Pasadena has all the staples of a city rich in coffee culture: small-batch roasters, third-wave coffee shops, and eager baristas. So, where can you find the best coffee shops Pasadena has to offer?
Whether you’re visiting California for a holiday, recently moved to the city, or you simply want to immerse yourself in the local coffee scene, make sure to check out these top-notch coffee shops while you’re in Pasadena. Here’s a look at the 10 best coffee shops in Pasadena to get you started on your local cafe tour.
The 10 Best Coffee Shops in Pasadena
1. Copa Vida
Copa Vida is a cozy café with a Central and Latin American flair, serving coffee, sandwiches, salad, and handcrafted desserts from Kayla’s Cake. Be prepared to order takeout if you come in the morning because it gets crowded, and it can be difficult to get a seat.
Copa Vida came from the popular Spanish phrase Pura Vida. In English, it means “Pure Life.” So Copa Vida means “Cup of Life” in English, and this cafe is our favorite place to get a cup of coffee or tea in Pasadena.
We can’t decide if the coffee or the pastries are better, so we won’t try to pick a favorite but recommend you order something of both. The Lavender latte we ordered was excellent, as was the Creme Brulee Macaron. Copa Vida is a great place to spend a few hours with a good book in a cozy atmosphere if you can get a seat.
The Pasadena café is Intelligentsia‘s third in Los Angeles and a favorite among locals looking for creative, artisan fare in an ambient setting.
The Old Town Pasadena location offers more spaces and light, natural lighting, and convenient parking than its East and Westside cousins, so it’s sure to be the most popular. Intelligentsia is a must-visit coffee shop at 55 East Colorado Blvd.
3. Philz Coffee
Philz Coffee is a chain that offers coffee tea and baked snacks. The Pasadena location is ideal to grab a coffee and get some work done, thanks to its spacious interior and plenty of tables with outlets.
All of Philz’s coffees are excellent, but the Peppermint Mojito is a Philz favorite and definitely worth a try. Prices are similar to the other local stores, so you don’t have to worry about paying too much. You can visit the cafe at 146 South Lake Avenue, Suite #106 in Pasadena.
4. Jones Coffee Roastery
Jones Coffee Roasters is high on our list of coziest coffee shops we’ve visited. The staff is friendly and happy to chat, and they’ll even grind you a bag of coffee so you can enjoy their coffee at home. In addition to the friendly staff, Jones also offers an open and inviting atmosphere with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
Jones sells its own roasted coffee along with signature coffee pastries and sweets., which are outstanding. We recommend visiting Jones at 693 S Raymond Ave.
5. Republik Coffee Lounge
If you’re looking for a clean, modern coffee shop with great outdoor seating and a distinctly European flair, Republik Coffee is the place for you. The atmosphere at Republik is warm and inviting, and the outdoor seating is beautiful.
If you’re looking for something different, try the vanilla latte; it’s one of the tastiest and smoothest lattes we’ve ever had, period. A vanilla latte in the tree-lined seating area is a real treat when the weather is nice.
6. Highlight Coffee
Located on the border of Pasadena and Altadena, Highlight Coffee is a popular spot. The highlight inside Highlight Coffee, so to speak, is a large mural painted by Pasadena artists. The coffee itself is also roasted on-site in Pasadena. The selection is small but fine, and the service from the friendly staff is outstanding.
We’ve been to many cafes in as many cities and rarely have we had such a pleasant experience as we did at Highlight Coffee. The baristas, coffee, and ambiance are all top-notch with a unique Pasadena touch. Highlight is a must-see coffee shop at 2071 Lincoln Ave.
7. Float Pasadena
Float’s tagline is “Sandwiches. Pop. Coffee.” Not only does it state what is offered, but the simplicity of the slogan gives an idea of the atmosphere they want to convey. The coffee at Float is delicious and worth a visit, but luckily the sandwiches and floats are just as delicious.
The breakfast offerings at the float are also good, and the relaxed, low-key atmosphere is perfect for a productive start to the day.
8. Jameson Brown Coffee Roastery
Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters serves a mix of specialty coffee drinks, from standard offerings like cappuccinos to less common varieties like pumpkin lattes. There’s plenty of seating at Jameson Brown, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a seat no matter when you come.
If you’re hungry, you can choose from a small selection of traditional pastries and baked goods, but there isn’t a more extensive food selection. We didn’t mind because the Jameson Brown coffee is so good. If you want to try the extensive coffee menu, go to 260 Allen Ave.
9. Amara Cafe & Restaurant
So far, the cafes we’ve covered have been sparse on dining options. Amara Cafe & Restaurant turns that history on its head, capitalizing on the restaurant part of its name. Amara serves light dishes like arepas and churros and full meals like rice bowls.
We almost forgot, but the coffee is also excellent. It’s easy to forget about the coffee when the food is as great as it is at Amara, but that would be a mistake. The cuisine at Amara is the real star, but the lattes are also delicious and well made. You can sample all of Amara’s delicious offerings at 55 S Raymond Ave.
10. Art + Science Cafe
Rounding out our list is the Art + Science Cafe. The decor and atmosphere of Art + Science is unique. A mounted T-Rex head is a central focal point of the design. We’ll leave it at that. But all kidding aside, Art + Science is a cozy cafe that serves excellent coffee.
The food at Art + Science is good, with all the classic small snacks and baked goods you’d expect in a cafe. Unfortunately, it’s quite expensive, so we wouldn’t recommend Art + Science as a regular stop if you’re looking for a new cafe. Still, the cafe is at least worth a visit, so check it out at 101 Madison Ave.
As you can see, Pasadena has an exciting variety of coffee shops waiting for you to visit. The next time you’re in the city, pop by one of these cafes and give it a try.
You may find your new favorite coffee recipe or meet a barista you enjoy chatting with. Either way, great java and friendship are on the horizon when you sample what the 10 best coffee shops in Pasadena, California, have to offer.
Looking for more coffee shops?
- 10 Best Coffee Shops in Santa Monica
- 10 Best Coffee Shops in San Jose
- 10 Best Coffee Shops In South Bay, California
Featured Image Credit: Brooke Cagle, Unsplash