Bars, pubs, & places for cocktails and mixology (Pasadena, CA)
(Last update 11/22/21) - This limited list has our seal of approval!! We focus on drinking bars, pubs/gastropubs, and cool restaurant bars in Pasadena and surrounding areas. Since we are not into the club/dance scene, none of those bars are listed. Check back as we update our site every few weeks. When you think bars, think DrinkPasadena.com ! Follow us on Twitter - http://twitter.com/drinkpasadena
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HOW TO USE THIS SITE: We start our listings in Old Town Pasadena. SCROLL down past Old Town listings, and YOU will see bars and pubs within walking distance of Old Town (leave your car parked and walk!). SCROLL further and you will see bars and pubs within short driving distance of Pasadena (such as Eagle Rock, or Highland Park, and even a few listings in Downtown LA). Or you can take the 1 mile walk down Colorado to Lake Street (as there are other bars there too).
Sports bars (or have that feel)
Cool, dark bars with a bit of LA grunge
Sophisticated bars with "MadMen" decor, sexy & sleek
Comfortable for the College crowd
Dive bar flavor
$ = Inexpensive Drinks; $$ = A bit more expensive
Our Current Favorites 'in' Town
Cerveceria Del Pueblo (near Old Town - at 141 W Bellevue & Pasadena Ave)
-Lucky Baldwins Old Towne (staple of Old Town -- great Pub)
T.Boyles Tavern (near Lake -- just off Mentor behind Ice House Comedy Club down the alley)
-Kings Row Pub -- (in Old Town - Between Fair Oaks and Raymond on Colorado)
In Old Town Pasadena
-Cerveceria Del Pueblo (just off Old Town - at 141 W Bellevue & Pasadena Ave) -- This is a small craft brewery with their own craft beer, some with a Colombian influence. Large patio....amazing hidden gem! Friendly, happy place.
-Lucky Baldwins Old Towne -- $, indoor/outdoor -- Raymond between Colorado and Green (casual, jeans, Brit beer and ale, pub food, HAPPY HOUR, comfortable for the college crowd). PERSONALITY = Outgoing/Energetic, Friendly
-Old Towne Pub -- $, indoor/outdoor -- (aka Lochness Pub) -- entrance on Union between Fair Oaks and Raymond on the side of the Container store entrance (we are not kidding), or alley entrance off Holly between Fair Oaks and Raymond (casual, jeans and old t-shirts and flipflops, fun grungy, good beer selection on tap, sometimes beer-pong, seems like there are men on bicycles that hang out there so gives it a Berkeley feel, live bands usually on Fri/Sat nights starting at 9:30pm, dive bar flavor, comfortable for the college crowd). PERSONALITY = Consistent, Outgoing
-Pop Champaigne and Dessert Bar -- $$, indoor -- on Union between Raymond and Fair Oaks (classy but not upscale per se, desserts and wine)
-The Blind Donkey -- $$, indoor -- on Union between Raymond and Fair Oaks. Seriously a great place -- whiskey, and 'beer' that goes with whiskey. Some food, but go for the whiskey selection which is amazing!
-Kings Row Pub -- $$, indoor/outdoor - Between Fair Oaks and Raymond on Colorado (casual, good on-tap selection, full bar, gastropub food, comfortable for the college crowd , good space). HAPPY HOUR 4-7 daily, 10-midnight Sun-Wed, all DAY TUESDAYS!
-The Speakeasy -- $$-$$$ (notes coming soon) - 25 N. Raymond -- YES, there is a Password. You'll have to follow them on Facebook or email them at email@example.com to even find the hidden entrance
-The 35er -- $, indoor -- on Colorado between Fair Oaks and Raymond (casual, jeans and old t-shirts and flipflops, comfortable for the college crowd, fun grungy, dive bar flavor, sports bar feel, HAPPY HOUR Mon thru Fri 4-7pm). PERSONALITY = Consistent, Outgoing
- Rocco's Tavern -- (44 W. Green Street) - great SPORTS Bar, comfortable for the college crowd , standing tables or sitting, good service. Food is good.
