The world and the political sphere are burning up, and Pasadenans are doing what they can to improve that situation, but in the meantime they seem intent on dancing as long as the band keeps playing. Based on this year’s Best Of winners, they’re spinning to reliable old feel-good favorites while trying out challenging new steps too.

This year’s Best Of poll results yielded some interesting change-ups. The Mixx outshined Kings Row Gastropub and The Rose, both past winners, and emerged as PW readers’ pick for Best Live Music Bar/Club. Known for its long bar (which contributed to its Best Happy Hour runner-up status) and dance floor, the sleekly designed venue earned the approval of local music lovers with its nightly mix of blues, jazz and swing artists (many of them veteran sidemen), not to mention Tuesday night blues jams. If you haven’t yet been, make plans to check out the Halloween Salsa & Bachata Bash with consummate showman Ricardo Lemvo y Makina Loca and DJ Alex Love.

No surprise, jazz remains a go-to soundtrack of choice for many Pasadenans, and jazz tenor saxophonist Chuck Manning was selected as this year’s Best Local Musician, likely thanks to his classy appearances at local venues like the 1881 Bar, Boston Court Pasadena, and Studio City’s Baked Potato.

Meanwhile, White Horse Lounge bested the competition to claim the Best Bar and Best Cocktails titles, thanks in no small part to its luxe, century-old ambiance and Louisiana-flavored libations. Just around the corner geographically but an alternate universe vibe-wise, Freddie’s 35er upheld tradition as PW readers’ pick for Best Dive Bar, while across town T. Boyle’s Tavern elbowed Rocco’s aside to earn Best Sports Bar ribbons and Mijares retained its years-long rep for serving the Best Margaritas. Best Beer Selection and Best Pub Grub honors went to the venerable Lucky Baldwin’s in Old Pasadena, along with its friendly satellites, Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste on East Colorado Boulevard and the cozy Lucky Baldwin’s Delirium Café in Sierra Madre. Kabuki Japanese Restaurant once again earned readers’ votes for Best Happy Hour, thanks to its surprisingly hearty, budget-friendly offerings.

In recent years the Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theatre of California, has conscientiously sought to expand and connect with the community via its programming choices and special events. That obviously resonated with theater lovers, who once again selected it as the Crown City’s Best Live Theatre Venue and gave it additional props for presenting the Best Theatre Production. (Speaking for ourselves, we have to say the Playhouse’s fantastic staging of “Ragtime: The Musical” and Nia Vardalos’ heartrending adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” were two of the most memorable theatrical experiences we’ve had in a long time.) The Ice House, another beloved Pasadena institution if ever there was one, retained its more or less perennial mantle as Best Comedy Club; in a year of record need to have funny bones tickled, it responded by booking audience favorites like Fritz Coleman, Joey Coco Diaz, Joe Rogan, and Sherri Shepherd. And cleverly named Best Bowling Alley winner Bowlero continues to get thumbs up from PW readers for spiffing up the joint with some nightlife pizzazz while still maintaining its safe, multigenerational appeal.

KPCC’s repeat Best Radio Station win was well and smartly earned, thanks to its diverse, consistently interesting programming and focus on community, not to mention its In Person series and other gatherings at the Crawford Family Forum. Seriously, if ever you’re feeling funky about the state of the world and wondering if the grass really is greener over some other city or state fence, tune in to 89.3 FM. We’re damn lucky to have them.

 

BEST BAR

White Horse Lounge

41 S. Delacey Ave., Pasadena

(626) 583-9013 

whitehorsepasadena.com

Reader recommened

Blind Donkey

53 E. Union St., Pasadena

(626) 486-2379

theblinddonkey.com/pasadena

Lucky Baldwin’s

17 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 795-0652 | luckybaldwins.com

Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste

1770 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 844-0447 

Lucky Baldwin’s
Delirium Café

21 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre

(626) 355-1440

BEST BARTENDER

Stephanie Delgado

Noor

260 E. Colorado Blvd. A209, Pasadena

(626) 793-4518 | noorevents.com

Reader recommended

Megan Varney

The Rancho Bar, Altadena

BEST BEER
SELECTION

Lucky Baldwin’s

17 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 795-0652 | luckybaldwins.com

Lucky Baldwin’s
Trappiste

1770 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 844-0447 

Lucky Baldwin’s
Delirium Café

21 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre

(626) 355-1440

Reader recommended

Congregation Ale House

300 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 403-2337

congregationalehouse.com

Yard House

330 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 577-9273

yardhouse.com/locations/ca/pasadena/pasadena-paseo-colorado/8307

BEST BOWLING ALLEY

Bowlero

3545 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 351-8858 | bowlero.com

Reader recommendation

Bowlmor Pasadena

3545 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 351-8858 | bowlmor.com/location/bowlmor-pasadena

