3 Great Pasadena Brunch Options

Pasadena is a fun city about 30 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles. It makes a great day trip destination from LA and is also a good alternative as a home base for visitors. The Metro subway and train system now allows easy connections between downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and Universal City for travelers without a rental car.

With a large, wealthy population of locals, Pasadena has some great dining options. Sunday brunch is an important family meal here and I’ve started to explore some of the varied options. Here are my top three choices for Sunday brunch in Pasadena, California:

The Terrace at The Langham Huntington Hotel
Perhaps the most fancy of my three brunch choices, the Sunday brunch buffet on the terrace of The Terrace Restaurant is a classic brunch experience. Live jazz, great food and classic hotel service make it a one of my top three Pasadena brunch choices.

Get there early or make a reservation to get one of the outdoor patio tables, which offer a view of the historic bridge next door and the hotel’s pool area. The Sunday brunch buffet is served from 7 A.M. to 2 P.M. and a la carte options are available all day. The buffet is $30 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under and they have a live jazz band from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. to add to the atmosphere. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.

Langham Huntington Hotel
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 568-3900

This Sunday brunch is a wonderful combination of a Mexican fiesta, a good Las Vegas buffet and a mariachi show. Little-known outside Pasadena, the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet includes traditional breakfast options like waffles, bacon and eggs along with a chef-staffed omlette station. The buffet also includes a woman making fresh tortillas and preparing fresh tacos: carne asada, chicken or pork. Mexican-style steak, shrimp and even BBQ ribs were also hot and tasty. The deserts were also really good, Mexican pastries, flan, cookies and other delights. The Mexican hot chocolate and hot churros were awesome.

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Our drinks of choice were mimosas, which were liberally refilled. The restaurant was crowded and filled with many families. Strolling mariachis perform, adding to the atmosphere. We were treated to a real special moment, as the table next to us had a grandmother and grandfather, along with the rest of the family, and each of the grandparents stood and sang a beautiful song in Spanish with the band.

The restaurant truly is a hidden gem, yet it’s been there since 1920, the oldest in Pasadena and one of the oldest in all of Los Angeles. There are now two locations, each with a full bar and big outdoor patio.

145 Palmetto Drive
Pasadena, CA 91105

The Raymond Restaurant
Housed in the historic caretaker’s cottage of what was once a grand hotel, The Raymond Restaurant brings what I call a bit of Berkeley foodie culture to Pasadena. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, prepared in innovative ways, yet with a classic touch. The restored craftsman home really makes a great space for dining.

The Sunday brunch is a good representation of what executive Chef Tim Guiltian can do. Diners get a wide selection of all the breakfast classics and options, prepared fresh and with the chef’s unique spin. I find the food here fantastic and of the three choices, The Raymond Restaurant is my top choice, just for the great quality of the food and the meal. Entrees are about $15 and the restaurant is open from 9 A.M. to 2:30 P.M., serving brunch on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Raymond Restaurant
1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 441-3136

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Freddy Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog travel4people.com. You can follow him on twitter, @thefredsherman

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