-Barney's Beanery -- $, indoor -- On Colorado between Raymond and Arroyo Parkway (casual daytime, sorta trendy at night, look and smell good, sports bar feel, good beer selection, HAPPY HOUR varies so see their website calendar, comfortable for the college crowd, karaoke SOMETIMES on Saturday nights). PERSONALITY = Outgoing/Energetic, Efficient
-Intelligentsia Cafe (Pasadena) -- $$, indoor -- on Colorado between Fair Oaks and Raymond (good upscale beer & wine selection in the back - otherwise its coffee, comfortable for the college crowd if you dig coffee or beer )
-Sorriso - Bar Celona (used to be Villa Sorriso) -- $$ (MOVED - now across from Intelligentsia; upscale trendy, sophisticated, yes there is food)
-Heritage Wine Company -- $$, indoor -- Raymond north of Holly street, next to the old converted theater where Van Halen used to practice, and across the street from Memorial Park! (trendy, sophisticated )
NEAR Old Town Pasadena (walking distance - we listed the walking distances too)
Heading EAST down Colorado
-The Yard House -- $, indoor/outdoor -- (0.3 miles from Old Town) -- on Colorado in Paseo Colorado upstairs (casual to trendy, HAPPY HOUR but they never post what it is, comfortable for the college crowd , huge beer selection, food menu - TOTAL sports bar feel). PERSONALITY= Outgoing/energetic, Efficient, Friendly
-Bodega Wine Bar -- $$, indoor/outdoor -- (0.3 miles from Old Town; HAPPY HOUR Everyday 5-7pm) -- on Colorado in Paseo Colorado upstairs (trendy, sophisticated, huge wine, small beer list)
-T.Boyles Tavern -- $, indoor -- (1.0 miles from Old Towne)--just off Mentor (parallel to Lake) off Colorado behind Ice House Comedy Club down the alley-(casual, HUGE beer/ale selection, beer/wine only, LIVE MUSIC some nights (click HERE for MUSIC/EVENTS calendar), sort of has a University feel due to Cal Tech being near, comfortable for the college crowd , small pub food menu, sports bar feel, reminds us of the old Crown City Brewery that was on Del Mar-owner is an x-bartender of Crown City- HAPPY HOUR Mon–Fri 4-6pm-$3.75 pint draft beers). PERSONALITY = Outgoing/energetic, Consistent
Down Arroyo Parkway
-Arroyo Chop House -- $$, indoor -- (0.8 miles from Old Town) -- down Arroyo Parkway south of Colorado past Del Mar (dress trendy, crowd is late 20's thru early 50's, sophisticated, "MadMen" decor and people , restaurant with a good bar that has killer mixed drinks and beer/wine - a Smith Bro's place, and they rock in this town)
-La Grande Orange Cafe -- $$, indoor -- (0.4 miles from Old Town) -- on Raymond south of Colorado between Green and Del Mar - get off the Metro, head to the bar! (trendy, sophisticated, restaurant with a good bar)
-Stone Brewery Company Store/Tasting Room -- $ -- (0.4 miles from Old Town) -- on on Raymond south of Colorado between Green and Del Mar - get off the Metro). Its next to the Luggage Room pizza place. Okay, its a tasting room, not really a bar...but you know, its interesting. You stand and drink, or drink outside, or fill your growler! No food -- its a tasting room...taste pint after pint after pint...then grab pizza next door.
-Congregation Ale House (Pasadena) -- $, indoor/outdoor (0.4 miles from Old Town) -- Raymond and Del Mar (old Crown City location) (casual, jeans, large selection of beer/ale, gastropub, comfortable for the college crowd, sports bar feel ).
