Best Auto Dealer

Rusnak Auto Group

Being a family-owned auto group has its perks, such as having no one to answer to but the clientele that it serves. For over 50 years, the Rusnak Auto Group team had made a great investment in their customers’ happiness. With a combination of a friendly and professional atmosphere mixed with an incredible lineup of luxury car brands, the dealership pledges transparency to each customer.

77 N. St. John Avenue, rusnakonline.com

Reader Recommended

Honda of Pasadena, 1965 E. Foothill Boulevard,

hondaofpasadena.com

Toyota of Pasadena, 3600 E. Foothill Boulevard,

toyotapasadena.com

Best Bridal/Tux Shop

Panache Bridals

Panache has been a staple in the Pasadena bridal community for more than 25 years, offering a full-service gown-shopping experience, including bridal attire, accessories, shoes and evening wear. Revered as a luxury-wedding gown shopping destination, Panache carries top national and international brands from around the globe.

78 S. Fair Oaks Avenue, panachebridals.com

Reader Recommended

Lovely Bride, 87 E. Green Street, Suite 206,

lovelybride.com

Connie Tao Designs, 23 N. Mentor Avenue,

connietaodesigns.com

Best Self-Storage

Arroyo Parkway Self Storage

Arroyo Parkway Self Storage is a leader among Pasadena storage locations, offering various storage sizes and prices ranging from small at $149 to extra larger at $618. Facility features include a free truck and driver at move-in, air-conditioned units, and a 24-hour digital recording system.

411 S. Arroyo Parkway, smartselfstorage.com

Reader Recommended

Storbox Self Storage & The Wine Grotto, 2233 E. Foothill Boulevard, storbox.com

Public Storage, 511 S. Fair Oaks Avenue,

publicstorage.com

Best Electronics/Cameras

Samy’s Camera

On the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Allen Avenue, Samy’s Camera specializes in new and used photography equipment for camera enthusiasts. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional photographer, Samy’s Camera’s knowledgeable staff and wide selection of digital and film cameras, lenses, video cameras and other camera accessories satisfies everyone’s photography needs. Be sure to check out their website to stay up to date with their in-store events and photography, video and tech courses.

1759 E. Colorado Boulevard, samys.com

Reader Recommended

Audio Elements, 117 Union Street, audio-element.com

JD Audio Visual, 77 N. Altadena Drive, jdav.com

Best Farmers Market

South Pasadena

The South Pasadena Farmers Market is celebrating its 19th year with rain or shine markets from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays. Vendors gather on Meridian Avenue and El Centro Street with fresh produced, baked items and artisanal goods. Free public parking is available in the Mission Meridian parking lot. Prominent farmers include Ace Ranch of San Diego, Bernard Ranch of Riverside and Beylik Family Farms of Fillmore. 

Meridian Avenue and El Centro Street,

southpasadenafarmersmarket.org

Reader Recommended

Altadena Farmers Market, 587 W. Palm Street,

altadenafarmersmarket.com

Pasadena Certified Farmers Market,  363 E. Villa Street,

pasadenafarmersmarket.org

Best Flower Shop

Jacob Maarse

The great outdoors have proven one of the few refuges against the numbing boredom of quarantine, and professional floral arrangements can bring reminders of that open-air freedom into your home. Whether looking for a thoughtful gift, planning a formal event or just looking to spice up a stale room, Jacob Maarse’s high-quality “floral art” will let you appreciate the gravity of nature’s beauty from the comfort of your dining room. After nearly 50 years in the Pasadena community, they’re sure to help make your next birthday celebration a classy affair.

655 E. Green Street, jacobmaarse.com

Reader Recommended

Duran’s Flowers, 315 S. Arroyo Parkway,

duransflowers.com

Brad Larsen, 597 E. Green Street, Suite 101,

bradlarsenflorals.com

Best Furniture/Accessories Store

Fedde’s

Serving Southern California since 1937, Fedde’s offers two 20,000-square-foot showrooms full of furniture and custom upholstery at exceptional values. With a low-price guarantee, a wide variety of quality home furnishings, complimentary interior design services and full service delivery, Fedde’s strives to make it easy to find great home furnishings.

2350 E. Colorado Boulevard and 32 N. Sierra Madre Boulevard, fedde.com

Reader Recommended

Crate & Barrel, 60 W. Colorado Boulevard,

crateandbarrel.com

Pottery Barn, 1 E. Colorado Boulevard, potterybarn.com

Best Grocery Store

Trader Joe’s

At Pasadena-bred Trader Joe’s, the staff prides itself on selling fun and healthy items from around the globe—and around the corner. It’s the leader in the “fresh format.”

