Best Pasadena Restaurants & Food: Beyond Los Angeles

Pasadena Food Tour with Amara Bakery
Pasadena Food Tour with Amara Bakery

Watch our video of the best Pasadena restaurants and a food tour you just can’t miss.

In Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl history and diverse cuisines combine with movie sets and outdoor adventure. This dreamy California location is home to hundreds of restaurants offering an enticing array of tasty options. Pasadena is also a big Los Angeles filming location with movies and TV shows like Back to the Future, Father of the Bride, Mad Men and more having shot scenes here.

Here are some of my top picks and ways to experience the Pasadena food scene. Many of these Old Town Pasadena restaurants are within walking distance of one another in case you want to stroll from one to the next. 

Food Tours of Pasadena and Pasadena Restaurants

Take a culinary tour with Melting Pot Food Tours and discover everything from LA wine to chocolate. Lisa Scalia took me to her favorite place for Mexican tortas before dessert at Mignon Chocolate, which started as a bakery in the Ukraine in the early 1900s and is now a Pasadena staple for chocolate lovers.

You can most certainly try your favorite type of cuisine in Pasadena, whether you like French or Spanish. I recommend making a stop at Amara Cafe & Restaurant for Venezuelan arepas and some of the best churros hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted. Amara Cafe is owned by female entrepreneur Amara Barroeta, who I was able to meet while visiting. It has won the BEST OF PASADENA award from 2012 to 2020! This is a top lunch spot or to stop for a snack.

Head to Bone Kettle, another Old Town Pasadena restaurant, where Southeast Asian cuisine includes hearty broths and meats and small plates meant to be shared and savored. Bone Kettle’s bone broth is made using time-honored cooking techniques and fresh ingredients. Chef Erwin Tjahyadi leads this family-owned venture. 

Finally, get your baklava on at Old Sasoon Bakery, an Armenian bakery owned and run by Joseph Geragosian, whose dad, Haroutioun Geragosian, began working at his family’s Aleppo bakery at age 13. At Old Sasoon Bakery, you can get amazing baklava and also vegetarian sandwiches, handy to take with you on a hiking adventure into the Angeles National Forest, which has trails right in the town of Pasadena. The views from these trails of Los Angeles are amazing! 

It’s all on tap in Pasadena, where fabulous food and culture combine for a sweet experience whether you visit from near or far.

Travel Tip! Check out our Los Angeles Beach & Active vacation itinerary to build a California vacation around this itinerary and let Cathy with our Preferred Provider of Travel Services customize an LA and Beyond trip for you.