Cafes in Pasadena

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The Coffee Barrel Cafe pours out coffee drinks to fill up caffeine-guzzling tanks and serves up fresh pastries, snacks, and house-crafted sandwiches to fortify body bunkers. An extensive liquid menu caters to non-buzz-lovers—fruit smoothies, fresh juices, teas, and kids' drinks make the cut—keeping thirsty throats satiated without incurring daily drink doldrums. Slurp up a honeydew-green tea fruit smoothie ($3.75+), chow down on a turkey-and-cranberry sandwich ($7.25), or keep eyes peeled for ghosties during the graveyard's graveyard shift with a 20-ounce Americano ($2.55).

2982 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena,
CA
US

Without love, pop songs would be about the burger you ate for lunch and the excellent PowerPoint you presented at your last business meeting. Give your sweetie incentive to continue sharing your utility bills with an elegant box of fine confections. Leonidas' chocolates don't skimp on the sweetness—think decadent bites bursting with fresh creams, whole nuts, rich butters, and flavorful fruits. Bring home ganaches, pralines, and creamy concoctions. Fruit fans will appreciate the assortment of fruit jellies, with sweet pear, strawberry, pineapple, tangerine, and apple. View a complete guide here. Leonidas offers pre-packaged boxes, or you can handpick individual pieces to bring home for $38/lb.

49 W Colorado Blvd
Pasadena,
CA
US

This cafe not only serves 10 rotating flavors of frozen yogurt, but also pours cups of Illy coffee and Mighty Leaf tea. This makes the shop a destination for both chilly autumn days or hot summer nights when clients take to the the patio. Flavors change daily, but come in varieties such as low-fat, non-fat, non-dairy and no-sugar added. These can be blended into more complex treats with the shop's over 60 toppings options, including fresh fruit, candy, nuts, and chunks of brownies.

2345 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena,
CA
US

There's no shortage of tasty coffee drinks at Zona Rosa Café: cappuccinos, espressos, macchiatos. But it’s the shop's Mexican hot chocolate that wowed the critics behind Not for Tourists and Hometown Pasadena: The Insiders Guide. The former also digs the shop's cheerful atmosphere, which includes brightly colored walls and Latin music.

15 S El Molino Ave
Pasadena,
CA
US

Plate 38's seasoned chef and proprietor Robert Humphreys fuses together local organic ingredients to create 38 mouthwatering European and American gourmet dishes. During dinner hours, patrons can let the wind blow through their four tines on the temperature-controlled outdoor patio while supping on the braised beef short-rib pot roast served with smashed potatoes, a root-vegetable medley, bordelaise, and horseradish cream ($18.50). In the morning, perk up sluggish incisors with the brioche french toast blanketed with nutella, brûléed bananas, powdered sugar, and amaretto Chantilly cream ($9.50) served with a side of apple-wood-smoked bacon ($2.50) and Francophile swagger.

2361 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena,
CA
US

What we know today as the thick, round, and buttery Belgian waffle is an impostor. More accurately, its real name is the Brussels waffle. Even though these days, practically everyone in the States recognizes it as generically Belgian, it's not the only waffle the country is known for; in the city of Liege, another recipe is the top waffle all together.

The traditional Liege waffle is much sweeter than its Brussels counterpart, thanks to the signature Belgian pearl sugar dotting its dough. These large sugar crystals caramelize when the dough hits the waffle iron, producing a treat that's practically a dessert in and of itself. But that doesn't stop the chefs at Waffles de Liege from topping it with simple powdered sugar, fresh fruit, or Nutella.

Between its roaming food truck and brick and mortar locations, Waffles de Leige brings this sweeter, heartier waffle Westward. Since the dough?not a batter?plays such an important part in creating the Liege flavor, the cooks only produce it fresh, even in their food trucks and waffle-obsessed dreams. Beyond simple toppings, the chefs also offer options that include ice cream and Speculoos, a Belgian cookie spread that tastes like ginger snaps. Among their selection of drinks are many caffeinated beverages made with Heart Coffee, a roaster who's focus is to change the way people see black coffee, offering hand-selected beans that are robust in flavor and never bitter.

21 E Holly St.
Pasadena,
CA
US