Beloved Los Angeles landmark, The Original Farmers Market at Third & Fairfax is celebrating the start of summer with its free Friday Night Music Series. With a diverse line-up of performers, the series takes Farmers Market guests on a virtual tour of the globe, with music styles ranging from salsa and Cajun to rockabilly and Motown.
As the summer music swings into gear, music lovers will especially love the Market’s abundant open-air dining spaces. Also good to know is that the original Market section at Farmers Market is one of the few outdoor locations in Southern California where guests can wander freely glass of beer or wine in their hand.
With more than 50 eateries, just deciding where to eat at Farmers Market can be a challenge. For your convenience, we’ve created a list of dining recommendations for our summer music line-up.
2016 Summer Music & Dining Recommendations:
May 27: The International Swingers
Eagle-eye guests might recognize the lead singer of The International Swingers as our own Gary Twinn, proprietor of Bar 326 and E.B.’s Beer & Wine. Gary and the rest of the band kick off the summer music series with a blend of punk rock and 80s favorites.
Dining recommendation: Since one of Gary’s favorite albums is “London Calling,” it might be time to dive into a plate of Fish & Chips at Tusquellas Fish & Oyster Bar. Carry the British theme on through to dessert and pick up some homemade chocolate at Littlejohn’s English Toffee House.
June 3: The Sounds of the Supremes with 70s/80s “Supreme” Kaaren Ragland
Relive some of the supreme moments of the 1970s sounds with Kaaren Ragland’s rendition of “Stop in the Name of Love,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “I Hear a Symphony” and so many more.
Dining recommendation: Ragland’s Motown grooves make us crave a “Coney Island Hot Dog,” a favorite late-night nosh in Detroit. Don’t believe us? Detroit’s love of Coney dogs first started when Greek immigrants landed there, via Ellis Island. Today, there are more than 500 Coney Island hot dog restaurants in the greater Detroit area.
While there aren’t any Coney dogs at Farmers Market, you can replicate the experience at Fritzi Dog by picking up “The Stadium,” a pork & beef blend, topped with relish, onion, ketchup and mustard. But don’t forget the chili, an essential Coney dog addition.
June 10: The Podunk Poets
A Farmers Market favorite, the Podunk Poets promise to kick up some country jams fueled by a little honkytonk. The band, recently named one of Music Connection Magazine's Hot 100 Live Unsigned Bands, are a “vocal-heavy sound is a throwback to a style that is pure Opry with a bit of Bakersfield thrown in,” according to the Live2Play Network.
Dining recommendation: Get in the Western spirit with the tasty Texas-style barbecue at Bryan’s Pit Barbecue. Fill up on ribs, beef, pork or chicken, but be sure to save some room so you can dance the night away.
June 17: Samba Society featuring Katia Moraes
Just a month and a half before the Olympic Games kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Farmers Market plays tribute to Brazil with the Samba Society featuring Katia Moraes. The Brazilian singer, songwriter and lyricist, who began her career in Rio de Janeiro, has performed with the likes of Sergio Mendes, Folk Ballet of Brasil, and Man and Machine.
Dining recommendation: Farmers Market is home to one of LA’s best-known Brazilian barbecue restaurants, Pampas Grill. Sometimes there’s a line, but the grilled meats, black beans and cheese bread here are totally worth the wait.
June 24: Floyd & the Flyboys
A nine-piece band with a big sound, Floyd & the Flyboys play music that is reminiscent of BB King, Steely Dan, Huey Lewis and the Neville Bros with a set list that includes classic cover songs as well as rollicking originals.
Dining recommendation: Before rocking out to this all American band, enjoy a little Americana on your dinner plate. The beloved cheeseburger at Charlie’s Coffee Shop is so famous, it’s been featured in the Los Angeles Times and on the Travel Channel.
July 1: Louie Cruz Beltran
Whether he’s playing at an intimate Jazz club or the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, Louise Cruz Beltran is sure to have the audience up and dancing. Of his music, the OCWeekly said, “…mixing Afro-Cuban rhythms and R&B influences that will move and dazzle you."
Dining recommendation: To keep up with Beltran’s red-hot performance, you might need an extra shot of energy. Boost your iron intake with a tasty spinach salad at The Salad Bar. Then head to our newest produce vendor, Greenhouse, and pick up a smoothie made with 100% organic produce.
July 8: R&D (Edward Roth, Rock Deadrick & Travis Davis)
When R&D get grooving, almost anything can happen. With his soulful keyboard playing, Roth has toured and performed with Coolio, Sophie B. Hawkins and pop vocalist Sheena Easton. Bassist and vocalist Davis has performed with Richard Page, Sammy Hagar and Eric Martin. Together, the group stirs up some classic rock favorites that will quickly leave you singing along.
