9 of the Best Restaurants in Old Town Pasadena

by Kamala Kirk  |  Published October 20, 2023

Old Town Pasadena’s dining scene offers an eclectic selection of culinary adventures.

Colorado and Fair Oaks at night, the epicentrum of Old Town Pasadena. (Photo: IK’s World Trip via Flickr CC BY 2.0)


Located in Pasadena’s 22-block National Register Historic District, Old Town Pasadena (also known as Old Town or Old Pas by locals) is home to a wide variety of retailers, entertainment venues, and attractions such as the Pasadena Playhouse, a renowned performing arts venue. Old Town Pasadena also has more than 100 bars, restaurants, and cafes, making it a popular culinary destination among residents and visitors alike. From upscale Brazilian cuisine to innovative dim sum, check out our picks for 9 of the best restaurants in Old Town Pasadena.

Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery is a shareable experience. (Photo: Courtesy Yoshihiro Makino)

Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery

Designed with a shareable menu, Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery was created by husband-and-wife team, Vanessa and Thomas Tilaka Kalb. The restaurateurs wanted a space in Pasadena to highlight makers, artists, and hospitality professionals while celebrating excellent cheese. Their restaurant serves brunch, lunch, and dinner, offering a variety of tasty snacks like fried pickles and cheese curds, crispy tater tots, as well as salads, sandwiches, and cheese boards. A vast selection of cheeses, cured meats, and more are available for purchase in the cheesery, where customers can custom order cheese and meat platters for special events. There is also a quarterly cheese box membership highlighting unique cheeses and artisan accompaniments.

40 W Green St

Bone Kettle

Family recipes bring the flavors of Southeast Asia to Pasadena at Bone Kettle, where dishes feature thoughtfully sourced ingredients. The signature bone broth is made by boiling beef for 36 hours in filtered water with onions, ginger, garlic, and a special mixture of dried spices. Choose from an assortment of small plates such as bone marrow, clams and savory Chinese donuts, and crispy rice salad topped with pork belly. Entrée highlights include Singaporean chili lobster and liberty duck leg confit along with several changing monthly specials. Those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth can indulge in a selection of treats ranging from sweet corn mochi cake to homemade ube crinkle cookies, among others.

67 N Raymond Ave

Instagram worthy plates appear at Chef Tony Dim Sum (Photo: courtesy Chef Tony Dim Sum)

Chef Tony Dim Sum

Founded by internationally acclaimed Cantonese chef Tony He, Chef Tony Dim Sum is located in the historic Bear Building in the heart of Old Town Pasadena. With art deco walls, original chandeliers, and a cocktail bar, the inviting space provides a beautiful setting where guests can indulge in a variety of innovative dishes made for Instagram posts. The menu has 12 different sections including starters, steamed dim sum, noodle rolls, and seafood. Some of the restaurant’s popular offerings include the deep-fried Chinese doughnuts, roast duck and mince duck lettuce wrap made two ways, gold leaf-adorned squid ink shrimp dumplings, and bunny-shaped coconut pudding.

2 E Colorado Blvd

Dog Haus

A Southern California staple since 2010, Dog Haus has received critical acclaim for its all-beef hot dogs, hand-crafted sausages, and 100% Black Angus beef burgers (all served on King’s Hawaiian rolls). Founded in Pasadena, Dog Haus has expanded to more than 50 locations. Genetically tested, humanely raised, and hormone- and antibiotic-free beef is sourced from Creekstone Farms. Diners can customize their own dog or choose from a wide variety of signature Haus creations like the Old Town Haus Dog topped with smoked bacon, caramelized onions, chipotle aioli, pickled jalapenos, and cotija cheese. The Love Boat, choice of tots or fries slathered in Haus chili and slaw, is a fun side.

93 E Green St

Fogo de Chão is an upscale Brazilian steakhouse. (Photo: courtesy Fogo de Chão)

Fogo de Chão

The upscale Brazilian steakhouse is located in a historic bank building at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Marengo Avenue and offers an ultimate dinner entertainment experience. The expansive dining room features a white Carrara marble Market Table with farm ingredients and an open-air churrasco grill. Guests watch gaucho chefs grill and carve high-quality cuts of meat by hand over an open fire to enjoy alongside seasonal salads and Brazilian sides like caramelized bananas, farofa (yuca flour sauteed with bacon, sausage, and seasoning), polenta, and their popular pão de queijo (cheese rolls) served warm and fresh out of the oven.

234 E Colorado Blvd

Mi Piace

Local Italian hot spot Mi Piace has been pleasing palates for more than 32 years with authentic cuisine prepared in its award-winning kitchen and famous bakery. Renowned American interior designer Tony Chi, inspired by trendy Manhattan, New York, created an upbeat interior for Mi Piace featuring red couches, illuminated tables, a stainless-steel bar, and a chic cocktail lounge. The upscale dishes are also inspired by New York and include a wide range of fresh pasta, pizza, and lasagna, with customer favorites like fresh baked focaccia bread, spaghetti alla carbonara, and five-herb ravioli.

25 E Colorado Blvd


Fans of sushi and shabu shabu will rejoice at the fresh and authentic Japanese cuisine featured on the menu at Osawa, which has been an Old Town Pasadena favorite since 2013. Owned by a husband-and-wife duo—executive chef Shigefumi and Sayuri Tachibe—the restaurant fuses traditional and modern dishes, serving an assortment of small Japanese plates and classics including Bento boxes, rice bowls with Udon noodles, and beef curry. Other tasty bites, like Shishito tempura stuffed with spicy tuna and yellowtail carpaccio with jalapeño ponzu, dazzle diners enjoying indoor or outdoor seating.

77 N Raymond Ave

Tocaya is rooted in Mexican traditions with Southern California flair. (Photo: courtesy Tocaya)


Founded in Venice Beach, Tocaya embodies the spirit of Southern California with a menu combining modern Mexican cuisine with bold flavors and high-quality, natural, and sustainable ingredients. Rooted in Mexican traditions, the versatile menu caters to a wide range of dietary preferences ranging from vegetarian and vegan to gluten-free. Offerings include chef-driven salads, bowls, burritos, and tacos; side dishes like street corn, cilantro lime rice, and black beans; as well as their signature aguas frescas beverages in flavors such as strawberry basil limeade, hibiscus ginger, and cucumber mint limeade. This location is pickup and delivery only.

55 S Madison Ave, K1A

Tender Greens

Featuring an elevated spin on classic comfort dishes, Tender Greens serves inspired food at a great value and provides friendly service. The eateries specials are inspired by seasonal harvests grown by local farmers as the company believes food is better when grown sustainably and locally. Bowls and plates pair various proteins like chicken, salmon, and steak with a flavorful selection of fresh fruits and veggies such as slow cooked black lentils with fennel and dried pears and baby sweet peppers, alongside brown rice, coconut sushi rice, or traditional sushi rice. Online ordering is easy and Tender Greens caters events, too.

 621 E Colorado Blvd