Bob’s Market

Bob's Market — Los Angeles Explorers Guild

Bob’s Market

In Echo Park, you’ll find one of the most famous movie markets of all time.

Bob’s Market is a small, neighborhood grocery store on the border between Echo Park and Angelino Heights. Though just a humble neighborhood shop, Bob’s is visited by countless tourists who travel thousands of miles to be photographed standing in front of its facade.

This popularity, like so many places in Los Angeles, stems from the market’s role in a movie. Bob’s Market is the real-world double for Toretto’s Market & Cafe, where Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) served Brian O’Connor (the late Paul Walker) “tuna on white, no crust” in the first entry of the storied Fast & Furious franchise.

Bob’s Market, famous for its role in Fast & Furious. Photo from the author’s collection.

In the film, the corner store is owned by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) who leaves the day-to-day operations to his sister Mia while he races cars and (spoiler) hijacks long-haul trucks.

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In the real world, the shop is owned and operated by Bob and Keiko Nimura and provides snacks and a small selection of grocery staples to the residents of Echo Park and Angelino Heights.

A Historic Market

Even before Bob’s Market played a featured role in one of the most popular film series of all time, the place was a star. Way back on June 6, 1979 it was named as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 215.

The building was first built in 1913 as two separate shops. One side was home to a small market, the other to a tailor. The two shops were combined in 1934 when the grocery store expanded. The joint got the name Bob’s Market when the Nimuras bought it in 1965.

Although the small shop’s interior doesn’t look a thing like it does in the 2001 film, that doesn’t stop a steady stream of movie fans strolling up to snap a few photos of themselves striking Toretto-inspired poses in front of the place or pulling donuts at the intersection of Kensington and Bellevue (easily seen on the satellite view of the corner on Google Maps).

Bob’s Market with evidence of car-based tributes in front of Bob’s market. Photo from the author’s collection.

Just park yourself on the bench in Marion Park across the street and watch the people arrive. The crowd offers an equal mix of local shoppers, tourists, and fans — some of whom pull up in their Fast & Furious-styled cars for a quick Instagram shot in front of Bob’s.

Bob’s Market as seen from Marion Park. Photo from the author’s collection.

Fast & Furious isn’t the only film where Bob’s Market played a role. It’s also appeared in L.A. Confidential (1997), The Salton Sea (2002), and Nightcrawler (2014), as well as numerous episodes of various television shows.

Bob’s Market

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Tom Fassbender is a writer of things with a strong adventurous streak. When not exploring Los Angeles, he’s been known to enjoy a cup of coffee or two. You can find him at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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