Go Metro to Grand Central Market and receive a $2 token to spend on food

Photos: Anna Chen/Metro

With its vintage neon signs and general old world vibe, it’s hard not to love downtown L.A.’s Grand Central Market at first sight. And if you’re the type who’s not easily impressed by visuals, the market’s large variety of groceries, food stalls, and artisanal fare is sure to win you over at first taste.

tap and save

TAP at Grand Central Market for a $2 token to spend on your next treat.

Plus, there’s now one more reason to love Grand Central Market: a brand new Destination Discount for transit riders. Show your valid TAP card at the market’s information desk (located near the Hill Street entrance), sign up for their email list and receive a $2 token to redeem at any food or non-alcoholic drink vendor. The only hard part is deciding where you’ll use your discount!

If you do find yourself overwhelmed by all the the choices, here are a few Metro staff favorites:

  • Egg**** has a name we can’t print, but an egg-salad sandwich we can’t get enough of.
  • The wonton soup and fried rice are favorites at China Cafe.

    Another thing we love about Tacos Tumbras a Tomas? The liberal use of avocado. Photo by Matthew Kridler/Metro

    Another thing we love about Tacos Tumbras a Tomas? The liberal use of avocado. Photo by Matthew Kridler/Metro

  • We love the generous price-to-portion ratio at Tacos Tumbras a Tomas: two tacos come stuffed to the brim and extra tortillas are included (making two tacos feel more like four).
  • Valerie at GCM is beloved for its Cobb salad and delicious bread.
  • Sarita’s Pupuseria and the Thai food at Sticky Rice are also staff standouts.
  • Combat food coma with some excellent espresso or tea at G&B Coffee.

To get to Grand Central Market, take the Metro Red or Purple Line to Pershing Square Station and exit towards 4th Street. You can also take the Metro Rapid 745 to Broadway/3rd, or any of the many Metro local buses serving Hill Street and Broadway.

9 replies

  1. It’s not about getting a $2 discount for showing a TAP card; it’s showing your card and signing up for the email list. That’s more valuable to them. You could give a fake email address, but then why?

  2. Ivan,

    Unlike debit or credit cards or AAA membership cards, expiration dates on TAP cards are not written anywhere on the card itself. They are encoded into the internal chip, which requires a contactless card reader to see what the expiration date is. That is why many people were surprised that their TAP card has an expiration date – it’s no where to be found on the physical card itself.

    Vendors do not have those TAP card readers to legitimately verify the validity of the TAP card. It’s base on visual inspection: it’s a TAP card, then it’s good to go.

    If it’s based on visual inspection, anyone can abuse this system by showing an expired TAP card and anyone can get a discount because there are no checks going on for validation.

    I agree with the poster above that they should just open up TAP cards to be able to purchase goods and services. They do that in Korea with T-Money Cards. If every merchants in LA had a TAP card reader that they can deduct money from when someone with a TAP card wants to purchase something with cash value stored in the TAP card, that itself would be the check for validity of the card.

  3. Yeah, and we all know how well the honor system turned out to be.

  4. How long is this offer good for? When will they stop giving this out?

    • Hi Alan,

      This promotion will run all summer, and we will update if there are any changes.


      Anna Chen
      Writer The Source

  5. Every tap card has an expiration date. For example, you cannot take advantage of the parking attendants at the Del Mar Station. Most Metro partners do check the expiration date.

  6. Why don’t they just allow TAP cards to be used to pay for goods and services like almost every other country in the world that uses contactless cards for payments?

    That will solve the “valid TAP card” issue because only non-expired TAP cards will be able to have money loaded and deducted.

    It’s just like the honor system all over again. Metro doesn’t know and won’t bother to check on the abuse of the TAP Destination Discount, when it could be widely abused. No one wins with dishonesty; Metro loses their credibility, retailers lose out by providing discounts to those who don’t deserve it, taxpayers pay for it in the end.

  7. I feel it will probably be an honor system. That being said, there is a warm spot in Hell for anyone who takes advantage of the wonderful and affordable vendors at Grand Central Market.

  8. “Show your valid TAP card”

    Does the vendor have a way to verify that it is a valid TAP card? No. So, you could just show your old expired TAP card and still get the discount.