Looking for places to eat in Pasadena?
With so many options in the city of roses (and that’s even omitting the separate city of South Pasadena) some might have a difficult time narrowing down a list, so we hope to help make the process a bit easier by honing in on 17 of the best spots we love to chow down on in the City of Roses (in no particular order). Hopefully it’ll inspire you to try a few new destinations (if you live in the area), or perhaps something will strike your fancy to make the trek from across town.
Either way, enjoy!
1. Pasadena Sandwich Company
Open Monday through Saturday, the Pasadena Sandwich Company serves up fresh deli sandwiches in very generous portions. If you are feeling adventurous try the “Trust The Cook.” With your sandwich, order some macaroni, chicken salad or sweet potato tots to round out your meal.
2. Euro Pane
Just across from Paseo Colorado is a testament to the belief that not every business relies on social media. Since 2010, Sumi Chang has ran a profitable and popular bakery and café in Pasadena without a website, Facebook or Twitter account. Word of mouth sings praise of their breakfast and lunch dishes (the egg salad is sort of famous here)and the casual space to enjoy a cup of coffee. Euro Pane is also home to some of the best macrons in Los Angeles, their enormous and perfectly crafted macrons come in a variety of flavors from sea salt carmel to passionfruit.
Critically acclaimed Racion has been celebrated since it opened its doors in 2012. The Spanish style tapas offer bold flavors of Basque country without having to take a flight to San Sebastian. Try the squid ink pasta, calamares rellenos: Duck sausage-stuffed squid on a bed of brava and squid ink sauce and chicken croquettes.
4. Bulgarini Gelato
I scream, you scream, we all scream for gelato! Well, that tune doesn’t have the same cache as the original, but this gelato is worth getting all giddy for. This might be one of Los Angeles’ best kept secrets, almost like a speakeasy, seeing there is no signage indicating gelato waits within. Their flavors are unique definitely try this little Alta Dena gem!
This 50-seat restaurant features a menu that places a California spin on Northern Italian cuisine. Only open since 2014, this farm to table based restaurant in Old Pasadena dishes up house-made charcuterie, pasta and much more. In addition to your house-made dish, tack on any wine or beer from a list that was curated by George Pitsironis, a wine specialist for the Greater Los Angeles area.
6. Little Flower Candy Company
For an intimate café and candy experience, try out this little quaint eatery/candy shop on the outskirts of Pasadena. Fresh ingredients, strong coffee and delicious food all make up this almost hidden cafe.
7. El Taquito Mexicano Truck
This is a super popular food truck in Pasadena. Most Mexican food lovers in Pasadena will tell you this food truck has the best tacos in town. Can’t go wrong with the Asada or Al Pastor here, but mind the red sauce cause it’s pretty hot!
8. Parkway Grill
In operation since 1984, Parkway Grill’s focus is on the Regional American Cuisine movement, specializing in a seasonal, market-driven approach to cooking. Try to Lobster crepe when available!
9. The Old Sasoon Bakery
Since 1948, the bakery on North Allen Avenue believes your “quest for quality” ends once you step inside their colorful storefront building. Perhaps what’s first most noticeable is their logo of a Greek god atop a rearing muscular horse, but you’ll leave remembering them for their tasty Armenian/Lebanese cuisine. Try the delicious Armenian pizza or khachapuri. If you have a sweet tooth like me, try their featured Chocolate Pie that fills a Pain au lait with Hershey’s chocolate.
10. My Vegan
This might be the cities best vegan place. It’s a causal no fuss kind of place where the food is cooked with love. Try the soy chicken and yellow curry noodles!
Since 1987, Marston’s has been serving some of the best breakfast and lunchtime meals to locals and tourist alike. The establishment has been featured numerous times in the media including Food Network Magazine. Their french toast is very popular and so are their eggs benedict and pancakes. For diners who feel like taking their meals al fresco Marston’s offers portable picnic meals the include a bottled water, dessert and utensils; regular menu items can be served picnic style for an additional $3.95.
12. ConfeXion Cupcakes
ConfeXion Cupcakes has awesome cupcakes for sure but they also serve Brioughnuts, a delicious brioche, croissant, donut hybrid. Insider tip check out their website for the rotating cupcake flavor calendar and the Briougnuts are only available Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
13. Maison Akira
Chef Akira Hirose has managed to fuse French and Japanese cuisine into one fine dining experience. Located in a brick building across from the Pasadena Playhouse, Maison Akira serves casual bento style lunches to six course tastings.
14. Lucky Boy
This place had to make the list because of their amazing breakfast burrito. There are two Pasadena locations for you to fulfill your breakfast burrito cravings. Both locations fill the tortillas to the max with meat and other goodies, so go on an empty stomach!
15. The Raymond
One of the best places to share a romantic dinner with someone special. Guest are invited into a beautiful space where lovely food is being served to happy customers for over a decade. Try their braised short ribs and finish off the meal with creme burlee!
16. La Grande Orange Cafe
Located next to the Del Mar train station La Grande Orange Cafe is a great brunch spot for locals. Folks like the taco options! Enjoy the view of the park if you choose to dine el fresco too.
17. U Pick Cafe
Located on Lake Avenue U Pick Cafe serves up Middle Eastern, Mediterranean AND Pizza?! Shockingly they do all of it well, the kabobs are fresh, juicy and well seasoned, ask for a side of their garlic sauce it’s addicting and goes with everything!
Got any favorite spots to eat in Pasadena that we omitted? Let us know in the comments below so others can benefit from the wisdom of your food experiences!