The temperature seems to have finally dropped in Southern California, which means that soup season is upon us. Whether the new chill in the air has you craving something spicy or something more refined, there are plenty of places around town to find hot steaming bowls of soup to warm you up on any budget.
If you’re tired of dieting to stay swimsuit ready for summer, or just need something comforting, then a cream soup is the way to go. My personal favorite, lobster bisque, can be found at various establishments including a family favorite at Hamburger Hamlet and also a more refined version at the upscale restaurant, Maison Akira. Both restaurants also offer soups of the day, which at Maison Akira has been known to include a cream of asparagus, while some fans of the Sunday brunch have reported a creamy squash soup making an appearance. Both Hamburger Hamlet and Maison Akira are also known for their ooey-gooey French onion soup, with plenty of melted cheese. For a less formal cup of soup, the tucked away sandwich and coffee shop, Le Café Crème, is said to have delicious choices that change frequently, from cream of tomato to butternut to potato and leek.
Hamburger Hamlet 214 S Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 91101 (626) 449-8520
Maison Akira 713 E Green St Pasadena, CA 91101 (626) 796-9501
Le Café Crème 350 S Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101 (626) 795-3421
If you like soup as meal or want something on the lighter side, then an Asian-style soup is sure to satisfy. You can warm up with Vietnamese Pho at a lot of the places in Pasadena, including fairly standard and well-priced versions at Noodle World. The best part about Noodle World is that it offers an extensive array of Asian favorites, including spicy Thai soups and comforting Japanese udon and ramen soups. If you are looking for a more extensive pho menu, then the Pasadena Weekly has named Alhambra’s Pho 79 the best pho restaurant in the area. My favorite place in town was the family-run Indochine, but with their closure I am looking forward to trying the extensive menu at Pasadena Noodle & Grill, which has one of the largest arrays of pho that I have ever seen.
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We sometimes thought a soup restaurant with fresh soups home made daily, crusty bread and a glass of wine would be a hit, but not many have done it here in Southern California.
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