I’ve passed Jake’s hundreds of times in the fifteen years (and counting) that I have lived in the Pasadena area. “The little diner in the alley” always grabbed my attention, but as I was avoiding burgers for over a decade, I never really had a reason to step into its quaint facility.
Until I started researching for this very blog post I had no clue that Jake’s had been around since 1947. It isn’t retro – it’s 100% vintage.
Jake’s is a Pasadena classic dating back to the days of hot rods, surf music, and drive-in movies. Located on Route 66 (Colorado Blvd), Jake’s has consistently served up Pasadena’s Best Burger for decades.
– official Jake’s website
For whatever reason, Jake’s stuck in my mind and I trudged over there, sidling up at the counter Marty McFly style. I didn’t want a full-on, custom built burger (I’ll leave that to The Counter, sorry, Jake) so instead I ordered their sliders ($5.99 for four) with cheese (they didn’t charge me) and a side of fries ($1.49). I drank water.
Including tax, my order came just under $10.00
I watched the cook make my burgers right there on the grill, assembling them one by one. They were little morsels of burger heaven, so simple with big chunks of grilled onion, a healthy slathering of Thousand Island, a fresh crinkled pickle chip and my extra cheddar cheese perfectly melted on the meat.
Would I go to Jake’s again? Yes.
The prices are reasonable, the selection is simple but extremely well-made and there is a lot of room for personalization due to the custom-style menu.
Jake’s Cafe and Billiards
38 West Colorado Blvd.
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