Pasadena Originals

Unique & Independent Shops

November 22, 2022 | Posted in Things To Do

Pasadena's small businesses are what make it a unique destination for thrifters, designers, and every-day shoppers. With so many independent stores sprinkled throughout the city, you can easily find one-of-a-kind items for friends, family and even something special for yourself.

April Blooms

14 E Bellevue Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91105

Shopping at April Blooms will make you look good, but it will also make you feel good. April Blooms strives to empower women to thrive and stand together. 2% of every purchase gets donated to A21, an organization that advocates for and free victims of human trafficking. Shop here and know that you're benefiting the community and your closet is so many ways.


100 N Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

Homage has a little bit for everyone. It's almost guaranteed that you will find something that catches your eye, and probably so much more. Their carefully curated collection of goods includes jewelry, gifts, personal care and accessories, books and stationery, and more. They even have a section dedicated to social activism.

Gold Bug Pasadena Store

Gold Bug

38 E Holly St
Pasadena, CA 91103

Gold Bug is a treasure trove of creative taxidermy, unique handmade jewelry and exceptional art pieces. A mash-up of Edgar Allan Poe (whose short story of the same name provides the store's moniker) and whimsical antics from Alice in Wonderland, Gold Bug is definitely the place to find a gift for that friend who has everything.

Finn + Willow

34 Hugus Alley
Pasadena, CA 91103

Located inside One Colorado, Finn + Willow offers a selection of unique women and men's attire from some of today's most fashion-forward designers such as Soft Joie, Suss, LOMA, Heather, Morgan Carper, Feel the Piece, The Lady & The Sailor, Splendid and Rebecca Taylor among many others.

The Dog Bakery

36 W. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105

Do you love your dog? Like, really love your dog? Then you should spoil them with a special treat from The Dog Bakery. Tucked down lively Mills Alley, just off the epicenter of Old Pasadena, this charming bake shop specializes in providing your pooch with the same cheat-day luxuries that you enjoy. Did little Bandit just graduate from obedience school? There's a donut for that. Coco is finally house-trained? Well, she's earned herself that Barkin' Brownie. And when Lula turns five? Yes – they bake doggy birthday cakes too!

Everson Royce

155 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Though perhaps better known at this point for their spin-off Everson Royce Bar in Downtown Los Angeles' Arts District, the original Everson Royce is right here in the heart of Old Pasadena. Started by the team that created Silverlake Wine, this spot has the same cool factor backed by wide-ranging knowledge.

For discerning booze-loving adults, Everson Royce is as close as you can come to "kid in a candy store" status, featuring a meticulously curated selection of wine, spirits and only the fanciest of craft beers from around the world. The vibe here is "pinkies up" without pretense. The staff is always friendly and stoked to help you find the perfect pairing, the perfect mixer or the perfect quaff while you shop – that's right, they have a tasting bar, where you can sample the goods by the glass, by the flight or by the bottle.

Vromans Bookstore

Vroman's Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101

For the bookworm on your list (there's always at least one), you can't do any better than Vroman's Bookstore. Not just a Pasadena institution, but rightfully a Southern California landmark, Vroman's was founded in 1894, making it So Cal's oldest and largest independent bookstore. Vroman's has everything you could want from a bookstore: a sprawling art, design and architecture section; a well-curated employee-picks wall; large stationery, card & gift sections; a newsstand stocked with even the most obscure of periodicals; and a café run by Pasadena-based coffee roaster Jones Coffee.

Upstairs, there's an event space and an inviting children's section, complete with a kids' play space and a knowledgeable, passionate staff. It's the perfect spot to browse for gifts and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of your holiday shopping. Don't forget to stop by The 1894, an all-new wine bar with literature-inspired cocktails, craft beer, wine and eye-pleasing charcuterie boards.

Soap Kitchen rose soap

Soap Kitchen

25 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

For over 14 years, The Soap Kitchen has created an amalgamation of natural soaps, candles, bath essentials and more for those who love to indulge in self-care, while also gifting some of the stores assorted goods. Free of harmful additives such as parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, the brand is also cruelty-free. Stop by for some of their popular items including the rosemary lavender or tee tree peppermint shampoo bars that will leave your scalp clean, hydrated and soft. They even offer shaving essentials for men that include lip balms, olive oil soaps and more.