15 Best Restaurants in Pasadena, CA

Best Restaurants in Pasadena, CA
Sundry Photography / shutterstock.com

Pasadena is a charming city in Los Angeles County, California, teeming with numerous tourist spots and outdoor recreation.

Before you start or after you explore the city’s great surprises, the trip won’t be completed without dining at one, two, or more restaurants.

You must also catch your breath as you take a break from your exciting tour to energize.

That said, you have to pick the best restaurants in the city where you can enjoy eating delicious meals.

Whether alone, with friends, with family, or with special someone, there’s something tasty to eat, from American to Asian cuisine.

Here are some of the best restaurants in Pasadena, California:

Parkway Grill

Fried fish at Parkway Grill
Parkway Grill via Yelp.com

Since its opening in 1984, Parkway Grill, also known as “the Spago of Pasadena,” has been one of the favorite fine dining establishments in the city.

This posh restaurant, which offers delicious Californian cuisine, uses fresh produce from its on-premise organic garden.

Don’t miss their signature dishes like whole ginger fried catfish with yuzu ponzu, caraway rice, and cucumber-mint relish and braised short rib with creamy polenta, green harissa, and braising juices.

Their famous lobster cocoa crepe served with leeks, mozzarella, and lobster sauce embellished with crema fresca and micro cilantro won’t disappoint you.

If you miss or haven’t tasted their roasted heirloom beet salad, filet mignon, and pizza Bianco, you should try these, too.

Aside from their award-winning wine cellar, which has a vast selection of wines served by the glass, they also have many cocktails and spirits on their menu.

Many folks also commend the place’s stylish space, exquisite artwork, and great atmosphere.

Enjoy a relaxing fine dining experience at the Parkway Grill on South Arroyo Parkway.

The Raymond 1886

Short rib served at The Raymond 1886
The Raymond 1886 via Yelp.com

Get a hearty meal at The Raymond 1886 in the famous Raymond Hotel, which dates back to the 19th century.

It features four menus: dinner, brunch, happy hour, and dinela.

Taste their short rib (featuring mashed potatoes, green beans, baby white turnips, demi-glace, and parsnip chips) and ocean trout (featuring wheatberry salad, mixed greens, Brussels, wilted tomato, basil oil, and smoked goat cheese).

Some menu items you might like are steak tartare, lemon basil panna cotta, calabasitas, eggs benedict, and smoked salmon toast.

The quaint restaurant has a garden patio, bar, and a cozy ambiance.

You’ll enjoy a sophisticated dining experience with your buddies at The Raymond 1886 on South Fair Oaks Avenue.


Artichoke at Houston’s
Houston’s via Yelp.com

Located on South Arroyo Parkway nearby Central Park, Houston’s is an upscale dining chain serving American cuisine.

Its menu items feature tasty burgers, steaks, seafood, salads, and more.

Diners love its spinach and artichoke dip with salsa, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

You should check out sushi options like the coconut shrimp roll and spicy tuna roll.

Try double-cut pork chop with Pommery mustard and braised red cabbages for the entrée.

Likewise, the perfectly cooked Hawaiian steak with pineapple-soy-ginger marinade served with French fries is a must-try.

Houston’s has an elegant interior with rustic colors and dim lighting, giving it a cozy, vintage atmosphere.

Before visiting Houston’s, make sure first to check out its dining guidelines, including the dress code, so that you can dine inside and enjoy American fare with your companions.


Pasta served at Union
Union via Yelp.com

Tucked on East Union Street, Union serves traditional Italian-influenced farm-to-table dishes.

The restaurant’s menu features the 14-day dry-aged ribeye and wild striped bass, which are excellent for the main course.

For pasta lovers, choose tonnarelli cacio e pepe, bucatini carbonara, or the famous squid ink lumache.

Don’t forget to try their wild mushrooms and polenta, either.

You can also match your delicious food with Union’s good selection of Italian and Californian wines.

Besides its beautiful wine bar, Union has bright, brick-walled surroundings, a snug ambiance, and friendly staff.

Tibet Nepal House

Dumplings at Tibet Nepal House
Tibet Nepal House via Yelp.com

Founded in 2001, Tibet Nepal House is well-known for serving authentic Himalayan cuisine of Nepal, India, and Tibet.

