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The Insider's Guide to the Top Ten Coffee Shops in Eagle Rock and Pasadena

Posted on 19 April 2016

In many cultures, coffee is a cause to meet, share and be inspired.  While Carafina Home Decor brings you many coffee tables to sit around and share your favorite cup of Java or Espresso in your home, here is a list of the top ten coffee shops that our team loves to spend time in.  Why you say? Everyone shared a different "awesome" customer service experience or a "you just gotta try this" recommendation.  We have concentrated on two areas in Southern California: Eagle Rock and Highland Park.  Many of us grew up there or are raising our children here and Pasadena is where our company is based.  We've spent many a meeting to develop and build our company.  Now it's your turn to try these special places and work on your next big idea.  Happy savoring! 

 

Click Shop Name to Learn More

Shop Name

Our favorite Signature Drink

Location

Cafe de Leche

Iced Orchata Espresso

York, Highland Park

Coffee Table

Coffee and breakfast

Colorado, Pasadena

Peets Coffee

Any tea (green rocks)

Lake, Pasadena

Intelligentsia

The latest brew

Colorado, Pasadena

Starbucks on Lake

Anything. best drive thru service.

Lake, Pasadena

Zona Rosa

Mexican hot chocolate

El Molino, Pasadena

Coffee Bean

Vanilla latte

Arroyo, Pasadena

Copa Vida

Cupping events & Music

Raymond, Pasadena

Sworks

Truckdriver blend

Eagle Rock

Urth Cafe

Mountain Gorilla coffee, food

Colorado, Pasadena

 

10. Cafe de Leche

(York Blvd. in Highland Park)

Located on the corner of York and Ave. 50, with a perfect view of the new local park, Cafe de Leche opened on York during the housing revival for this artsy enclave.  Best known for Craftsmen homes, trendy shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.  music and artists, Highland Park and especially York Blvd. have many bespoke art and gathering locales. Boasting delicious blends and pastries, Cafe de Leche features iconic Latin drinks like Iced Orchata Espresso.  Come for the coffee and stay to people watch.  Known as a drop in for local artists and musicians.

 Cafe de Leche Coffee Shop in Highland Park, CA

 image: ladyducayne.wordpress

 

9. Coffee Table

(Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock)

    Take one look at this place and you will have many reasons to continue to feast your eyes.  The walls, tables and every nook is adorned with art by local artists.  Known for delicious breakfast and lunch combos, their low key dining is welcome to all (they do shut off wi-fi so you can actually talk to your friends once in a while).  A huge menu hangs overhead and don't be shy...ask the staff what they recommend if you are up for delighting your taste buds with a new dish.  My favorites are the Super Breakfast Burrito or Eggs from Hell.  Come hungry and don't forget the kids.  This bistro is for everyone and during the summer months they utilize an outdoor patio so the kids can stretch out after a meal.  Did we mention the coffee is yummy?   

    Coffee Table and Bistro by Zellina M Foursquare

    image: Zellina M Foursquare

     

    8. Peets Coffee

    (Lake Ave. in Pasadena)

    Started in the '60's, Peet's brings you coffee blends and teas.  This location on Lake is a perfect stop in between shopping at the nearby Shops on Lake.  Replete with delicious blends of teas (our favorite is anything starting with "green") you can get a cooler variety now with the summer heat coming on.  And you can stop by Noah's Bagels next door. A nice little patio area remains a gathering spot for locales and tourists alike.  Parking in the rear.

    image: Peet's Coffee

     

    7. Intelligentsia

    (Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena)

    Known for coffee-snobbery, but why shouldn't you boast when you got a good thing.  They offer a coffee bar experience in a gorgeous brick structure near the equally gorgeous shops on Old Town Pasadena.  Intelligentsia opens up their "kitchen" for roasters so that you can try what will be the next up-and-coming coffee experience.  Don't know what to try?  Just ask their baristas.  They are certified and highly trained in their field.

     
    image: Intelligentsia, Pasadena

     

    6.Starbucks

    (Lake Ave. in Pasadena - North of Colorado)

    We chose this Starbucks (there are about a half dozen near us) because it has the best drive-thru crew and customer service.  You've been here before, you've experienced an actual conversation with lots of smiles and may have even being greeted by your first name.  They do all the same great drinks that you can get at any Starbucks but the hiring manager and trainers for this location should be applauded. 

