By André Coleman, Sheila Mendes Coleman and Celene Vargas

At the craps table, or when you’re betting on the ponies, there are no sure things. But shopping in Pasadena is a different story altogether. Here, shoppers are all but guaranteed to find a winner.

But let’s face it: It’s not just about winning. Winning is also bout flair and making an entrance. That’s what the great ones do — they show up looking fabulous and they end up owning the room.

You can find just about everything you need in Old Pasadena, this year’s Best Shopping Destination. Located less than 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Old Pasadena has not only great places to shop but also world-class restaurants, great night clubs, a world-class museum and art galleries.

Just as important as looking good is making a grand entrance in a set of wheels worthy of all those new clothes. That’s where this year’s Best Auto Dealer, Rusnak Auto Group, comes in. This is the place to go to find a quality ride that will allow you to show up in style.

Looking the part is the second element in the formula for winning. Le Monsieur — Best Men’s Clothing Store — goes above and beyond to make sure you have what you need to succeed. Here you can get a good suit for as low as $180, and their Shirt of the Month Club helps you stay in style and up to date.

Meredith M is the winner in the Best Women’s Clothing Store category. Prices here also are extremely reasonable, and they have a variety of styles and accessories to choose from.

If you need to elevate things a little bit, Connie Tao Designs, this year’s Best Bridal Shop, can dress you for that special, black-tie event or elegant wedding.

Now that you have the clothes, you have to have the right accessories. No suit is complete without cufflinks and a watch, just as women need earrings and jewelry. The place to go for all your jewelry needs is Wayne Jason Jewelry Designs. Wayne uses quality diamonds, colored stones and pearls for the jewelry he creates in his store. It’s no wonder our readers have voted Wayne Jason Best Jewelry Store seven years in a row.

Of course, to look good you have to stay in shape. Cycling will keep you lean and trim, and this year’s Best Bicycle Shop, Pasadena Cyclery, can meet all your biking needs. Pasadena Cyclery is a fabulous resource for weekend warriors as well as professional riders. From children’s bikes to high-end racing cycles, this store has an incredible selection and skilled staff on hand to answer all your biking questions, assist customers with choosing the perfect model, and maintaining that sweet ride for years to come.

Let’s face it; not everybody can march in the Big Parade. Somebody has to hang around and record the celebrities and historical events. If people watching is your thing, check out Samy’s Camera, winner of this year Best Electronics/Camera. Aside from top name-brand camera’s, lighting, video equipment, electronics and accessories, Samy’s is also a full-service shop that offers classes, workshops and even a budget-friendly used-camera division where customers can put their hands on quality cameras for a song

If you’re hosting a dinner party and you need the perfect bottle of wine this year’s Best Wine/Beer Shop, Mission Wine and Spirits, is the place to go.

As they say, these new looks aren’t for everyone. Some people like the vintage look. If that’s how you prefer to roll, then MeowMeowz is the place for you. Voted by our readers as the Best Vintage/Resale Store, this cool vintage clothing store is geared toward punk and rockabilly, complete with clothes, shoes and accessories. They also sell old vinyl records.

If you’re into antiques, visit Pasadena Antique Mall which once again has won for Best Antiques. Here you can pick up some fine pieces, and they have appraisers on site, just in case you have questions.

Our Best of Pasadena shopping locations offer plenty of places where you can pick a winner.




Pasadena Antique Mall

300 E. Colorado Blvd., No.125,


(626) 304-9886

This bustling antique arena is a perennial favorite for Pasadena residents and visitors alike. Shoppers will find vintage, collectible and hard-to-find items, as well as the perfect, unique gift for those who value the timeless quality of classic, well-made goods.

Reader Recommended

McGinty’s Gallery

869 E. Mariposa St., Altadena

(626) 794-4477

Revival Antiques

1 W. California Blvd., Suite 611, Pasadena

(626) 405-0024

The Huntington Collection

766 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 535-2468


Aaron Brothers

326 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

(626) 683-8161 |

Customer Service and a wide selection of art and framing products help this busy store stand out from the rest. Find skilled advice on framing choices, as well as gift sets, special deals and a well-stocked inventory for occasional, as well as expert decorators.

