Pasadena offers a wide array of places to shop that can improve even the most melancholy mood or gruesome situation.
As a matter of fact, most monsters invading our dreams at night would do well to visit some Crown City merchants before getting started on driving us mad.
For flesh and blood monsters like Frankenstein, the Creature, as his friends call him, would have done well by getting some shoes that weren’t two sizes too small.
The Wolf Man didn’t fare much better when it came to the fashion department. No matter what light-colored suit Lawrence Talbot picked out the night before, it was always tattered and torn and soaked in blood—good for only one wearing — by the time the sun came up the next morning.
A number of this year’s Best of Pasadena winners could make even these two ghouls look good.
For starters, Off Kilter Kilts — voted this year as the Best Local Men’s Clothing Store — would have made them both look great, especially Talbot, with their array of Irish, Celtic and Scottish fashions.
Run With Us, voted Pasadena’s Best Shoe Store, could get the monster out of those tiny little shoes and into something more comfortable and stylish.
And if they need help improving the look of their cribs, any number of winners offer shopping options that would turn any dungeon or tomb into a castle (one with a moat full of alligators, of course).
Although Dracula is always decked out in a tuxedo, he could stand an upgrade. The best place to do that is Connie Tao Designs which won the Best Bridal/Best Tux Shop award.
The Pasadena Antique Mall has once again been voted Best Antiques by Pasadena Weekly readers, and True Value Hardware Store & Paint is the place to go for any home improvement or coffin- or crypt-building project.
Looking for some fresh obituaries to read? Vroman’s was once again voted Best Local Bookstore/Newsstand.
If you are looking for a monstrously gorgeous ride, Rusnak is the place to go. The dealership, which sells high-end brands including Porsche, Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar, has been a consistent favorite among local readers over the years.
Samy’s Camera returns as the Best Local Camera Shop as they continue to expand with more video and lighting equipment and now offer classes for beginners and novice photographers.
Old Pasadena is still the Best Shopping Destination, according to our readers. The trendy area survived the economic downturn and continues to thrive. That award takes on added prestige as other shopping areas, including Glendale, Arcadia and Monrovia continue to push their own improved downtown areas.
Yes, Pasadena has something for every taste and everyone — living and undead.
Pasadena Antique Mall
300 E. Colorado Blvd., No. 125, Pasadena
This antique wonderland is a perennial favorite for many reasons. Chief among them are a stunning array of vintage clothing, collectibles, china and other must-have items for the discerning collector. Rediscover treasures from the past and find your future passion at this amazing mall.
Pasadena Antiques & Design
330 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
The Pasadena Antique Center & Annex
480 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
326 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 683-8161 | aaronbrothers.com
Get in the right frame of mind at Aaron Brothers. The Pasadena location is beloved because of the staff’s attention to detail and stellar customer service. Frames in all sizes and styles abound here, and it’s a sure bet that you’ll find art supplies, gift sets and custom framing for every shopper.
603 E. Green St., Pasadena
El Molino Gallery
1245 E. Walnut St., Pasadena
(626) 795-4295 | elmolinogallery.com
Merge Framing & Design
928 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena
(626) 797-0977 | mergeframes.com
BEST AUTO DEALER
Rusnak Auto Group
337 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 449-0770 | rusnakautogroup.com
Finding a sweet ride at an affordable price is a breeze at Rusnak. Their Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are put through rigorous safety checks and vetted thoroughly. You’ll leave this award-winning dealership with peace of mind and the knowledge that you’ve purchased a top-quality vehicle at a fabulous price. From luxury models and family cars to fuel-efficient energy savers, Rusnak’s wheels will get you rolling.
Honda of Pasadena
1965 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
3600 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 795-9787 | toyotapasadena.com
BEST BICYCLE SHOP
1670 E. Walnut St., Pasadena
(626) 795-7866 | pasadenacyclery.com
Pasadena Cyclery, family owned for the past 40 years, caters to biking enthusiasts of all levels of experience. Customers will find inexpensive, basic models, as well as high-end bikes and accessories to match.
