Thyme Café and Market

The idea for a seasonal, market-driven café and shop is no longer new to LA, so the difference is in the details, and Maire Byrne has got those covered. The longtime caterer, a veteran of prestigious kitchens including Chez Panisse, brought her personal style to Santa Monica’s Sunset Park in fall 2009. In the airy space at Thyme, you’ll find concrete flooring, walls lined with white subway tiles, and an oversize clock near the entrance, a play on the restaurant’s name. Blackboard menus tell part of the story, including breakfast and lunch options like challah french toast with fresh raspberries, slow-cooked scrambled eggs with sautéed mushrooms and herbs, and a signature salad with Point Reyes blue cheese, walnuts, cranberries, sweet apple and balsamic vinegar. Bread from nearby Le Pain du Jour makes a worthy partner for refined sandwiches like Kalamata-inflected egg salad on toasted pain de mie. Savory offerings include an untraditional but still satisfying spanakopita, made with pastry dough instead of phyllo and studded with pine nuts. It should be no mystery why Byrne has guests order at the counter. The Carrera marble countertop hosts dozens of irresistible baked goods, including several kinds of croissants, carrot cake sandwiches, a macaroon tower and buttery, fruit-forward galettes (fig, if you’re lucky).

sweet seats

The choice at this casual café is far from anxiety producing. You either sit at a sidewalk table and enjoy the open air or grab a wood-slab table indoors, amid the other market habitués.

chew on this

A set of fridges at Thyme Café and Market contain tempting take-home goodies like jalapeño cilantro hummus, carrot corn soup and a Moroccan chicken tagine that incorporates a bazaar’s worth of spices.


Mon.–Sat. 7 AM–8:30 PM

price range

$9 (Greek salad) to $11 (steak sandwich)