3035 E. Huntington Drive, traderjoes.com

Reader Recommended

Whole Foods, 465 S. Arroyo Parkway,

wholefoodsmarket.com

Bristol Farms, 606 Fair Oaks Avenue,

bristolfarms.com

Best Local Jewelry

Arnold’s Fine Jewelry

After opening its first store in Ottumwa, Iowa, in 1890, Arnold’s Fine Jewelry moved to Pasadena in 1910, making it Pasadena’s oldest family-owned jewelry store. Under its current owner and third-generation jeweler Bruce Arnold, Arnold’s assists fourth- and fifth-generation clients, with services ranging from custom handcrafted jewelry to jewelry engraving and repairs.

350 S. Lake Avenue, Suite 110, arnoldsfinejewelry.com

Reader Recommended

Estate Jewelers, 700 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite C, South Pasadena, estate-jewelers.com

Altadena Watch & Jewelry, 1920 N. Lake Avenue, Suite 106, Altadena, altadenawatchco.com

Best Local Bookstore/Newsstand

Vroman’s Bookstore

Opening in 1894, Vroman’s Bookstore is the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California. The store hosts over 400 free community events a year including children’s storytimes, trivia nights, craft classes, bake-offs and special launch parties. Throughout the years the store has supported a variety of causes and institutions through food drives, holiday gift drives, free HIV testing and pet adoption days. To date, Vroman’s has donated over $765,513.59 on behalf of its customers.

695 E. Colorado Boulevard, vromansbookstore.com

Reader Recommended

Book Alley, 1252 E. Colorado Boulevard, bookalley.com

Whitmore Rare Books, 121 Union Street,

whitmorerarebooks.com

Best Local Men’s Clothing

Mark Piscitelli Men’s Fashions

Mark Piscitelli Men’s Fashions presents shopping as an experience rather than a chore. Its employees welcome guests from 10 a.m. to 6 pm. Monday to Saturday. The staff advises shoppers on business suits or the perfect outfit for a night out.

589 E. Green Street, markpiscitellimensfashions.com

Reader Recommended

The Bloke, 380 S. Lake Avenue, Suite 101, thebloke.com

P.M. Jacoy Menswear, 2650 Mission Street, Suite 104, pmjacoy.com

Best Local Pet Store

My Pet Garden

This pet store is local favorite that prioritizes the best care and service for dogs and cats. My Pet Garden carries all-natural pet food, toys and supplies for a pet’s much-needed entertainment, and offers services, like day care, boarding and full-service grooming. They also offer a low-cost routine veterinary service, with a visiting veterinarian, that will help with medical consulting for furry friends, microchips and DHPP, bordetella, and rabies vaccinations.

2245 E. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 106, mypetgarden.com

Reader Recommended

Pet Food Express, 320 S. Lake Avenue, petfood.express

I Dig My Dog, 2160 E. Foothill Boulevard, idigmydog.com

Best Local Shoe Store

Run with Us

Marking a decade of making our Best Of list, Run with Us continued to phenomenally serve the Pasadena community for another year. As exercise becomes one of the few sources of relief in these quarantined times, you can look here to find the right shoes and expert advice to get running. And while the pandemic temporarily suspended them, the weekly fun runs and trials brought jogging newcomers and veterans together for neighborhood events.

235 N. Lake Avenue, clubrunwithus.com

Reader Recommended

Lucha’s Comfort Shoes, 921 Fair Oaks Avenue,

comfortfootwear.com

Milano Shoe Repair, 4728 E. Green Street, 626-449-9905

Best Local Sporting Goods

Run with Us

Has quarantine persuaded you to like hiking, too? Well, getting out into nature or for a good jog around town has never been more of a relief, so finding the right apparel is more important than ever. Run with Us—coming in on this list for the 10th time—will undoubtedly help you get the best gear with the best advice for adventuring out into the great outdoors after these months of isolation. Just try not to overestimate how far those pandemic-trained legs can take you.

235 N. Lake Avenue, clubrunwithus.com

Reader Recommended

REI, 214 N. Santa Anita Avenue, rei.com

Big 5, 3719 E. Colorado Boulevard, big5sportinggoods.com

Best Local Women’s Clothing

Sidecca

While local businesses certainly struggled to get through the lockdown months without in-person shopping, small boutiques increased their digital presence. Browsing Sidecca’s website, you can see its popular array of beautiful clothing, accessories and, now, masks! Their style helps round out the local shopping scene, giving Pasadena a unique flair with original designs. And make sure to check out their limited “Quarantine 2020” styles, including special graphic tees and sanitizer bottles.

