Looking for some of the best and wonderful cafes and coffee shops in Pasadena?
As proclaimed coffee lovers, knowing where all the cafes and coffee shops in Pasadena are is a must. Drinking coffee at all the different locations that pop up is part of exploring Pasadena that we do like to take seriously.
There is nothing like grabbing a good cup of joe and possibly something to eat with your partner, friend, and family. So many important conversations happen with a cup of coffee in hand. Am I right?
Or perhaps you just want to sit in a coffee shop and work on your laptop for a while? James Brown coffee roasters have great seating for that. While you’re there you can also pick up a pound of their freshly roasted coffee to go.
Do you want to feel like you’re in Italy for a little while? Grab a cannoli and an espresso at Carrara’s. They have the best Italian pastries.
At Amara’s, you can have a taste of Spain with their authentic churros or get an arepa for a taste of Venezuela.
Find the love of chocolate with a mocha iced latte at CAR Artisan Chocolate Cafe.
Don’t miss Little Flower, the cutest little cafe in Pasadena that will give you all the charm and delicious baked goods.
While we do have favorites that we visit closer to home often, it is important to venture out and find variety. Where can we get the best coffee, lattes, baked treats, and small bites?
There was a bit of a debate when I started thinking about my favorite cafes. A cafe to me is the same as a coffee shop. Amazing coffee, plus snacks and food. Apparently, the dictionary defines a cafe as “a small restaurant selling light meals and drinks”. A coffee shop is “a cafe serving coffee and light refreshments… a small, informal restaurant.” Sounds pretty similar to me.
What’s your take?
At the end of the day, I think, we can all agree that we are looking for a wonderful cafe or coffee shop with good coffee and good eats. And the atmosphere and the staff are part of that, too. There is plenty of cafes and coffee shops in Pasadena that meet those requirements.
While a few are small franchises, unlike Starbucks, they have gained popularity for the quality product served. So I’ve included them in the list.
Normally our orders consist of lattes, espressos, and regular drip. Every now and then we’ll order a specialty drink.
What is your go-to coffee order?
Cafes and Coffee Shops in Pasadena
The moment I found out that Carrara’s opened a location in Pasadena, I knew that they’d be #1 on my list. This is a recent surprise find, but I’ve been a fan of Carrara’s since their spot in Agoura Hills. The moment they popped up on a recent search looking for pastries, I had to visit.
What’s to love? Everything. To start, their Italian pastries are ridiculously good. Ingredients are imported from Italy. An Italian pastry is a perfect treat to go with their amazing cappuccino or espresso. Believe me, you’ll thank me later. They also gave gelato, if you’re in the mood for that.
As a former New Yorker that has missed having multiple Italian bakeries to buy from, I am so happy to have a legit Italian pastry and cafe shop in the Pasadena community. Please feel free to let me know of others.
2. Dot’s Cafe
Dot’s is possibly one of the prettiest cafes around. While their bright and colorful decor does give this cafe a special touch. Their food, dessert bar, and coffee make this cafe one of the most awesome cafes in Pasadena. Have you been?
We frequently order cupcakes from Dot’s for delivery. But when we visit in person, it’s iced lattes for us. I love when I can taste the espresso in my latte. I also spend a lot of time just oohing and ahhing over their dessert bar.
One of each, please!
Recently they updated their menu with some new items. Check it out.
3. Amara Chocolate and Coffee
Spanish churros and hot cocoa? YES, please!
Amara’s is a Venezuelan cafe in Pasadena on S. Raymond that easily can be missed. This is why I’m here to tell you about it. They serve delicious hot and thick chocolate, freshly made Spanish churros, South American breakfasts, and lunch, including one of my favorites, arepas.
Seating is limited. Don’t be afraid to order take-out to pick up or for delivery. This has been the best way for us to enjoy Amara’s recently with the pandemic and the fact that they are always busy.
4. Little Flower Candy Co.
Little Flower is a small and charming cafe located on Colorado St, away from busy Old Pasadena. They serve strong delicious coffee, baked goods as well as tasty breakfast and lunch items.
As you’re waiting for your order, you’ll feel the community love pour in and out of the cafe. Then situating themselves outside on the sidewalk, at one of the outdoor tables Locals know what’s good.
The iced lattes are strong. I love it when I can taste the espresso without having to ask for an extra shot.
If you’re feeling like a snack, I’m here to tell you that you can’t go wrong with olive oil cake or chocolate olive oil cake. Although, I wanted to have all their baked goods. Honestly, the Barefoot Contessa vibes are strong here.
Inside the cafe, you’ll also find unique and adorable foodie gifts. As well as homemade jams, high-quality hot chocolate, candies and housemade marshmallows of different flavors.
