July 20, 2023

Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in Pasadena

Wondering what to do and where to eat when you’re not at CatCon? We’ve got you!  

Getting Around

Photo courtesy Visit Pasadena

By Metro: The Pasadena Convention Center is within walking distance of TWO Metro Gold Line stations — Del Mar Station and Memorial Park Station. Click here to learn more. 

If you’re traveling southbound toward East Los Angeles / Union Station, you’ll want to get off at Memorial Park. If you‘re going northbound towards Sierra Madre Villa, hop off at the Del Mar Station.

By Car:There is an underground parking structure at the Pasadena Convention Center, as well as a number of parking lots in walking distance. Click here for directions and parking costs.

To Eat

Photo courtesy Visit Pasadena

There is a Starbucks onsite at the Pasadena Convention Center at the corner of Marengo and Green. The Paseo, directly across the street from the convention center, has sit-down options at Great Maple, Tokyo Wako, and The Yard House, or grab a burrito at Rubio’s.

Head over to Dog Haus Biergarten where they serve up hot dogs, burgers and sausages. In a bit of a hurry? Try Lemonade for delicious healthy fare, True Food Kitchen for sandwiches and bowls, or grab a slice of pizza at The Luggage Room. For a more leisurely dinner, get some upscale Mexican food at Maestro, gnosh on the tasty Italian eats at Union Pasadena, or hit up Parkway Grill for a menu that’s seasonal and fresh. For a quick pick-me-up, hit up Intelligentsia for single-origin coffee. 

To Drink

Photo courtesy Visit Pasadena

Feeling thirsty? Grab a brew at Der Wolf in a spacious beer garden with live music. For a friendly neighborhood Irish pub experience head to Lucky Baldwins. The Blind Donkey is a must-visit for whiskey enthusiasts, while vino-lovers will want to head to the Everson Royce for a truly excellent wine tasting. Craving something a little more spirited? The 1886 Bar has a cool speakeasy vibe.

To Play

Photo courtesy Visit Pasadena

If you’re looking for a fun adrenaline rush, visit the Neon Retro Arcade!  It’s got over 50 classic games and pinball machines. Fit in a little culture at the Norton Simon Museum where you can find paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Warhol, and more! Get your nature on by wandering through 150 acres of gorgeous scenery at the Descanso Botanical Gardens. Do some shopping in Old Pasadena where you’ll find tons of shops and boutiques, like Vroman’s, Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore!

Many thanks to our friends at VisitPasadena.com for all the recommendations. With so much to do and see in Pasadena, you’ll want to extend your CatCon weekend by a day or two, or come back to see everything you missed!

CatCon 2023 is taking place August 5th and 6th at the Pasadena Convention Center.