Pasadena Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Pasadena

April 15, 2018 Darleen Reid

Most famous for hosting the annual New Year's Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl, Pasadena is more than just a football town. Its extravagant City Hall boasts a beautiful Baroque dome, a courtyard garden and relaxing fountain. On South Orange Boulevard, known as Millionaires' Row, there are landmarked mansions to rival the most opulent homes of Beverly Hills. That chattering in the air is probably the local population of naturalized Red-crowned Amazon parrots.
Things to do in Pasadena

1. Luggage Room Pizzeria

260 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, Pasadena, CA 91105-2014 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Valet Parking, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 626-356-4440
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 162 reviews

Luggage Room Pizzeria

Reviewed By snamber77 - Alhambra, California

This is my favorite place to eat. It's family friendly and its also a great place to go without kids too. They're extremely accommodating, best customer service of any restaurant around. The food is delicious, fresh and exciting. As a gluten free vegetarian, I love their Mother Earth pizza (with a GF crust), but I always add sauce on it. My husband is gluten free and enjoys their pizzas too. My dad is a huge meat eater, and loves the Gladiator Pizza, and he's usually hard to please but really enjoys it here. They have kids meals and kids size pizzas that come with fruit and fries. Their salads are really really good, fresh, tasty and finely chopped (so even the kids enjoy eating them). The only complaint is that the salad could be bigger since we order to share :).

2. Russell's

30 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103-3609 Television, Free Wifi, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Validated Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch SGD 9 - SGD 26 +1 626-578-1404
Excellent
53%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 327 reviews

Russell's

No description available.

Reviewed By mgriffis22 - rancho cucamonga

Excellent breakfast. Although line was long, wife and I grabbed a spot in the bar and ordered a full breakfast. Pancakes and sides were delicious. Unfortunately, biscuits and gravy tasted pretty average and could be better, but a solid breakfast for the price nonetheless. The ruby orange mimosas were also excellent!

3. La Grande Orange Cafe

260 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105-2014 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 39 - SGD 39 +1 626-356-4444
Excellent
53%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 495 reviews

La Grande Orange Cafe

Reviewed By James M - Las Vegas, New Mexico

Nice bar and very convenient on and off the light rail, but not sure I’d go back. Was told to quiet down numerous times and we weren’t even being loud. Plus we were on the end of the bar out of everyone’s way.
We think we might have offended a gal sitting within earshot with a politically incorrect comment and think that she was a regular, so must have complained about us. That’s the only explanation we could gather.
In fairness, we were so put-off that we only ordered some deviled eggs, payed our bill and left.

4. Parkway Grill

510 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105-2520 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 41 - SGD 105 +1 626-795-1001
Excellent
66%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 285 reviews

Parkway Grill

Since 1984, Parkway Grill has specialized in a seasonal, market-driven approach to cooking that incorporates diverse influences and classic French technique. Demonstrating the ultimate commitment to fresh produce, the Parkway Grill planted its own organic vegetable and herb garden behind the restaurant. Tiki Salad, Brick-Oven Baked Cambozola Pear Flat Bread, and Whole Ginger Fried Catfish are long-time favorites. The design of the Parkway Grill is a study in casual sophistication, striking a perfect balance between elegance and rustic approachability. The brick walls are adorned with elegant paintings by Millard Sheets and mixologists prepare hand-crafted cocktails at the expansive bar, an original from 1920's Chicago. Parkway's award-winning wine cellar, comprised of upwards of three thousand bottles, includes a broad selection of wines served by the glass.

Reviewed By semanticvision - Los Angeles, California

Not many places open for lunch on Dec 26, Parkway Grill came to rescue. Definitely more of an Old World charm with a comfortable lunge/bar and laid back dinning area. Menu includes both classics and dishes with a California twist, nice food with excellent service in a relaxed vibe.

5. Houston's

320 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105-2516 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa American, Sushi, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 54 - SGD 105 +1 626-577-6001
Excellent
62%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 546 reviews

Houston's

Reviewed By Vanessa R - Pasadena

Hands down one of the best restaurants in Pasadena. This is our go to date night place! The fish is to die for!

6. Gale's Italian Restaurant and Bar

452 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105-2634 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 12 - SGD 33 +1 626-432-6705
Excellent
58%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 328 reviews

Gale's Italian Restaurant and Bar

Reviewed By Ray Q - Pasadena, California

About half a mile south of the heart of Old Town Pasadena, this restaurant serves up great food from an almost overwhelmingly extensive menu: lots of regular items, even more specials, and a separate dessert menu (leave room, of course)! Friendly and fast service with good selection of cocktails and wines too. A really enjoyable night out!