Down Fair Oaks
-1886 at the Raymond -- $$, indoor -- (1.6 miles from Old Town) -- down Fair Oaks Blvd just before State Street (woody, dark, small inside, somewhat sophisticated, mixology - opened in Nov and is STILL getting its sea legs - worth a try)
Down Pasadena Avenue (near California)
-Mijares (Pasadena) -- $$, indoor/outdoor (0.4 miles from Old Town) -- Very local feel...Mexican Restaurant with an active bar. Pasadena Ave near California (casual, comfortable for the college crowd, sports bar feel).
-Smitty's Grill -- $$, indoor -- (1.6 miles from Old Town) -- on Lake near Green Street (trendy, restaurant with a small but happening bar, sophisticated, "MadMen" decor and people, fantastic mixed drinks that will leave you on the floor, a few beer selections, good wine list - a Smith Bro's place so you can't go wrong)
-Magnolia House -- $$, indoor/outdoor -- (1.6 miles from Old Town) -- on Lake between California and San Pasqual next to the Standard Gas Station (trendy, NYC dark but cool bar feel. Entrance off Lake. Mixed drinks, trendy cool feel, dress trendy or in black, small but stunning food menu
-Tap Room -- $$, indoor -- (2.0 miles from Old Town - walk through Madison Hts!) -- Bar at the Langham Hotel Huntington -- on Lake south of California (trendy, Euro feel, sophisticated, "MadMen" decor and people, upscale cocktails and prices)
Driving from Old Town East on Colorado (very local)
-Lucky Baldwins (East Colorado Blvd) -- $$, indoor/outdoor -- (2.1 miles from Old Town) -- head east from Old Town past Pasadena City College oColorado, sort of College feel since near PCC, nice hang, easy street parking, outside seating on Colorado, comfortable for the college crowd , pub food menu, pints/food seem to be a bit pricey lately as of 2014, tiny bit sports bar feel)
-The Colorado -- $, indoor -- (3.1 miles from Old Town -- old school bar, casual, mixed drinks/beer/wine, dark, very local, dive bar flavor)
Driving from Old Town WEST on Colorado
-- $$, indoor -- on Colorado just before you get into Eagle Rock (bright, old school bar, restaurant, dressy, drinks can be hit/miss, old school sophisticated, crowd is 30's through 60's in age, PIANO BAR where folks sing standards and makes the place really unique - definitely go there once to experience the piano bar). PERSONALITY = Consistent, Reserved, Organized
Driving from Old Town North of the 210 Freeway (very local hangouts)
-Altadena Ale House -- $, indoor/outdoor -- way up Fair Oaks past Woodbury (very local, casual pub, Brit beers, wonderful wines, some classy Brit nosh -- cool owners). PERSONALITY = Friendly/Compassionate, Efficient, Secure/Confident
-Rancho Bar -- $, indoor/outdoor -- up Lake near Mariposa (casual, dive bar flavor)
-Lucky Baldwins in Sierra Madre -- $, indoor/outdoor -- (casual, yes - a second one North of Pasadena - comfortable for the college crowd , pub food too- HAPPY HOUR=none! )
Hiding in South Pasadena (south of Old Town - head south down Fair Oaks)
-Mike and Anne's -- $$, indoor -- on Mission Street in South Pasadena between Fair Oaks and Orange Grove (trendy, sophisticated, restaurant with a nice open bar space)
-Gus's BBQ -- $$, indoor -- on Fair Oaks (casual, an upscale-ish BBQ and more place - with a decent bar in the back that locals frequent)
-Griffins of Kinsale -- $$, indoor -- on Mission across from Busters (casual, sorta "meh" along with $7 for a pint) -- but hey, we keep it on our list because its a bar in SoPas.
