Welcome Rose Parade/Bowl guests to Pasadena, home of the exponentially increasing vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants.
By Denise Robb
Here are six of my all time favorite vegan restaurants. There are even more nearby as evidenced by the Happy Cow phone app. I never leave home without it.
Yes, it’s a Thai restaurant but not just any vegan Thai restaurant. They have the tastiest menu I’ve seen as evidenced by the fact that it’s always crowded and they recently opened up another My Vegan in Los Angeles. The yellow curry and Yellow Curry Pasta are personal favorites. Healthier options are Only Green Please with kale, spinach, broccoli in a light garlic sauce. Very affordable.
633 S. Arroyo Parkway, Suite 3 Pasadena, CA 91105 626-578-9017
A bit pricey but well worth it. This is one of three Real Food Daily restaurants (the other two being in Santa Monica and West Hollywood). Sunday brunch is pretty impressive and mimics some of your favorites such as the “Breakfast Sammie” or “Biscuits N Gravy” – but if you’re not there on a Sunday, my favorite is the “Charlie Melt” which is their version of a tuna melt. They only use organic ingredients, non-GMO, rich in protein and delicious. Fresh made juices, smoothies and desserts are available as well. There’s a children’s menu and crayons and a coloring mat.
899 E. Del Mar Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91106 626-844-8900
Located in our tony downtown (known as Old Town), this restaurant has another in Toronto. Their dishes come from Italy, China, Morocco, Thailand etc. I can’t really pin down an exact theme except “Delicious.” The Potato Chowder soup is heavenly. I’ve had the regular and crispy Chow Mein but the regular I find to be superior with just the right amount of flavors and delicious veggies. If you’re really hungry try the Lasagna Di Verdure. Don’t forget the cheesecake (chocolate and lemon are scrumptious). Price is mid-range.
37 S. Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105 626-584-0268
This is a chain restaurant and known as the McDonald’s of Vegan Restaurants. I think one of the McDonald’s moguls is even involved. These restaurants are springing up all over California. Every season they have a new menu and if you sign up on the website, you’ll get a free birthday meal. I use the Veggie Grill app for deep discounts. There’s a children’s menu too for little ones. I’d say the most popular dish is the Santa Fe Crispy Chicken Sandwich or Crispy Chicken Plate (with kale and mushroom gravy atop the “chicken” and cauli-mashed potatoes. Potatoes. So good. Mid-priced. The chocolate parfait is my favorite dessert. Healthy options like salads and veggie bowls with Field Roast sausage or hemp seeds are delightful options.
200 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101 626-535-9561
This is the smaller version of the Sage in Hollywood/Silverlake area. Their menu is small but filling and yummy. Their pizza is one of my favorites. But they are best known for their vegan ice cream made with coconut milk or cashews and in flavors that rival Baskin and Robbins.
319 S. Arroyo Parkway Pasadena, CA 91105 877-985-5463
The newest addition to our vegan cuisine is One Veg World. It’s run by some sort of religious group but you might not even notice that if it wasn’t for some weird TV station running a musical they recently produced. This is probably the most affordable and always tasty food. The West Covina menu is bigger but Pasadena has enough to please even my fussy 4 year old. My favorite is the Chickpea Chickun Sandwich or the Indian Curry. Their desserts are also something special with a peanut butter chocolate pie and Cocoana Cake as favorites. Their prices are incredible with lunch specials including a drink at $8.95 a person.
950 E. Colorado blvd. Pasadena, CA 91106 (626) 744-3141
There’s more to choose from but these are some of the best we have to offer. I hope you have a wonderful time here in Pasadena, the vegan friendly city.
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