Despite its generally expensive nature, Old Town Pasadena does offer some affordable romantic dining opportunities, and is a great place to visit for a date night out on the town. These three restaurants offer good food at good prices in a romantic atmosphere. I guarantee your date will be impressed.
Kabuki, located at is the perfect restaurant in Old Town if you’re a sushi fan. When you step into Kabuki you are greeted by a bright and modern atmosphere. It certainly does not appear the way you would expect a half-price sushi restaurant to look. Although the atmosphere is not the most traditionally romantic, it is perfect for a fun night out rather than a romantic night in the traditional sense.
Kabuki is known for their “half-price sushi” menu, which features California rolls and other basic sushi offerings. The premium sushis, sashimis, and rolls are not on the half-price menu, but are quite affordable nonetheless. Drinks, sushi, and appetizers for two people should cost under fifty dollars even if you aren’t ordering exclusively from the half-price menu. Kabuki’s other Japanese entrees are also affordable and tasty, so it’s a great place even if you’re not into sushi.
Cafe Bizou is located on the outskirts of Old Town Pasadena. Its romantic atmosphere is enhanced by being a little further away from the crazyness of Colorado Boulevard. It is consistently busy, and a reservation is recommended. Its popularity stems from the quality of food for the price, and also from their attention to the budget-conscious diner. For example, you can add a salad or soup to any entree for only one dollar. Even better, their corkage fee is only two dollars, so if you bring your own bottle of wine you will save yourself a bundle.
Cafe Bizou’s menu is a bit intimidating at first, just because of the sheer number of choices. To start your meal, Cafe Bizou offers ten different appetizers and four different soups. For your entree, they offer everything from vegetarian selections to pasta to many different steak, pork and fish entrees. Their entree menu, while extensive, is quite affordable. None of their entrees get much more expensive than twenty dollars, so if you bring your own bottle of wine you can easily have a romantic date night for under fifty dollars.
The Kitchen is a also located a bit off the beaten path. Located at the corner of Union and DeLacey, it too is away from the hustle and bustle of the main drag in Old Town Pasadena. While it is not necessarily the most traditionally romantic atmosphere, The Kitchen is a cute and quaint classic Italian restaurant and exudes a very comfortable and familiar environment. It comes complete with the red and white plaid tablecloths featured at so many pizza joints, just adding to its charm.
The Kitchen’s menu features traditional Italian dishes. You can choose anything from baked ziti to lasagna to pizza, plus they usually have a nightly special which is oftentimes quite creative. Entrees are priced at between ten and fifteen dollars, so it is very easy to have a romantic Italian date night for under forty dollars.
Part of The Kitchen’s charm is the way it embraces the qualities of what an Italian restaurant should be. It sometimes seems that between the red plaid tablecloths, the candles on the table, and the unfilished brick walls that it is embracing the Italian restaurant stereotype too much, but The Kitchen makes no apologies for its charm.
For an affordable, fun, and romantic date night in Pasadena, you can’t go wrong with any of these three restaurants. Whether you pick hip and modern sushi at Kabuki, traditional romance at Cafe Bizou, or comfortable Italian dining at The Kitchen, you will be treated to a great meal and a romantic evening.
88 W. Colorado Blvd.
91 N. Raymond Ave.
78 W. Union St.