7 Best South Pasadena Restaurants

Located on the western end of San Gabriel Valley, South Pasadena is a charming neighborhood in Los Angeles County, CA, surrounded by beautiful scenery and has a peaceful atmosphere.

One of the many things to do in this city is – eat! Its vibrant food scene boasts exceptional dining spots, engaging cooking classes, and exciting food tours that feature the best South Pasadena restaurants.

Discovering South Pasadena's Culinary Gems

South Pasadena is home to various dining establishments that cater to every preference and satisfy all cravings. Foodies will have a blast coming to this city, whether it’s to explore local favorites or savor international flavors.

Read on to learn more about the best restaurants in South Pasadena, CA, you must visit when you’re in the area.

a tray of ribeye, asparagus and carrots on the best restaurants in south pasadena ca

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The Arroyo Chop House

The Arroyo Chop House is an upscale classic American steakhouse known for being one of only a few restaurants in Southern California that serves exclusively USDA Prime beef. Aside from tender and flavorful steaks, this restaurant also offers seafood, wine, and cocktails in a luxurious setting.


  1. Ribeye – Wagyu steak graded “8+ Ultra” which is the highest grade.
  2. Porterhouse – U.S.D.A. Prime Beef, hand-cut daily and aged a minimum of 28 days. Chop House sauces are available upon request: Peppercorn Sherry Cream, Béarnaise, and Bleu Cheese Smoked Bacon Cabernet Reduction.
  3. Holland America Farms Bibb Lettuce – Ash goat cheese, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and avocado.


“We stayed at the Langham Hotel and the hotel recommended or Arroyo Chop House. We had an amazing dinner, I recommend the Tomahawk and the creamy spinach. Next time we are in Pasadena I will hit up this steakhouse… for sure.”
Gregg Towsley

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roasted ribs with sliced tomatoes and potatoes on the best restaurants in south pasadena ca

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Gus's BBQ

Gus’s BBQ, a South Pasadena landmark for almost 70 years, is a go-to place for outstanding barbecue cuisine. The restaurant is known for its massive portions and warm, friendly service.


  1. Texas Prime Beef Brisket – 7 oz. Dry rubbed and smoked for up to 14 hours.
  2. BBQ Brick Chicken – Half of a boneless chicken grilled and brushed with our original BBQ sauce.
  3. Carolina Style Pulled Pork – 10 oz. Smoked low & slow with our signature rub.


“Gus’s BBQ in South Pasadena managed to surprise me with a single rib dish that elevates their smoked meats and barbecue selection. I would highly recommend the same thing, but be sure to bring an appetite with for this treat.”
Maurice Mbaabu

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poached egg toast in the best restaurants in south pasadena ca

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Heirloom Bakery & Cafe

Since it opened in 2005, Heirloom Bakery & Café has been a local’s favorite for breakfast, lunch, coffee, and pastries. Their menu showcases seasonal delights along with timeless favorites, made only with fresh, high-quality ingredients.


  1. Smoked Salmon – Scottish smoked salmon, fresh goat cheese, capers, red onion, European butter, romaine, and lemon.
  2. Croque Nicole – French ham, Selles-sur-Cher, tomato, and ciabatta.
  3. Grilled Eggplant Panini – Eggplant, feta, kalamata, tapenade, tomato, red onion, and ciabatta.


“Absolutely love this bakery and cafe! This is one of the most unique places to eat at in South Pasadena. Their food and service are amazing. They have very unique pastries and side dishes as well. It is a must stop for breakfast or brunch if you are in the city. I highly recommend dropping in for a bite.”
Michael Okezie

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Fiore Market Café

Fiore is a treasured South Pasadena tradition that you simply should not miss. Be sure to make room for dessert because the cupcakes, cookies, lemon bars, brownies, blueberry loaf cakes, and Magic Bars are certainly a must-try.


  1. Piccolo Soppressata – With bleu cheese, olives, and olive oil. Served on our homemade baguette.
  2. Roasted Chicken Salad – Mixed greens, roasted chicken, maple-glazed bacon, hard-boiled egg, bleu cheese, olives, with creamy dill-peppercorn dressing.
  3. Roast Beef – With balsamic red onions, roasted red bell peppers, arugula, horseradish- creme fraiche, and mayo.