Reader Recommended

Aarnun Gallery

603 E. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 793-4805 |

Mission Framing

1501 Mission St., South Pasadena

(626) 799-3445


Rusnak Auto Group

337 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 449-0770 |

For over 50 years this popular auto group has been meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Rusnak Auto professionals work closely with their clients and offer superior service by treating each customer as an individual. There is no one-size-fits-all mentality at Rusnak. First-time car buyers will find all the assistance they need in selecting the right vehicle for their budget and lifestyle, and luxury and repeat car buyers will marvel at the exceptional level of service and first-rate selection.

Reader Recommended

Honda of Pasadena

1965 E. Foothill Blvd, Pasadena

(626) 325-0016

Toyota Pasadena 

3600 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 795-9787 |


The Soap Kitchen

25 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 396-9996 |

Soap making is a timeless art practiced by those who enjoy the fragrant alchemy of creating a perfectly balanced, handmade soap. The customer is the true beneficiary of the magical result. Devotees to The Soap Kitchen love the way their products leave the skin feeling fresh and rejuvenated, as well as the sense of well-being their aromatic soaps leave on newly moisturized skin. Of course, the soaps made at this artisan shop are all free of parabens, sulfates, triclosan, phthalates, synthetic fragrance, and never tested on animals. It’s delightful compassionate cleanliness done right.

Reader Recommended

Bath & Body Works

340 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 639-2386

Bed Bath & Beyond

3341 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 351-1262

Lush Cosmetics

24 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 792-0901 |


Pasadena Cyclery

1670 E. Walnut St., Pasadena

(626) 795-2866 |

This full-service bike shop is a fabulous resource for weekend warriors as well as professional riders. From children’s bikes to high-end racing cycles, this store has an incredible selection and skilled staff on hand to answer all your biking questions, assist customers with choosing the perfect model, and maintaining that sweet ride for years to come.

Reader Recommended

Around the Cycle

1270 Lincoln Ave., No. 1500,


(626) 765-6601 |


175 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 577-0440 |

Velo Pasadena

2562 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 304-0064 |


Connie Tao Designs

23 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena

(626) 765-5939 |

A wedding is a special day in every couple’s life. Connie Tao and her team of skilled bridal professionals understand the unique needs of modern brides and grooms, and how important the right bridal support services are to creating a memorable ceremony. Connie’s staff is adept at anticipating and adapting to the needs of couples-to-be, as well as streamlining the process with consultations tailored to the needs of each client.


Samy’s Camera

1759 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 796-3300 |

What Samy’s Camera does it does exceptionally well. Aside from top name-brand cameras, lighting, video equipment, electronics and accessories, Samy’s is also a full-service shop that offers classes, workshops and even a budget-friendly used-camera division where customers can put their hands on quality cameras for song. For decades, Samy’s has built its brand and reputation around understanding and fulfilling the needs of photography enthusiasts. It is a skill they ably apply to every customer interaction.

Reader Recommended

Best Buy

3415 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 351-9516 |


Linden Optometry

477 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 796-1191 |

Don’t let the hectic pace at this local eyewear favorite fool you. Every day, Linden’s skilled staff has this shop running like a well-oiled machine. Regardless of how busy they get, customers are greeted personally and treated with respect and concern for matching them with the perfect eyewear for their vision needs, and their budgets. Linden’s trained professionals work with clients on vision insurance approval, vision maintenance and trouble-shooting vision issues before they become emergencies.

