Top Five Friday: Best Places To Visit in Pasadena

Outside Pasadena Playhouse Plaza, B Darlin Printed Mock-Neck Crochet-Trim Fit & Flare Dress in Navy and Cream
Outside Pasadena Playhouse Plaza, B Darlin Printed Mock-Neck Crochet-Trim Fit & Flare Dress in Navy and Cream
Outside Pasadena Playhouse Plaza, Macy's B Darlin Juniors Printed Mock-Neck Crochet-Trim Fit & Flare Dress in Navy and Cream
Outside Pasadena Playhouse under the Founders Plaque, B Darlin Fit and Flare High Neck Navy and Rose Gold Floral Dress from Macy's
Outside Pasadena Playhouse under the Founders Plaque, B Darlin Fit and Flare High Neck Floral Dress from Macy's

Dress: B Darlin Juniors’ Printed Mock-Neck Crochet-Trim Fit & Flare Dress from Macy’s. I love Macy’s sales and was delighted to get this dress on sale for $28.99 in a size 0 that fits perfectly.  The hem is weighted to help prevent the comfortable fabric from blowing too much in the wind. Pin this dress and keep on checking back to see when it goes it back on sale. I am wearing the Navy and Cream color combination. You can also buy this dress in burgundy and cream. This dress could be your matinee performance look with this printed fit & flare dress, styled with crochet trim and a mock neckline, heels and clutch.

Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress
Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress
Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress
Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress
Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress
Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress, Teagan Mini Angled Perforated Clutch
Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress
Francesca's Marcie Floral Maxi Dress

Dress: Francesca’s Marcie Floral Maxi Dress. Switch up your look for an evening performance at the Pasadena Playhouse or another theatre venue with this blue and gold floral dress that flows beautifully as you walk. The size xxs fits perfectly. The length of the dress falls longer on me since I am petite but instead of hemming it up I decided to leave it long. Pair it with your favorite heels and you are good to go.

Clutch: Francesca’s Teagan Mini Angled Perforated Clutch. This clutch comes with a detachable gold chain to place across yours shoulder and a wristlet. It holds all your essentials plus theater tickets! Get a very similar clutch in many different colors from Amazon.

Best Places in Pasadena: Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena Playhouse

Best Places in Pasadena: Pasadena Playhouse
Pasadena Playhpuse (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/ Pasadena Star-News)

Location: Playhouse District
39 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

Tues – Sat: 12:00pm – 6:00pm*
Sun: 12:00 – 4:00pm*
*Windows remain open until the start time of the final performance on all performance days

Tues – Sat: 12:00pm – 6:00pm
Sun: 12:00 – 4:00pm
626 356 7529

Parking: Playhouse Plaza Parking Structure
(right across the street), not validated
More Info

Description: The Pasadena Playhouse is a historic performing arts venue located 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, California, United States. The 686-seat auditorium produces a variety of cultural and artistic events, professional shows, and community engagements each year

Current Show: Little Shop of Horrors is currently running until October 20, 2019. Director Mike Donahue takes a more contemporary real look with “fluorescent minimalism” instead of the classic vintage cartoonish vibe.
“This deviously delicious sci-fi musical comedy comes to the Playhouse for the musical theater event of the season with some deliciously devious new twists. Featuring George Salazar (Be More Chill), Mj Rodriguez (Pose), and Amber Riley (Glee) as Audrey II, This Little Shop is unlike any you have seen before.

Created by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin), Little Shop of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatergoers of all ages for more than 30 years… and yours is next!”

Upcoming Events: 

Where to Eat: The Playhouse District

More Little Shop of Horrors

(New York): Little Shop of Horrors with another A list cast will officially open on October 17, 2019 and close January 19, 2020 (you can see the show now in previews) at the Westside Theatre Off-Broadway. Director, Michael Mayer is taking a different approach than the Pasadena Playhouse with an approach to honor the brilliance of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s work from 1982. This cast includes two-time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (Seymour), Two-Time Tony Winner Christian Borle (Orin Scrivello D.D.S.) and Tammy Blanchard (Audrey.)
(Film) It has been reported that Lady Gaga has been allegedly offered the role of Audrey in Warner Brothers’ in development film remake.

More Arts and Theatre in Pasadena:

Don’t miss Pasadena’s Art Night on October 11th from 6pm-10pm. Enjoy a free evening of art, music and entertainment as Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions swing open their doors! See more information about Art Night hereFree shuttles, running 6–10 p.m., will loop throughout the evening with stops at each venue. Park at any one venue and ride to the others.

