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Where to Eat Near the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena

How to dine like a local for the 2016 Copa America Centanario

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Pasadena, California has the unique advantage of being just a stone's throw from Los Angeles proper, with enough distance that it feels more suburban. At the heart of the city is Old Pasadena, a district of restaurants and shops that house some great dining options for those who will be attending the upcoming 2016 Copa America Centenario matches at the Rose Bowl. Here are some of the city's more notable restaurants alongside some of the best cheap eats.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Union Restaurant

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37 E Union St
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 795-5841
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If you haven't been to Bruce Kalman's intimate little neighborhood spot tucked away in an eponymous street in Old Pasadena, then you probably haven't tried their surprisingly lightweight and spicy spaghetti alla chitarra, or a slice of that tremendous porchetta, or the rich, sultry tagliatelle with pork ragu. And you probably should.

2. Ración

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119 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 396-3090
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Chef Teresa Montano puts out a lean, deftly balanced tapas (snacks) and racion (portions) program at this sleek Pasadena eatery that's gotten props from critics Jonathan Gold and Besha Rodell. Standouts include those little beef tongue panuelos finished with a little horseradish, and the magnificent beer-braised octopus with chorizo.

3. Houston's

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320 S Arroyo Pkwy
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 577-6001
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If a restaurant was entirely built on guest experiences, Houston's would never have to worry about falling out of any "Best of" list. Service has been whittled down to science, and the restaurant that features table chatter-friendly acoustics and a decidedly upmarket vibe is also home to an amazing burger, french dip sandwich, and surprisingly good sushi. It's not a mere chain restaurant — it's a Hillstone restaurant. There's a huge difference, and the locals are lucky to have an accessible one in their neck of the woods.

4. Dog Haus Biergarten Old Pasadena

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93 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 683-0808
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Beers, brats, tater tots and corn-dog battered sliders are the name of the game at Dog Haus, but the biergarten location is a great place to take in some more sports on a warmed outdoor patio or inside the restaurant. This was also the location where a couple members of the Eater crew tried to eat the entire menu.

5. Pie 'n Burger

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913 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 795-1123
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Pie 'N Burger is the functionalist yin to The Apple Pan's traditionalist yang, which is a shame because to drive from one to the other would take about an hour without traffic (somebody's definitely done this before). But it's worth it to try it if you're in town: A proper double-helping of that inimitable, Maillard-crusted patty is still the essential component of one of, if not the best, old-fashioned hamburgers in Los Angeles, period.

6. Lunasia Dim Sum House

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239 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 793-8822
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If you're craving dimsum and you don't mind paying a bit of a premium for massive portions, Lunasia is a surprisingly above-average rendition of the traditional dim sum experience. The great part? You can get your siu mais and sicky rice with lop cheung at dinnertime.

7. Euro Pane Bakery

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345 E Colorado Blvd #101
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 844-8855
Euro Pane (pronounced PAH-nay) is a lean, mean crowd pleaser with their quiches, breakfast pastries and famous egg salad sandwich. If you skipped breakfast, it's definitely worth a stop on the way to the Rose Bowl or Caltech.

8. Boiling Point

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18 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
Technically this is the Boiling Point Concept Store, which either makes it more hip, more accessible, more limited in scope of menu, or all three. It's hot pot done with flavor elements derived from Japanese, Korean and even Thai cuisines, replete with a hipper-than-thou pricing model and awkward communal seating. Given all this, is it a legitimate hot pot experience? You betcha. If you're hankering for an after-meal cold brew oolong tea or boba, be sure to stop by Jin Tea House next door.

9. Pie Life Pizza

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691 S. Raymond
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 720-7095
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Everyone's favorite walk-up pizza window is still killing the game, still serving up Pasadena's best crunchy-crusted, airy slices of pizza excellence next door to a coffee shop. If you don't know, now you know.

10. Roma Market Italian Deli

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918 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104
(626) 797-7748
Sure there are sandwiches at Roma Market, but Rosario Mazzeo would probably prefer you just ordered The Sandwich. Yes, capitalized. The Sandwich is a nice little mix of mortadella, salami, provolone, olive oil and sea salt on your choice of bread (I favor the ciabatta) and yes, the meats are on-point and The Sandwich is amazing as-billed. By the way, it's around five bucks.

11. Himalayan Cafe

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36 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 564-1560
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Himalayan Cafe has one of the best South Asian lunch buffets for around $10-$12, and it's also great a la carte at dinner. If the Mo Mo's are available, make sure to order some: Chicken dumplings strongly resemble Japanese potstickers are an interesting South Asian take on an East Asian favorite.
Tiffany T., Yelp

12. Tortugas Torteria

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Next door to King Taco is this hip Torteria in Old Pasadena. While it's not necessarily the most authentic place you'll ever see, Tortugas Torteria does have a nice, meaty Cuban torta at around $8, and Tortas Milanesas for a little less.

