Mary, Mary, quite contrary and, indeed, Mary’s Market & Canyon Cafe in Sierra Madre is just that. Located at the base of the San Gabriel Valley foothills just minutes from the bustling cities that make up Los Angeles County, Mary’s Market & Canyon Cafe transports you from the frenetic to the sublime.
On a recent surprise vacation day Spaceman took, we navigated our way to Mary’s Market & Canyon Cafe (this, of course, was after sleeping in late, lazing around some more, and then grumble calls for food from our stomachs). I had heard rumors of a curious spot in the local foothill mountains that served up good, fresh, reasonably priced food so we were off.
We drove out to Sierra Madre and up the slight (but constant so be careful if you bike here) hill through the quaint downtown and continued up into the neighborhood (how could a cafe be here?). As we drove, the roads became very narrow and the look became more hippie-ish (were we heading back to the 60’s?). Suddenly a bubble of space appeared and there stood the cafe! It looked so charming with an American flag out front and the foothills just a few hundred steps away.
I ordered the chicken salad sandwich (made with grapes — my favorite) and Spaceman had the turkey sandwich. The sandwich bread was light and fluffy and the fillings (lettuce, tomato, cheese) were fresh and tasty. The atmosphere was neighborly and the service was good (not overly fussy, but readily available — the best kind). You can buy some of the daily made pastries to take home and there are some knickknacks displayed around the place for purchase as well.
Driving away from this time capsule of a place, I knew I would be back (the chocolate chip cookie solidified that). It’s a quick, easy, and tasty destination that takes you away from your everyday environment for a moment. Don’t let this place slip past you, go and visit.
Mary’s Market & Canyon Cafe is located at 561 Woodland Dr., Sierra Madre, CA 91024 phone: (626) 355-4534
Note: There is limited parking in their “lot” so be prepared to walk a bit if you come on a weekend at peak eating times.