The Fashion District sprawls over 90 blocks of downtown Los Angeles, and is just the place to be if you are looking for bargains or wholesale material. This section of the city is absolutely crammed with stores selling designer clothing, shoes, accessories, textiles and even flowers at unbeatable rates. Other bric-a-brac on display includes toys, lingerie, CDs, prom gowns and kids wear. Over 1,000 such retailers show off their wares at a flea market, which always dons a festive appearance. Weekends are particularly busy, with great discounts of up to 30 percent. Hours of operation and credit cards may vary by store.
Natives in-the-know refer to this outdoor bazaar as The Alley and here is where you will find a quarter mile of goods of every description and wall-to-wall people in search of the perfect bargain. Here in Santee Alley you will find casual and chic day wear and evening wear. There are all kinds of jewelry concessions as well as menswear, children's clothing, lingerie and toys. If you like the idea of searching through piles and piles of merchandise for the best bargains, among throngs of other people who are doing the same thing, you won't want to miss cruising The Alley.
Touted to be one of the best places to savor Indian food, the Samosa House is a must-visit for lovers of Indian cuisine. Relish the delicious Indian delights like Samosas, Pakoras, curries as well as tasty drinks like Lassi, Chair or Indian Beers. Devotees of Indian cooking will be delighted with the selection and helpful hands available at the interesting shop attached near the restaurant. Shelves are packed with jars of chutneys, sauces, spices and a huge selection of flours including gram and chickpeas, as well as everything you'll ever need to make a curry from scratch. Don't leave without sampling the homemade pickles or baked goods, and feel free to get some wonderful advice from the engaging owner; who is happy to share cooking tips and recipes.
In addition to a full-spectrum grocery store, Jons Market is a trusty source of a wide range of ethnic foods, with a stress on Russian and Armenian. Come here for a handsome assortment of Russian chocolates (assorted sets in sumptuous packaging, the likes of which you have never seen), the widest selection of Russian vodka and Eastern European full-bodied brews, as well as many dainties and delicacies, from buckwheat to vareniki to kvas to fish liver. The sweeping selection of salamis, sausages and various delectable cured meats by the pound will capture the fancy of many a meat lover. Finally, get a taste of “little Russia” while here as you are jostled unceremoniously by Russian matrons, plowing by with huffed determination.
This urban indoor flea market is spread out over 10,000 square feet of space with gorgeous vaulted ceilings and exposed brickwork. Tucked away in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, the Arts District Flea is an amalgamation of vendors with locally made products and handcrafted items. Find delicate silver bow necklaces or a gorgeous sturdy reclaimed wood coffee table. Local art can also be found here, adding a pop of color and character to your space.
For all of your wall decor needs, come to Canterbury Art Shoppe in Westchester. The friendly staff is knowledgeable and helpful and will assist you in choosing the perfect custom frame for your masterpiece. With a certified framer on the premises, you can be sure that your order will be treated with careful and individual attention. The shop also sells decorations for any wall, original art in the tiny gallery and graphics for home or business.
Fugetso-Do, a small Japanese sweet shop, open since 1903, is the oldest business in the Little Tokyo area. They sell candies, sweet bean paste, rice crackers and taffy, cake and other confections. The decor of this store is old fashioned but welcoming. You will surely be amazed by the wide variety at this sweet store. The specialty here is the Mochi, Japenese confection made out of steamed glutinous rice. Fugetsu-Do founder, Seiichi Kito is the one who originally created the popular fortune cookie concept. And yes, they are freshly made every morning!
Discover the science behind baking bread at Clark Street Bread, a popular local bakery. The owner Zack Hall started this little venture out of the love of baking. One can see the wizard at his craft in the shop on the South Broadway Street. A few of the bread variations listed on the menu are Danish Rye, Raisin Walnut and French Baguette, all made from organic ingredients. The bread is sold to a number of well known restaurants in the vicinity.
Dynasty Center and Saigon Plaza is an ethnic bazaar filled with stores owned by immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Here you can find true steals on everything from clothing and shoes to toys and household items to furniture and accessories to herbs of every kind. There are many jewelry stores dotting this street with really great bargains on 18-karat and 22-karat gold. Just walking down this street will transport you to another world, but buyer beware because you'll end up with too much stuff to carry home!
Certainly the most fragrant of LA's wholesale markets is this colorful exhibition catering to flower merchants from all over Southern California. In order to fully experience the remarkable selection, you have to be a merchant or know one and arrive at about 2am. However, there are still plenty of flowers and potted plants available at rock bottom prices when the market opens to the public at 8am. The market, which has been in business since 1923, spans two warehouses with more than 100 stalls of vendors. Credit cards are often accepted, but they vary by vendor. Open from Monday to Saturday from 6 am or 8 am until noon.
Los Angeles Flower Market, a floral extravaganza, opens in the wee hours of the morning to merchants, and then, to the general public, a few hours later. It never seems to be early enough, however, in this city of early risers. A truly unique experience; the scents produced by such a gathering of flowers in one place are amazing. Look for the busy time to be around the Rose Bowl in January. Credit card acceptability will vary according to vendor.