Reader Recommended

Diamond Vision Optometry

Shops On Lake Avenue

350 S. Lake Ave., No. 111, Pasadena

(626) 683-6868

Moda Optique

Shops On Lake Avenue

415 S. Lake Ave., Suite 104, Pasadena

(626) 796-0111 |


Pasadena Certified

Farmers’ Market

363 E. Villa St., Pasadena

(626) 449-0179

Healthy eating is a snap at this beloved farmer’s market. Pasadena Certified’s fruits and vegetables regularly garner acclaim from foodies who love to support local agriculture and appreciate sustainably sourced fresh fruits and vegetables. The farmers who vend at this cash-only farmers’ market sell only what they grow, and visitors with an eye on procuring more than just fruit will find the pleasing assortment of jams, jellies, and fish make it more than worth the trip.

Reader Recommended

Altadena Famers’ Market

600 W. Palm St., Altadena

South Pasadena Farmers’ Market

Meridian Avenue and El Centro Street, South Pasadena

(626) 403-2820


Rose Bowl Flea Market

1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena,

(323) 560-7469 |

Find your destiny at the flea market. Many a shopper has attended with an eye toward retail therapy and browsing, only to find that rare item they’ve searched for years to uncover buried amongst other treasures. The thrill of the flea market hunt isn’t necessarily what you usually find, but what you might find, if given the opportunity. This flea market at the beloved Rose Bowl is renowned for featuring intriguing items, from vintage collectibles, to trendy, popular items at bargain basement prices.

Reader Recommended

PCC Flea Market

1570 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena

(626) 585-7906 |


Jacob Maarse Flowers

655 E. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 449-0246 |

Jacob Maarse Flowers has been one of Pasadena’s best for almost 40 years. They have flowers for every occasion, and you can always find the right floral design for that special occasion.

Reader Recommended

The Flowerman

2450 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 795-1508 |

Mary Falkingham Floral


871 E. Mariposa St., Altadena

(626) 797-8711 |


Peltier Home

1011-A Mission St., South Pasadena

(626) 799-2265 |

Peltier Home is a boutique design studio and furniture store offering a wide array of quality furnishings, unique light fixtures, customizable artwork and accessories to help designers and design-lovers create their own simple, happy home.

Reader Recommended

Fedde’s Furniture

2350 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 796-7103 |

32 N. Sierra Madre Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 844-1160

The Sofa Company

100 W. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 316-1214 |


Lula Mae

100 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 304-9996 |

This charming shop has gifts that are whimsy and conventional that are right in line with the shop’s theme — gifts by the gifted. If you are looking for customizable gifts that are fun and unique, as well as affordable, then by all means stop in and look around.

Reader Recommended

Craft Fair Gift Shop

820 E. California Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 795-4991 |

Reader Recommended

Vroman’s Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 449-5320


Vroman’s Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 449-5320

Vroman’s has been a Pasadena staple for decades. From popular books to the hard to find, you can always find good reading at Vroman’s. It’s no wonder celebrities and some of the world’s leading authors make it a practice to include Vroman’s as a part of their book tours.

Reader Recommended

Book Alley

1252 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 683-8083 |

Century Books

1039 E. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 796-1703

Distant Lands

20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 449-3220 |


Altadena Hardware

849 E. Mariposa St., Altadena

(626) 794-4393

The Altadena Hardware Store is more than just a small hammer and nail supplier. They also have all your painting, lumber and gardening needs as well.

Reader Recommended

Arnold’s Frontier Hardware

297 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

(626) 355-3365│

Pasadena True Value Hardware

409 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 792-2196


Wayne Jason Jewelry Designs

105 W. California Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 795-9215

Wayne Jason Jewelry Designs specializes in one-of-a-kind, custom-made pieces and high-quality stones in traditional styles, but that’s not all. His shop also boasts an extraordinary selection of striking colored stones and pearls in modern settings.

Reader Receommended

Arnold’s Fine Jewelry

350 S. Lake Ave., No. 110, Pasadena

(626) 795-8647 |

Place Vendome

48 Hugus Alley, Pasadena

(626) 577-7001


Le Monsieur

544 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

(626) 569-8437 |

If clothes make the man, then Le Monsieur is to place to dress. Simply put, Le Monsieur can make you, and anyone else, look their best. The shop has suits starting at $180, complimentary dry cleaning and a shirt of the month club. From socks to suits, Le Monsieur is the place for men’s clothing.

