Where To Buy Turkey in Los Angeles

thanksgiving dinner 2008

I’m not sure how it happened, but I completely forgot to order my Thanksgiving turkey. My husband snapped me out of my ignorance of current calendar dates last night. He was gentle, but pointed.

Chef Quinn ordered his turkey from Harvey Gus,” he said. “Maybe you should see if it isn’t too late to get a turkey.”

I gave him a blank stare. Wait. Get a turkey? How many days do I have before Thanksgiving?

That’s when I realized I was in trouble. As I scrambled to do research on where to find a bird, I realized I was in one of those concurrent life/food blog  moments. If I were to get anything out of this potential debacle, I would have to write about it.  Fast.

Based on my research, I offer you this roundup of Where to Buy Turkey in LA (Last Minute).

thanksgiving dinner 2008

Supermarket picks

Gelson’s currently offers a $5 off coupon for its Diestel heritage birds.

Whole Foods: Whether your choice is fresh or frozen, Whole Foods offers a number of different birds including free range. organic, non-organic, pre-brined, and kosher. Order in store or online. No deposit required.

Erewhon: Offers Shelton’s free range and certified organic turkey.

Trader Joes: According to Cooking with Trader Joes, TJ’s offers a range of Thanksgiving options including Kosher, pre-brined birds (about $2-3/lb.), and Tofurky for the vegetarians in your group.

Farmers Market picks:

Farmer’s Market Poultry at the LA Farmers Market: This is where I just ordered my bird. This local poultry vendor offers fresh, free range turkeys from Diestel Farms. I called The Farmer’s Market Poultry at the 3rd and Fairfax Farmers Market and ordered my 14 pound bird (for $2.99/lb) without a problem. Farmer’s Market Poultry also sells commercially raised birds for $2.39/lb. No deposit required.  Farmer’s Market Poultry: 6333 W 3rd St # 216; Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 936-8158.

Healthy Family Farms Turkeys

Healthy Family Farm at Hollywood Farmers Market: This free-range poultry farm made its debut at the Hollywood Farmers Market last year with its free range, organic poultry. Last year (when life was a little less complicated) I pre-ordered my turkey weeks in advance. Once the bird was roasted, I was incredibly pleased with the earthy, happy-turkey taste. Healthy Family Farms: 6780 Wheeler Canyon Rd. Santa Paula, CA 93060; (805) 421-3301 or healthyfamilyfarms@gmail.com

Kosher:

Charlies Kosher Deli. One frequent customer on Chow.com said, “Let Herschel or Freddy know what size you want and they’ll have it ready.”  Charlie’s Kosher Deli: 9124 W Pico Blvd.; Los Angeles, CA 90035; (310) 271-2472

Chef’s Pick:

Harvey Gus, a favored butcher with LA chefs has a limited supply. Call two weeks ahead of time. (As of 5:20 PM 11/18 they’re sold out!)

Other resources:

For a listing of Los Angeles poultry farms, use this User Instinct source, or follow this ever-updating user-generated thread on Chow.com.

Skip the bird, just scramble the eggs: Lily Farms is my favorite chicken and egg vendor at the local farmers markets. Though they do not sell turkeys, they do offer turkey eggs. is my favorite egg producer at the Hollywood Farmers Market, but they only sell turkey eggs. No birds. Lily’s Eggs: Fillmore, CA; (805) 657.4638.

thanksgiving dinner 2008

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Brooke Burton nominated for best food writing

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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.

7 Comments

  1. November 19
    Reply

    I got my order in with Harvey Gus weeks ago. But fortunately this list you present looks like there are plenty of good gobblers still to be had! GREG

    • November 19
      Reply

      Weeks ago? I’m impressed. Next year I’ll get my act together and call Mr. Gus early style. Wanna email me to remind me? :)

  2. I love the Farmer’s Market, and often forget about it as a great resource, but it really is — particularly around the holidays.

    I have to say though, I made a Pavilions house brand (I think it’s Manor House) frozen turkey last week (would probably not attempt it for the day itself, but we’re not hosting Tgiving this year, and I wanted to post about dry brining) and it was darn tasty (probably thanks to the dry brining). We’ve been enjoying turkey sandwiches all week, and husband said it’s one of the best turkeys he ever had. (to be fair, MIL can’t cook, but family orders a fancy turkey each year, I think usually from Bristol Farms).

  3. November 19
    Reply

    Great resource!! I just reserved my fresh, free-range, veg/soy-fed Diestel Farms turkey from How’s Market in San Marino today. They are $2.69 per pound but if you spend at least $30 on groceries you get it for $1.69 a pound, so I plan to buy most of my other Thanksgiving ingredients there. They still have a lot left to be reserved for next week!

  4. November 19
    Reply

    Thank you so much for including a list of alternative turkey (& chicken) farms that are local and keep their birds truly free range.

    I just discovered Healthy Family Farms, and we’ve ordered our first turkey from them for this year’s holiday. You can also go there and actually pick out your own eggs if you’d like, or just get them at the Hollywood farmers market as you mentioned.

    Love your blog!

  5. November 24
    Reply

    I’m camping outside Joan’s on Third to get a deconstructed turkey tomorrow morning – because like you I have not placed an order – perhaps wishful thinking since I don’t like turkey and want pizza! Is Mozza closed Turkey Day?

  6. April Garcia
    November 19
    Reply

    Thank you! You have saved this mother of three :) I actually debated skipping the turkey this year simply because I had no time to find a fresh and healthy one. I was in a troubling position when my sons’ teacher asked me to bring the turkey for their Thanksgiving feast @_@…

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