If you enjoy the arts and theatre below are some other places in Pasadena to visit.

Best Places in Pasadena: Granville Restaurant S. Lake Ave

Now Open!

Best Places in Pasadena: Granville Restaurant
Best Places in Pasadena: Granville Restaurant

Location: Lake Ave
270 S Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 91101

Monday-Thursday: 11:00AM -10:00PM
Friday: 11:00AM – Midnight
Saturday: 9:00AM – Midnight
Sunday: 9:00AM – 10:00PM
Weekend Brunch: Til 2pm

Reservations: Yelp

Parking: Yes, Lot behind, first 90 minutes free

Description: Granville is a premium, yet affordable, modern-dining restaurant featuring a menu of boldly hand-crafted flavored recipes in a beautiful setting with indoor seating and a rooftop bar (Bar Del Mar Sky Lounge on 3rd floor). Granville makes elegant fine dining approachable and affordable for millennials to come here on date or with friends. Expect warm hospitality, good vibes and globally-inspired food and music. Lunch, dinner, weekend breakfast until 2pm.

“Granville can be described as an experiment in humanity. We believe that fostering a culture of love, gratitude and integrity is the way of life, and business. We support local, organic and certified humane practices whenever possible and make our food from scratch daily.”

Menu Highlights: Housemade, Organic and Local, antibiotic/hormone free chicken, beef and salmon, no HFCS, Non GMO Vegetables and Cooking oil. Modifications are discouraged. However, you can easily find something to eat under the shareables, soups, big salads, burgers, lunch plates, pasta, big plates, side plates and sweet cravings. The menu is clearly labeled V for vegan, VG for vegetarian, and GF for gluten free (gluten free bread, buns and penne pasta available).

My Favorites: Paleo Plate with your choice of protein, beet & argula salad, broccolini, the grilled salmon, housemade chili, sweet potato fries.

Exploring South Lake Ave: There are numerous places along south Lake Ave for quick dining or shopping. South Lake Ave is Pasadena’s 10 tree-lines blocks of shops and restaurants are part of the area’s 1940s origins. Below are some standouts
Juice: Kreation Organic, Nekter Juice Bar, SunLife Organics
Coffee: Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Philz Coffee, Starbucks, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Quick Counter Order Dining: Lemonade Restaurant, Veggie Grill, Urban Plates, Sharky’s , Mendocino Farms, Cava (ask to see allergens)
Upscale Sit Down Dining: Del Frisco’s Grille, Nick’s, Paul Martin’s American Grill

Best Places in Pasadena: Real Food Daily Vegan Restaurant

Real Food Daily

Best Places in Pasadena: Real Food Daily Vegan Restaurant
Best Places in Pasadena: Real Food Daily Vegan Restaurant

899 E. Del Mar Blvd,
Pasadena, CA 91106

(626) 844-8900

Sunday: 10am – 9pm
Monday: 11am – 9pm
Tuesday to Friday: 11am – 10pm
Saturday: 10am – 10pm
Taco Tuesday: $3 Tacos All Day
Wekeend Brunch: 8am-4pm

Reservations: Yelp

Parking: Yes, first 90 minutes free

Description: Real Food Daily is Southern California’s premier organic plant-based restaurant, serving a quality, authentic, creative, and nutritionally balanced menu. It is a chill spot for sophisticated vegan eats. Sit down and cultivate community at the Pasadena location where there are tables that seat seven or eight or tables just for the two of you.

Menu Highlights: Enjoy various menu options from all day breakfast to entrees including pasta, tacos, pizza, salads, soups, bowls and sandwiches. The in person menu has some clearly labeled options that are gluten free. You can also get fresh juice made in house or juices that are bottled locally, smoothies and milkshakes. You can build your own pizza, burger or bowl  (house-made burger patty is gluten and nut free) to get exactly what you want.

Nearby: Right next door is Bengee Ice Cream Crafters that serves many vegan flavors (about eight, soy based) and regular ice cream (about 16). Gluten free cones are available. About 3 minutes away Wanderlust Creamery (59 E Colorado Blvd) just opened on September 23rd. Wanderlust serves artisanal ice cream inspired by travel and serve many vegan flavor options.

