Dining in Pasadena

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PASADENA, CA – Located less than 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena is graced by jacaranda trees along its main streets and boulevards. This vibrant city is much more than just big parades and football games.  This historic town boasts world-class art collections, historic landmarks, and is loaded with entertainment and nightlife to enjoy. And while relishing in all there is to see and do, restaurants, bars and wonderful dining options are waiting to be experienced.
Serving cuisine from all parts of the world, Pasadena offers more than 500 restaurants ranging from charming outdoor cafes to elegant dining rooms and everything in between.  Steak aficionados can dine at Pasadena’s signature steakhouses, including the renowned Arroyo Chophouse. For those who crave something more exotic, fusion restaurants like Maison Akira offers fine French cuisine with a Japanese flair. For hotel guests, The Royce at The Langham Huntington has the distinction of being the only Michelin star-rated hotel restaurant in Southern California. And just minutes off of the historic Route 66, bistros and cafes like Avanti Café’s gourmet wood-fired pizza and Bistro 45’s fresh French California cuisine line the streets.
A unique experience is offered at the 561 restaurant on East Green Street. Not only being one of Pasadena’s most upscale restaurants, it is the playing ground for one of the two internationally renowned Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Schools in California, the California School of Culinary Arts. Culinary students prepare both an exquisite tasting menu and a full dinner menu. Reservations are recommended, as the Le Cordon Bleu has been one of the leading authorities on culinary techniques, training and development for over a century.
When the sun goes down, the city certainly does not sleep along with it. Pasadena offers a plethora of bars and nightlife dotted throughout the city. Combining a lively, eclectic and sophisticated atmosphere featuring live music, flamenco dancing and late-night DJ's, Bar Celona is a taste of Spain in historic Old Pasadena.  And just down the block sits Bar Celona’s sister restaurant Villa Sorriso Ristorante & Bar. Main dining rooms and open courtyards are available in this charming Italian restaurant which serves over 20 specialty martinis in its stunningly modern and stylish martini bar and lounge area.
Pasadena’s three pedestrian-friendly districts offer a vast number of dining options:
In the 22 blocks of Old Pasadena, now a completely renovated entertainment district, the city’s 19th century architecture showcases more than 200 buildings dating back to the late 1800s. Old Pasadena’s Eden Garden Bar & Grill boasts a full calendar of entertainment with culinary masterpieces to salivate any palate!   For wine lovers, film producer Gale Anne Hurd and celebrated Chef Sara Levine offer an inspired menu complementing an extensive wine cellar at Vertical Wine Bistro.
European ambiance is most evident along the 10 blocks of South Lake Avenue, which is lined with upscale shops, restaurants and offices. South Lake Avenue exudes 1940s retro charm as a sophisticated cosmopolitan destination. After a long day of lugging around bags of new purchases, tired shoppers can dine at the elegant yet casual Celestino Ristorante Italiano. Homemade pastas and specialty dishes are a taste of Italy available during any shopper’s lunch or dinner.
The Playhouse District is home to summertime concerts, festivals, an annual art market and plenty of historical buildings from the 1900s-1930s. Noir Food & Wine, located in the Playhouse district on Mentor, presents Provencal, Piedmontese, and New Orleans-influenced small plates and offers an extensive wine selection for the enjoyment of any wine connoisseur.
In Pasadena, an exciting variety of restaurants and eateries are waiting to be discovered, experienced and enjoyed. It is a city with a mix of the best of the old and new, and it has lovingly combined its deep cultural heritage with its vibrant modern culture, making Pasadena one of Southern California’s most unique destinations.
The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau is a non-profit marketing organization dedicated to promoting Pasadena as a desirable meeting, convention and leisure travel destination.  For more information and assistance in planning meetings and special events in Pasadena, contact the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 307-7977 or log on to www.VisitPasadena.com.