Downtown L.A.'s Grand Central Market has been operating in one capacity or another since 1917. Its past lives have seen it housing fish dealers, butchers, Jewish delis, flower shops, and an egg vendor. Nowadays, the market is a lunch and dinner hot spot nestled among skyscrapers full of white-collar workers. Inside, neon signs showcase the names of more than three dozen vendors. Highlights include the restaurant Eggslut, known for its creative approaches to the classic breakfast sandwich and other lunchtime edibles; Sticky Rice, serving Thai comfort food; and China Cafe, which locals just refer to as “the wonton soup place.”

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Downtown L.A.'s Grand Central Market has been operating in one capacity or another since 1917. Its past lives have seen it housing fish dealers, butchers, Jewish delis, flower shops, and an egg vendor. Nowadays, the market is a lunch and dinner hot spot nestled among skyscrapers full of white-collar workers. Inside, neon signs showcase the names of more than three dozen vendors. Highlights include the restaurant Eggslut, known for its creative approaches to the classic breakfast sandwich and other lunchtime edibles; Sticky Rice, serving Thai comfort food; and China Cafe, which locals just refer to as “the wonton soup place.”

At Grand Central Market, Good Food Goes Way Back

At first glance, Grand Central Market may be reminiscent of other, more famous, covered markets. Its neon lights can evoke those similar overhead signs in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, and its fresh displays could perhaps be a reminder of London’s Borough Market. But those connections lose their pull when you wander the alleyways and eat the foods at this nearly century-old landmark in Downtown Los Angeles. Unlike other markets of its kind, Grand Central Market hasn’t been a perennially popular draw for tourists and locals looking to eat diverse, easy-going food – that has only happened recently, as the surrounding neighborhood has been reinvented with art galleries, coffee shops, and bars. Try a self-explanatory sandwich at Eggslut, or bite into handmade pupusas with a side of fried plantains at Sarita’s Pupuseria. You could also taste cheeses with a glass of wine at DTLA Cheese, or decide to walk and chew with a build-it-yourself ice cream sandwich at McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream. To come here is to experience that ironic excitement of seeing something new in a place that has been here all along.

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