Right in the center of Old Town Pasadena is a local staple, Russell’s. Operating since 1930, Russell’s has a cozy, classic feel of an upscale American diner. If you are a waffle lover, Russell’s offers amazing crispy but fluffy Belgian waffles. Because their menu is so extensive, you can satisfy almost any craving that you have, whether it is for burgers, French toast, or even madame croquette. Plan to wait in line for weekend brunch or visit on the weekday to skip the line altogether. Remember to scope the area for the few public parking lots that offer free 90-minute parking.
Russell’s, 30 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA, +1 626 578 1404
If you are looking for something a little different, brunch with a twist is done right at the cute and homey Abricott. The menu is filled with Asian fusion options that are inspired by dishes from Vietnam, Thailand, etc. For people leaning more towards breakfast, the Chinese doughnuts and the breakfast crêpe are sure-to-please choices. For those leaning more towards lunch, the spicy pork belly sandwich and the tuna soba salad are customer favorites. If you aren’t feeling extremely adventurous, Abricott also offers the delicious items that are normally seen on brunch menus, including French toast and the Abricott burger.
Abricott, 238 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA, +1 626 796 1613
Want an Instagram-worthy brunch? Lincoln has you covered with bright lighting, hipster vibes, beautiful food, and adorable decor. Before taking any pictures, order the hearty breakfast bowl or their special crab Benedict. After the meal, you can grab a sweet treat for dessert or breakfast for tomorrow at their bakery display filled with heavenly delights, such as scones, cakes, and croissants. If you like coffee, try a cup of their Stumptown coffee and be surprised by the amazing taste and great punch of caffeine.
Lincoln, 1992 Lincoln Ave, Pasadena, CA, +1 626 795 6746
Lunasia Dim Sum House
Lunasia Dim Sum House, one of the newer additions to the dim sum restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, offers a modern take on traditional dim sum (the Cantonese version of brunch complete with aromatic tea). Instead of getting overwhelmed browsing through carts full of steaming hot dim sum, diners at Lunasia can sit back and order their food by filling out an order form. This makes Lunasia a great place for first-time dim sum eaters. The bigger-than-normal har gow and siu mai are must-orders, as well as the hot almond milk with puff pastry.
Lunasia Dim Sum House, 293 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA,+1 626 793 8822
Only offering brunch on weekends, Copa Vida is probably your best bet for skipping the weekend lines while simultaneously being satisfied with the quality of the food. From the brunch menu, the rich and creamy croque madame and the refreshing and light kale salad are favorites. Round off your meal with a refreshing tea or a frothy coffee drink that is topped off with cute latte art. During the weekdays, Copa Vida has decent breakfast and lunch menus and free Wi-Fi. This makes it a great place for meetings or studying.
Copa Vida, 70 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA, +1 626 213 3952
Located in an easy-to-miss renovated historic home, The Raymond is filled with vintage old-world charm. Their menu has original dishes, such as the Dutch baby and the togarashi-crusted ahi, as well as the option to create your own omelet. They also have four different types of eggs Benedict, but The Classic eggs Benedict topped with their perfect hollandaise sauce is probably the tastiest in the area. If the weather isn’t too bad, request a table at the quaint, beautiful patio that is complete with chandeliers and plenty of shade.
The Raymond, 1250 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA, +1 626 441 3136
Le Grande Orange Café
Brunch in Pasadena wouldn’t complete without a mention of Le Grande Orange Café. The wait might be a little long, but the bottomless mimosas and yummy food make it worth it. Their take on deviled eggs complete with bacon bits is legendary and highly raved about. Anything you choose on the large menu, with choices like the prime rib French dip and the crab cake Benedict, is sure to be delicious. Check the cafe’s promotions page online for information on the good deals that they offer.
Le Grande Orange Café, 260 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA, +1 626 356 4444