1389 E. Washington Boulevard, sidecca.square.site

Reader Recommended

April Blooms Boutique, 14 E. Bellevue Drive,

aprilblooms.com

Elisa B, 16 E. Holly Street, elisab.com

Best Shopping Destination

Old Pasadena

This outdoor shopping center, with a lively and historically charming look, is a one-stop shop for your shopping needs. Popular clothing stores like Banana Republic, Uniqlo and Free People sit among boutique clothing and sneaker stores, like 2nd Street apparel and NEO Pasadena. Stroll through and see the variety of restaurant dining and cuisine options or grab a refreshing coffee or tea at one of the many cafés, like Copa Vida. Be sure to also grab a drink and be on time for happy hour at the historic 35er Bar or dog-friendly Biergarten, Dog Haus Biergarten, for $2 off draft beer and pub-style snacks.

1 E. Colorado Boulevard, oldpasadena.org

Reader Recommended

Westfield Santa Anita Mall, 400 S. Baldwin Avenue, westfield.com

Paseo Colorado, 300 E. Colorado Boulevard,

thepaseopasadena.com

Best Nursery

Lincoln Avenue Nursery

Established in Pasadena in 1903, Lincoln Avenue Nursery has changed hands a number of times since it opened, but remains family owned and operated to this day. With quality specimens offered at exceptional prices, the nursery continues to serve the Pasadena community’s plant-related needs.

804 Lincoln Avenue, lincolnavenuenursery.com

Reader Recommended

Armstrong Garden Centers, 352 E. Glenarm Street,

armstronggarden.com

Bellefontaine Nursery, 838 S. Fair Oaks Avenue,

bellefontainenursery.com

Best Local Toy Store

Dinosaur Farm

If it has anything to do with dinosaurs, Dinosaur Farm has it. This specialty toy and bookstore in South Pasadena is your go-to spot for popular educational toys, like Thomas the Train Engine, but also unique dinosaur-related items. If your child is a fan of the prehistoric era or Jurassic Park, be sure to check out Dinosaur Farm’s collection of dinosaur-themed clothing, DVDs and books, toys and plush dolls, and even, dinosaur party favors and party supplies.

1510 Mission Street, dinosaurfarm.com

Reader Recommended

San Marino Toy and Book, 2476 Huntington Drive,

toysandbooks.com

Vroman’s, 695 E. Colorado Boulevard,

vromansbookstore.com

Best Antique store

Pasadena Antique Mall

This is a store that has treasures worth searching for. At Pasadena Antique Mall, browse the shelves and lined aisles of antique and vintage collectibles, jewelry and clothing, along with many other trinkets, that make perfect gifts. Looking for a one-of-a-kind microphone from 1940 or a stainless-steel tea and coffee set from 1917? Pasadena Antique Mall’s inventory might carry it within its unique, ever-changing inventory.

309 E. Green Street, thepasadenaantiquemall.com

Reader Recommended

Pasadena Antique Center, 480 S. Fair Oaks Avenue,

pasadenaantique.center

Huntington Collection, 766 S. Fair Oaks Avenue,

huntingtonhospital.org/community

Best Resale/Vintage

Full Circle Thrift

This nonprofit community thrift store believes in sustainable shopping while providing great thrift finds to the community—all at an affordable price. Look through its extensive thrift store to find potential treasures or sought-after second-hand home décor, clothing, shoes, glassware/kitchenware, toys, etc. Full Circle Thrift carries a unique variety of options that you’re unlikely to find at traditional retail stores, while also raising money for peace and justice work locally and globally.

2245 Lake Avenue, fullcirclethriftshop.org

Reader Recommended

Huntington Collection, 766 S. Fair Oaks Avenue,

huntingtonhospital.org/community

Meowmeowz, 2423 E. Colorado Boulevard,

meowmeowz.bigcartel.com

Best Appliances

Snyder Diamond

Homes are now all-purpose spaces: offices, playrooms, gyms, restaurants, clubs and studios. So, finding the right appliances to get all that necessary domestic work done has become more important than ever. When your current washing machine, fridge, dishwasher, etc. inevitably fails you after these months of “extra attention,” turn to Snyder Diamond for the high-quality replacement to run your home through the rest of this isolating nightmare.

432 S. Arroyo Parkway, snyderdiamond.com

Reader Recommended

Ultra Bathroom & Kitchen, 318 Huntington Drive,

ultrabathroomandkitchen.com 

George’s Pipe & Supply, 99 Palmetto Drive,

georgesshowroom.com