Other Healthy Spots in Pasadena: Sage Vegan Bistro in One Colorado, True Food Kitchen

Best Places in Pasadena: One Colorado, Old Town Pasadena

One Colorado

Best Places in Pasadena: One Colorado, Old Town Pasadena
Best Places in Pasadena: One Colorado, Old Town Pasadena

Location: One Colorado
41 Hugus Alley, Pasadena, CA 91103

Parking: More Info
Street, Valet
Parking Lot off Fair Oaks and Union St

Description & Highlights: One Colorado  has old time charm meeting modern style. The inner open-air courtyard is lined with charming alleys and Victorian brick buildings home to a variety of dining options and shops. Enjoy events outside from night music, a Bob Baker marionette show (Tuesday afternoons), and art night. See the event listings here. This courtyard is perfect  for date night or hanging out with friends. Get some flowers at Twigzz before they close at 6pm, see a movie reclining in the luxury seats at iPic, eat at Sage Vegan Bistro and walk around in the cool night air.

Some Favorite Shops and Restaurants:

In addition to the courtyard, One Colorado is expanding this fall to have a Food District at the Union Street location (between Fair Oaks and Raymond). The Food District offers nine local and Los Angeles based food concepts. If you enjoy simplethings restaurant in the Los Angeles area you can be excited that there is one coming here! See the full list of what is coming here.

Neighborhood Co-Tenancy: If you exit One Colorado you can enjoy walking to the various shops and restaurants include The Cheescake Factory, Urban Outfitters, Free People, Zara and Madewell.

Other Charming, Convenient and Contained Dine and Shop Areas in Pasadena:

  • The Commons: 140-146 South Lake Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 –  “A welcoming English Courtyard with tree shaded benches, ivy-covered walls and chiming town hall clock, surrounded by distinctive shops and services.” Find Drybar, Philz Coffee, Lemonade, Williams Sonoma, Sun Life Organics and The Counter
Best Places in Pasadena: Vroman's Bookstore

Vroman's Bookstore

Best Places in Pasadena: Vroman's Bookstore
Best Places in Pasadena: Vroman's Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: 626-449-5320

Monday – Thursday: 9am-9pm
Friday & Saturday: 9am – 10pm
Sunday: 10am – 9pm

Parking: Free, Parking lot in back

Description: Visit the Oldest Independent Bookstore
Founded in 1894, Vroman’s is the oldest bookstore in Southern California. Spend time browsing through the well-curated selection of inventory including books and gifts in this two story bookstore. Vroman’s is recognized for outstanding programming which includes literary events, signings, book clubs and workshops.


  • Vroman’s offers various events including discussions and/or signings, book clubs, local author days, trivia nights and workshops.
  • The Next Chapter Coffee Shop: Enjoy the coffee shop located inside. The Next Chapter is part of Jones Coffee Roasters
  • Art on the Stairs: Check out the art on the inside stairwell featuring a rotating art exhibit.
  • The Pens and Stationary Section: I love looking through the extensive selection of writing instruments, stationary, invitations and accessories.  I enjoy writing thank you notes or notes of kindness and encouragement with a nice pen and card.
  • Newsstand: Visit the newsstand just outside the bookstore.

If you love the performing arts, healthy and delicious food, shopping and books you now know to head on over to the Pasadena Playhouse, Granville and Real Food Daily, One Colorado and Vroman’s Bookstore. For other adventurers below are some places to explore in Pasadena.

For the Architecture Lover: The Gamble House (Doc Brown’s house in Back to the Future)

For the Art Lover: Norton Simon Museum

For the Treasure Hunter: Pasadena Antique Mall (Paseo Colorado, easy underground parking with 90 minute validation). I like how this location is not too overwhelming and is within Paseo Colorado’s entertainment center with shopping and dining options. Click to see directory.  You can also explore Pasadena Antique Center (mall with over 130 professional dealers)or the Pasadena Antique Warehouse for the cool vibe and display. After going to the Pasadena Antique Warehouse stop by Lavender & Honey for gluten free avocado toast and a coffee.

For the Coffee and Tea Lover: Lavender & Honey, Intelligensta Coffee, Copa Vida

For the Garden Lover: The Huntington Gardens

For the Tea and luxurious experience seeker: Langham Hotel

For the Movie and Television Watcher: Caltech for The Big Bang Theory, The Rialto Theatre in South Pasadena for La La Land and the Father of the Bride House

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