North Pasadena’s Washington Boulevard is the ideal locale for a leisurely weekend of sipping, shopping and snacking.
By Sarah Smola
1399 E. Washington Blvd.
The slogan says it all: “Food. Caffeine. Settle back.” And bonus: There’s free Wi-Fi. But don’t mistake the laid-back atmosphere of this cozy café for a fast-food joint—all the food is made fresh to order, with both vegetarian and “healthy-ish” selections on the menu. Come hungry for the fried green tomato sandwich topped with a runny egg, slab bacon and a savory remoulade on a brioche bun, or to settle a sugar craving, pick up CK’s trendy take on the childhood classic Pop-Tart.
CARMELA ICE CREAM
2495 E. Washington Blvd.
With an emphasis on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, Carmela’s—a pioneer in the world of artisanal ice cream parlors—has customers screaming for ice cream. Each recipe is made from scratch, without cloying additives or food coloring. The salted caramel is the top seller, but you won’t go wrong no matter what flavor you choose.
1384 E. Washington Blvd.
Though somewhat off the beaten path from Pasadena’s restaurant row(s), Bacchus’ Kitchen adds to the city’s fine-dining scene with a rotating menu of artfully presented culinary masterpieces and an impressively curated wine list. Open after 5 p.m., stop by for a glass of the good stuff and nibble on a cheese and charcuterie plate (served with crostini and seasonal accoutrements) while mulling over your entrée.
942 E. Washington Blvd.
Once you make a trip to this mom-and-pop shop, its dedication to baking the best bread outside of Europe will change your taste buds forever. Discover Seed Bakery’s rustic country, rye, olive, wheat and faro loaves, all fresh from the oven made with whole grains and natural, organic ingredients. For a pick-me-up, we suggest swinging by Lavender and Honey for a latte, the perfect pairing for one of Seed Bakery’s expertly crafted European-style pastries and tarts.
LAVENDER AND HONEY
1383 E. Washington Blvd.
Like the name suggests, lavender based drinks are a house specialty. A creamy lavender breve or latte is the perfect complement to a leisurely weekend morning. Come early to snag a table and bask in the light-filled space. While the drinks are the main focus, the “toast bar” serves up savories and sweets like the avocado toast (a millennial’s dream), the L&H (goat cheese topped with dried lavender and a drizzle of honey) and, of course, the classic (butter and local jam).
1389 E. Washington Blvd.
The idea here is a little bit retro and whimsical, but 100 percent wearable. From vintage-inspired styles to contemporary fashions at attainable prices, Sidecca’s offerings are coveted by Bettie Page and Zooey Deschanel types alike.