A Guide to Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles

If you want to eat some of the best food in Los Angeles — and save some cash while doing it — head to Grand Central Market in downtown L.A.

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If you want to eat some of the best food in Los Angeles — and save some cash while doing it — head to Grand Central Market in downtown L.A. You can’t go wrong with dozens of food stalls to try along with a discount store and a jewelry shop for a little splurging. Need some convincing? Most meals cost less than $10 a pop — not bad for great eats in L.A.! Even better, the market stays open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

Smack in the Middle of Downtown L.A.

Interior showing neon signs and stands of Grand Central Market in 2007 in Los Angeles, California

There’s so much to do within walking distance of Grand Central Market that you can save a bundle on food, parking, and gas. That means you’ve got more to spend on entertainment. Now, that’s a bonus!

Put on your comfy shoes, and walk to the Bradbury Building, Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A. City Hall, or the Central Library in less than 15 minutes. The Fashion District and many art galleries are also nearby. Of course, you don’t have to walk. There are plenty of buses and subways close by, or you could catch a taxi or Lyft. 

Healthy Burgers Without the Wait

A delicious looking burger with lettuce, tomato, melted cheese and onion sits on a table in a restaurant with fries on either side of it in Los Angeles, California

At Belcampo Meat Co., the beef is all organic and grass-fed. When it comes to flavor, this burger joint delivers in a big way. The quick service is just an added bonus. It has its own butcher shop onsite, so you know the meat is always fresh. Try the Fastburger made with dry-aged beef. It’s hard to believe it doesn’t cost any more than what many chains charge you for a double.

For Your Sweet Tooth 

If you just want something sweet in the middle of a hot summer day, pick up a cone at McConnell’s Ice Cream. This food stall has both plain and wacky ice cream flavors — lemon and Earl Grey tea, anyone? — frozen yogurt, and milkshakes. Don’t be afraid to ask for different ice cream flavors in a single waffle cone. Live dangerously!

You can even start your day sweet with coffee crunch cake from Valerie Confections Bakery & Cafe, or try something fancier, like ginger-turmeric-flavored coffee and a homemade waffle with jam from G and B Coffee. 

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Spicy Asian Food

A Bento box sits on a table with white rice, sushi and vegetables at a restaurant in Los Angeles, California

In the mood for Japanese, Thai, or Chinese food? The market still has you covered. Bento Ya has bento boxes, generous portions of beef ramen, and sushi rolls that many reviewers — like, almost all of them — say are the best in L.A.

Sticky Rice I and II serve up most kinds of Thai food, like green and yellow curry, Gai Yang (Thai barbecue chicken with a side of papaya salad), and seasonal mango sticky rice. You may even get some soup, depending on what you order. It’s always crowded, but you might get lucky enough to grab a seat at the counter. If not, there are plenty of tables near the market entrance. 

Lots of Mexican Food Choices

A Bento box sits on a table with white rice, sushi and vegetables at a restaurant in Los Angeles, California

Villa Moreliana sells carnitas (delicious cooked pork on a warm tortilla) that’ll have your taste buds singing. Like most Grand Central vendors, it offers delivery to your hotel if you’re staying nearby. Not sure? Try a free sample! 

If you want something other than pork, go to Tacos Tumbras a Tomas to dig into tacos, burritos, tostados, tortas, and combo plates with your choice of meat. This stall is great because all the dishes are stuffed to the max, no matter which type you choose. In fact, you might have to give in and use a fork. Use the extra tortillas that come with every order to catch the overflow.

Do you have a favorite vendor at L.A.’s Grand Central Market? Let us know on our Facebook.

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