Fitness Foodies [Pasadena Edition]

I never forget how lucky I am to live in such a health conscious community. California, as a whole, is on a totally different wellness planet than most places and I’m so fortunate to call this crazy place my home. Since growing up in South Pasadena and moving back to Pasadena a few years back, it’s been incredible to watch the transformation of downtown areas, small local businesses, large corporate giants, health and fitness opportunities, eateries with wellness in mind and attitudes of local residents. I’m proud and pleased to report it’s only gotten better and even when childhood friends grunt and grind about how silly it can be, Pasadena is a total badass.

Healthy Eating in Pasadena

One of my favorite improvements over time has been the introduction of incredible places to get a meal that’s not only healthy, but delicious at the same time. Where to get a great salad is no longer guaranteed to have 1 or 2 good answers….. Instead, it’s a discussion! More options leads to more opportunities to steer yourself, your family, friends and co-workers in a healthier direction.

Check out some of our Pasadena fitness foodie favorites and let us know about your favorites we might have missed!

Enjoy in Pasadena & throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and the Bay Area.

Tender Greens Pasadena
Tender Greens is like the trendy cafeteria bar of your dreams. They offer pre-set and mix and match options for salads, sandwiches, hot plates and more. The pay-before-you-eat setup makes it low maintenance and easy to grab food for here or to-go. You can taste that the ingredients are fresh, which I LOVE and they’re great about leaving things out or on the side depending on your preference. Tender Greens is also great for the whole family. It’s no secret that there’s usually someone in the group who cringes at the idea of a healthy restaurant for lunch or dinner…. you just tell your “I’m not ready to give a shit about my health” friend/family member to calm down cowboy. Their protein options range from grilled chicken to albacore, marinated steak and you can even get fried chicken on top of your salad, inside your sandwich or on a plate with some delectable mashed potatoes.

Tender Greens Salad & Beer

Our Favorite Meal:
The Grilled Veggies Salad with a side of Herb Brushed Albacore

The Tastiest Part:
Tender Greens offers one of the best nutritional pages on their website that I’ve seen for a restaurant so far. You can check off every item you’re eating to get an accurate account of calories consumed and nutritional facts for your meal. Since I’ve been paying more attention to my daily calorie count, this is totally clutch!

The Rotten Egg:
Tender Greens isn’t the least expensive option on the block. I always look at the menu and think, oh $10 for a huge salad isn’t bad…. but then after I’ve added 1 or 2 things on the side, I’m easily up to like $20. However, I think it’s important to be realistic and remind myself how much certain ingredients would cost if I bought them at the store and prepared them at home. Granted, I’d spend less cooking it myself, but it’s not far off and you’re paying for food that’s fresh and prepared extremely well.

Enjoy in Pasadena, Santa Monica & West Hollywood

Real Food Daily

Real Food Daily is an incredible restaurant focused on organic plant-based cuisine. When RFD first opened in Pasadena, my mom was STOKED…. and I was terrified. “All vegan food??” I thought… gross. Good thing I kept an open mind because this place is the shit. The food I’ve gotten here is unlike anything else I’ve tried and it constantly shows me how creative you can be with healthy cuisine! It’s also opened my eyes to all the non-meat options available to us! I used to eat meat with 2 or 3 meals a day… cutting back made my body feel a lot better and I’ve continued to embrace vegetarian and vegan specialties ever since.

Our Favorite Meal:
The Mediterranean Salad & Three Amigos (Seasonal Special)

The Tastiest Part:
Exploring ingredients, food combinations and a type of cuisine you might not be used to eating on a regular basis. Additions like their “almond feta” that comes on top of my favorite Mediterranean Salad are totally mind blowing…. HOWWWW did they get perfectly smooth combination that melts in your mouth?!?

RFD Tacos

The Rotten Egg:
Like Tender Greens, RFD will be more than a $5 meal. Once again though, it’s worth every penny and you get what you pay for – delicious food, fresh ingredients, perfect execution and an eatery with a wonderfully inviting environment.

Enjoy in Pasadena, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica & Downtown LA

Urth Caffe

It’s no secret that Urth Caffe is new to Pasadena and quickly taking rank as the most popular kid in town. After all, we are in Pasadena, so cliques come with the package 😉 No matter how many fancy coffee and tea drinks land on Instagram though, I’m still a fan and their food is incredible. After waiting in a ridiculous line, you’ll order and pay for your food before finding a table to sit down and enjoy your meal. I’ve been for breakfast, lunch and dinner and have yet to find something I don’t like. Their menu offers a wide variety of healthy meal options and often opens your eyes to something new and exciting.

Our Favorite Meals:
The Breakfast Burrito & The Nori Plum Rice Wrap

The Tastiest Part:
Urth’s menu is incredibly diverse and puts a healthy spin on Mexican, Asian, Mediterranean and Italian items that I love… among many more! Their portions always feel like the perfect size and leave me feeling fully satisfied.

Urth Caffe Food

The Rotten Egg:
Parking & the wait… argh. I can only speak for the Pasadena location, but damn there doesn’t seem to be a day of the week or time of day this place isn’t busy. That’s great, don’t get me wrong…. but challenging when you’re looking for a quick bite. They also prioritize diners eating in, so ordering to go means you still have to wait in line and be patient. Also not a bad thing, but something definitely worth keeping in mind.

Enjoy in Pasadena & San Marino

Porta Via

Porta Via is my favorite spot in town to grab something healthy and delicious on the go. While you can most certainly eat there, they have an awesome set up for getting food to-go or to heat up at home later. In addition to pre-set menu options, you can create your perfect salad at the Insalata Bar, grab containers of antipasta and side dishes, or take main course items like Chicken Piccata and Turkey Meatballs to go. Porta Via food has accompanied me on many picnics, concerts in the park, lunches when I wanted to mix and match all the perfect ingredients and nights when I wasn’t quite up for cooking.

Our Favorite Meal:
The Insalata Bar
(Mostly because they’ll let you mix and match lettuce varieties and they have grilled shrimp as a topping option – YUM!!)

The Tastiest Part:
Straight up, tasty, fresh, prepared specialty items that are hard to find or not as good elsewhere. Aside from their entire counter of menu options, there’s also a freezer with handmade pasta and containers of frozen meals to take to a huge group. The walls are covered with speciality Italian cuisine ingredients and their beverage section even contains options like coconut water!

The Rotten Egg:
Like most places, not everything here is healthy. Since Porta Via is, after all, an Italian specialty store/restaurant, there’s a lot of pasta, sauces and all things deliciously outside of your calorie count.

Porta Via Food

To finding new options, enjoying great food & getting outside your comfort zone,


One comment

  1. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and engaging,
    and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: