When the “Grandaddy of Them All” returns to the Rose Bowl Stadium on Monday, January 2nd, you’ll be glad you opted to postpone those healthy New Year’s resolutions a day or two. That’s because, in addition to the festivities surrounding the annual Rose Bowl Parade, the city of Pasadena offers a food scene that goes well beyond anything you’ll find in a parking lot or concession stand. USC and Penn State face-off at 2 p.m., so whether you grab a bite before the game, after the game, or are just looking for post-parade sustenance, our list of eateries are worth the trip to Pasadena even without the prospect of pigskin.
First, get your bearings: The Rose Bowl Stadium is located in the city of Pasadena within the Arroyo Seco area off of Rose Bowl Drive, Rosemont Avenue and Arroyo Blvd. Surrounded by the 134, 110 and 210 freeways, the stadium can also be accessed via public trans on the Metro Gold Line.
Lucky Boy Burgers: Offering one of the best breakfast burritos in all of Los Angeles as early as 6 a.m., Lucky Boy is your go-to spot to fuel before a full day of tailgating and cheering.
640 S. Arroyo Parkway
Lincoln: Refurbished from a long-abandoned steel fabricator, this favorable brunch spot recommends that you order the croissant, gravlax, farro bow, tartine, or breakfast bowl—well, at least Jonathan Gold does.
1992 Lincoln Avenue.
Pie ‘N Burger: A local favorite with classically simple burgers, milkshakes and fruit pies.
913 E California Blvd.
Derwolf Skopf: An upscale German beer hall and eatery.
72 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
True Food Kitchen: Locally-farmed and healthy fare served up in an ideal environment if you have little sports fans in tow.
168 West Colorado Blvd.
Union Restaurant: Described as some as a gastro pub, this contemporary 50-seat restaurant and bar features “a deeply personal, seasonally Californian interpretation of Northern Italian cuisine.
37 E. Union Street
The Luggage Room: A pizzeria housed in what was once the Del Mar Train Station’s luggage room. Sidenote: they were just voted ‘Best Local Pizza’ by Pasadena Weekly in October 2016.
260 S. Raymond Avenue.
The Royce Wood Fired Steakhouse and Arroyo Chop House: Elegant steakhouses with ambience to match, these two destinations are perfect for squaring up a football bet amongst your friends—just make sure you’re on the winning side.
1401 South Oak Knoll Ave. // 536 S. Arroyo Pkwy.
Win or Lose, Treat Yourself Here:
Afters Ice Cream: Home of the “milky bun” (ice cream stuffed inside their in-house donut) and open till midnight, there’s no excuse not to pop in for some frozen confections. Their 200k Instagram followers seems to agree.
1265 E Green St.