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Go for the parade, stay for the food

Pasadena will be bustling with Rose Parade-goers on Jan. 2, and eateries will be ready to fill their appetites.

December 30, 2011|By Lisa Dupuy
  • Customers dine at Plate 38 in Pasadena on Wednesday, December 28, 2011. Plate 38 is open for breakfast and lunch on Jan. 2. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Customers dine at Plate 38 in Pasadena on Wednesday, December…

I’ve been to the Rose Parade every year for as long as I can remember. Tradition has it that we all to go my in-law’s home afterwards for our favorite meal of the year, including Honey’s famous potato salad. But I can’t invite all 700,000 or so spectators to the house, so here are some great eateries on and around the parade route, some Pasadena mainstays and some newly opened hotspots.

A number of restaurants close down the day of the parade but many are worth checking out in the days before and after the big event. Euro Pane Bakery has some of the best coffee, rustic pastries and egg salad sandwiches in the San Gabriel Valley. At Pie ‘N’ Burger, the classic 1963 diner on East California Boulevard, the burgers are fat and juicy and the flaky-crusted pies are heavy with fresh fruit or piled sky-high with meringue. (Pie ‘N’ Burger is closed Jan. 2, but open New Year’s Day.)

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If you’re looking for something more upscale, freshen up and go to La Grande Orange on East Raymond Avenue. This lovely bistro is fairly new but it’s housed in a vintage Pasadena train station. Try their Brussels sprouts salad ($15). LGO has been rented out to the Rose Parade committee for lunch on January 2nd, but it’s open for dinner that night. The pizzas at the adjoining Luggage Room (also closed for lunch) have creative toppings and wood-fired aroma, rivaled only by the gourmet pizzas at Avanti Cafe on Lake Avenue. A local favorite for almost 25 years, Avanti opens at 11 a.m. on January 2nd.

There are a few other brave businesses open on the day of the parade. La Fiesta Grande (or The Big Party as we fondly call it) on Colorado Boulevard will open right after the parade is over. The Mexican food is passable but the margaritas and mariachi music are fantastic. This 30-year-old institution is a great place to take a group of friends to while away the afternoon. Or stroll away from the mayhem of the parade route to Burger Continental on South Lake Avenue. They’ve been serving great Middle Eastern and American fare in a casual setting for 36 years. They’re even open for breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m.

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