7. Cafe Santorini

64 W Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103-3627 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Mediterranean, Greek, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 28 - SGD 39 +1 626-564-4200
Excellent
49%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 386 reviews

Cafe Santorini

Tucked in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, Cafe Santorini is the spot to be in. Offering a variety of delicious Mediterranean dishes and a romantic second floor patio. Perfect for a date, a family gathering or a celebration. Cafe Santorini also offers two large banquet venues in the Rococo Room and Pandora on Green.

Reviewed By JohnAnnColumbia_MD - Columbia, Maryland

We had supper at Café Santorini on Sat. 23 Sept. 2017. The chicken w/garlic potatoes, grilled vegetables & Porcini mushrooms ($21) was especially flavorful as was the grilled Kefta kebob with pilaf, grilled vegetables, humus & pita bread ($18). We had a fairly good whiskey sour and Chimay beer. We would definetly come back again and again. There’s much more to explore! Reservations recommended.
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8. Roy's Pasadena

641 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101-2005 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Private Dining, Accepts Credit Cards Polynesian, Hawaiian, American, Seafood, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 13 - SGD 39 +1 626-356-4066
Excellent
58%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 277 reviews

Roy's Pasadena

Blending classic techniques with adventurous Pacific Rim flavors, culinary pioneer Roy Yamaguchi created an entirely new approach to fine dining. The first Roy's opened in Honolulu in 1988 and we've spread our warm hospitality and passion for innovative and creative cuisine around the world ever since. Indulge in one of our spectacular cocktails or choose a glass from our award-winning wine list while you discover the fresh ingredients and outstanding seafood, expertly prepared by our local chefs that made us famous.

Reviewed By caryleach - Los Angeles, California

I always enjoy myself here..the food is delicious (short ribs are a favorite), and the service is typically good. Last Sunday however, the place was super-busy...we were told when we checked in that they were 'running behind' so we waited at the bar for a bit. Not sure if it was because it was so so busy or what, but the service was horrible - took longer than needed for our waiter to come back to us, took awhile to actually get our food, and no one ever asked if I wanted another drink. Hey, if you aren't going to ask, then I guess I'm not going to spend any more $$ on drinks. Also (coincidence?) somehow 'someone' got a hold of my Amex card that night...not sure if from the restaurant itself, but it's a good possibility....and tried to make some fraudulent charges the next morning. Overall - good food but be careful.

9. Union

37 E Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103-3923 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Dinner +1 626-795-5841
Excellent
68%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 142 reviews

Union

Reviewed By PrinceConsort - New York City, New York

Finally, a restaurant in Pasadena that knows how to cook pasta! This is a great restaurant. Everything we had was fabulous. The restaurant itself is small, simple, and informal. You are encouraged to share plates, but I refused. I wasn't going to share my food with anyone. Portions are small but were adequate for us. We had pork meatballs, an arugula salad, risotto, and potato leek agnolotti. The arugula salad was just that...what can you do with a simple green salad and dressing?...but the rest were exquisite. They have a small but nice selection of bottled beer and a good, if expensive, wine list.

This is an expensive restaurant...more or less the same as Parkway Grill. I think both are great, but while Parkway Grill is more formal and more of a traditional American restaurant, Union is much less formal and northern Italian with a twist. They say everything is prepared on site, all meat is butchered on site, etc. And if you are more of a pasta eater than a meat eater, this place is for you.

10. Green Street Restaurant

146 Shoppers Ln, Pasadena, CA 91101-2618 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night +1 626-577-7170
Excellent
46%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 415 reviews

Green Street Restaurant

Green Street Restaurant is where Pasadenans go to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner and it's been a Pasadena tradition since 1979. It is centrally located just off South Lake Avenue and is within walking distance of hotels, the convention center, the Pasadena Playhouse and popular shopping areas. Green Street has an eclectic menu featuring savory salads (the ever popular and addicting Dianne Salad is ordered over 2,000 times per week), tasty meats, fresh fish and creative sandwiches served on wonderful breads. Guests enjoy a full bar and interesting wines by the glass on a beautiful patio or in the airy interior. Take-out and full catering services are also available.

Reviewed By Steven B - San Francisco, CA

Brought a business group here for lunch. Very good menu, amazing zucchini bread for the table. Ordering a Caesar salad with grilled chicken had a good size portion for lunch. The Reuben looked delicious. Wait staff were friendly and attentive.

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