The Ultimate Pasadena Shopping Guide

With so many new and exciting things popping up all over Los Angeles, we tend to forget our beech-lined neighbor to the North-East. But Pasadena is not just the sleepy town known for the once-a-month Rose Bowl Flea Market, anymore: In fact, this adorable L.A. neighborhood is perfect for a day trip and has everything you'll need, from hidden shopping gems and pizza stops to Craftsman homes and cactus gardens. And because we don't want you to miss a single Pasadena gem, we've rounded up the best of the best, all situated in one of L.A.'s most historic and beautiful spots.
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1. Intelligentsia Pasadena Café:
Imagine the damage the Beach Boy's "Little Old Lady From Pasadena" could have done with an Iced Angeleno in her cup-holder. Not to be outdone by its Silverlake and Venice counterparts, Intelligentsia's Pasadena outpost dishes small plates from Heirloom L.A., pastries from Bottega Louie and Cake Monkey, and serves wines selected by Bar Covell's Matthew Kaner. It's the perfect way to begin, or end, your Pasadena day.
Intelligentsia, 55 East Colorado Boulevard (at North Raymond Avenue); 626-578-1270.

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2. Clothes Heaven:
Step past Old Town's bevy of monotonous mall stores, hang a Louie at the Pinkberry, and keep straight past the Starbucks and you'll find yourself at a not-so-undiscovered vintage trove steps away from chain-riddled Colorado Boulevard.
Clothes Heaven, 111 East Union Street (at North Legge Alley); 626-440-0929.

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3. The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens:
There's a reason every time someone mentions heading this direction they're promptly told not to miss The Huntington Library: It's that awesome. Take in Japanese, Australian and Desert-themed gardens, among about a dozen others, then head to the Library where rare manuscripts of Charles Bukowski are on view until the 14th. It's no wonder that this iconic Pasadena spot has inspired L.A. designers like Kate and Laura Mulleavy and Scott Sternberg, plus you've got to hit up the museum shop, which was named the best in town by L.A. Weekly.
The Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road (at Deodar Road); 626-405-2100.

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4. The Gold Bug:
If you're in the market for especially rad and strange ephemera, like decorative taxidermy, ornate jewelry, and Mercury glass, there's really no better place than The Gold Bug. It's a must-stop if your home decor situation is in need of an artful and unique pick-me-up.
The Gold Bug, 22 East Union Street (at South Fair Oaks Avenue); 626-744-9963.

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5. Carmela Artisan Creamery:
Farmer's Market cult creamery Carmela Ice Cream has gone brick and mortar and we're psyched about the oh-so-delish consequences. Don't miss signature flavors like Lavender Honey, Cucumber Sorbet, and Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean.
Carmela Artisan Creamery, 2495 East Washington Boulevard (at Valencia Avenue); 626-797-1405.

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6. The Jane And Joe Shoppe:
Ladies of the San Gabriel Valley can't get enough of South Pas's Jane and Joe Shoppe and it's easy to see why. This two-story shop stocks seriously adorable kids clothes upstairs and staples from fave grown lady lines like Porridge, Saint Grace, and Puella. All with that breezy, casual Mission Street vibe.
The Jane and Joe Shoppe, 1030 Mission Street (at Fairview Avenue); 626-590-9924.

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7. The Luggage Room Pizzaria:
This fall, Pasadena dining legend La Grande Orange opened one helluva pizza place in a former train station luggage room, aptly named The Luggage Room. The Fallen Angel, with spicy Italian sausage and shaved fennel, and Mushroom Party, for obvious reasons, are not to be missed. And if you're on a diet, fear not: All pies can be made vegan or gluten free on request.
The Luggage Room Pizzeria, 260 South Raymond Avenue (at East Del Mar Boulevard); 626-356-4440.

Photo, via Cathy Dahn.