A little bit of San Francisco and Portland in Old Pasadena, the Market on Holly is the creation of two longtime locals, composer Marty Davich (whose wife, Carrie Davich, owns the neighboring Maude Woods) and caterer Mary Pat Brandmeyer. There’s a small market (fancy pastas, oils, local organic milk), a swell bar with Portland’s famed Stumptown coffee and fabulous baked goods, a cheese counter, a deli case, large communal tables inside and small sidewalk tables outside, where regulars come back at least weekly for the breakfast sandwich, roast pork shoulder sandwich, and the lime-cilantro or baby spinach salads. The chocolate chip cookie may be the best in town, and the “daily deal”—a salad or sandwich for less than $10—is typically a relative bargain ($6 for an egg-salad sandwich or $9 for a grilled cheese with tomato-basil soup).
Parking on the street can be a challenge, but you get 90 minutes free in the structure just north of the café on Raymond (next to the Armory).
In these early days, the focus is on breakfast and lunch, but they’ve just extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays for the summertime, and Brandmeyer’s food (especially the salads and the salmon dishes) suit this hot weather very well indeed. So does the tiny but appealing collection of beers and wines.
The Market on Holly, 57 E. Holly St., Old Pasadena, 626.844.8811, themarketonholly.com. B & L Mon.-Sat., early D Wed.-Sat. Modern American. Beer & wine. AE, MC, V. $$