175 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 577-0440 | incycle.com
Steve’s Bike shop
843 E. Mariposa St., Altadena
Connie Tao Designs
23 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena
Connie Tao has gifted the world with her stunning eye for design and fashion. Her expertly fitted designs focus on original, as well as popular bridal couture and always deliver when it comes to illuminating and enhancing a bride’s natural beauty.
1000 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
134 N. Maryland Ave., Glendale
La Soie Bridal
650 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 356-9889 | lasoiebridal.com
78 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
1759 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
If you own a camera or any electronic equipment from Samy’s, you’re in excellent company. Since 1976 Samy’s Camera has been providing quality cameras and photography equipment and accessories to the masses. In recent years, Samy’s has expanded upward and outward, now offering classes and workshops to hobbyists and professionals.
117 E. Union St, Pasadena
Best Buy – Hastings Village
3415 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 351-9516 | bestbuy.com
477 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
We can’t rave enough about this busy, wonderful shop. We took our 7-year-old daughter to Linden shortly before the start of school, and not only did she receive excellent care from one of their top-notch eye-care professionals, but she was fitted with beautiful, flattering, affordable glasses that were ready as promised. Linden has custom and standard frames for every age, face and budget, along with a superb team of experts to guide clients through the entire process.
Charles J. Korth Optometry
1 W. California Blvd., No.513,
(626) 793-9987 | korthvision.com
Specstacular Fine Eyewear
13 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
BEST FARMER’S MARKET
363 E. Villa St., Pasadena
Pasadena Certified Farmer’s Market is a favorite among those who prefer the sustainable because there is so very much to choose from. Crisp, fresh fruits and vegetables are regularly found here, delivered by local farmers and growers dedicated to their craft who only sell what they grow. They share the space harmoniously with other local vendors offering jams and jellies and a wide variety of mouth-watering delectable treats.
Altadena Farmer’s Market
600 W. Palm Ave., Altadena
South Pasadena Farmer’s Market
Meridian Avenue and El Centro Street, South Pasadena
BEST FLEA MARKET
Rose Bowl Flea Market
1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
You’ll find an eclectic mix of old and new, vintage and modern at the award-winning Rose Bowl Flea Market. Hard-to-find items mix easily with new treasures and quirky gift items. The beauty and fun of the flea market is that you’ll never know what you’ll find from month to month. For over 45 years, the Rose Bowl Flea Market has drawn visitors from all walks of life and all incomes.
PCC Flea Market
1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 585-7906 | pasadena.edu/community/flea-market/
BEST FLOWER SHOP
655 E. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 449-0246 jacobmaarse.com
Since the 1960s, Jacob Maarse has been the gold standard when it comes to floral designs. Their team of talented florists is expert at crafting a look and creating a mood for any special occasion. At Jacob Maarse you’ll find a floral color scheme and design that draws the eye and complements, rather than overwhelms.
315 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
(626) 405-0048 | duransflowers.com
2450 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 795-1508 | theflowerman.net
BEST FURNITURE/ACCESSORIES STORE
2350 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 796-7103 | fedde.com
32 N. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 844-1160 | fedde.com
Dress up every room of your home in Fedde style. Their inventory includes furniture ranging from traditional to trendy and everything in between, all in a variety of colors, configurations and fabrics. Their inventory also features sectionals, ottomans, recliners, sleeper-sofas and a bounty of home-décor accessories and lighting fixtures, and they have a clearance section of discontinued and deeply discounted items that’s sure to delight.
Crate and Barrel
75 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 683-8000 |crateandbarrel.com
The Sofa Company
100 W. Green St., Pasadena
(626) 316-1214 | thesofaco.com
BEST GIFT BOUTIQUE
100 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
Gifts by the gifted. That’s the recurring theme at Lula Mae’s. From the quirky to the quaint, Lula Mae’s sense of whimsy is evident in everything they sell. For those tired of the more pedestrian approach to gift-giving, this charming shop makes customizable gifts that are fun and unique, as well as affordable.