1. Union Restaurant

37 E Union St, Pasadena, CA 91103
If you haven't been to Bruce Kalman's intimate little neighborhood spot tucked away in an eponymous street in Old Pasadena, then you probably haven't tried their surprisingly lightweight and spicy spaghetti alla chitarra, or a slice of that tremendous porchetta, or the rich, sultry tagliatelle with pork ragu. And you probably should.
37 E Union St
Pasadena, CA 91103

2. Ración

119 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105
Chef Teresa Montano puts out a lean, deftly balanced tapas (snacks) and racion (portions) program at this sleek Pasadena eatery that's gotten props from critics Jonathan Gold and Besha Rodell. Standouts include those little beef tongue panuelos finished with a little horseradish, and the magnificent beer-braised octopus with chorizo.
119 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105

3. Houston's

320 S Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105
If a restaurant was entirely built on guest experiences, Houston's would never have to worry about falling out of any "Best of" list. Service has been whittled down to science, and the restaurant that features table chatter-friendly acoustics and a decidedly upmarket vibe is also home to an amazing burger, french dip sandwich, and surprisingly good sushi. It's not a mere chain restaurant — it's a Hillstone restaurant. There's a huge difference, and the locals are lucky to have an accessible one in their neck of the woods.
320 S Arroyo Pkwy
Pasadena, CA 91105

4. Dog Haus Biergarten Old Pasadena

93 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105
Beers, brats, tater tots and corn-dog battered sliders are the name of the game at Dog Haus, but the biergarten location is a great place to take in some more sports on a warmed outdoor patio or inside the restaurant. This was also the location where a couple members of the Eater crew tried to eat the entire menu.
93 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105

5. Pie 'n Burger

913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106
Pie 'N Burger is the functionalist yin to The Apple Pan's traditionalist yang, which is a shame because to drive from one to the other would take about an hour without traffic (somebody's definitely done this before). But it's worth it to try it if you're in town: A proper double-helping of that inimitable, Maillard-crusted patty is still the essential component of one of, if not the best, old-fashioned hamburgers in Los Angeles, period.
913 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106

6. Lunasia Dim Sum House

239 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
If you're craving dimsum and you don't mind paying a bit of a premium for massive portions, Lunasia is a surprisingly above-average rendition of the traditional dim sum experience. The great part? You can get your siu mais and sicky rice with lop cheung at dinnertime.
239 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101

7. Euro Pane Bakery

345 E Colorado Blvd #101, Pasadena, CA 91101
Euro Pane (pronounced PAH-nay) is a lean, mean crowd pleaser with their quiches, breakfast pastries and famous egg salad sandwich. If you skipped breakfast, it's definitely worth a stop on the way to the Rose Bowl or Caltech.
345 E Colorado Blvd #101
Pasadena, CA 91101

8. Boiling Point

18 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105
Technically this is the Boiling Point Concept Store, which either makes it more hip, more accessible, more limited in scope of menu, or all three. It's hot pot done with flavor elements derived from Japanese, Korean and even Thai cuisines, replete with a hipper-than-thou pricing model and awkward communal seating. Given all this, is it a legitimate hot pot experience? You betcha. If you're hankering for an after-meal cold brew oolong tea or boba, be sure to stop by Jin Tea House next door.
18 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105

9. Pie Life Pizza

691 S. Raymond, Pasadena, CA 91105
Everyone's favorite walk-up pizza window is still killing the game, still serving up Pasadena's best crunchy-crusted, airy slices of pizza excellence next door to a coffee shop. If you don't know, now you know.
691 S. Raymond
Pasadena, CA 91105

10. Roma Market Italian Deli

918 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104
Sure there are sandwiches at Roma Market, but Rosario Mazzeo would probably prefer you just ordered The Sandwich. Yes, capitalized. The Sandwich is a nice little mix of mortadella, salami, provolone, olive oil and sea salt on your choice of bread (I favor the ciabatta) and yes, the meats are on-point and The Sandwich is amazing as-billed. By the way, it's around five bucks.
918 N Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91104

11. Himalayan Cafe

36 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Tiffany T., Yelp
Himalayan Cafe has one of the best South Asian lunch buffets for around $10-$12, and it's also great a la carte at dinner. If the Mo Mo's are available, make sure to order some: Chicken dumplings strongly resemble Japanese potstickers are an interesting South Asian take on an East Asian favorite.
36 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

12. Tortugas Torteria

Pasadena, CA
Next door to King Taco is this hip Torteria in Old Pasadena. While it's not necessarily the most authentic place you'll ever see, Tortugas Torteria does have a nice, meaty Cuban torta at around $8, and Tortas Milanesas for a little less.

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