An…okay…Italian place in Burbank.
C’mon. Even those of us in Burbank need classy date-night-like eating. Orochon is very nice, but more about a late night snack than anything else. Picanha is fantastic, but I doubt whoever you’re with is that much of a carnivore. And please, please, dear Lord, you’re not taking any date of yours to Fuddruckers…unless you’re 14 years old.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us with Market City Caffe.
(Side Note: The title spelling…that’s not a typo. There is an extra F in the name. I have no idea why. Just as I have no idea why they dumped it for their website.)
Market City Caffe is one of Burbank’s nicer joints. It’s Italian in all the good ways you think of Italian places. It’s got an open kitchen, so the smells of what you’re about to have just waft over the place. It’s go long breadsticks waiting for you at your table. It’s the olive oil, and a lovely salad bar. (Did I just say Salad Bar?)
The thing of it is, Market City Caffe is kind of a victim of circumstance. On the one hand, it suffers in comparison to virtually every other Italian place you’ll ever go to. Not that Market City Caffe is bad at what it does, or you’ll regret having eaten there (like Il Fornaio), it’s just that its not particularly memorable. You won’t find yourself pining to go back anytime soon. It’s a place you wind up at, rather than a destination stop along the local foodie Appian way.
On the other hand, Market City Caffe used to occupy a fairly nice bit of real estate in Burbank. It had this corner along San Fernando way, virtually all to itself. It was a perfect date spot for someone who didn’t have a lot of money (as I did when I first came to Burbank). It was down the block from the AMC Academy 14 Cinemas, where you were eventually going to wind up that night. It was around the corner from a Ben and Jerry Ice Cream dispensary, where you and your lady would end the evening. It was across the way from a huge Crown Books, where you could kill time waiting for the show.
Nowadays, the AMC Academy 14 has been replaced by a new AMC Complex, with a bunch more shops stores and restaurants to chose from. Good for you, bad for Market City Caffe. There are even Apartments built atop them, so the whole place is a lot more crowded. Good for Market City Caffe, bad for you. The Crown Books is kaput, so no more hanging out there, and the whole nook is a lot more noisy, so there goes the ambiance of sitting in Market City’s Terrace.
But the Ben & Jerry’s is still there. That’s a good thing of you, just bad for your cholesterol.
Overall, Market City Caffe is good at what it does. You’ll have a good enough time there. It’s just not someplace you need to go out of your way to go to.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Oh man, it has been a while. As I recall, I was in a Lasagna phase last time I was here, and did their version of Lasagna, which on the menu is called Lasagna Alla Salsiccia. It is comprised of Homemade noodles, sweet Italian sausage, pomodoro sauce, ricotta and mozzarella. Really, you can’t go wrong with what you get. It’s a pretty good restaurant, just not the best.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: It cannot be said enough, the neighborhood around Market City has changed. If I were going now, I’d probably lean to sitting inside away from the delicate sound of Skateboard slapping against Concrete.
PARKING: Easy enough. Consult our Burbank Parking Map for places to hit. Bear in mind your final destination for the place you should really park at. If you’re going to the Movies, park closer to the movies. If you’re actually going to Market City Caffe, then park at the:
Market City Caffe
164 East Palm Avenue
Burbank, CA 91502
Tel: (818) 840-7036
Monday-Thursday: 11:30am – 10:00pm
Friday: 11:30am – 11:00pm
Saturday: 10:30am – 11:00pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 10:00pm