July 13 2018 By: Denise Campbell

Our Favorite Pasadena Breakfast Spots

Pasadena sits in the San Gabriel Valley and began as a resort town in the late 1800’s. It’s been known for hosting well-to-do easterners during the winter, and most notably, the annual New Year’s Tournament of Roses Parade followed by the Rose Bowl Game. It’s home to the Greene and Greene Gamble House and pays tribute to the craftsman era through the preservation of its landmark district, Bungalow Heaven. The city boasts a unique variety of architectural treasures, fine art museums, esteemed colleges, botanical gardens, and of delightful selection of eateries. One of the best parts of the being in the Crown City (informally known as the City of Roses) is the ever increasing breadth in cuisine.

Here are a few of our favorite local breakfast spots. Some of them have been a part of the Pasadena culture for many years and have a faithful following. Others are newer additions which compliment Pasadena’s well versed palate. There are options which require a hearty appetite and others that will be perfect for a more health conscious attempt to start your day. There’s a bit of something for everyone here and we hope you enjoy these morning-starter favorites.


Lucky Boy is without a doubt the best hangover helper for those who have no waistline worries. The 50+ year old family establishment makes a great stop for a once-and-awhile overindulgence. Just don’t make a habit of it! Try the famous breakfast burrito if you dare – it will certainly soak up all the booze from the night before and give you plenty of calories to fuel you for at least a day.

Healthier options do exist at the local favorite – try the garden burger option for lunch if you’re not in the mood to overindulge.

*cash only

We Recommend:

Lucky Boy Breakfast Burrito (split one with a friend!)

Lucky Boy ¼ Burger (lunch)

Garden Burger (lunch)


Marston’s is in a quaint craftsman cottage and is known for wonderful breakfasts and lunch salads. It’s been around since the early 80’s and is regularly reviewed as a top 10 LA eatery. It’s a great place for brunch which offers healthy options as well as scrumptious carb loading pancakes and delicious French toast. They also offer picnic baskets for those attending a summer beach day or outdoor concert/event. It fills up quickly due to its popularity so we recommend going early!

*closes at 2:30

We Recommend:

Granola & Yogurt Bowl

7 Grain Pancakes

Eggs Benedict

Pasadena Salad (lunch)


Ready to step into 1963? Look no further than Pie’n Burger. The casual counter-top and retro dining room are still in original form. The atmosphere and menu remain unchanged other than the addition of a few vegetarian options. They have a variety of simple, traditional breakfast foods also serve lunch and dinner. Enjoy the simplicity of their hotcakes – and of course, grab a slice of pie for later. It’s truly a Pasadena treasure!

We Recommend:

Thin Hotcakes

Two Eggs any Style

A Slice of Pie to go!

Burger Combo (lunch)


Julienne Fine Foods is another great breakfast & lunch spot. It sits on a beautiful tree lined street nestled in Pasadena’s neighboring community, San Marino and offers a lovely dining experience and the option to shop for artisan products in the gourmet market next door. Julienne’s also does box meals for those who are venturing out to the Hollywood Bowl, Pasadena POPS, or your own backyard party!

We Recommend:

French Toast Julienne

Open Faced Smoked Salmon

Mimosa or Bellini!


Pasadena’s Urth Café is one of the 6 locations in the Los Angeles area that have opened since the original 1991 venture which opened its doors in Manhattan Beach and soon transferred to Melrose Ave. It’s a popular spot for a late morning brunch with friends and is known for its sustainable practices and organic offerings. Your choices are a‘plenty at Urth where you can select from vegan, plant based, and curated menu options which use natural fruit juice instead of refined sugar. We promise you’ll find something you love!

*go early – it gets busy fast!

We Recommend:

The Berry Bowl

Poach Di Parma

Avocado Toast

Coffee or Tea!


If you’re in the mood for a true French breakfast sandwich this is THE place to go. The traditional ham, egg and cheese croissant is both popular and divine. Or – keep it simple and enjoy a plain croissant or assorted pastry. There are a plethora of sweet treats to choose from! It’s worth noting the lunch sandwich selection is also incredible if you’re looking to add some fine authentic French flair to your afternoon palate. Nicole’s is a small shop and includes many hard to find ingredients and tools for the discerning chef. Be sure to allow time to peruse the options and we suggest a ‘to-go’ pastry order for later!

We Recommend:

Ham & Gruyère Croissant

Plain Croissant

Prosciutto & Pecorino Sandwich (lunch)

Grab a pastry for later!

Happy Eating!


Learn more about us from the words of our CEO, Kara Altice-Montes, in her blog on Why Quality Matters.

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About The Author
Denise Campbell

Denise is a member of the Altez Vacations team with a background in higher education, consulting and coaching. Her biggest passion lies in helping people find simple and effective ways to live authentically and abundantly.

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