Coffee Shops in Pasadena
Ah, my favorite topic. I confess I'm not a drinker of regular coffee; I prefer mine drowned in milk and sugar or whatever. But I do like to hang out in coffeehouses.
Zeli - I think it's too small for lounging, but near Vroman's and around the corner from Zona Rosa. Chairs are mostly metal and this place is usually too packed for hanging out on weekends.
Bean Town - Sierra Madre, sorry. My favorite, lots of pastries and food (sandwiches, soups), Fosselman's ice cream, comfy sofas and big wooden tables good for laptops. If you will hang out a while and might want lunch without having to leave your spot, it can be worth the extra drive. Good people watching both indoors and out.
Buster's, South Pas - sometimes it makes me feel claustrophic (tiny tables, low ceilings). Has food and ice cream options. Closes earlier than it used to. In an interesting neighborhood.
Kaldi's, South Pas - I would like it more if the comfy seats didn't seem kinda dirty. Great people watching here too, especially if you want to sit outside with the smokers and dog walkers by the park.
Jones Coffee Roasters, Pas- not really a place people hang out, though it is clear they're adding more seating to encourage that. Constant coffee roasting machine noise and smell could be distracting, but they know a lot about coffee. In a small office park, not a picturesque neighborhood.
Zephyr - Spread through many rooms of an old Craftsman house. Tons of comfy seating and tables. Good if you prefer quiet, because you can often have a whole room to yourself. Not good if you want people watching, also not good if you're having a lively conversation with a friend because it's so quiet, everyone can hear. They have pastries, sandwiches, and crepes. Immediate neighborhood isn't good for strolling.
Panera Bread in Pas - free WiFi and has a cozy fireplace, but the coffee is bad! blech!
Le Pain Quotidien in Old Town - Pastries are good but pricey. And the coffee drinks are also good but sooo expensive. Like $6 for a latte.
Metropolitan Coffee & Tea - I heard the atmosphere was very corporate. Haven't tried the coffee.
Steamers, Sierra Madre - I haven't been inside but I like that they have the walk-up window so you can still have your yummy drink when you have your dog with you. Looks like they have Wifi and it's a pretty large room with lots of seating. Always see lots of people hanging out inside.
Great list. I like Zeli the best, but I agree that it is too small.
Metropolitan Coffee has a great space, but I do not like the beverages as much. I did not like the pastries there very much either. Both times I tried them, they seemed old and store-bought.
I recently tried Allure in Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. The space is very nice, and they have a full food menu. The breakfast sandwich was very good. They also have hookahs.
I support the recommendations for Zephyr and Bean Town. I went to Zona Rosa the other day and quite enjoyed it. Just a quick question though-do the stairs lead to more seating or is it like an employees only area? There's a fairly new coffee place that opened up in Sierra Madre, very close to Bean Town called Steamers. The decor and the atmosphere is nice and relaxed, but their coffee isn't the greatest.
Should I be surprised that no one has mentioned the Equator?
It used to be the kind of place I went out of my way to frequent -- and I've never lived anywhere near Pasadena. But since they remodeled, the last few times I've been there its was almost deserted -- almost as if someone had sucked the life out of the place. I'm sorry to say I think it might not be there much longer ...
... but I'm going to link for old times' sake.
45 N Baldwin Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Euro Pane Bakery
950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106
Zona Rosa Caffe
15 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101
22 Mills Pl, Pasadena, CA 91105
2419 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107
1359 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA 91107
Kaldi Coffee & Tea
1019 El Centro St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Buster's Ice Cream Stop
1006 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Jones Coffee Roasters
537 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Metropolitan Coffee & Tea
716 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
Ibrowse Coffee & Internet
11 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801
Antigua Cultural Coffee House
4836 Huntington Dr S, Los Angeles, CA 90032
1411 S Garfield Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801
I tried Buster's in South Pasadena today. I had the Mexican coffee, which was okay, and a toasted whole wheat bagel (with oats on it), plus a side of hummus. My eyes lit up when I saw the great selection of Fosselman's ice cream there, but I didn't get any ice cream today. The bagel was very good. I really liked the location-- it's right by the train tracks in South Pas. :)
Its a pretty kool area. Nice to walk around with all these interesting shops (I wouldn't buy anything from them but they're fun to look in imo). Next time try heading a block south to El Centro and you can scope out Kaldi as well. I dunno why but i've always gone here instead of Busters, might just be a force of habit from growing up around there. they have a good selection of drink and I've always gotten great service from the Baristas.
