / For The Times)

Mercado la Paloma

Historic South-Central Mexican Belizean Oaxacan Thai American $$
Mercado la Paloma opened its doors in Historic South-Central back in 2001 as an economic development project for the surrounding community. The space, a former garment factory, now hosts eight food stalls and a variety of community events that include live music, dancing and art exhibitions. It is also home to The Times’ 2023 Restaurant of the Year, Holbox, a recently expanded marisqueria that celebrates the flavors of coastal Mexico with meticulously sourced seafood. James Beard-nominated chef Gilberto Cetina Jr. launched his culinary career at his father’s neighboring stall, Chichen Itza that’s still open and serving Yucatecan bistec, tortas, tacos, soups and more. There’s more to explore, too: Oaxacalifornia is a stand slinging tlayudas and house-made aguas frescas; Gusina Saraba is a tribute to Belize with jerk chicken, curry goat and seafood on the menu; and Taqueria Vista Hermosa is marked by a rotating spit of al pastor.
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Four restaurants can now be found in the newly opened Northridge Eats food hall, including a sushi bar, a ramen-ya, a Hainan chicken specialist, and a stall for Thai street food.
(Stephanie Breijo/Los Angeles Times)

NorthRidge Eats

Northridge Korean Singaporean Japanese Thai $
There are only four vendors at NorthRidge Eats, but this is the food hall to visit when the hankering for Asian cuisines hits. Here, find home-style Thai cooking from Mee Dee Thai Kitchen; Singaporean chicken and rice at Maxwell Chicken Rice; ramen and gyoza inspired by Fukuoka, Japan from Kotsu Ramen & Gyoza; and spicy Korean street eats from Bellyful K-Food that pair perfectly with chilled soju or beer. Seating is all shared within the food hall on a first-come, first-served basis and there’s a small parking lot available.
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Los Angeles, CA - April 20: A lunch crowd at Phil's Deli & Grill, inside the Original Farmer's Market in Los Angeles, CA, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Original Farmers Market

Fairfax American Barbecue Ice cream Brazilian Coffee Candy shop $
There’s something so charming about the Original Farmers Market. It might be its history, with buildings that date back to the ’30s and its storied clocktower that marks the entrance. It could be Du-Par’s, the diner within the farmers market that has been slinging pancakes since 1938. It could also be the al fresco dining, with spots like Thicc Burger and Nonna’s Empanadas. Perhaps it’s the fact that fresh fruits and vegetables are still available for purchase, among other quirky storefronts selling stickers, pickles and doughnuts. Whatever the case, the Original Farmers Market is an original and important piece of L.A.’s food hall history. On-site parking is free for 90 minutes with validation.
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Patrons spend time in the night portion of Morning Nights' restaurant.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

The Hangar

Long Beach Korean Mediterranean American Bar/Nightclub Bagels $$
Modeled after an airplane hangar, this culinary court in Long Beach is home to 14 different vendors. For a quick lunch, pick up a doner kebab from DonerG or a hot chicken sandwich from Jay Bird’s Chicken. If you’re partial to bowls, there’s poke available at Poké2 Grill; Korean barbecue plates from Marinate Korean BBQ; and refreshing açai bowls from Blue Bowl. And if you just want something to snack and sip on, there are cheese and charcuterie options at Fior di Latté and over 25 beers on tap at Bottlecraft.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03: The Lunch Tray, with a bowl of homemade pickles, surrounded by, clockwise from top left, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 lb brisket, half rack of pork ribs, two Texas Red Hots and 1/2 lb pulled pork, photographed at Bludso's Bar & Que, in Los Angeles, CA, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. The tray, which comes with a 1/2 pint of all sides, cornbread and BBQ sauce, but weren't photographed, is $90, weekday lunch only, M-F, 11:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

The Proud Bird

Westchester Barbecue American Asian Italian $$
The Hangar isn’t the only aviation-themed food hall in L.A. The Proud Bird is located right next to LAX and is the place to go if you want to enjoy a meal and watch airplanes take off. This event center that also hosts a food bazaar has chicken and waffles, burgers, pizza and a Bludso’s BBQ outpost. After eating, feel free to enjoy panoramic views of planes departing LAX, visit the Tuskegee Airmen exhibit on-site, and admire the P-40 Flying Tiger replica that’s suspended over the dining area.
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The sprawling new Canoga Park food hall features many first-time bricks-and-mortar locations for some of L.A.'s most notable pop-ups, as well as expansions for beloved restaurants, including L.A. Times 101 List awardee Mini Kabob.
(Renee Cascia/Topanga Social)

Topanga Social

Canoga Park Coffee Desserts American Pizza Vegan Mediterranean Ice cream $$
Topanga Social is quite possibly the ritziest food hall on this list, with plenty of greenery and beautiful lighting fixtures. Just opened this May in Canoga Park’s Westfield Topanga shopping center, Topanga Social features 27 vendors, including a prized second location for some of L.A.’s most beloved food businesses. Sip on a spicy michelada from I Love Micheladas; enjoy a scoop of travel-inspired ice cream from Wanderlust Creamery; dive into bowls of carved pineapple filled with Hawaiian garlic shrimp and rice from Shrimp Daddy; and feast on Mini Kabob’s juicy Armenian lule and shish kebabs. Don’t forget to stop by the margarita garden, too.
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