Known for its lively and charming Old Town, Pasadena is also home to some of the best bars in California. Use this list as inspiration for your next bar-hopping adventure.
The Blind Donkey
Bar, American, $$$
Courtesy of The Daily Pint
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bar, Wine Bar, Bodega, Pub Grub, American, Wine, Beer, $$$
Bodega Wine Bar | Courtesy of Bodega Wine Bar
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.
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.