2591 Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena
(626) 797-1135 | shopathoopla.com
695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
BEST LOCAL BOOKSTORE/NEWSTAND
695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
If you live in Pasadena and its surrounding cities, chances are you’ve stopped at Vroman’s Bookstore. It’s a veritable landmark of a building that houses an extensive selection of books, including classic literature, books on history, home improvement, self-improvement and most every interest and topic under the strong San Gabriel Valley sun. Celebrities and former presidents have been known to grace this establishment for book signings simply because Vroman’s is known as THE place to be for those with a love of reading and knowledge. Bibliophiles are drawn to this establishment like a moth to a flame. In addition to an impressive selection of fiction and nonfiction titles, you’ll also discover wonderful, imaginative cards and gifts at Vroman’s, along with pen sets and stationery to make you eager to revisit the lost art of letter writing.
1252 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 683-8083 | bookalley.com
1039 E. Green St., Pasadena
Pasadena True Value Hardware & Paint
409 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
Since 1912, Angelenos have come to rely on Pasadena True Value Hardware & Paint for all their home improvement needs. Maintaining, enhancing and upgrading your home is easy with this popular shop in your corner. There, you’ll find an extensive inventory of materials and equipment for electrical, plumbing and structural work, including painting, sanding and finishing tools and accessories. Pasadena True Value Hardware & Paint is the personification of home improvement — improved.
849 E. Mariposa St., Altadena
Crown City Hardware
1047 N. Allen Ave., Pasadena
BEST LOCAL HOBBIES/CRAFTS
Lula School – Lula Mae
100 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
Taking the theme of unique gift-giving one step further, Lula Mae has introduced Lula School, an exciting range of classes on a variety of subjects, including leather workshops, dream catcher making, loom weaving, introduction to calligraphy, embroidery, art therapy and much more.
The Original Whistle Stop
2490 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
BEST LOCAL JEWELRY
Wayne Jason Jewelry Designs
105 W. California Blvd., Pasadena
Since 1986, Wayne Jason Jewelry Designs has been lighting the bodies of discerning Pasadena shoppers with its eye-catching jewelry. Jason specializes in one-of-a-kind, custom-made pieces and high-quality stones in traditional styles, but his shop also boasts an extraordinary selection of striking colored stones and pearls in modern settings. His collections include a unique line of equine-themed jewelry, combining his fondness for horses with a rare talent for gem design.
Arnold’s Fine Jewelry
350 S. Lake Ave., No. 110, Pasadena
690 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Off Kilter Kilts
2610 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Celtic culture is alive and well in Pasadena. Off Kilter Kilts specializes in kilts for every occasion, with a wonderful array of patterns, colors, lengths and fabrics. From traditional kilts to hip, trend-setting brands, they’ve got it all, and much of their work is provided by local artisans. There’s even an extensive selection of Celtic, Faire and Irish music at this fascinating shop that celebrates a unique heritage with Gaelic style.
544 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
2650 Mission St., No. 104,
BEST LOCAL PET STORE
I Dig My Dog
2160 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
What I dig the most about this wonderful establishment is their commitment to animals. It’s a fun, exciting, cage-free environment that treats your pets just as you would — if you had the opportunity to cater to their every need on a round-the-clock basis. Offering daily rates as well as monthly, I Dig My Dog gives your pet the unfettered but supervised freedom he or she wants and needs.
495 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
(626) 795-6060 | k9loft.com
My Pet Garden
2245 E. Colorado Blvd., No. 106, Pasadena
805 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
In 1956, Leonard Gordon’s dream of starting a record shop came to fruition. Now, 60 years later, Canterbury Records remains a leader in the music business and has expanded their business model to include DVD sales and community outreach by offering discounted sales to libraries and schools. From country, rock and bluegrass to classical, show tunes, jazz, R&B and everything in-between, you’ll find an incredible selection of music for every mood and fancy — and often at cut-rate prices. Canterbury Records is also one of the few music shops around to carry an extensive selection of actual vinyl records, both new and previously owned, as well as current, digital forms of many music genres.
