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The Best Classic Places To Shop In Los Angeles

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Fickle tastes, chains and Amazon have killed off a lot of places to shop around town. But we chose a few classically Los Angeles places that have been able to stick it out through the years. Suggest your own favorites in the comments.

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Fred Segal (Photo by misocrazy via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
FRED SEGAL

The world's first denim jeans only store opened on Melrose and Crescent Heights in 1960. Since then, the business has quickly expanded with a store in Santa Monica opening in 1985 for upscale shopping which houses 30 boutiques. Now it's where stalkerazzi hang to snap photos of shopping celebrities, while totally normal teenage girls from Beverly Hills get their most capable looking outfits. -Jimmy Bramlett

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Fred Segal is located at 420 & 500 Broadway, Santa Monica

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Evett's Model Shop (Vimeo)
EVETT'S MODEL SHOP

The late Colby Evett pioneered the technology that made radio-controlled cars, helicopters and airplanes possible before opening his own model shop in 1948. The staff carrying on his legacy is friendly and warm, and a videographer who made a short documentary about Evett describes the store as being in a "50-year time warp"...but in a good way. Today the store is one of the last hobby shops standing in the Los Angeles area, and it stands as a reminder of what kids used to do before there were video games.

Evett’s Model Shop is located at 1636 Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica, (310) 452-2720

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Olvera Street (Photo by belle_214 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
OLVERA STREET

In the heart of Downtown L.A. stands Olvera Street, a historic Mexican marketplace that has been around since 1930. It’s an experience within itself as the outdoor, tree-lined area sells anything from delectable tacos to handcrafted pottery items. Stick around for the live mariachi music. -Jean Trinh

Olvera Street is located at 125 Paseo De La Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles, (213) 628-1274

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
GRAND CENTRAL MARKET

Housed in the Homer Laughlin Building, the Grand Central Market is the city's largest and oldest public market. Since 1917, it's been the source of coffee, liquor, grains, spices, and just about everything else you can eat. We're also fans of the dried chiles for sale. You can pick up some pupusas, kebabs, BBQ or bento boxes for lunch. It recently got a make-over, and there are plans to bring in artisan bread, cheese, sustainably raised meat and fish, and farmers market produce over the next several months. The new makeover included a not-so-classic update: free wifi. -Jimmy Bramlett

Grand Central Market is located at 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013, (213) 624-2378

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Farmer's Market (Photo by LA Wad via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
THE ORIGINAL FARMER'S MARKET

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It’s not called “original” for nothing. Nestled in the Grove, the Farmer’s Market has been a food and shopping destination since it was established in 1934. From Brazilian BBQ to farm fresh produce, this market takes the cake. Even novelty toy shop, Kip’s Toyland, has been an iconic fixture there since for nearly 70 years. -Jean Trinh

The Original Farmer’s Market is located at 6333 W. 3rd St. in Mid-City, (323) 933-9211

CARAVAN BOOK STORE

Caravan Book Store opened on Grand Avenue just south of Bunker Hill in 1954 on the cusp of a new era in downtown. City planners decided to raze the neighborhood on Bunker Hill the following year and build skyscrapers in its place. At the time, the antiquarian bookstore was one of several bookstores along 6th Street called "Book Row." Those other book stores, along with a Borders and a B. Dalton's didn't make it. Yet the antiquarian bookstore and its quaintness have managed to survive almost 60 years. It continues to hawk rare books that date back to the 1500s.

Caravan Book Store is located at 550 S Grand Ave in Los Angeles, (213) 626-9944