Reader Recommended

PM Jacoy

2650 Mission St., No. 104,

San Marino

(626) 799-4600 |


I Dig My Dog

2160 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 844-7877

This store is all about its commitment to animals. They cater to pets in an exciting cage-free environment. I Dig My Dog offers monthly and daily rates. Dig your dog or pet and make them happy at I Dig My Dog.

Reader Recommended

My Pet Garden

2245 E. Colorado Blvd., No. 106, Pasadena

(626) 449-1600

Steve’s Pets

2395 Lake Ave., Altadena

(626) 797-4247


Canterbury Records

805 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 792-7184

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 its 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.

Reader Recommended

Poo Bah Records

2636 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 449-3359


Run With Us

235 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena

(626) 568-3331

Run With Us was the first shop of its kind truly devoted to the sport of running and providing all the necessary accessories to support the runner’s lifestyle. At Run With Us, movement is not only good for business but alsdo a marvelous way to stay in tip-top condition .

Reader Recommended

Lucha’s Comfort Footwear

921 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena

(626) 799-6891

Neo 39

338 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 793-7403 |


Run With Us

235 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena

(626) 568-3331

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.


Dinosaur Farm

1510 Mission St., South Pasadena

(626) 441-2767 |

Parents with dinosaur-obsessed children can hit the jackpot by taking them to Dinosaur Farm, a specialty toy and bookstore in South Pasadena. Established in 1994, the shop has everything from dino-themed room decor to pop-up encyclopedias, as well as a selection of non-dinosaur toys and a few unusual pieces. As they say, “If it’s got the word ‘dinosaur’ attached to the name, we got it.”

Reader Recommended

San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe

2476 Huntington Drive, San Marino

(626) 309-0222 |

Tom’s Toys

2281 Honolulu Ave., Montrose

(818) 249-2178



1020 Mission St., No. 1,

South Pasadena

(626) 403-6621 | |

This is hands down Los Angeles County’s premier indie cinema stop, specializing g in independent, foreign, cult, classic, documentary, new release, and rare cinema rentals and sales. Vidéothèque also includes new releases and old favorites among in its vast library of movie treasures.


Meredith M

2450 Lake Ave., Altadena

(626) 204-2677

Meredith’s upbringing is what gives her store the chic edge needed to win this year’s Best of Pasadena for women’s clothing. Meredith’s childhood was influenced by a fashion-savvy mother who not only knew how to put an outfit together, but also match bedspreads, draperies and fabric wallpaper. With a childhood like that, it’s no wonder Meredith M has a highly curated selection of apparel and trendsetting gifts and lifestyle collections.

Reader Recommended

Elisa B

16 E. Holly St., Pasadena

(626) 397-4770 |


746 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 219-6335 |


1389 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 765-6542 |

Walker Viden Luxury Consignment

1033 E. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 844-9244 |


Bellefontaine Nursery

838 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 796-0747

Opening a nursery was a gamble that paid off through the decades, but it didn’t come without its challenges. Bellefontaine Nursery was founded in Pasadena in 1939 by cousins Dale and Alan Uchida’s ancestors, who faced being sent to Japanese internment camps and having to close the nursery for about three years. But their ancestors persevered and now the cousins aim to continue to carry on their family’s tradition of keeping a healthy, expressive garden that can be seen as a work of art.

Reader Recommended

Armstrong Garden Center

352 E. Glenarm St., Pasadena

(626) 799-7139 |

Lincoln Avenue Nursery

804 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena

(626) 792-2138


Fishbecks Patio Center

150 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 796-9255 |

Since 1899, shoppers have been visiting Fishbecks, one of Southern California’s largest outlets for outdoor and casual furniture. With a beautiful selection of patio furniture, from its range of Tuscany and Florence-inspired designs to even a line of Pasadena style pieces, it’s no wonder that Fishbecks was voted Best Outdoor Furniture Store.

