Photography by: Thomas Reiten
The holiday season is over and a new year has begun. Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it, and whether you think it’s a commercialized holiday or the perfect opportunity to celebrate with your love, we all know we shouldn’t wait for a holiday to express how grateful we are for our loved ones. Here are a few of my favorite spots to have drinks and dine out with my amazing husband.
But first, Vroman’s Bookstore.
695 E Colorado Blvd.
9am-10pm, Friday & Saturday
Before you head out for date night, pick up a small gift or greeting card from Vroman’s Bookstore, one of Pasadena’s most well-known charms. You’ll find some wonderfully creative gifts and cards scattered throughout the store. You know your date will appreciate the gesture! You can also get energized for the evening with a coffee* in the store’s coffee shop, The Next Chapter.
*I always go for an iced latte.
Ok, now it’s time to eat.
536 S Arroyo Pkwy.
5-10:30pm, Friday & Saturday
Arroyo Chophouse menu
The ambiance of this restaurant is simply marvelous. The lighting and music, along with its exceptional service, always puts me in a relaxed state and makes the dining experience quite enjoyable. Aside from their delicious steak entrees, their desserts are to die-for. Be sure to order their Chocolate or Grand Marnier Soufflé!
320 S Arroyo Pkwy.
Houston’s Restaurant menu
A Pasadena staple for many years and just down the street from the Arroyo Chophouse, Houston’s offers a simple, but mouth-watering menu. My personal favorites are their sushi, particularly the Nigiri Plate, Hawaiian Rib-eye Steak, and Pan-fried Fish.
Charm Tip: My husband and I love to dine at the bar where you get full service as you would at a table. The liveliness and vibrance of the bar area creates an engaging atmosphere. There is usually a bit of a wait to be seated at the bar, but I recommend making reservations for a table anyway to ensure you will be seated one way or another.
If you’re feeling extra special after dinner, treat yourself to a nightcap with handcrafted cocktails at The Tap Room. The bar is inside of the historic and stunning Langham Huntington Hotel. With a fireplace and a live jazz band, this place will surely end your date on a high note. Be sure to try out my personal favorite cocktail, the South Pasadena.
The Tap Room @ The Langham Huntington
1401 S Oak Knoll Ave.
12pm-2am, Friday & Saturday
Don’t want to make the ten-minute drive to the hotel? Take a stroll with your date over to one of Pasadena’s treasures, One Colorado, and satisfy your sweet tooth with gummies and chocolates from Sugarfina. The beauty of the lights and greenery of the European-style courtyard will surely charm your date as you end your evening.
20 Hugus Alley
11am-8pm, Friday & Saturday