The 14 most romantic spots in Pasadena for Valentine’s Day

Trying to figure out where to spend Valentine’s Day when you live in Pasadena? The city is loaded with fun, inspiring, and romantic spots that are perfect for everything from a date night in Old Town Pasadena to a proposal. We’ve brought together our 14 favorite romantic spots in Pasadena for February 14 or for any time of the year.

1. Union

L.A. Weekly anointed Union in Old Town one of its “10 best restaurants in Pasadena,” and they’re hardly alone. Renowned chef Jacques Pepin recently said that it’s his favorite restaurant in L.A.

The food at this Northern Italian restaurant will definitely put you in the mood. “The menu 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.”

2. Huntington Library and Gardens

If you’re not singing the praises of the Huntington Library and Gardens, it must be because you just haven’t been there yet. “The Huntington’s 120 acres of botanical gardens are endless and amazing,” said TIME. “It’s not just rose gardens or herb gardens — they’ve got full-on ecosystems: a Japanese garden, Chinese garden, jungle, desert, lily ponds, a subtropical garden.”

It’s a favorite place for proposals in L.A., but you’ll be feeling the love on Valentine’s Day (and the entire weekend, February 10–12), whether or not a ring is involved. “Make a date with someone special to enjoy a romantic day at The Huntington during Valentine’s Day weekend,” they said. “Stroll hand in hand among the winter blooms in the gardens, visit our world-class exhibitions, enjoy Valentine’s specials at our various food venues and stop by the Huntington Store for a romantic selection of Valentine-inspired gifts!”

3. Swing Dancing

How about a little something different to bring you and your love (or future love) together. Head to Lindygroove every Thursday and swing dance the lindy hop on
a floating wooden dance floor in the Grand Ballroom of the Historic 1926 Pasadena Masonic Hall. Not sure how to lindy hop? Take a lesson!

And don’t miss their I Love Lindy Hop Valentine’s Day Celebration on Thursday, Feb. 9, a whole night of dancing and photo booth fun.

4. Bistro 45

Bistro 45 bills itself as “authentic New American and French-style cuisine restaurant that encompasses both a traditional and contemporary setting,” and that’s just what foodies love about it. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in Pasadena for date night and is renowned for its menu, its service, and its romantic setting. There are two seatings on Valentine’s Day, with a special menu that includes lobster ravioli, Chilean seabass, and wagyu flat iron.

5. The Pasadena Playhouse

A night at the theater—is there anything more romantic? Especially when you can stay right in Pasadena. Head to the Pasadena Playhouse to see God Looked Away, starring Al Pacino. You’ll appreciate the Tennessee Williams story plus the historic building and detailed architecture. And right next door, RedWhite+Bluezz Jazz Club is offering a special Valentine’s Day Jazz Dinner.

6. Café Santorini

Secluded, intimate, and romantic—that’s how this Old Town Pasadena restaurant has been described, and it fits. On the second floor of One Colorado in a historic brick building, the restaurant offers both an intimate dining room and a romantic outdoor patio where you can dine with a view of the Milky Way.

The food stands up to the setting; Café Santorini was the winner of OpenTable’s 2016 Diner’s Choice. “Tucked in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, Cafe Santorini is the spot to be in,” they said, “offering a variety of delicious Mediterranean dishes.”

The restaurant also operates the adjacent Rococo Room, one of the area’s most popular wedding spots (hint, hint), with room for up to 150 people.

7. The Raymond

This quaint and entrancing restaurant features modern American food served on a romantic patio surrounded by greenery and covered to protect from the elements. Their special Valentine’s Day Tasting Menu offers a four-course meal with a sparkling toast.

8. Norton Simon Museum

The museum offers some of the best art you’ll see anywhere in So Cal. Van Gogh’s Bedroom, and States of Mind, chronicling Picasso’s Lithographs from 1945–1960, are both currently on exhibit. And don’t miss the serene Sculpture Garden, with a pond filled with water lilies.

9. City Hall

If you’re strolling through Old Town, the domed, Renaissance architecture of City Hall is a great place to explore hand-in-hand. It’s a gorgeous setting to take pictures or enjoy the courtyard, garden, and fountain.

Have a little touristy fun and document the sites that have been on TV and in the movies: “The courtyard was used in the 1995 movie ‘A Walk in the Clouds’ to portray a Napa Valley town square,” said Wikipedia. “It has also been used as an embassy in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ television series, and a villa in Charlie Chaplin’s Oscar-nominated 1940 film ‘The Great Dictator.’ Pasadena City Hall also served as the city hall of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, in the television show Parks and Recreation. The dome is visible through the window of the main characters’ apartment building in the television show The Big Bang Theory, set in Pasadena.”

10. The Langham Huntington Hotel

It’s the historic luxury hotel in the heart of Pasadena, and whether you spend your time strolling the gardens, hitting the spa, or never leave your room, your stay will scream, “Romance.”

Valentine’s Day at The Royce, the Langham’s high-end steakhouse, means a special four-course prix-fixe menu and optional wine pairings. Two seating are offered: Saturday, Feb. 11, and Tuesday, Feb. 14. Or, celebrate at The Tap Room. Plush, pretty, and perfectly primed for a romantic date, the Tap Room is a must even if you’re not staying at the Langham. They have live music several days a week, including on Valentine’s Day, and don’t miss Langham Libations, “a specially-curated menu of four specialty cocktails that are only be available” here.

11. Café Bizou

“Cafe Bizou is a cozy and candle-lit restaurant featuring Francophile foods,” said Pasadena Now. It will definitely give you the romantic vibe, especially if you order a dish like the lobster, sea scallop and shrimp, which comes on a sexy bed of black tagallini pasta.

12. Descanso Gardens

Although Descanso Gardens is actually in nearby La Cañada Flintridge, it’s impossible to leave it off a list of most romantic date-night spots in Pasadena. Not only is it filled with beautiful, serene places to enjoy, but there is now a popular restaurant from two favorite L.A. chefs on site.

“This massive botanical garden (over 150 acres!) got even cooler this month when it opened its new restaurant, Maple (run by hotshot Patina Group), where you can get righteous weekend brunch dishes like fried chicken and beignets or huevos rancheros, said Thrillist in its rundown of best L.A. date ideas.” On Valentine’s Day, the restaurant will be serving a special five-course dinner with two seatings and available wine pairings.

13. Eaton Canyon Natural Area

You don’t have to travel far to hike among beautiful scenery in the area. Eaton Canyon Natural Area is a 190-acre zoological, botanical, and geological nature preserve right here in Pasadena at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. Hiking and nature trails plus a seasonal stream, natural habitats, and picnic areas await.

14. Ambassador Gardens

One of the most serene and romantic spots in Pasadena is right outside our front door—literally. The historic Ambassador Gardens offer a century-plus of grandeur and alluring natural beauty, with a rambling lawn, lush gardens, majestic oaks, meandering walkways, and soothing fountains and streams. The opportunity to live in Pasadena among this iconic landscape has drawn attention to Villas at the Ambassador Gardens, the newest luxury condos for sale in Old Town Pasadena.

For more information about these luxury townhomes in Pasadena, offering a lock-and-leave lifestyle with spacious floorplans, gourmet kitchens, private outdoor spaces, and elevators in each unit, visit Villas at the Ambassador Gardens. You can also click here to be added to the VIP Interest List.

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