The delicious yak momo, steamed ground yak stuffed dumplings, is a great choice of appetizer.

Then, pick the incomparable yak stew, which is yak meat cooked with onion, garlic, potatoes, caraway seed, and Himalayan spices.

If you’re a seafood lover, you might want to give a try of shrimp saag, fish curry vindaloo, or fish masala.

If you want meatless food, try vegetable sekuwa served with bell peppers, onions, Himalayan spices, mushrooms, tofu, and eggplants.

Their extensive menu items offer plenty of choices, but if you can’t choose the best for you, try asking for their best dish.

Interestingly, Tibet Nepal House is known for using only the finest and freshest herbs and spices typical to Himalayan cooking, including garlic, turmeric, cumin, black and white cardamom, and more.

Enjoy delicious, healthy foods at this vibrant dining establishment on East Holly Street, just a few footsteps from Pasadena Memorial Park.

La Grande Orange Café

Brussels Sprout Salad at La Grande Orange Café
La Grande Orange Café via Yelp.com

La Grande Orange Café is a New American dining spot with a historical vibe.

It’s because it’s housed in the restored Del Mar Train Station, a historic building from 1984.

What you’ll see on their menu are regionally influenced take on Californian classics.

In addition, the cooks make your food with fresh products from the local farmers’ market.

Get energized by trying taco platters, salads, sandwiches, crispy chicken, and their award-winning wood-fired pizzas.

If you haven’t tasted their delicious English muffins, famous white sangria, and deviled eggs, this is the time to check these out.

Have a drink of the Otis Bar’s signature cocktails, wines, or draft beers with your friends, too!

You’ll find La Grande Orange Café on South Raymond Avenue.

Old Sasoon Bakery

Khachapuri at Old Sasoon Bakery
Old Sasoon Bakery via Yelp.com

Located on Allen Avenue, Old Sasoon Bakery is known for serving fresh traditional Middle Eastern-inspired foods.

You can order their best-known Middle Eastern flatbreads like lahmacun and Maneesh, then khachapuri, a Georgian dish bread.

Baklava, a popular Middle Eastern dessert, is available here, too.

From beoregs and flatbreads to pastries and desserts, there’s something delectable to taste here.

You’ll enjoy eating Old Sasoon Bakery’s products at low prices.


Guacamole at Maestro
Maestro via Yelp.com

Enjoy a worthwhile meal at Maestro, which serves marvelous authentic Mexican cuisine in Pasadena.

You can start your meal with tetela, an organic blue corn masa with huitlacoche, tomatillo salsa, black bean puree, and quesillo.

For the main, try the lamb shank, a braised bone-in lamb shank served with Mexican rice, tortillas, and roasted chili sauce.

Meanwhile, the delicious tres leches carrot cake and guava cheesecake won’t disappoint.

The upscale restaurant also has a vast selection of mezcal and tequila.

You can notice the place’s rustic setting, too.

Visit Maestro on East Union Street for fun-filled Mexican eats with family and friends!


Sushi served at Osawa
Osawa via Yelp.com

If you’re craving Asian cuisine, Osawa might be one of the best options.

It’s a Japanese sushi restaurant that opened in 2013 and is one of the busiest dining spots in the city.

Some of the great picks from their menu are shokado bento, sukiyaki, and premium omakase sushi with miso soup.

Many folks order from the shabu shabu menu, which you shouldn’t forget, featuring items like wagyu, Black Angus ribeye, and kurobuta pork loin.

Besides its excellent food, you’ll delight at Osawa as its stylish interior highlights blond-wood-accented touches and a beautiful ambiance.

It also has a long bar where guests can watch the restaurant’s amazing chefs prepare sushi rolls.

Enjoy local fresh, authentic Japanese cuisine at Osawa on North Raymond Avenue.

Bone Kettle

Crab Nasi at Bone Kettle
Bone Kettle via Yelp.com

On North Raymond Avenue, you’ll find Bone Kettle, a family-owned and operated Southeast Asian restaurant.

You’ll find cuisines from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, and the Philippines.

Try bone broth, prime fatty brisket, ube waffles, Singaporean chili lobster, and their specials like kinalaw na scallop, a Filipino-style scallop ceviche with Nam Pla, cilantro, red and green onions, Fresno chili.