Reader Recommended

Patio World

520 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 795-5803 |

Pier 1 Imports

422 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

(626) 584-9147 |


Old Pasadena

(626) 356-9725 |

The mixture of historic streets and rustic brick facades with a diverse selection of stores gives Old Pasadena a glamorous aesthetic that makes it a shopping destination. From Apple to Zara, shoppers can find just about anything they want while feeling like they’re on a movie set as they stroll through the authentic streetscapes that emphasizes Pasadena’s charm.

Reader Recommended

Paseo Colorado

300 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 795-9100 |

South Lake Avenue

(626) 792-1259 |


Universal Stop

1878 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 797-3333

Hot shop Universal Stop takes the title of Best Smoke/Tobacco Shop again. From cigarettes to hookah and even cellphones and water, their slogan, “Universal Stop for everything you need” rings true.

Reader Recommended

Ace Smoke Shop

2501 Lake Ave., Altadena

(626) 296-0273

Cigars by Chivas

58 S. DeLacey Ave., Pasadena

(626) 395-7475 |


We Olive & Wine Bar

32 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 787-1000

Specialty food stores can’t get more specialized than a shop dedicated to olive products like some sort of olive oil high roller, where the owners bet big on olives.  But it has paid off and now cooking (and olive) enthusiasts can find whatever they can think of at We Olive Pasadena, from gourmet spreads to lip balms. Plus, people can try before they buy.

Reader Recommended

The Bea’s Knees/Beyond the Olive

120 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 795-9308

Trader Joe’s

610 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

(626) 568-9254 |

345 S. Lake Ave.

(626) 395-9553

467 N. Rosemead Blvd.

(626) 351-3399


Vroman’s Bookstore

695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 449-5320

The success of Vorman’s Bookstore is no beginner’s luck, considering the venerable bookstore has been around since 1894. It was once the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi and is now the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California, so they must be doing something right. But Vroman’s isn’t just a bookstore. They also have a stationery department with a wide selection that includes writing instruments and other accessories. Its staff is ready to help find or create the perfect set of personalized stationary for any occasion.

Reader Recommended

The Paper Source

163 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 577-3825 |

Shaboo Prints

(626) 405-8827 |


Full Circle Thrift Store

2245 Lake Ave., Altadena

(626) 639-3051 |

At Full Circle Thrift Shop, there is no need for shopper’s remorse. As a store that advocates for peace and love and works to promote social, economic and environmental justice for all, items purchased from here are bought with money that goes to good causes.

Reader Recommended

MeowMeowz! Retro 80’s

Thrift Shop

2423 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 798-6969 


340 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

(626) 204-3576 |

Treasure Fair Thrift Shop

3239 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 449-3326


MeowMeowz! Retro 80’s Thrift Shop

2423 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 798-6969

While out shopping in Pasadena, don’t pass on MeowMeowz, the coolest 80s thrift shop around. Since opening its doors in 2009, MeowMeowz has been providing Pasadenans with retro apparel and accessories that will have people shouting “winner winner, chicken dinner.”

Reader Recommended

Crossroads Trading Co.

104 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 793-2000

Full Circle Thrift Store

2245 Lake Ave., Altadena

(626) 639-3051 |

Walker Viden Luxury


1033 E. Green St., Pasadena

(626) 844-9244 |


Mission Wine & Spirits

1785 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 794-7026

There are no high stakes gambles involved when shopping at Mission Wine & Spirits. For over 35 years, the store has provided the lowest prices for top products. As one of the finest wine and spirit shops in Southern California, one can shop easily while perusing the store’s quality selections.

Reader Recommended

Everson Royce Wine & Spirits

155 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

(626) 765-9334 |

We Olive & Wine Bar

32 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(626) 787-1000