The Grand Central Market is a window into downtown LA's past: a nearly century-old open-air market full of affordable produce stands and international food stalls. Though it's currently undergoing a somewhat contentious face-lift—new paint, lounge furniture, and Wi-Fi are on the way—all of its vendors are open for business. Here's where Chowhounds queue up for a quick, casual lunch in the historic space:
• Piles of slow-cooked meats lure market-goers to the counter of Tacos Tumbras a Thomas, where tacos and tortas brim with goat, tongue, carnitas, and other traditional fillings. There's so much meat in each taco that a fork is necessary—not bad for $2.50 a pop. 317 S. Broadway, Suite A-5, Los Angeles; 213-620-1071.
• Sticky Rice is one of the newest vendors here, offering Thai street food dishes like penang curry with beef and a version of Hainan chicken with garlic rice. Of course there's mango sticky rice as well. 317 S. Broadway, Suite C-4-5, Los Angeles; 626-872-0353.
• When the market's renovation was first announced, food writer Jonathan Gold spoke for many fans when he tweeted, “If they touch Roast to Go, I will be down there with a machete.” The counter's carnitas dishes are particularly Chowhound-worthy, and this is one of the only places in the market where you can get a fish taco or burrito. 317 S. Broadway, Suite C-7-8, Los Angeles; 213-625-1385.
• For Salvadoran pupusas stuffed with chicharron, mushroom and cheese, beans, and more, head to Sarita's Pupuseria. The goods are made to order, and go great with the stand's pickled-cabbage slaw. 317 S. Broadway, Suite E-5-6, Los Angeles; 213-626-6320.
• The carnitas and machaca from Ana Maria's are great, but 'hound Ernie can't resist the chile relleno burrito—the beans and chile relleno are made fresh daily. 317 S. Broadway, Suite C-9-10, Los Angeles; 213-620-0477.
Discuss: Grand Central Market