Another great option is bone marrow, which comes with scallion confit, red endives, grilled baguettes, baby frisse, pears, apples, and citrus dressing.

Bone Kettle’s menu is mostly Indonesian, including a yellow curry called gule and fried rice named nasi goreng.

Whether you prefer sweet, spicy, or vinegary, you’ll find something that suits your palate here at this elegant restaurant.

Ramen Tatsunoya

Delicious food served at Ramen Tatsunoya
Ramen Tatsunoya via Yelp.com

Founded in 1999 in Japan, Ramen Tatsunoya opened its first location in the United States in Pasadena in 2015.

This brick-walled restaurant serves traditional ramen, gyoza, special sushi rolls, and sake.

You’ll enjoy the chef-recommended koku, which features a rich broth, pork back fat, umami paste, onions, and garlic-infused oil.

Try edamame fried with salt and sesame oil or a tatsunoya roll with rice, cod roe, avocado, and chopped chasu.

If you want to try their quality ramen, you’re always welcome at Ramen Tatsunoya on North Fair Oaks Avenue.


Breakfast at Russell’s
Russell’s via Yelp.com

You can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Russell’s on North Fair Oaks Avenue.

Enjoy a hearty meal by choosing scrumptious menu items.

Try the breakfast burrito, which comes in three scrambled eggs topped with sausage, bacon, and melted cheddar cheese wrapped in a large flour tortilla with hash browns.

The Croque monsieur, a must-try house specialty, is a tasty classic French ham and cheese sandwich.

Their Belgian waffle is delicious.

They have breakfast cocktails like a mimosa, beverages like lemonade and hot chocolate, and side orders like corned beef hash.

There’s so much to pick from their lengthy menu items, from yummy foods to flavorful drinks.

Russell’s is a bistro-like establishment featuring American comfort dishes, plus Italian and French fare.

Perry’s Joint

Sandwich at Perry’s Joint
Perry’s Joint via Yelp.com

Don’t skip Perry’s Joint, which has been around in the city since 2004, on North Lincoln Avenue.

Have some of their tastiest famous original handcrafted gourmet-style sandwiches!

Try the chicken Mingus, a chicken salad sandwich with lettuce, sliced green apples, tomato, mayo, and mustard.

Otherwise, choose the savory hip max, the guru, the big band, or the Hey Joe!

Their sandwiches are higher and bigger than the customers’ mouths, and prices are affordable.

Perry’s Joint also serves shakes, ice cream, sundaes, and soft drinks.

You’ll enjoy your food, the jazz music playing in the background, and many fantastic jazz albums adorning the walls.

Lunasia Dim Sum House

Lobster fried rice at Lunasia Dim Sum House
Lunasia Dim Sum House via Yelp.com

Lunasia Dim Sum House lies on East Colorado Boulevard.

If you happen to be looking for a Chinese restaurant in the city, this should be the first spot that comes to mind.

Try the chef-recommended deep-fried sole fillet, wonton with chili oil, and pan-fried rice noodles with XO hot sauce.

Pick hot and sour soup for the soup, then Macao-style egg custard for the dessert, and pan-fried noodles with a veggie for the noodle and rice.

You might also like Chinese tea menu items like Fujian shoumei, a white tea, and Yunnan pu’erkh, a black tea.

Note that there are plenty of items to peruse and choose from their extensive menu.

To add, Lunasia Dim Sum House’s spacious setting has simple décor and comfy seats with tables covered with white tablecloths.


Octopus Prix Fixe at Perle
Perle via Yelp.com

Located on East Union Street, Perle is a family-owned French-inspired restaurant that deserves a visit.

Enjoy the romantic vibe at Perle with your special someone with well-curated French food.

For the classic starter, get the escargot—wild burgundy snails served in the shell, garlic, herbed butter, and pistachio panko crust.

For the main, go with coq au vin with red wine braised chicken legs, bacon lardons, mushrooms, Perle onions, and pomme purée.

However, you’re free to select your favored items from their full menu, including side dishes and their great selection of wines to pair your food.

Visit Perle on East Union Street!

Final Thoughts

Pasadena is a city with many beautiful attractions and thrilling activities.

Before or after you explore the city’s magnificence, you need to degust so you can continue what you’re bound to do.

So, dine at these best restaurants in Pasadena, California!

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