If you know me or have visited me, you've either heard of or been to The French Market Cafe on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice (South of Venice Blvd.). That's because I go there every morning and get what I feel is the very best coffee in town. I love it. I miss it when I'm away. They don't even have to ask me what I want ... and sometimes it's even ready for me when I'm still standing in line to order it. We are tight.
A lovely mademoiselle called Agnes came over from France in 1999, and soon thereafter took over The French Market Cafe from a French couple with her business partner, Lionel. They made some improvements, but kept the general idea ... delicious French food (get Le Cheval for brunch - open face sunny egg, bacon, swiss on baguette - delicieux), along with a store selling all the foods, magazines, wines, and other French things for French expatriates, and Americans alike. Then she met a dashing customer called Patrice ... they fell in love, married and bought out Lionel. Today Agnes and Patrice Martinez run the place together, and it's as though you've entered their own backyard. People they know come in all day, kiss both cheeks, and stay to have a proper European-length meal out on the sunny patio, as kids and dogs play - and grow up - over the years.
I started going there years ago because it was the closest place to get coffee to my house. I continued going there because it is so dang good. I've written about it in my journal good. It took a while (about a decade) to get super in with the owners and workers there, but now I love them all like ma own famille. Carole knows pretty much every detail of my life from seeing me every morning, and has become a dear, protective and supportive amie. Like we've brought each other souvenirs from our travels friends. Mikey offers a smile and sweet comment every day, and makes the coffee just how I like it (though Carole really knows best). Tobias always has something philosophical to say. Genevieve works harder than anyone I've ever seen, and I've made her smile twice this year already! Agnes & Patrice are handsome and welcoming all day long. I bring them cookies at Christmas, they gave me a swell bottle of wine. It's just the kind of place you hope to have in your life ... your morning "Cheers" bar.
Speaking of Cheers, or Salut, rather ... The French Market Cafe FINALLY got their wine and beer license this year!!! After years of bureaucracy and hassles by the City Officials ... you can now buy one of the gorgeous bottles of wine or champagne from the cute cellar inside, and pop it open to enjoy as the afternoon light turns everything gold. It is a terribly civilized way to while away a twilight, that is for sure.
The French Market Cafe nestles you in at 2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd, starting at 7 a.m. They usually wrap up their day by 5, except for Thursday-Saturday is now 10.
J'adore, French Market! See you in the morning!
*Oh, and just so you know. You get in line clockwise around the center of the store, order from the counter (or order ahead online - see above link), pay, get a number and they'll bring you the food outside if it's nice out (usually is) and you found a table, or inside in the little dining room. (I say this because it seems hard for some people to sort out. And Carole doesn't like that.)
** I especially liked going here when it was our last retarded government's "Freedom Fries" days. Burn.