Spring is the best time to visit the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, where trekking around 200 landscaped acres is bound to work up an appetite. Here's where daytripping Chowhounds like to grab a bite:
• Breakfast on the patio gets the thumbs-up at Mike & Anne’s in South Pasadena: pancakes (pictured), challah French toast. And at lunch, the salads and sandwiches get high marks.
1040 Mission Street Suite 102, South Pasadena; 626-799-7199
• Tapas abound at Ración, a Basque place in Old Town Pasadena. At brunch: pastelitos (turnovers) and small plates. For lunch: bocatas (sandwiches) on house-made breads, and various coca (flatbreads).
119 West Green Street, Pasadena; 626-396-3090
• Julienne has long been a Chowhound favorite for the sidewalk seating and good value. Omelets, pancakes, and waffles at breakfast, and for lunch, French onion soup, tarragon chicken salad on house-made bread, and bucatini pasta with grilled seafood.
2651 Mission Street, San Marino; 626-441-2290
• South Pasadena's Fiore Market Café is a favorite for the house-baked bread (pictured) and local ingredients, some grown by the restaurant itself. 'Hounds like the roasted chicken sandwich with walnut pesto, basil, and Burrata.
1000 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena; 626-441-2280
• Fresh fish and chowders are the things at San Marino Seafood. The maritime décor is basic, but the food more than compensates. Chowhound tip: Order family-style to sample more of the day’s catch.
2150 Huntington Drive, San Marino; 626-943-8862
Discuss: Lunch near the Huntington Gardens
Photo of homemade bread from Fiore Market and Café/Facebook