10 Of The Best Eats In Pasadena, California

Photo of Sabina Li
7 December 2016

Nestled in the San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena is the birthplace of cooking icon Julia Child and a great place to get your grub on. Away from the traditional Asian restaurants of the San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena offers a unique, eclectic array of good food for every meal or occasion. We list some of the best choices here.

Beer Braised Octopus and Prawns From Ración | © T. Tseng/Flickr


Travel to Spain while feasting on classic tapas with a modern spin from Ración. Perfect for a date night or a celebration dinner, Ración has become a food critic’s favorite in Pasadena. While the price is a bit on the higher side, each dish is presented beautifully and cooked to perfection. Because tapas are like mini dishes, you will be able to sample a wide variety of their menu, with highlights being the chicken croquettes, beer braised octopus, and crispy prawns.

Ración, 119 W. Green St., Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 396 3090

La Grande Orange Café

Cafe, Restaurant, American, French, $$$
The best thing to get after sleeping in or browsing through the Rose Bowl Flea Market is brunch. While the wait might not be ideal, one of the best places to get brunch in Pasadena is La Grande Orange Café. You can’t go wrong with anything on their extensive brunch menu, which includes lemon ricotta hotcakes and prime rib French dip.

Euro Pane Bakery

Bakery, Cafe, Pastries, $$$
As a kid, did you look into your lunchbox with disgust when you saw an egg salad sandwich waiting for you? Well, Euro Pane Bakery’s signature egg salad sandwich, layered with crispy bread, flavorful tomato spread, and the perfect egg salad, is certainly not something to frown over. If egg salad is still not your thing, Euro Pane has a multitude of other sandwiches, salads, and quiches to try.

Amara Chocolate & Coffee

Cafe, Restaurant, South American, Venezuelan, Spanish, $$$
Asian BBQ Pork Belly Burger from Slater’s 50/50
Asian BBQ Pork Belly Burger from Slater’s 50/50 | © L.A. Foodie/Flickr
Looking to satisfy your chocoholic cravings? Amara Chocolate & Coffee, a Venezuelan café, is the best place to do it. They use high-quality imported Venezuelan chocolate as their canvas for a multitude of amazing eats, including truffles and thick hot chocolate. The restaurant also offers beautiful coffee drinks for the caffeine addict and traditional Venezuelan snacks, such as tekeños and empanadas, for the snacker.

Slater’s 50/50

Pasadena is home to the only location of the super popular Slater’s 50/50 in Los Angeles. Offering amazing burgers and fried bacon mac n’ cheese balls, Slaters 50/50 is the place to go for some good old American comfort food. Following the trend, you can design your own burger masterpiece or choose off their menu.

Slater’s 50/50, 61 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 765 9700

Mediterranean Café

Cafe, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Greek
If you are in a hurry and have a love of Mediterranean food, Mediterranean Café has got you covered. The service is extremely fast and can usually get you in and out of the place in less than ten minutes. The pricing is also another plus; you can definitely get a satisfying meal for under ten dollars. Most of their plates come with your choice of grilled meat and sides of rice, hummus, Greek salad, sauces, and pita bread.

Pasadena Sandwich Company

If you want to get a good bang for your buck, the place to go is the family-owned Pasadena Sandwich Company. PSC is only open for five hours a day, making it the perfect place to get lunch. The delicious sandwiches are piled to the top with veggies, sauces, meat, cheese, etc. The giant size of the sandwich allows you to comfortably split with your friend or take leftovers to go for a mid-day work snack.

Pasadena Sandwich Company, 259 Sierra Madre Villa Ave., Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 578 1616

The Pie Hole

‘Happiness one slice at a time’ is The Pie Hole’s mission. Offering sweet and savory pies, The Pie Hole does not often disappoint with their yummy fillings and buttery, flaky crusts. Customer favorites include the decadent and creamy maple custard pie and the chocolaty, pistachio topped earl grey tea pie. Pair your slice of pie with a cup of coffee or one of their specialty lattes.

The Pie Hole, 59 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 765 6315

El Taquito Mexicano Truck

Satisfy your late night craving with arguably the best tacos in the San Gabriel Valley from the El Taquito Mexicano Truck. Parked in the parking lot of an auto body shop, the taco truck is open until 1 AM to 3 AM depending on the day. They offer everything from carne asada tacos to lengua tacos to chicharron tacos.

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