“I have been wanting to have lunch at this cute little cafe for a while. I couldn’t wait to try the roasted chicken sandwich to see if it tasted half as good as it looked in the pictures. It was next level delicious! The bread was outstanding, the chicken was so tender and flavorful, and the burrata and pesto were perfect additions. The portion was generous with the highest quality ingredients. I am looking forward to coming back and trying another sandwich, but it might be hard not to order the roasted chicken again as it is now my new favorite sandwich ever!”
L. C. Gould

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bread and sliced meat on the best restaurants in south pasadena ca

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Mike & Anne's Restaurant

Mike and Anne’s is a great spot for families to enjoy brunch, lunch, or a nice relaxing dinner in a casual environment. All-time favorites include Mike and Anne’s Signature Burger and other American classics.


  1. Mike and Anne’s Burger – Angus beef, Bermuda onion compote, Swiss and bleu cheese, and house fries.
  2. Scottish Salmon – Farro, asparagus, and lemon herb sauce.
  3. Lamb Ragu Pasta – House made pappardelle, lamb ragu.


“Loved this South Pasadena place. Shady outdoor dining with friendly staff … The lunch salads were great … Only thing was we had to ask a few times to get some water. But we’ll be back for brunch!”
William Boyer

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best restaurants in south pasadena ca, toasted bread with clam shell

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Bistro de la Gare

At Bistro De La Gare, every dish is artfully prepared by chef and owner Bruno Morin. Farm-to-table specials are made from fresh, seasonal ingredients mostly sourced from the South Pasadena Farmers Market.


  1. Roasted Beet Carpaccio – Thinly sliced red beets, burrata cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.
  2. Terrine du Chef – House-made pâté, blend of veal, pork, duck, hazelnut, blueberries, served with gherkins.
  3. Moules Marinieres – Mussels sautéed in white wine, shallots, piment d’Espelette, served with French fries.


“We had a wonderful dinner here last week to celebrate our anniversary. We sat outside and there was a nice vibe with the South Pasadena Farmer’s market going on at the same time. Note, it happens every Thursday from 4 to 7 and parking can be hard to find.
We started off with the chicken liver mousse and tempura prawns which were great. My wife had the brazino which was a special for the night and the skin was perfectly crispy. I had another special on the menu that night which was the beef cheeks. Very tender, almost like brisket in texture. Finished off with the apple tart. All delicious and had wonderful service. We’ll definitely will be back.”
Peter Chun

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a plate with bread, meat and vegetables in the best restaurants in south pasadena ca

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Shiro Restaurant

Shiro features a French and Pacific Rim inspired menu and boasts a tradition of fine dining for over 35 years.

Named number one restaurant by the Zagat Guide and is consistently one of the highest rated establishments, Shiro is an excellent choice for enjoying a special occasion.


  1. Oysters Pan-Fried – With curry champagne sauce.
  2. Sonoma Breast of Duck – With juniper berry sauce.
  3. Alaskan Halibut “Tempura” – With tarragon tomato sauce.


“On the last day of DineLA week, we went with our friends to dine at Shiro in South Pasadena, and it was an experience that beautifully blends Japanese ethos with French cuisine and West Coast influences. Hideo Yamashiro’s eponymous establishment, which opened its doors in 1986, has set the standard that still prevails today, with a relentless focus on impeccable ingredients.”
Regis Kwong

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Wrap Up

There you have it – the 7 best restaurants in South Pasadena you must visit when you’re in this lovely city!

And if you’d like to know more about the area, feel free to give me a call at (626) 437-6800 or send me an email at Derek@SouthPasadenaHomes.com and let’s schedule a meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions

The tender and flavorful steaks from Arroyo Chop House is a must-try. This classic American steakhouse is one of only a few restaurants in SoCal that serves exclusively USDA Prime beef.

Reservations are recommended at Mike and Anne’s to ensure that you are accommodated on your preferred date and time.

Yes, Fiore Market Café and Mike & Anne’s are some of the restaurants perfect for families.

Yes, some of the dining spots with outdoor seating are Mike & Anne’s and Shiro Restaurant.