You can also chill for a bit at the Fair Oaks Pharmacy. Its a nice change if you're looking for a place to chill and talk and/or study mid day and don't wan't coffee. they have an old school soda fountain which is always a nice thing to enjoy.. Only knock is it closes early ( think 8 weekdays and weekends except 6 on sundays)
But I agree with you. When i do make it to busters its really hard to stay away from that fossilmans.
Anybody know of late night coffee bars/shops? There used to be a place in Pasadena called The E Bar which was open past midnight, but it closed and I haven't found any places like that since. Any suggestions could be either in Pasadena or the surrounding cities (Glendale, Burbank, Studio City, Van Nuys, etc).
Considering this is Pasadena/SGV, you won't find too many late late night options. iBrowse Coffee & Internet in Alhambra is open until 1am every night (disclosure: I am a partner there.) Zona Rosa in Pasadena and Antigua Coffee in El Sereno are supposed to be open till 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, but I have tried to go to Antigua twice on the weekends only to find them closed.
We hung out at iBrowse a lot, but if you don't mind driving to Monterey Park there's places open till 3AM.
1411 S. Garfield Ave., Alhambra
They are open until 1 AM Sun - Thu and until 3 AM on Fridays and Saturdays.
It's a Hong Kong style coffeeshop, so you can get coffee-tea mixes and various Chinese drinks. And Garden Cafe is more of late nite Chinese food, but it's also open late. I have a feeling there's stuff in Ktown, but I can't remember any, some of the locals might have suggestions?
If voting on the ten-odd selections listed, i've been to almost all except cafe culture in altadena. kaldi's the fave even though they didn't have any good food.
-- kaldi for late hours, proximity to cool things, and cool staff (i was here most often)
-- bean town in sierra madre for laidback family atmosphere, coffee and fosselman's ice cream!
-- jones coffee roasters for coffee, its a cool roasting facility and really nice people, but didn't know they were open late or not.
That was the benefit of zona rosa, the late hours. zeli would close by nine or so, equator wouldn't but it usually meant paying for parking. zephyr has the nicest patio, but i never fell in love with it. buster's just felt cramped and upstairs it was easy to smell the cleaning chemicals from the bathroom. it's a great location during the day, just not a coffeehouse for nighttime.
Jones Coffee Roasters at 537 S Raymond Ave is awesome. In addition to having the best coffee in Pasadena and possibly in L.A., it is a completely unique experience inside: the big roasters and grinders are all in the same, warehousey space as the counter, tables, and chairs. It feels like you are in someone's very eccentric loft, or possibly in a lounge in a coffee factory, or maybe just in an incredibly cool coffee shop in Pasadena.
ditto on BUSTERS. also NICOLE'S (more of a market/deli) is pulling good coffee as is KALDI, both on el centro.
BEAN TOWN in sierra madre has a good vibe and is recently serving beans from KLATCH ROASTING, one of the best roasters in SoCal.
all have better coffee than ZONA ROSA and a good vibe.
I like Metropolitan Coffee and Tea. They are right across from VROMAN's next to US Bank. They have free wifi, good tasty coffee and ice blends. Lots of comfy couches and plenty of tables for studying or gossiping with friends. Their tea selection is great too. The only thing I don't like much is their pastry. The few times I've had some, they have been stale or just tasted really old. It's family owned and the children run it as far as I know. The daughter is super nice, but the son can be an ahole at times. They also sell sandwiches that are HUGE, but too pricy. I'd rather go down the block across from Target for some food.
I like Zeli Coffee Bar, attached to Vroman's Bookstore, but the inside can feel cramped. The small patio in front can be nice. It's just around the corner from Zona Rosa, on Colorado, near the corner of El Molino Ave. :)
Zeli Coffee Bar
695 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101