    Starbucks on Lake Ave image: Victor Caballero

    5. Zona Rosa

    (Madison Ave. in Pasadena in the Playhouse District)

    Certified organic and fairly traded coffee roasters, this bright spot (literally, bright Mexican decor and a Dia de Los Muertos vibe) is close to the Pasadena Playhouse district.  A small shop but big on flavors.  Try any delicious coffee blend or skip the Starbucks and get one of Zona Rosa's blended cold mochas.  Yummier than any over-priced Frap.  Stick around on Thursdays for music nearby.  Not much seating space except for upstairs but cozy enough to stand and chat or walk the neighborhood.

    Zona Rosa by M. Lavin

    image: Carafina Home Decor, M. Lavin

     

    4. Coffee Bean and Tea

    (Lake Ave. near the Shops on Lake in Pasadena)

    One of the most chill places to relax on Lake.  Near the shopping mall.  They have the friendliest staff who will readily recommend something to cool you or thrill you.  Try the Vanilla Latte with Cinammon on top (better than Starbucks by far).

     

    image: Coffee Bean and Tea

     

    3. Copa Vida

    (Green St. in Pasadena)

    This is a place you sip and linger.  Lots of seating with a welcoming vibe.  Our favorite is a simple latte with almond milk and any breakfast egg dish.  Try the chorizo egg hash (a sunny side egg delight with a jalapeño relish...delish).  Their coffees are good but kind of small for the price.  Service is excellent.  After a drink take a walk on Colorado Blvd. and check out the shops or stop by Color-Me-Mine across the street and get your creative juices flowing and make the best of that clean caffeine-high.

    image: CopaVida

     

    2. Sworks Coffee

    (Eagle Rock Blvd. and Colorado in Eagle Rock)

    Located on the corner of Eagle Rock Blvd. and Colorado, this shop opened in 2001 and is geared to everyone: artists, students, parents and kids.  Featuring Intelligentsia coffee and their signature roast, Truck Driver.  A lovely outdoor patio area as well as a place to play and read just for the little ones. Plenty of seating and free wi-fi if you are working on your business plan or the next great novel.

    image: Swork

     

    1. Urth Cafe

    (East Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena)

    Boasting organic and fair trade coffee and tea blends (try the Gorilla Mountain blend and help keep supporting Ugandan family farmers to avoid poaching gorillas).  This site sits on the corner of Colorado and Madison in Pasadena in a gorgeous Spanish style building with a lovely fountain.  With plenty of options to choose from: organic coffee blends, teas, cold blended drinks, fresh pastries, delicious breakfast or lunch combos (try their egg white and spinach breakfast with a side of toast that is TO DIE FOR).  A very lively setting in the heart of Pasadena, this popular location usually has lines out the door but the service is exceptional (they have a second register for take-out in their smaller building).  Our favorite drink...too many to count but whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed.  Don't care for the blend after a few sips?  Take it back and they recommend something else for you.  Their Spanish latte gives Starbucks' latte some serious competition.  Plenty of parking in the metered lot next door or on the streets (be mindful of time limits).

     

    Image. Urth Cafe

     

     Featured image by Infomastern via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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    1 comment

    • Sara: April 24, 2016

      Awesome! Thanks for the recommendations. Have you tried the bakery across from Paseo Colorado? They have fresh baked goods and the service is great. It’s often busy on weekends so suggest you all try it during the week if you have a large group.

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