Outdoor Dining in Pasadena

September 15, 2021 | Posted in Food

With warm weather and blue skies year-round, many Pasadena restaurants offer al fresco dining where diners can soak in the Southern California sunshine alongside some of the region’s most tantalizing cuisine.

coffee and plants entryway

Café

Slow it down in the morning with a hot (or iced) cup of coffee and a pastry. Surround yourself with cobblestone walkways and whimsical décor outside of Coffee and Plants or try Republik Coffee for a bustling city-vibe and a lush greenery setup. My Place Café is a homey coffee shop that locals adore, and Little Flower is a quaint café with an atmosphere and food that embody the mantra of “cozy and sweet.”

American

With its dreamy atmosphere, it’s no surprise that Pasadena has plenty of locations for a night under the stars. Grab dinner at Arroyo Chop House, The Arbour, or Smitty’s Grill for upscale American fare. Foothill Restaurant, Granville, La Grande Orange, and Green Street Restaurant are lively dining options that are frequented by locals and visitors alike. For unique venues, try Magnolia House, situated in a historic craftsman home, or The Raymond 1886, which is a charming cottage with a garden patio.

Want a more family-friendly option? Daddy’s Chicken Shack offers nuggets and finger food that all kids enjoy, while Dirt Dog puts a loaded spin on the classic hotdog. Of course, you can’t go wrong with Millie’s for all-day breakfast, or Float for sandwiches, cookies, and old-fashioned ice cream floats.

For plant lovers, our top recommendation is Sage Plant Based Bistro tucked away in One Colorado, Old Pasadena’s most iconic, historic alleyway.

Bars

Crack a cold one during happy hour on the dog-friendly patios of Congregation Ale House, a unique, converted cathedral-like space, or Lucky Baldwin’s, Pasadena’s only British pub. With its impressive list of both American and imported labels, the Blind Donkey is a favorite location for whiskey lovers. For a more low-key experience, take a breather at Edwin Mills by Equator for a gastropub experience nestled in one of the picturesque alleys in the heart of downtown Pasadena.

El Portal

Latin America/Spanish

Some of the region’s best Venezuelan food can be found at Amara Café and Restaurant in Old Pasadena and Chamo Venezuelan in the Playhouse Village. Anaya’s and Maestro, feature meals that are savory, well-seasoned, and have the perfect balance of spice to keep you and your tastebuds dancing. For even more dancing, head to El Portal for mariachi night, where you can enjoy good food, good drinks, and good music. Of course, Pasadena has plenty of other Mexican food options such as Mercado, Mijares, Taco Libre, Urbano Mexican Kitchen, and Yahaira’s, to name just a few. Other great eats can be found at Malbec for Argentinean cuisine, or you can indulge in some Spanish tapas at either Sorriso and Bar Celona.

Cafe Santorini exterior patio

European

Pasadena’s global cuisine options don’t stop there. There are plenty of notable restaurants that offer authentic recipes made from quality ingredients. Mi Piace’s or Union’s sidewalk patios in Old Pasadena are a great place to dine and get a taste of traditional Italian flavors. Il Fornaio is also a great alternative for those looking to dine in the adorable alley of One Colorado. Gale's offers fine Italian cuisine and is a local favorite for date night and family dinners. Or if you’re in the South Lake Avenue area, the patio at Celestino Ristorante and Bar is an elegant and inviting place for an evening out. There are also plenty of French restaurants with dreamy outdoor spaces ideal for a classy evening like family-owned Perle in Old Pasadena, or Entre Nous with its high-end fine dining menu. Pasadena also offers plenty of Mediterranean locations with abundant outdoor seating for fresh air and even fresher flavors. Try a mezze platter at Café Santorini’s second-story patio overlooking the darling streets of One Colorado, mouth-watering wraps at Father Nature Lavash Bistro in Old Pasadena, or head to Mediterranean Café for generous helpings of their family-style meals.

Asian

Pasadena has a vibrant Asian food scene. And there are plenty of outdoor options if you’re looking for al fresco Asian dining. Find Thai food at Michelin-plate awarded Saladang Thai or head the Playhouse Village’s two staples - Chim! Thai Street Food and Janejira Thai Bistro. Have no fear, Old Pasadena also has its favorites like Tiffany’s Coffee. On cooler days, warm up with brothy Vietnamese pho at Ginger and Spice Noodles, or indulge in a bowl of bone broth that’s been stewed for 36 hours and packed with Indonesian flavors at Bone Kettle.

Outdoor Dining Locations in Pasadena