This Southern California town is famous for its big parade, but little-known Green Street is a destination unto itself
While neighboring Colorado Boulevard enjoys international famethanks to this month’s Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena’s GreenStreet is a haven for locals, with fine home-decor shopping andsome of the city’s best dining. Laid out beneath a leafy canopy ofIndian laurel fig trees, it’s a vibrant and easily walkabledestination with an architectural mix that includes vintage brickbuildings and New Orleans-style structures. Green Street’s adestination unto itself but also an easy side trip if you’re headedto the Pasadena Playhouse, or you grow hungry for more originalalternatives after perusing the mall-without-walls offerings alongColorado.
Green Street is located in Old Pasadena. From I-210, exit atFair Oaks Ave. and go south. The best stretches are betweenPasadena Ave. and Arroyo Pkwy., and for a few blocks to the eastand west of Lake Ave.
Fitzsu Society. Fun, clean-lined, modern styles in homeaccessories from corkscrews to dog bowls. Info: 65 W. Green St.;626/564-1908.
Galerie Gabrie. A strong collection of plein-air andlandscape paintings, including striking Sierra scenes from painterCharles Muench. Info: Tue-Sat; 597 E. Green St.; 626/577-1223.
Jacob Maarse Florists. Housed in a onetime Cadillacdealership, with famously beautiful arrangements plus candles andgifts. Info: Mon-Sat; 655 E. Green St.; 626/449-0246.
Shibui Japanese Antiques. High-quality cabinets, vases, andrare 19th-century stoneware. Info: Tue-Sun; 991 E. Green St.;626/578-0908.
El Portal. Yucatecan-style cuisine at one of Pasadena’s mostpopular Mexican spots. Info: $$;695 E. Green St.; 626/795-8553.
La Luna Negra. A great bet for a lively night out, withflamenco dancing, tapas, and sangria. Info: $$$;44 W. Green St.; 626/844-4331.
Trattoria Tre Venezie. Set in a cottagelike building, it’sone of Southern California’s best spots for the regional dishes ofVenice and northeastern Italy. Info: $$$;Tue-Sun; 119 W. Green St.; 626/795-4455.
For a taste of the days when Pasadena was a favored winteringground of moguls from back east, try the Bissell House Bed andBreakfast (7 rooms from $150; 800/441-3530). Located in SouthPasadena on Orange Grove Ave. (often dubbed “Millionaire’s Row”),the Victorian mansion boasts gardens, carved wood details, andtraditionally decorated rooms, and makes an elegant, romanticgetaway. And Pasadena’s best cultural attractions are just a shortdrive away.