Driving from Old Town into Eagle Rock (yes...in Eagle Rock - cool place)
-Verdugo Bar -- $, indoor -- on Verdugo Road (cool, dark, with a bit of LA grunge, has great beer on tap, comfortable for the college crowd , food trucks,fun events), click here for their Music/Events calendar
-Tap Room at Eagle Rock Brewery -- $, indoor -- Take the San Fernando exit off the 2, then right on Roswell...drive to end of Roswell and on the right you will see a door that says Taproom (Open Thurs-Sat 4-10pm, tiny, hard to find, but w/ERB beers and other local stuff on tap)...really a fantastic place...worth the drive!!!!
-The Black Boar -- $, indoor -- on Colorado near the Trader Joes (cool, dark, with a bit of LA grunge, chalet looking inside!, good beer, mixed drinks, comfortable for the college crowd , cool setting, no food). PERSONALITY: Confident, Curious, Friendly
Driving from Old Town into Highland Park (boarders on Eagle Rock )
-The York -- $, indoor -- on York Blvd (cool, dark, with a bit of LA grunge, good beer, drinks, and food, comfortable for the college crowd ). LOVE this place!!!
-The Hermosillo -- $, indoor -- on York Blvd (great beer selection, big open bar area, beat-up fun, comfortable for the college crowd, LA grunge).
Unique Bars - Downtown LA, Atwater Village, SilverLake, & Sunset
[this section will be expanded shortly]
- Allston Yacht Club -- Echo Park Ave - (Fab cocktails, food...)
-The Varnish -- 6th Street (Downtown LA)
-The Redwood Bar & Grill (2nd Street) -- 6th Street (Downtown LA)
-The Red Lion Tavern -- Glendale Blvd (SilverLake; comfortable for the college crowd )
-The Thirsty Crow Bar -- Sunset Blvd (SilverLake)
-Bigfoot Lodge -- Los Feliz Bld (Atwater Village; comfortable for the college crowd )
-Tiki Ti -- Sunset Blvd where the 101 crosses Sunset -- BEST TIKI BAR ever....
-Little Bear-- 1855 Industrial Street, Downtown LA. Named best beer bar by Imbibe Mag (2013)....nice selection of beers!!
Coming Soon: More Happy Hour listings, mini reviews, and more bars!
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PERSONALITY RATINGS to some of our bars is based on the Big 5 Personality Scale (credit for this idea goes to Lindsay Graham, grad student from the University of Texas, Austin)
Thank You - Bill & Jay (Your Hosts)
PS - Local bars graveyard -- closed as of August 2010:
CLOSED -Quadrupel Brasserie -- on Union between Raymond and Fair Oaks
CLOSED -Barney's LTD -- $, indoor/outdoor -- (NOT Barney's Beanery) - on Colorado between Delacey and Pasadena Ave
CLOSED -Crown City Brewery (on Del Mar) - http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_9188886
CLOSED -Madeleines Wine Bistro (on Green) -
CLOSED -Gordon Biersch (Old Town in Hugus Alley)
CLOSED -Dish Bistro and Bar -- on Union between Raymond and Fair Oaks
CLOSED -RedWhite+Bluezz -- $$, indoor-- was on Green in Old Towne, then moved next to the Playhouse on El Molino) -- both closed
CLOSED- point08 (behind RedWhite & Bluezz ON GREEN Old Towne)...closed...replaced by Dog Haus -- $$, indoor/outdoor -- (yes...a small "p") on Green between
CLOSED -Dona Rosa -- $, indoor/outdoor -- (0.8 miles from Old Town) -- down Arroyo Parkway south of Colorado at the corner of Arroyo Parkway and California
CLOSED -Haven Gastropub -- CLOSED!!!!!!!!!! $$, indoor -- On Delacey between Colorado and Green
CLOSED - -Cheval Blanc Bistro -- $$, indoor -- On Delacey between Colorado and Green
CLOSED - -El Cholo -- $$, indoor/outdoor -- (0.3 miles from Old Town) -- on Colorado in Paseo Colorado upstairs (crazy-good margaritas)