117 E. Union St., Pasadena
Poo Bah Records
2636 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Run With Us
235 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
Despite boasting a multitude of shops catering to exercise gear in the Pasadena area, Run With Us was the first shop of its kind truly devoted to the sport of running and providing all the necessary appurtenances to support the lifestyle. The store features the latest in shoes, accessories and running accoutrements, but that’s not all. In 1999 they took their commitment to health and fitness a step further by partnering with local community organizations, such as running clubs, high schools, doctors and other health-conscious groups to promote and spread the message that movement is marvelous for mind, body and soul.
Lucha’s Comfort Footwear
921 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena
Run With Us
235 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena
(626) 568-3331 | clubrunwithus.com
Just as there’s a lid for every pot in relationships, so too is there a shoe for every foot. Run With Us has a trained staff that will fit even the widest and narrowest of feet with stylish, comfortable footwear for a variety of sports and in a plethora of styles and colors. Since many of the Run With Us professional team are runners themselves, you’ll feel comfortable allowing them to guide you through the process of picking the perfect shoe at an affordable price. At this remarkable shop, you’ll find their customer commitment and substantial inventory ample reason to return, year after year.
The Dinosaur Farm
1510 Mission St., South Pasadena
Oh, to be a kid again and blessed with a store with a wondrous collection of toys and games, from the dinosaur-themed to classic toys, under one roof. Prehistoric playthings were never so attractive. The Dinosaur Farm’s online offerings are limited to the fossilized, but check out their physical store regularly for new items and returning favorites. Dinosaur Farm is a kid’s — and a dinosaur’s — best friend.
San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe
2476 Huntington Drive, San Marino
1020 Mission St., Suite J,
(626) 403-6621 | vidtheque.com
The spirit of indie films burns brightly at Vidéothèque. Film lovers in the know count this establishment as one of the few places that truly caters to aficionados of independent cinema, vintage and rare films, as well as obscure titles and genres of films, documentaries and more. From short films to director’s cuts, here is where you’ll find all your old faves — and discover new ones.
2450 N. Lake Ave., Altadena
Dress yourself and your little ones in enviable style at Meredith M, where fashionable designs at surprisingly good prices are this chic emporium’s hallmark. New arrivals in gorgeous fall colors will lure you in, but you’ll stay and browse for the fashion and fit.
16 E. Holly St., Pasadena
High Low Vintage
1031 E. Green St., Pasadena
838 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
Founded in 1939 by the Uchida family, the gorgeous Bellefontaine Nursery shows a clear and continuing dedication to flower cultivation and landscape preservation, and continues to be a family-owned business. Its traditional values still represent an admirable approach to customer and community service, with sustainable gardening tips and outreach events, such as the annual Theodore Payne Native Plant Garden Tour and Ask the Experts Day, an event held in November.
Armstrong Garden Centers
352 E. Glenarm St., Pasadena
Lincoln Avenue Nursery
804 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena
BEST OUTDOOR FURNITURE
150 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Outdoor entertaining has come a long way since the days of families crowding onto rickety, uncomfortable lawn furniture or eating on splintery, water-damaged wooden picnic tables. Now there are entire outdoor rooms in a variety of motifs replete with weather-resistant sofas, tables and chairs, fire pits and torch lighting. Families can now lounge under attractive, shade-providing canopies, awnings and pergolas. This is the world that Fishbecks Patio Furniture Center understands, and they do their level best to ensure that their customers are fitted with the outdoor furniture that works best for their lifestyle, taste and budget.
