Groceries and Markets

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General Grocery Stores

  • Pavilions -Nearest to Caltech, but in general a bit more expensive and a bit less selection than Ralph’s. Pavillions and Vons are the same chain for the purposes of the customer loyalty cards.
  • Ralphs -Open 6am-2am everyday. They are usually cheaper than most other supermarkets, especially with the customer loyalty card. However, beware of cheap meat.
  • Vons It is cheaper and better than Ralph's on most items. It is a little further, but worth the drive. Open 6 am-midnight. Like Ralph's, get the customer loyalty card for savings.
  • Food 4 Less -A less expensive option for groceries.

Specialty and gourmet foods

  • Trader Joe’s2nd Location-Trader Joe's is a great place for specialty items and prepared foods, and especially for good wine and liquor. They generally have a few good closeout vintage wines for $3 or so a bottle. Their ready-to-eat garden burritos and chili rellenos are wonderful. They have reasonably priced bottled juices in a mind-boggling array of flavors, and are definitely the place to go for party food such as candies and chips. They also carry a limited selection of European cheese, sauces, Belgian and Swiss chocolate. Their produce and dairy products have are very competitively priced.
  • Whole Food - Fancy, huge, awesome. Also has a large dine-in are
  • Bristol Farms -Bristol Farms offers the best selection of wines, produce, baked goods, teas, bread, liquors, meats and sushi-quality fish around. There's also a restaurant and kitchen tools store, so it's possible to have lunch, buy a new coffeemaker, and groceries all in the same store. The prices are high, but the quality is good. It's also a fun store to window-shop and try all of the samples.

Bakeries

  • Euro Pane Bakery More of a café than a regular bakery, come early and get the bread before it sells out! On the south side of Colorado between Mentor and Catalina. See the restaurant review for more details.
  • La Brea Bakery - The La Brea Bakery is routinely rated as the top bread bakery in the LA area. They make fabulous breads of all varieties. They have one of the best selections of domestic gourmet cheeses anywhere and sell olives too. The attached restaurant, Campanile, is fabulous and expensive (although lunch is a bit more affordable). La Brea breads are sold at Trader Joe's, Wild Oats, and other nearby stores, but the actual store is still worth visiting.
  • Pasadena Baking Company -A tempting variety of desserts is offered at reasonable prices, but the midnight chocolate fantasy cake is one of the best cakes in town. They often have extra cakes on hand, so last minute orders are often no problem.
  • Porto’s Bakery - Everything you could want from a bakery - fresh bread, incredible pastries, and beautiful cakes. Run by a family of Cuban origin, Porto's specializes in Cuban baked goods. However, their croissants are worthy of any French patisserie. Most impressive are the cakes, some decorated with piles of fresh fruit. Check them out for a weekend breakfast, pastries for the lab, or perhaps a cake for a special occasion. Service is friendly, prices are low, and the food is great.
  • Sarkis Pastry - If you have trouble making decisions, then avoid Sarkis at all costs. The shop offers an overwhelming variety of cookies, pastries, cakes, and candy (including a large selection of marzipan and Armenian desserts).
  • JJ Bakery - Taiwanese bakery

Ethnic markets

Armenian and Greek markets

Chinese Markets

In all the Chinese markets below, you can find Chinese food products, condiments and spices, cooking utensils etc. Most of them have a large seafood selection with very good prices. The vegetables and fruits are slightly cheaper too.

Italian markets

  • Roma Italian Grocery - New York style Italian shop. Very cheap fruit and vegetables and large selection of authentic Italian cold cuts (prosciutto, salame, mortadella, ...) and cheese. Ask for samples when buying! They also carry a limited selection of Italian cookies, canned products, wines and Italian beers. Around Christmas and Easter they have Panettone and Colomba.

Japanese markets

Farmers markets

There's probably more stuff than this

  • Pasadena Farmer’s Market -Fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, fresh bread and flowers are available at the Pasadena Farmer’s Market. The Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday morning from 8am - 1pm at Pasadena High School (Sierra Madre and Paloma, on Sierra Padre ). The produce, plants, and flowers are of excellent quality and are less expensive than the grocery store. There are often olive, orchid, and honey vendors too.
  • South Pasadena Farmer’s Market - Meridian Avenue & Mission Street; Thursday 4-7 (8 in summer). This market attracts families and couples to enjoy open air dining on tamales, pupusas, crepes, roasted corn and grilled sausages. There are also a number of vendors selling produce and specialty foods.
  • Farmers Market Villa Park Community Center -This is a smaller market, about 8 vendors, mostly for the local community rather than a tourist attraction. You can find good deals on fresh produce.
  • Montrose Farmer’s Market -All the normal farmer’s market wares, plus lots of places to get dinner, purchase craft items, or entertain the kids. The selection is just as good as the Pasadena Farmer’s Market, but it’s more fun. To get there, take the 210 north/west to the Ocean View exit (just past the 2). Go South on Ocean until the road is closed, turn left, and park in the lot. The market is on Honolulu Ave.

Wine and liquor

In the U.S., you may purchase alcoholic beverages if you have ID proving you are 21 or older (before 2am).

  • Bevmo
  • Chronicle Wine Cellar -This favorite wine shop is also the closest to campus. Tiny but with an impressive selection of unusual wines and an astonishingly friendly staff. Great prices. 5-10 wines are usually open for (free) tasting at any time. Can be difficult to find: it is located in a ground floor space behind Nippers hair salon--look for the flag out next to the door. Cash only.
  • Cost Plus -A decent selection of wines at reasonable prices with some great specials, and a selection of microbrew and foreign beers.
  • Gerlach’s Drive In Liquors -It's nice to see what is essentially a liquor store who actually cares about their wine selection. The climate controlled room is not that big, but they pack a lot of wine in there. The selection in somewhat eccentric, with a lot of wine you won't find in the supermarkets, but the prices are strictly list.
  • Liquor Mart -Liquor Mart is usually the best bet for liquor in Pasadena. It offers a large selection of liquor and beer plus a small but decent wine section at reasonable prices.
  • Trader Joe’s - Trader Joe's has a big selection of good wine and liquor. You can find decent European and Californian wines at very affordable prices. Trader Joe's frequently negotiates deals with wine producers to take the last of a certain nearly sold-out vintage for ridiculously cheap prices, as low as $3.