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Jake's Cafe & Billiards

diner in Old Town Pasadena

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Jake's Cafe & Billiards (Pasadena)

  • Dec 22, 2010

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



I accompanied my boyfriend on some errands in Old Town Pasadena and halfway through suffering from a heat spell on an unseasonably, sinfully hot November afternoon I felt the familiar gnawing demands from my stomach: EAT! NOW!

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.

Jake's Cafe and Billards

The french fries were so cheap and so good – shoestring style with the skin on (I’m a big advocate for skin-on potato dishes like fries and mash). Boyfriend joined me after his errand and helped himself to about half of my fries. Don’t let the photo fool you; it was a hefty helping.

Side of fries

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.
Pasadena, CA
(626) 568-1602

Jake's Diner & Billiard Club on Urbanspoon


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About the reviewer
Rachael ()
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   I am a freelance travel/food writer with my own hobby blog, Glass of Win.   I am a regularly featured writer for Visit the Place Los Angeles magazine and online community.
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