Orchard Supply Hardware
452 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena
(626) 403-8115 | osh.com
3425 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 395-7115 | osh.com
520 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
(626) 795-5803 | patioworld.net
BEST SHOPPING DESTINATION
A shopper’s paradise nestled in a charming, historic section of our beautiful city, Old Pasadena remains a favorite for the die-hard bargain hunter, as well as the occasional and reluctant shopper. Trendy boutiques and bridal shops harmoniously reside next to thriving chain stores, hotels, salons, and the beloved nonprofit Armory Center for the Arts, which draws thousands of visitors every year. Intimate cafés, bistros and eateries can be found along with family restaurants, bakeries, coffee houses and casual dining establishments. Technology is represented here too, with the thriving Apple Store, AT&T Store, Audio Element and Bang and Olufsen. Old Pasadena’s limitless options for dining and entertainment embody the city’s approach to life and the pursuit of happiness.
300 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
South Lake Avenue
25 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena
1878 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena
Their customer loyalty and testimonials prove it: Universal Stop is the place to go for a fantastic selection of smoking products and accessories, including vape products and hookahs, at the best prices in town. Alkaline water is available here, too.
ACE Smoke Shop
2501 Lake Ave., Altadena
1446 E. Walnut St., Pasadena
The Bea’s Knees/Beyond The Olive
120 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
Known for its artisanal fare, The Bea’s Knees is a local business with a growing fan base. Customers flock to this charming shop because of its unique approach to the crafts of cheese, chocolate and olive-oil making. They also offer an impressive selection of wines and baked goods. Mouthwatering treats, specialty sandwiches, top-notch wines, hand-crafted cheese, and good company mean The Bea’s Knees will always be just that. Check out the Beyond The Olive section and find the most incredible and creative `olive oils from the subtle and sublime to the dramatic in flavor and flair.
610 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
345 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena
467 N. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena
Whole Food’s Market
465 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
3751 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Some say that Vroman’s Bookstore’s stationery section should be credited with single-handedly bringing back the lost art of letter writing to Pasadena and the surrounding area. And this isn’t mere hyperbole. Their creative and unique invitations offer a plethora of options, including engraved, letterpressed, embossed and more. Quirky and original, as well as a sophisticated and classic greeting cards and stationery, pair perfectly with the precise writing instruments and pen sets found at Vroman’s.
86 N. Allen Ave., Unit 1, Pasadena
The Paper Source
163 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
BEST THRIFT SHOP
ACTS Thrift Store
1382 Locust St., Pasadena
More than just providing a community service, ACTS is the thrift store with a heart — and a finger on the pulse of the neighborhoods it serves. A popular e-waste program offers e-cyling for many household goods free of charge, and much of the proceeds collected go directly toward programs for Pasadena’s youth and outreach groups.
Their weekly tag sale offers significant discounts to already bargain-basement prices, and club members save even more. But while the prices can’t be beat, the quality of the merchandise is even more surprising. At ACTS, you’ll find many one-of-a-kind items, ranging in condition from good to great to new, along with a priceless sense of community spirit and support.
340 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena
(626) 204-3576 | goodwill.org
Pasadena Donation Centers
112 E. California Blvd.
183 N. Altadena Drive
703 N. Lake Ave.
2423 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
2423 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
The funkiest retro-themed thrift store on the planet, MeowMeowz patrons love that this shop is the best place to find gently used records, vintage clothes, art and much more from an oft-overlooked era. It’s a store that, at its heart, could be affectionately billed as an ode to the ’80s. MeowMeowz reminds us of the eclectic vibe of 1980’s music, movies and the dance scene through memorabilia and other hard-to-find items and accomplishes it all with nostalgia-inducing prices.
High Low Vintage
1031 E. Green St., Pasadena
Style on Green
1136 E. Green St., Pasadena
BEST WINE/BEER SHOP
Mission Wine & Spirits
1785 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena
Quench your thirst and satisfy your budget simultaneously at Mission Wine & Spirits. Their wine experts will help you choose the perfect wine for special occasions, as well as for everyday casual dining and entertaining with family and friends. They also feature a large selection of craft and specialty beers and beverages for every palate and at every price.
885 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
(626) 356-9462 |bevmo.com
3730 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
155 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
(626) 765-9334 | eversonroyce.com