The combination of beautiful L.A. sunshine and the continuing need for social distancing has led to an increase in a beloved summer staple: outdoor markets. Artisan-owned businesses are jumping at the chance to share their products with locals and, thanks to outdoor venues, are able to do so in a safe way.
There are plenty of amazing outdoor markets happening all summer in a gaggle of L.A. neighborhoods, and each of them have something special to offer. Want to check one out? We’ve got you covered with a roundup of some of the best outdoor markets happening this summer!
ROW DTLA has become one of the main venues for outdoor markets this summer, hosting a variety of markets, each with their own flare and vibe. Smorgasburg LA takes over the area every Sunday with dozens of local food vendors spanning five acres of ROW’s property, converting parking lots into a unique dining experience. Smorgasburg LA also features other products, such as clothing and jewelry, and occasionally includes cultural events and unique pop-ups.
ROW DTLA will host a handful of non-recurring markets this summer, including the Creative Communal outdoor market on July 30 and Aug. 27. Creative Communal came to life when two moms sold their local pop-up shops and came together to bring to life their vision of a unique curated market. Their goal is to bring local artisans and families together, and they have something for everyone.
ROW DTLA will also host the Pickwick Vintage Show, which will take place on Aug. 22. Pickwick Vintage attracts collectors and connoisseurs interested in all eras, and this year will feature more than 70 exhibitors from across California.
Flea market finds
Another great way to dive into the outdoor market scene is by checking out some of L.A.’s many amazing flea markets. Those in the Silver Lake area can check out the Silverlake Flea Market, which happens every weekend and is held right behind TAIX on Sunset Blvd. You’ll find great collections of all things artsy and vintage, and the best part is, entrance is free!
Also happening every weekend, on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is the Melrose Trading Post flea market. Here you’ll find some of the more curated and trendy items L.A. has to offer, with tons of independent sellers and designers showing off their collections of vintage clothing. While Melrose Trading Post is always a great place to shop, it’s also a great spot to get outfit inspiration, so for those who aren’t looking to spend more than the $5 entrance fee, people watching is a great way to still reap the benefits of this awesome outdoor market.
For our more hardcore outdoor shoppers, be sure to check out Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl Flea Market. This mega market takes place on the second Sunday of every month and is not to be missed. With more than 2,500 vendors that sell vintage, “new junk” and everything in between, this flea market offers fun for the whole family — and happens year round. Entry fees do vary depending on time of day, so early birds can truly get the worm at the cost of only a few extra dollars.
Farmers markets galore
Summertime in L.A. is the perfect time to visit a farmers market. With so many, big or small, to choose from, you can find just about anything to fit your summer cuisine needs. For those looking for a unique L.A. experience, be sure to check out The Original Farmers Market, which started as a small collection of stalls in 1934 and now has grown into an amazing collection of gourmet grocers. Want my recommendation? Don’t miss the beignets over at The Gumbo Pot!
Looking for something a little more convenient? There are dozens of farmers markets happening across the county nearly every day. For those looking to shop during the week, be sure to investigate the Downtown Manhattan Beach Farmers Market on Tuesdays, the La Cienega Farmers Market on Thursdays or the Echo Park Farmers’ Market on Fridays… just to name a few. There are also tons of markets on the weekend, but we’ll let you explore those options here for yourself.
If you check out one of the markets mentioned here and post about it on social media, be sure to tag us @laparentmag so we can see your awesome adventures!
Katie Moore and Cory Purnell are editorial interns at L.A. Parent.