The Carlsbad French Bakery & Cafe: A Taste of France in Carlsbad

The French Cafe and Bakery welcome everyone with a cafe-like venue and French signs and slogans. The French atmosphere surrounds customers creating a feeling like one is eating in real France.

Photo By Leah Ertel

The French Cafe and Bakery welcome everyone with a cafe-like venue and French signs and slogans. The French atmosphere surrounds customers creating a feeling like one is eating in real France.

When you are looking for some ooh la la in your life, what better place to find it than at the French Bakery & Cafe in Carlsbad? This cafe, located next to Smart and Final at the address of 1005 Carlsbad Village Drive Suite B, gives customers a lunch in France without ever having to leave sunny Carlsbad.

Founded in 1998, The Carlsbad French Pastry Café had a rough opening from the start, but ever since then has delighted its customers and cafe regulars with its French delicacies. 

French Pastry Café owner Olivier Baudier came to the U.S. after graduating from professional restaurant school. At a soccer game in 1986, he met another Frenchman who happened to be a pastry chef. From then, they formed a bond over similar aspirations for opening a restaurant.

A french view painted on the wall as a mural creates a French town atmosphere. The French Bakery & Cafe was redone during the pandemic thus creating the setup and atmosphere the French Cafe has now. (Photo By Leah Ertel)

Baudier and his Frenchman partner, with their knowledge of restaurant management, opened French Pastry Café to the public in 1998. However, the restaurant still needed a lot of work done in remodeling.

With hard work, determination and the occasional help from regular customers, their dreams became a success in the creation of their triumphant French restaurant. It has been a profitable business ever since, all thanks to the fresh breads, pastries, cakes and lunch meals.

The menu consists of many savory and sweet items to choose from such as cakes, pastries, breakfast items, tarts and breads. Many lunch items are created for customers who are hungry for something more than just a Cream Puff and a Florentine. 

The customer favorites are the Paninis which are served with spring mix and vinaigrette. The house specialty is roast beef. All of these items are set at a reasonable price. 

Cassien, the son of the owner has worked as a baker for three years and is currently a server now. He spoke about the experience of working with his father’s business and how it has managed to stay open all this time, especially during this past year.

“We have a really good location, right off the 5 and we are located in the Carlsbad Village as well which has a lot of foot traffic,” he says. “When Covid hit, a lot of businesses didn’t do well, they didn’t adapt to take out and online ordering, so [we] really quickly went into social media, developed a really user-friendly website with all our menu items.”

A famous and delicious beef panini is served with a side of tomatoes and a salad with dressing. The Cafe and Bakery does not only serve pastries and dessert items, it also has lunch and dinner. (Photo By Leah Ertel)

A quartet of women, Judy, Philippa, Sally and Terry who have been friends for a long time were celebrating a birthday. This group of exuberant women has been coming to the French Bakery and Cafe for five years. They enjoy the overall feeling this bakery and cafe emits.

“We always come after Tai Chi and we have tea together, we’re great friends,” Philippa said. “We’ve been coming here a total of five years.”

“Why we come here is because of the food, the ambiance and the convenience,” Judy said. “During the pandemic when things were really slow, they redid all of the interior decor and it’s just beautiful, so much nicer.”

The French Bakery and Cafe crafts the perfect scene for a quick luncheon with friends, family or even alone. This small yet successful cafe is open Monday-Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After the inspiration of a visit to the French Bakery and Cafe in Carlsbad, a trip to France would be worth adding to the bucket list.