Whether you need a quick bite for lunch, a taste of something gourmet or something special for a lunch with the girls or business deal, Pasadena abounds with places just right for the occasion. This is one of a periodic series on “just right” lunch spots in Pasadena.
It tends to have a large lunch crowd, because Mediterranean Café is one of Pasadena’s most popular spots for lunch. Kebabs and wraps make eating lunch easy and healthy and light on the wallet (and stomach). Limited seating can make it seem intimidating, but stick around as the food is commonly thought to be well worth the wait.
Mediterranean Café, 273 Shoppers Lane, Pasadena, CA 91101, (626) 793-8844 http://www.kokosmediterraneancafe.com/index.html
If you’re looking for something quick and inexpensive, King Taco is always a good bet. Tasty tortas, crispy taquitos and delicious burritos and more comprise the fast-food style joint’s menu. Be sure to get a pineapple drink to wash down your selection, the sweet stuff doubles as dessert. Don’t mind the long lines, they tend to move fast as many people get their orders to go and don’t linger for long at the tables, making it perfect for everyone from moms on the go to office workers.
King Taco, 45 N. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, Ca 91103, (626) 792-0405 http://www.kingtaco.com/index.html
Little Flower Candy Co.
On the outskirts of town lies the Little Flower Candy Co. in an adorable little shopping center. Despite the name, Little Flower Candy Co. is not so much a candy store as a café, serving breakfast lunch and dinner in addition to sweet treats like caramels and marshmallows and coffee. The eclectic menu has inspiration from all over the globe, with Cuban sandwiches and Vietnamese banh mi both making appearances on the menu. The place is great for vegetarians as many of the offerings are vegetarian, and not just the salads.
Little Flower Candy Co. 1422 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, (626) 304-4800, http://littleflowercandyco.com/
Porta Via Italian Foods
Porta Via Italian Foods is a find for foodies. Not your usual Italian deli, Porta Via constantly has new items and is perfect for hipsters and yuppies seeking a new twist on favorite Italians. The deli case is full of delectable items that you can take home or take for a picnic and the sandwiches are all freshly made, as are salads from the Insalata Bar.
Porta Via One W California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91105, (626) 793-9000, http://www.portaviafoods.com/pv/portavia.php
If you need something special for lunch, then Oasis Café may be the place. The gourmet getaway takes care with presentation and it shows up on every dish. A casual place to sit and relax, Oasis Café is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle from the everyday. Perfect for foodies, oasis puts fresh spins on classic dishes, from taro chips served with guacamole to a Caesar-inspired salad.
Oasis Café 34 S. Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105, (626) 535-9700, http://oasispasadena.com/#Home
photo courtesy of Pasadena Now Treehouse lunch at Sequoya School
slide cartoon from Dilbert.com