The Ultimate Sweet Tooth Guide to Pasadena

April 20, 2023 | Posted in Food

Need a cheat day treat or do you just have a permanent sweet tooth? Boba, ice cream, pie, cakes, cookies, froyo, doughnuts! You name it, Pasadena has it. And we've put together some of the sweetest, scrumptious goodies for you to feast on.

Pies, Pastries, and Doughnuts

Many people know Miss Cheese Tea for its boba and sweet drinks, but they also offer a variety of Japanese treats including souffle pancakes topped with fruit, boba, and cream, macha and chocolate taiyaki, and even crepes. Whether you're looking for nutty, chocolatey, or fruity flavors, Miss Cheese Tea has a sweet for you.

Don't overlook Gourmet Cobbler Factory. The location may be small, but the servings are big. You can order a personal-sized pie, regular pie, or a whole tray (you will need to place your order in advance) of your favorite flavors. Choose from classics like peach, pecan, apple, cherry, or a variety of seasonal berries. They even have ice cream on hand if you'd like to have it a la mode.

Motto Tea Cafe is another boba location that is more than meets the eye. Their specialty souffle cakes are layered between fruity whipped cream for a fluffy, soft dessert that is like taking a bite out of a cloud.

Of course, we can't forget about the classic Parisian dessert. In addition to lunch and typical cafe sandwiches, you can get a huge assortment of crepes at Crepes de Paris. It's the perfect place to spend the afternoon sipping coffee and enjoying a meal out on the patio with a true cafe feel.

Lavender and Honey is another favorite with that small cafe feel and handheld pastries that make for a quick bite to eat. Along with their arrangement of coffees and teas, it's a convenient spot for breakfast on the go.

Amaras hot chocolate


Car Artisan Chocolate Manufactory and Cafe is a new location in the Playhouse Village that offers a hipster coffee shop feel. Decked in modern furnishings and urban decor, the location is a great place to bring your laptop, work, and snack on chocolate from around the world. Car's cocoa is ethically sourced and sprinkled with unique flavors to spark curiosity and dazzle the tastebuds.

Amara Cafe's artisan blend of Venezuelan dark hot chocolate is thick and creamy with a rich flavor. Their hot chocolate is made with certified organic cocoa powder. If you're feeling adventurous, try it Aztec style with added chile pasilla for a little spicy kick. Their dipping chocolate goes perfectly with their Madrid style churros.

Mignon Chocolate
in Old Pasadena combines the art of design with the craft of chocolate making. Mignon allows you to build-your-own-box of chocolates so you can try all the flavors to your heart's content. Each piece is colorfully decorated with a unique design that makes it just as delicious as it is eye-catching. Best of all, they also offer vegan options.

Frederico's italian bakery chocolate

Cakes and Cupcakes

Walking into Federico's Italian Bakery is a thrill for any sugar-lover. Their massive bakery is filled with cases of cookies, pastries, and truffles that can be bought individually or by the box. Even their cakes can be bought by the slice for an individual serving or ordered as a full cake to share with other sweet-tooth companions. We recommend trying a princess cake - a traditional Swedish layer cake with a dome filled with whipped cream. It's unique, fluffy, and absolutely scrumptious!

Dot's Cupcakes
is nothing short of adorable. Not only do they use cute designs to decorate their cupcakes, but the iconic bakery is also decorated with floral designs and cute pastel colors. Their cupcakes are topped with a generous swirl of icing and baked fresh daily. Dots has two locations in Pasadena and both offer single or boxed cupcakes. Dots also offers custom orders and designs for any occasion.

Not only does Lark Cake Shop offer traditional cakes and cupcakes, but they also offer icebox cakes, vegan options, and gluten-free options. Don't be fooled by their minimalist designs, their pastries and baked goods are still loaded with flavor. Buy them ready-made or get a custom design created just for you.

Little Flower is a charming little cafe that is both intimate and homey. Their cakes and pastries are topped with colorful fruits and delicate flowers. In addition to the delightful decor and meals, Little Flower also offers shelves full of artisan jams, nut mixes, toffee, candies, cookies, and more.

If you don't feel like having a whole cake, or need a slightly less sweet option, then Pillow Talk is the place for you. Their mini cakes are ideal for a quick snack that is not too large of a serving, but just enough to satisfy a sweet craving. Pair it with a coffee or sandwich to get you through the day.

Fair Oaks Pharmacy ice cream sundae

Ice Cream, Gelato, and Shaved Ice

Many people know Miss Cheese for their boba or souffle cakes but are unfamiliar with the Korean bingsoo. The bingsoo is just as delicious and perfect for cooling down during the hot summer months. It's shaved milk ice drizzled condensed milk, red beans, and topped with fruit, chocolate, or various nuts. There's nothing quite like it.

One of the top reasons to choose 21 Choices in Pasadena for frozen yogurt is the number of toppings you can choose from. And they don't skimp out on them either. You can expect your order to be filled to the brim with fresh fruit, sweet chocolate nibs, marshmallows, nuts, cookies, and more.

Carmela Ice Cream Company
has been serving handmade ice cream in Pasadena for over a decade. Not only is their ice cream creamy and the perfect consistency, but you can also learn to make it as well. No secret recipes here. Carmela's uniquely offers classes to learn how to create their delicious treats.

Wanderlust Creamery
is tucked inside the Indiana Colony in Old Pasadena but its neon sign is easy to spot from the street. Their unique flavors are inspired by various locations around the world (hence the name) and incorporate ingredients from around the globe. The menu is always changing, allowing your palet to "travel" all year round.

Float is a modern take on the old-fashioned soda fountains from the 40s and 50s, with classic flavors like root beer, creamsicle, and cold brew. Their ice cream floats are great with a sandwich or glass bottle of soda. Their presentation is always on point and the drinks are colorful, perfectly topped with whipped cream, and dashed with just the right amount of sprinkles.

Take a time warp to Fair Oaks Pharmacy, an old-fashioned candy shop with a functioning old-school soda fountain, candies from your childhood, and sundaes bigger than your head! The walls are lined with candy and toys you haven't seen before.

One of the best perks is the fact that Hello Gelato allows mixing flavors. Depending on the size you get, you can get multiple scoops of different gelato flavors to try. And trust us, when you walk in and see the massive displays of colorful treats, you'll still have trouble deciding on just a few. Create something unique by combining sweet with tangy or nutty for a one-of-a-kind dessert.

Motto Tea boba tiger bubble tea


Move over brown sugar boba, because One Zo Boba is the first cafe in the world to make their own boba in-store - and it comes in custom boba flavors like melon, strawberry, chrysantemum, black sesame, and so much more. Customize your sweetness and ice level and enjoy the sugary, refreshing goodness of this popular Taiwanese drink.

Motto Tea prides itself in using genuine, natural ingredients. They use real taro in their boba, rather than taro powder, and organic, natural milk and tea leaves. Their specialty drink, the Motto Original Matcha Mousse Tea is not one to miss out on.

The embodiment of Pasadena's little secret, "hole-in-the-wall," Jin Tea puts the "tea" in quali-tea. Jin Tea uses BP Specialty's organic tea from Taiwan. They also offer more sophisticated flavors including flavors like butterfly pea flower tea and toppings like tofu pudding and winter melon.

Of course, that's not all. We have a whole list of boba shops that we love!