It seems only fitting that in the home of the cheeseburger, introduced here by Lionel Sternberger in 1926, Pasadena would have restaurants that feature some of the tastiest burgers this side of the Mississippi.
This year, the top honor goes to Pie N’ Burger, which has been making burgers the old fashioned way since the early 1960s. Coming in at Reader Recommended for Best Burger was last year’s winner in that category, Dog Haus, which started out in Pasadena in 2011 and now has three separate locations.
Dog Haus is also this year’s Best Restaurant for the second year straight, as decided by voters in our annual Best of Pasadena readers’ poll. Dog Haus has also won Best Hot Dog.
Of course, Pasadena is known not only for its burgers, but also its surprisingly high number of eateries (during one recent count more than 600, the per capita equivalent of New York City), and the smorgasbord of flavors — ranging from burgers, dogs and steaks to international cuisines — that is currently available.
Today, diners are able to enjoy dishes from around the world, with Armenian, Chinese, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Mediterranean, Korean, Middle Eastern, Spanish, South American, Italian and Indian restaurants — a veritable United Nations of culinary delights — all doing business here.
In addition to that, however, are the many coffeehouses, bakeries, ice cream and yogurt shops, and juice bars that in recent years have come on the local scene.
And, it appears, there’s still room for even more restaurants and places to eat, with The Arbour on South Lake winning Best New Restaurant, and Nick’s Pasadena and Mercado (both also on South Lake) winning Reader Recommended honors.
It goes without saying that where there is good food a great chef is not far behind, and again Claud Beltran has been voted the Best of the Best by our readers.
What’s perhaps most impressive about this year’s list of winners are all those who took home multiple awards. Not surprisingly, The Arbour’s Ian Gresik was also a Reader Recommended Chef. But along with that, Tom’s Famous Family Restaurant won for Best Restaurant Staff and Best Breakfast, as well as a Reader Recommended award in the Cheap Eats category.
For Best California Cuisine, Green Street Restaurant again won the top prize, as well as for Best Salad.
In the Best Family Restaurant and Best Japanese/Sushi category perennial winner Kabuki Japanese Restaurant took top honors again, and Euro Pane Bakery won both Best Bakery and was Reader Recommended for Best Dessert. In this category, the winner was Amara Chocolate &Coffee, which also won Reader Recommended honors for Best Independent Coffee Shop and Best South American Food. Dots Cupcakes was another multiple winner, taking Best Cupcake and winning Reader Recommended honors for Best Dessert.
These are but a few of the winners and Reader Recommended restaurants featured in this year’s Best of Edition, a list of first-rate eateries that has grown beyond anyone’s expectations over the past 40 years.