BEST CASINO

San Manuel Casino

777 San Manuel Blvd., Highland

(909) 864-5050 | sanmanuel.com

BEST COCKTAILS

White Horse Lounge

41 S. Delacey Ave., Pasadena

(626) 583-9013

whitehorsepasadena.com

Reader recommended

Roy’s Restaurant

641 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 356-4066

roysrestaurant.com

Alexander’s Steakhouse

111 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena

626) 486-1111

alexanderssteakhouse.com

BEST COMEDY CLUB

The Ice House

24 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena

(626) 577-1894

icehousecomedy.com

BEST DIVE BAR

Freddie’s 35er

12 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 356-9315 | 35erbar.com

Reader recommended

The Colorado

2640 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 449-3485

facebook.com/TheColoradoBar

The Rancho Bar

2485 N. Lake Ave., Altadena

(626) 798-7634

ranchobaraltadena.com

BEST HAPPY HOUR

Kabuki Japanese

Restaurant

88 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 568-9310

3539 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 351-8963

kabukirestaurants.com

Reader recommended

The Mixx

443 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 500-0021

themixxpasadena.com

We Olive and Wine Bar

32 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 787-1000

weolive.com/pasadena/

BEST LIVE MUSIC
BAR/CLUB

The Mixx

443 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 500-0021

themixxpasadena.com

Reader recommended

Kings Row Gastropub

20 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 793-3010

kingsrowpub.com

The Rose

245 E. Green St., Pasadena

(888) 645-5006

wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com/rose-pasadena/

BEST LIVE
THEATRE VENUE

Pasadena Playhouse

39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena

(626) 356-7529

pasadenaplayhouse.org

Reader Recommended

A Noise Within

3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 356-3100

anoisewithin.org

Parson’s Nose

95 N. Marengo Ave., Pasadena

(626) 403-7667

parsonsnose.com

BEST LOCAL
MUSICIAN

Chuck Manning

Jazz Saxophonist

Reader recommended

Krys Mach

Past Action Heroes

BEST MARGARITAS

Mijares Mexican
Restaurant

145 Palmetto Drive, Pasadena

(626) 792-2763

mijaresrestaurant.com

Reader Recommended

El Portal Yucatan/Mexican Cuisine

695 E. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 795-8553

elportalrestaurant.com

El Cholo

Paseo Colorado, 300 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 795-5800 | elcholo.com

BEST MOVIE THEATER

ArcLight

300 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 568-9651 | arclightcinemas.com

Reader Recommended

Laemmle Playhouse 7

673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(310) 478-3836 | laemmle.com/theaters/6

iPic

42 Miller Alley, Pasadena

(626) 639-2260 | ipictheaters.com

BEST PLACE
TO DANCE

Elements Dance Space

1222 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

Suite 110

(626) 817-9988

elementsdancespace.com

Reader recommended

Dance Street

780 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

(626) 791-7746 | Dancestreetca.com

Ixtapa

119 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 304-1000 | cantinaixtapa.com/the-lounge.htm

BEST PRIVATE
EVENT VENUE

Noor

260 E. Colorado Blvd. A209, Pasadena

(626) 793-4518 | noorevents.com

Reader recommended

Elements Dance Space

1222 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

Suite 110

(626) 817-9988

elementsdancespace.com

BEST PUB GRUB

Lucky Baldwin’s

17 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 795-0652

Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste

1770 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 844-0447 

Lucky Baldwin’s Delirium Café

21 Kersting Court, Sierra Madre

(626) 355-1440

luckybaldwins.com

Reader recommended

Kings Row Gastropub

20 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 793-3010

kingsrowpub.com

BEST RADIO STATION

KPCC 89.3 FM

474 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(866) 893-5722

scpr.org

Reader Recommended

KUSC 91.5 FM

1149 S. Hill St., Suite H100,

downtown Los Angeles

(213) 225-7400

kusc.org

BEST SPORTS BAR

T. Boyle’s Tavern

37 N. Catalina Ave., Pasadena

(626) 578-0957

tboylestavern.com

Reader Recommended

Rocco’s Tavern

44 W. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 765-6810

roccostavern.com

Barney’s Beanery

99 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 405-9777 | Barneysbeanery.com

BEST THEATER
PRODUCTION

Pasadena Playhouse

39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena

(626) 359-7529

pasadenaplayhouse.org

Reader recommended

A Noise Within

3352 E Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 356-3100 | anoisewithin.org

Parson’s Nose Theater

95 N. Marengo Ave., Pasadena

(626) 403-7667

parsonsnose.org

BEST WEDDING/
BANQUET HALL

Noor

300 E. Colorado Blvd., No. 200, Pasadena

(626) 793-4518 | noorevents.com

Reader recommended

Castle Green

99 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

Castlegreen.com | (626) 793-0359

BEST WINE
SELECTION

Total Wine & More

721 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 463-1444

totalwine.com

Reader recommended

Mission Wine & Spirits

1785 E. Washington Blvd.,

Pasadena

(626) 794-7026

missionliquor.com

We Olive & Wine Bar

32 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 787-1000 | weolive.com

BEST WINERY

San Antonio Winery

737 Lamar St., Los Angeles

(323) 223-1401

sanantoniowinery.com

Reader recommended

Villa Laural Fine Wines/Old Oak Cellars

2620 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 827-9800

villalauralfinewines.com.