The Blind Donkey
With its discrete street entrance, it’s easy to miss The Blind Donkey, but you won’t want to. You’ll love the bar’s sophisticated yet relaxed charm. The brick walls that dress up the interior complement the wooden accents throughout the establishment (like the shuffleboard next to the window).
The Blind Donkey, 53 E Union St, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 792 1833
White Horse Lounge
Probably the most elegant bar in the area with its high-backed chairs and cherry wood bar, the White Horse Lounge serves up quite the classy — but not stuffy — atmosphere. Try any one of their drinks (they’ve got quite an impressive whiskey selection) with their truffle fries.
White Horse, 41 S De Lacey Ave, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 583 9013
High, bannered ceilings, communal tables and an all-wood interior make Der Wolfskopf perfect for watching a game of soccer with your co-workers after a long day. It’s a slightly noisy, dim-lit bar with a cozy feel.
Der Wolfskopf, 72 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 219 6054
Dog Haus Biergarten
The perfect bar if you’re up to a game of Jenga or Scrabble, Dog Haus Biergarten’s vibe is nothing but chill, both inside and out — seriously, have a drink either inside the bar or outside on one of the long wooden tables.
Dog Haus Biergarten, 93 E Green St, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 683 0808
Did anyone say Happy Hour? Magnolia House has some of the best cocktails and Happy Hour dishes in town. Come here for a Marigold Cocktail and some Belgian fries, and bask in Magnolia’s rustic, summery vibe.
Magnolia House, 492 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 584 1126
The Colorado Bar
Looks can be deceiving, but don’t pass by the somewhat hidden entrance to The Colorado Bar. This dive bar located right in the middle of — you guessed it — Colorado Boulevard is a crowd favorite. However, The Colorado Bar is rarely crowded. So if you’re not feeling the stuffiness that usually comes with bars, this is your place.
The Colorado Bar, 2640 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 449 3485
Here’s the thing: you need a password to get into The Speakeasy. (Pro-tip: email them, ask other folks in line, or make friends with the bouncers.) Once you’re in, you’ll feel like the coolest person in Pasadena — not because of the password, but because of the amazing cocktails. A favorite is the Pot of Milk, which is exactly what it sounds like, except (of course) spiked.
The Speakeasy, 25 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 676 1205
Bodega Wine Bar, Pasadena
If you’re fan of a killer grilled cheese and soju drinks, Bodega Wine Bar, Pasadena might just be a dream come true. Bodega is hip but not pretentious, and the staff is amazingly friendly. Come here after work for a late Happy Hour — Thursday to Sunday, 10pm to close.
Congregation Ale House
Arguably one of the coolest bars in the nation with its church-themed interior, Congregation Ale House is a must-visit for any beer- or bar-lover visiting Pasadena. If you can, come for on Mondays for ‘Monday Mass’: Happy Hour all day.
Congregation Ale House, 300 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 403 2337
T. Boyles Tavern
One of the neighborhood’s staples, T. Boyles Tavern is to Pasadena what Cheers (Cheers) is to Boston, Massachusetts. It’s the perfect place to feel at home in Pasadena just by having a beer and maybe a burger.
T. Boyles Tavern, 37 N Catalina Ave, Pasadena, CA, USA, +1 626 578 0957