Dining recommendation: Celebrate this all-American sound with an all-American classic, the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich at Papa Jake’s Sub Shop. Once a favorite Beverly Hills haunt, Papa Jake’s has now re-opened at Farmers Market. Not into cheesesteak? Grab the sausage sandwich, made with sausage meat sourced from right next door at Marconda’s Meats & Puritan Poultry.
July 15: La Charanga Cubana
Cuban-born Edgar Hernandez heads up the Grammy-nominated La Charanga Cubana which plays a lively blend of Cuban Charnga thythms with a sprinkle of west coast salsa.
Dining recommendation: If you’re looking for an extra-caliente meal to go with La Charanga Cubana’s salsa sounds, head over to Loteria Grill! for some homemade tacos served with freshly made salsa. Or, crank things into high gear and order the Carnitas en Salsa Morita.
July 22: Tony Galla & The Blues Messenger
Tony Galla & The Blues Messenger perform soulful blues music with a blend of gospel, country and bluegrass.
Dining recommendation: Got the blues? Nothing goes better with a driving love-gone-wrong melody than tasty, homemade cream. At Bennett’s Ice Cream, the Bennett family has been handcrafting flavors for more than 50 years. Go traditional, or try the only-at-Farmers-Market Fancy Nancy or Cabernet Sauvignon flavors. Or chase away the blues by digging into an extravagant ice cream sundae at Gill’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream.
July 29: The York Quartet featuring Jennifer York
Early bird Angelenos probably recognize Jennifer York from her gig as the morning traffic announcer over at KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO. When not on the air, she and her all-female jazz ensemble can be seen performing at jazz fests around the Southland.
Dining recommendation: Listening to the York Quartet almost makes us feel like we’ve been transported back in time to a smoky New York Jazz club. For an accompanying old-school dining experience, stop by Phil’s Deli & Grill for a French Dip sandwich, an Egg Salad Sandwich or a Patty Melt and wash it all down with a Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda.
August 5: Incendio
Incendio, which means “fire” in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, is all about instrumental world music. While its roots are based in flamenco, the influences hail from around the world. Listen as guitar music takes on a new sound as its accompanied by the sounds of the mandolin, bouzouki, violin, Celtic harp, piano, bass, synthesizer and various ethnic percussion instruments.
Dining recommendation: Quench your cravings for the cuisine of Southern Spain with a trip to Moruno. Although the restaurant is best known for its lamb and pork skewers, the menu here a varied one. Pick up a variety of items for sharing and don’t forget the rotisserie cabbage and the gunpowder French fries. Moruno has a convenient take-out window adjacent to the West Patio for your ordering convenience. But be sure to arrive early. Now that the restaurant has been named one of the best new restaurants in America by GQ Magazine, there’s may just be a line.
August 12: Upstream
Ready to party? Upstream plays a selection of exciting music from the islands, including reggae, calypso, soca and steel drum music that is sure to have you jumping up and dancing the West Indian boogie.
Dining recommendations: Caribbean fare hasn’t quite made its way to Farmers Market yet, but people in search of some island spice can head to Singapore’s Banana Leaf for some amazing curry. Try it with chicken satay or a curry samosa.
August 19: Nina Lares
The sultry vocals of Nina Lares weave a romantic air as she performs jazz standards and original songs with her band.
Dining recommendation: Something about listening to Nina Lares makes us feel like we’re sitting outdoors in a Parisian café. Enhance the experience with French wine, freshly baked baguettes and a cheesey fondue from Mr. Marcel Pain Vin Et Fromage.
August 26: The California Feetwarmers
When the Grammy-nominated California Feetwarmers dive into their old-school New Orleans-style jazz, it won’t take long before the band has you tapping your toes and dancing in the aisles.
Dining recommendation: An evening of New Orleans style jazz calls for a bowl of piping hot gumbo and a side of boiled crawfish. Indulge in your Big Easy cravings at The Gumbo Pot, located just adjacent to the West Patio performance stage, and don’t forget to order the beignets and chicory coffee for dessert.
September 2: Vibraphonist Otis Hayes III
Multi-talented Otis Hayes is both a vocalist and a drummer, but he’s at his best when he gets jamming on the vibraphone, performing original tunes and Motown favorites.
Dining recommendation: The classic sounds of Otis Hayes III deserves a classic meal. Wander across the Market to enjoy a corned beef sandwich at Magee’s Kitchen. The recipe is the same one they’ve been serving since the restaurant opened way back in 1934.
The Friday Night Music series at the Farmers Market is free and begins at 7 p.m. The Market’s grocers, restaurants, shops and bars are open for business throughout the concerts. Parking is free for two hours with a Market validation, available with a purchase from any merchant.