Pasadena’s best restaurants are also some of the best in all of So Cal
The Pasadena dining scene is one of the true stars in all of Southern California, with some of L.A.’s top restaurants covering nearly every type of cuisine and ranging from casual to fine fare. Living in Old Town Pasadena also means being able to walk to many of Pasadena’s best restaurants, which has made new luxury condos for sale like Villas at the Ambassador Gardens a favorite of high-end homebuyers who also happen to be foodies—or just like to have options for a great night out. Looking for Pasadena’s best restaurants or just curious to see if your old favorite landed on our list? Read on.
The Terrace at the Langham Huntington Hotel, a Pasadena landmark, is a California bistro that offers a more casual option to the hotel’s steakhouse, The Royce, but the food is still impressive. We’re especially partial to their Dim Sum Brunch on Sundays.
The Royce is the place to be for succulent steaks with a view of the hotel gardens. For a unique experience, reserve the in-kitchen Chef’s Table, which seats up to eight guests and “includes a personalized seven-course tasting menu featuring the finest cuts of steak, select seafood and other seasonal market provisions.”
More favorite steakhouse fare can be found at the popular Del Frisco’s Grille, widely regarded as one of Pasadena’s best restaurants, but the non-steak menu is just as tasty. A few faves: Ahi Tacos and Deviled Eggs from the appetizer menu, Prime Beef Short Rib Stroganoff as an entrée, and the Truffled Mac ‘N Cheese side.
Secluded, intimate, and romantic, the Old Town Pasadena restaurant Café Santorini is located on the second floor of One Colorado in a historic brick building, offering a romantic outdoor patio with a view. The food stands up to the setting; With its “delicious Mediterranean dishes,” Café Santorini was the winner of OpenTable’s 2016 Diner’s Choice.
One of Pasadena’s best restaurants is the popular French-Japanese fusion eatery Maison Akira, offering favorite dishes like Grilled Duck Foie Gras on Daikon Confit and Miso-marinated Grilled Chilean Sea Bass. For a real culinary treat, partake in one of the Prix Fixe Menus, with four, five, or seven gourmet courses.
Casual gastropub Plate 38 calls itself a “Pasadena Neighborhood Restaurant, Bar & Grill,” and the vibe is cool and friendly (plus, the food is creative and yummy). Don’t miss the Roasted Bone Marrow small plate, and Mary’s Farm Organic Fried Chicken Dinner.
Celestino is one of Pasadena’s best restaurants and a perennial favorite of traditional Italian fans. You can’t go wrong with any of their pasta dishes, but do yourself a favor and bring your appetite for the Bistecca alla Fiorentina or the Ossobuco alla Milanese.
Sushi Roku is a favorite Pasadena hotspot both for its sushi and its ambiance. Come for their daily happy hour, when you can load up your plate with all kinds of options like Albacore Tacos and the Spicy Yellowtail Hand Roll, and take advantage of drink specials.
“Cafe Bizou is a cozy and candle-lit restaurant featuring Francophile foods,” said Pasadena Now. Favorite dishes include the lobster, sea scallop and shrimp on a bed of black tagallini pasta and the Chicken Balsamic, with a sauce that’s so good you’ll want to drink it.
Pasadena patio dining is at its best at Green Street Restaurant, with innovative food adding to the allure. Their array of salads make this a favorite spot for lunch. We’ve been known to close our eyes and point when we can’t decide between the Dianne, their version of Chinese chicken salad; the Cornucopia, with chicken breast, avocado, raisins, dried cranberries, apples, mandarin oranges, green onions, toasted almonds and blue cheese crumbles; and the Southwest Caesar with Chicken a jazzed-up, Mexican-style Caesar.
L.A. Weekly called Union in Old Town Pasadena and walkable from Villas at the Ambassador Gardens one of Pasadena’s best restaurants and they’re in good company. Renowned chef Jacques Pepin recently said that Union is his favorite restaurant in L.A. The Northern Italian fare impresses with a menu that “is interesting and hyper-seasonal, and it’s still one of the toughest reservations in the neighborhood,” they said. “Pasadena needed a place like this, with staggeringly good cacio e pepe and a thunderous porchetta, where the bread comes with delicious giardiniera and the star dessert is olive oil cake.”
For more information about Pasadena’s best restaurants or living in Pasadena, visit Villas at the Ambassador Gardens. This neighborhood of new luxury townhomes in Old Town Pasadena offers an upscale lock-and-leave lifestyle and walkability to all Pasadena’s best restaurants as well as the area’s great shops and activities. Villas presents spacious floor plans with up to 3,717 square feet of living space, Mediterranean-influenced architectural detail, fine interior appointments and top-of-the-line materials, and features including gourmet kitchens, private terraces/roof decks, four-car garages, and elevators in each unit.