One Colorado: The Heart of Old Pasadena

Just as Old Pasadena has become the heart of the city of Pasadena, One Colorado lies at the heart of Old Pasadena

Originally the business and geographic center of Pasadena, by the 1940s Old Pas had descended into decadence and disrepair. This all began to change in the late 1980s with a major revitalization effort aimed at historic preservation and restoration rather than wholesale reconstruction. Now 30 years later, Old Pasadena is the vibrant center of the dynamic city of Pasadena. And at the center of Old Pasadena lies One Colorado, the true heart of this nationally recognized historic district. Great food, unique shops, and big fun in a historic and inviting urban environment. Here are a few of our favorites…


90% of Sage Bistro’s produce comes from organic, pesticide-free farms. Yet the plant-based menu is not only good for you, it’s good for the environment. Sage Bistro suppliers, who deliver fresh produce daily, also practice regenerative agriculture—a carbon sequestration technique designed to combat global warming. Not only healthy and responsible, however, the Sage Bistro menu is as delicious as it is inventive. There are shareable appetizers like buffalo cauliflower or baked mac ‘n ‘cheese,’ and a variety of salads like the Goatless Greek and the Asian Kelp Noodle. Soups are all gluten and soy-free, and pair well with entrees such as eggplant arrabiata and butternut squash ravioli. In addition, there are a large number of bowls, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, pizza, pretzels, and sides. 41 Hugus Alley, 626-564-8111,


This Portland, OR-based small batch ice cream purveyor opened its doors in Pasadena in 2019 and has been serving singularly delicious organic ice cream on Colorado Boulevard ever since. All ingredients are sourced from farmers markets and organic farms, and used to create a revelatory lineup of flavors like Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper, and Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese. Says owner Kim Malek, “We offer a special experience for people who want to go out and do something unique for the afternoon or evening, and treat themselves and spend some time with friends or family.” 39 W. Colorado Blvd., 626-304-0303,


Inspired by the ubiquitous Los Angeles street food of bacon-wrapped hot dogs on a flat grill with peppers and onions, Dirt Dog takes that concept several steps further. Try exotic, creative takes like the Green Dog—a bacon-wrapped dog with chimichurri sauce; and the Flaming Dog—a bacon-wrapped dog with Hot Cheetos, grilled corn, lime mayo, cilantro, and bacon bits. Veggie dogs are also available. If you’re still hungry, try the deep-fried Oreos! 20 E. Union St., Ste. 160, 626-345-5306,


Located in Miller Alley across from the expansive courtyard in the center of One Colorado, Sushi Roku delivers a classic California sushi experience in a coolly elegant space, including waterfalls and bamboo dining tables. For an al fresco take, enjoy the garden patio across from the courtyard. The menu is extensive and includes all manner of sushi, as well as classic and signature hand rolls, and an inventive list of hot and cold appetizers. Heartier entrees, such as rib-eye steak and grilled salmon, are also available. Be sure to check out the numerous delicious craft cocktails. 33 Miller Alley, 626-683-3000,


Looking for truly original floral design? Look no further than Twigzz of Pasadena. Offering floral and botanical arrangements for weddings, special occasions, and corporate events, Twigzz is a family-owned business serving Pasadena since 2014. Trust their creative team to produce arrangements that are inventive, beautiful, and unique. Delivery available. 40 Smith Alley, 626-585-2990,


If hygiene products were not something you thought seriously about before, the pandemic has certainly put “soap” on all of our minds. The Soap Kitchen in Pasadena produces all-natural, handmade olive oil and shea butter soaps, along with shampoo bars, bath salts, oils, and lip balms—and has been doing it for 13 years. Check out their unique collection of soap favors that make great gifts for friends and family. Ingredients are 100% natural and no animal testing is employed. Plus, it might be the most aromatic place in Pasadena! 25 N. Fair Oaks Ave., 626-396-9996,


When we are finally able to go to the movies again, we’ll be even more ready for the type of elevated entertainment experience the IPIC theater provides. In fact, with a smaller capacity and better-spaced seating, the luxury recliners provided by IPIC may become the standard. Of course, as comfortable as the seats are, the food and beverage service is just as integral to the experience. You can choose from a full lineup of classic movie sweets, and popcorn is available in an assortment of gourmet flavors, as well as classic “buttered.” To capture the full IPIC experience, have a cocktail or wine delivered to your seat, along with a delicious chef-created dinner from a menu that includes starters like fried calamari, charcuterie, sandwiches, lobster rolls, sliders, pizzas, tacos, and kabobs. 42 Miller Alley, 626-639-2260,


You may think you know cupcakes, but until you’ve had Dots Cupcakes, you haven’t had the full experience. Cupcakes are baked fresh daily using pure ingredients and organic preserves. Not simply sugary frosting on top of commercial cake mix, Dots’ cupcakes are a delicious, moist dessert more than worthy of your complete attention. Founder and owner Hailey Kwon’s playful sensibility is reflected in the beautiful, whimsical, and brightly-colored designs her cakes display. Cupcakes can be customized upon request, and are also available for parties and special events. The cupcakery has another location on Arroyo Parkway, Dots Café. 21 N. Fair Oaks Ave., 626-568-3687,


Named after the famous Edgar Allan Poe short story, Gold Bug is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating and exotically curated gift shops you will encounter. Currently helmed by Theodora Coleman, Gold Bug is full of quirky, whimsical, and often mysterious treasures produced by some 75+ artists. Stop in when you have some time to spare, because once you start browsing this bizarre trove of treasures, you won’t want to stop. 34 E. Union St., 626-744-9963,

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