If you’re a movie buff then you’ve most likely heard of Pasadena from cult classic films such as The Graduate and Father of the Bride. This Los Angeles city has it’s own unique vibes and stands out from other areas of LA. You still get the great LA sunshine weather, but it’s a much calmer and less flashy crowd.
Pasadena is known for beautiful tree-lined streets, lot’s of greenery and flowers, and grand architecture. Being more inland, when you visit Pasadena your trip will be less about the beach and more about the finer things in life… like good food! During our visits to Pasadena, we pretty much eat our way through the town with pleasant city walks in-between meals. In short, Pasadena is a foodie’s paradise spot for a weekend retreat.
Top Foodie Spots in Pasadena
True Food Kitchen - This trendy eatery offers fresh and healthy cuisine in a modernly designed restaurant. I would best describe it as elevated causal California vibes.
Intelligentsia Coffee - Walking down the main strip this cafe caught our eye with their modern rustic atmosphere. I especially loved that I could order a crafted matcha latte, my favorite!
Vanilla Bake Shop - Help yourself to some freshly baked macaroons or even a creamy cupcake.
Hello Gelato - Located at 20 E Colorado Blvd, we enjoyed an afternoon gelato sweet treat after a leisurely walk window shopping down Colorado Boulevard.
Cafe Santorini - Scroll to the bottom to see snapshots from our al fresco meal out on the terrace of Cafe Santorini.
Le Pain Quotidien - I rarely recommend any kind of a chain restaurant, but Le Pain Quotidien does an amazing job at keeping their offerings fresh and a favorite for foodies.
Tender Greens - Another excellent chain restaurant offering a super fresh and tasty menu. You’ll leave feeling light but satisfied.
Float - Super Instagram-worthy food and restaurant. Locals love their sandwiches, salads, caffeinated beverages and ice cream.
Sage Plant Based Bistro - A beautiful setting to go perfectly with the healthy plates. The outdoor courtyard is the ideal spot to enjoy summer evening dinners under sunset skies.
Lemonade - Located inside popular shopping center The Commons, Lemonade is a California chain eatery that specializes in healthy artisan food.
Mendocino Farms - A new location recently opened up on South Lake Avenue in Pasadena. They have great sandwiches, salads and no shortage of avocados.
Cauldron Ice Cream - Located in Artesia, these ice cream cones are almost too pretty to eat! You’ll have to try the Sun, Moon and Stars Cone – milk tea ice cream melded with jasmine, oolong and green tea!
Home Brewed Bar - The best assortment of handcrafted teas, coffees and boba. Try the Nutella Toddy Latte!
Dot’s Cafe - This bright and cheerful bake shop and cafe has wall paper you’ll love and fresh California farm-to-table eats.
After’s Ice Cream - Colorful flavors with crazy toppings - try the Cookie Butter Ice Cream inside a warm glazed donut.
Bone Kettle - The best Asian fusion cuisine in Pasadena, their Instagram account will have you drooling!
Pasadena Sights Worth Visiting
Father of the Bride House - I am such a fan of both the first and second Father of the Brides movies. The beautiful house and film location from the movie is located at 843 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena. The house is located in a beautiful neighborhood, great for either a walk or drive to explore.
Colorado Boulevard - The main commercial strip of Pasadena where the best shops and restaurants are located. Colorado Blvd makes for a charming walk to discover your new favorite spots.
Big Bang Theory Way - The popular television series is supposed to take place in Pasadena (although actually filmed on a soundstage). There’s a very short little street which pays homage to the show.
Rose Bowl Food Truck Fridays - Yummy eats is the perfect reason to visit the famous Rose Bowl stadium. In the summertime, on the last Friday of every month you can eat trendy and fusion crafted food from popular food trucks. Admission into the stadium and parking are free. See the complete list of dates here.
The Commons - A boutique style commercial center with popular dining and shops.
South Lake Avenue - This 10 block long district in Pasadena has all kinds of dining and shopping. If you’re visiting Pasadena during the winter, they host Holidayfest in December to kick off the Christmas season.
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