For our annual Best of Pasadena issue, we looked to the region’s in-the-know leaders for their go-to retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops, hiking trails, and everything in between. Our 2022 lineup of Pasadena’s best offerings covers cherished institutions as well as new, up-and-coming spots. While “best” may be a subjective term, we think you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement with more than a few.


Best of Pasadena: Albert Tate

Founding and lead pastor of Fellowship Church

Best of Pasadena: Annaly Bennett

Pasadena art and architecture are in Annaly Bennett’s blood.

Best of Pasadena – Editors’ Favorites

Our Pasadena Magazine team shares their Pasadena picks from the last year…

Best of Pasadena: Cheryl Liu Mang

A native of Hong Kong and Vancouver, Cheryl Liu Mang is living her best Los Angeles life. Exploring Pasadena through the eyes of her two young daughters informs the programming and collaborations she brings to the Southern California Children’s Museum.

Best of Pasadena: Gerald Freeny

Gerald Freeny first got involved with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association—which puts on Pasadena’s Rose Bowl and Rose Parade—as a volunteer on the parade route at age 28.

Best of Pasadena: Glenn Lawson and Grant Fenning

For a decade, Glenn Lawson and Grant Fenning called Pasadena home, living in San Rafael Hills in a 1940s modern home and later a midcentury residence in Altadena designed by architects Kenneth and Robert Gordon that they restored.

Best of Pasadena: Michael Cimarusti

Chef-owner Michael Cimarusti has lived in South Pasadena for over a decade with his wife, Crisi Echiverri, a former pastry chef and currently operations manager for their restaurant group.

Best of Pasadena: Steve Schwartz

While studying alternative medicine at The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico, Steve Schwartz discovered his passion for the alchemy of blending herbs and botanicals.

Best of Pasadena: Viet Thanh Nguyen

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen moved to Pasadena in 2018 after initially favoring Silver Lake, “where a police helicopter once came, hovered over me, and spoke to me on its bullhorn as I weeded my hillside.”

Best of Pasadena: Rick and Elise Wetzel

Entrepreneurs Rick and Elise Wetzel may have founded Wetzel’s Pretzels and Blaze Pizza, each of which has hundreds of locations, but the duo does not consider themselves to be restaurateurs.