Asian Food Guide to Pasadena

April 28, 2023 | Posted in Food

Pasadena is a culinary passport to the robust Asian American Pacific Islander culture in the San Gabriel Valley.

Hot Pot, Dim Sum, KBBQ & JBBQ: Gathering Around Food

In Asian cultures, interactive eating around a shared experience, whether it's a hot pot, a grill, or dim sum, is the ultimate family or group experience at the table. Try spicy Chinese hot pot at Chong Qing Yao Mei, Taiwanese hot pot at Boiling Point Concept, Korean BBQ at SOH Grill House, Chinese-Japanese Shabu at Yuzu Shabu + Grill, and Japanese BBQ at Gyu-Kaku. Linger over small plated delights and tea and savor the Cantonese flavors at Lunasia Dim Sum, Colette and Mama Lu's Dumpling House.

Southeast Asian Restaurants

Pasadena's Southeast Asian restaurants satisfy with delicious hole-in-the-wall spots and sleek, modern restaurants serving Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese staples.

Try the famous 36-hour broth at Bone Kettle, where the oxtail dumplings and lumpia appetizers pair perfectly with sake cocktails. Head to My Vegan to satisfy a Thai craving with a full menu of vegan options. If you're in Old Pasadena, stop into Paper Rice for a light and tasty snack of spring rolls.

South Asian Restaurants

Rich in spices, South Asian cuisine in Pasadena comes alive in the Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese restaurants, where you can enjoy rich butter chicken, delicious dosas, abundant thalis, and beyond.

Japanese Restaurants

For those looking for a place to get shabu shabu, sushi, and Japanese comfort food, Osawa is the place to be. The chef there invented the tuna tartare. Of course, ramen is a token of Japanese cuisine, and you can get it at Ramen Tatsunoya. Searching for something heavy and savory? And for the most popular of Japanese foods – sushi and poke bowls – the list goes on and on with places like Mama M Sushi & Rolls, Poke Salad Bar, Roll Factory by Stray Cat, Sushi Enya, and Sushi Roku.

Pasadena Boba Trail

Rooted in local Asian American history and cultural relevance, Pasadena’s boba culture is a vibrant celebration of the Taiwanese tea-based beverage typically containing tea, milk and milk alternatives, and tapioca balls known as boba or pearls. With a variety of flavors, toppings, and formats, boba is the perfect personalized drink to enjoy with friends, while shopping, and exploring the must-see places on Pasadena’s historic Route 66.

Visit the trail