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5. CAR Artisan Chocolate Manufactory & Cafe
Calling all chocolate lovers!
They produce high-quality artisan chocolate. I dare you not to visit and not try any of their chocolate treats or drinks.
The moment you enter their cafe, you’re wrapped in the amazing aroma of chocolate. The staff is so welcoming and nice, ready to explain their passion for chocolate and what they do there. You can really tell that they love what they do. There is enough evidence behind the counter as they work on their chocolate creations.
I enjoyed the choco espresso, triple espresso poured over a piece of chocolate. The iced mocha latte hubby had was a nice balance of coffee, chocolate, and creaminess without at all being overly sweet – it was quite perfect. and their mocha latte. The chocolate croissant and chocolate chip cookie baked in-house were divine.
6. Urth Cafe
Urth Cafe is a Los Angeles favorite. So it’s no surprise that it’s landed on this list of cafes in Pasadena. This Playhouse District location is always busy with a line out the door. With good reason, they serve great coffee drinks, brunch and have pretty delicious baked goods.
While I have had breakfast here, normally anytime I go to Urth it’s for lattes and dessert. A favorite of mine is their banana cream pie. Hubby loves their avocado toast and bowl of oatmeal.
If you just want a coffee, the trick is walking around the corner from the main entrance on Colorado to their coffee shop on the side of South Madison where they have their coffee shop. You can just order a coffee drink and get a pastry.
7. Copa Vida
Copa Vida is an old town Pasadena favorite serving fantastic coffee drinks, yummy breakfast, and lunch.
Usually, it’s very busy and not so easy to get a seat. But you can always grab a coffee to go for that stroll through Old Town. That’s usually what we do.
8. Republik Coffee Lounge
With a motto like, “Life is too short to drink bad coffee,” you have to give them a chance, right?
Republik Coffee Lounge is more than just coffee. It’s a cafe in Pasadena during the day and then a wine bar at night. With delicious and beautiful eats throughout the day, Republik serves the best of both worlds.
Note, coffee drinks and brunch are only served till 4 pm. Then the wine bar of the day takes over.
They have great indoor and outdoor seating enjoy a meal solo, with a partner, or with friends. I’d get there a little early to grab a table. Definitely worth the wait.
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9. Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters
Coffee addicts will want to visit Jameson Brown. They roast their own coffee beans in-house. You can literally smell the wonderful roasted beans the moment you enter the coffee shop.
This is a great local coffee shop in Pasadena for great quality coffee and baked goods. I also recommend stopping by to get your coffee beans for home.
They have plenty of seating inside and some outside.
10. Coffee and Plants
This is a cute coffee shop in Pasadena shop stops you in your tracks upon seeing it in Old Pasadena. Coffee and Plants is so pretty and inviting that you’ll want to stop by to take photos. Please remember to support this small business.
Everything served by Coffee and Plants is 100% plant-based. They have coffee, matcha, beautiful avocado toast, sandwiches, and other treats.
11. Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar
This little coffeehouse is outside of Old Town serves lovely espresso drinks, cold brews, teas and lemonade, and some simple delicious eats.
I love their toast bar as there is a variety of toasts to choose from that’s not just avocado. Their classic taste of butter with jam and their peanut butter honey banana just reminds me of being a kid again. It’s a great snack that pairs well with a latte.
Given the name, Lavender & Honey, try one of their drinks with lavender.
Gluten-free items are available.
12. Philz Coffee
Located in The Commons on Lake Ave, Philz Coffee serves fantastic coffee and a light menu of yummy items. This San Francisco coffee chain can be found in other parts of the country. But this location in Pasadena is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and chill on Lake Ave.
They have interesting featured creations like the iced coffee rosé, iced mojito, new manhattan, silken splendor, and more. I suggest trying something outside of your regular comfort zone.
13. Blue Bottle Coffee
Finally, Blue Bottle Coffee has opened a location in Old Town Pasadena. The first time I had Blue Bottle Coffee was in Downtown LA and it was love at first taste.
The espresso is smooth, not bitter and the steamed milk in my latte was is nice and velvety. I didn’t have to ask for an extra shot, which is always a plus for me. They have some wonderful pastries you can also order with lattes.
They have a lovely back patio where you can enjoy your coffee.
Have fun getting a caffeine buzz visiting all these wonderful cafes in Pasadena. I will be adding to this list as I discover new cafes and coffee shops in Pasadena. Bookmark this post to return to it later.
Is your favorite cafe or coffee shop in Pasadena on the list? Which cafes in Pasadena have you visited? What is your favorite spot? What do you normally order?
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