The Old Pasadena tasting tour will introduce you to extraordinarily delicious treasures that one may not typically find, or taste, on their own! Join us to learn the history of this district that was once just a land of orange groves and to hear fascinating stories behind the foods that we taste!
We'll explore the streets of Green, Union, Holly, and DeLacey, the avenues of Fair Oaks and Raymond, as well as Colorado Boulevard. Colorful alleys and secret thru-ways will spice up our path as we seek out spectacular ethnic eateries and sweets havens for tastings!
Our savory and sweet food tastings will include delicacies from:
- Cafes and restaurants specializing in world cuisine (Middle Eastern, Asian, Peruvian, Oaxacan)
- An authentic Italian gelato counter
- A tea bar and emporium
- An exquisite chocolatier
- An olive oil specialty store
The tour concludes back at our original starting point. The food samples along the way are filling enough so that for most people lunch or dinner afterward is not necessary.
What Is Not Included?
Gratuity to the tour leader is customary especially if you had a great time & would like to recognize the tour guide for a job well done. A 15-20% tip is considered standard and is greatly appreciated!
We also highly recommend you bring a bottle of water with you, especially if it is a warm day.
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance? Can I pay cash?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance to guarantee your spots. To maximize your chances of getting the tour you want, please book well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Cash is not accepted.
- If I am bringing an infant or very young child, do I need to purchase a ticket for them?
- Children are most certainly welcome on the tour, but we kindly ask that should they become restless or uncomfortable that you take the appropriate steps to minimize distraction to the other guests. Infants or young children under the age of 5 do not need tickets IF THEY WILL NOT BE PARTICIPATING IN THE TASTINGS. Please let us know if you will be attending with an infant or young child when you purchase tickets.
- If a tour is sold out, can I get on a waiting list?
- We do not provide a waiting list. If a date is sold out, there is a possibility we will add a second tour on that date. Please contact us directly by clicking on "Contact MeltingPot" link to let us know which date you are interested in.
- Are there restrooms on the tour?
- Yes - there are also restrooms at many locations along the way; just ask your tour guide.
- Is the tour wheelchair and/or stroller accessible?
- All of the establishments we visit are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Please let us know in advance if you are in a wheelchair, and we will do everything possible to ensure you remain with the group at all times.
- How much food is served on the tour?
- There are 7 stops for food tastings, 1 stop for tea tasting, and a stop for a 'sensory' tasting. Some of the samples are bite size and others are more substantial. For most people, there is enough food that lunch afterwards is not necessary.
- Are tours offered only in English?
- Yes. At this time we are only offering tours in English. If you would like to make arrangements for your own interpreter to join the tour, please contact Melting Pot Tours by clicking on the "Contact MeltingPot" link.
- What if I have dietary restrictions?
- Please let us know if anyone in your group has a dietary restriction (i.e., vegetarian, gluten, nut allergy, etc.) when you purchase your tickets and try to be as specific as possible (i.e., vegetarian who eats fish). As long as we know far enough in advance, we can usually accommodate your needs. If we do not find out about the dietary restriction until the morning of the tour, however, it is not possible for us to adjust in time to accommodate special requests.
- Are there vegetarian options on the tour?
- Yes - this tour is actually very vegetarian and vegan friendly. Please specify in your reservation if you are vegetarian or vegan (i.e., you do not consume red meat, chicken, cheese, eggs, fish, etc.). By notifying us in advance, we will do our best to arrange equally tasty options where appropriate.
- What if I have a nut allergy?
- The chocolate shop makes sweets both with and without nuts. Please specify which nuts you are allergic to, and we will make sure an appropriate tasting option is available.
- Should I give the guide a tip?
- Tipping is customary in the industry especially if you had a great time and want to recognize the tour guide for a job well done. A 15-20% tip is appreciated if you are so inclined. Guides do carry change.
- What types of food are served on the tour?
- We taste foods from a variety of establishments including ethnic eateries (Peruvian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Asian Fusion), a gelato store, and a handmade chocolate shop. We also stop for a tea tasting and an olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting on the tour.
- Are there any beverages served on the tour?
- Water is served at some of the locations we visit, and there is a tea tasting. No other beverages are included. You are advised to bring along your own bottle of water, especially if it is a warm day or evening. There are also places to purchase water and other beverages along the tour route.
- Is there any alcohol served on the tour?
- There are no wine tastings or other alcoholic beverages served on this tour. Each tour participant (daytime and evening) is entitled to a discount to use on their own at Everson Royce wine store at the end of the tour.
- How far do we walk? Is it a fast-paced tour?
- We walk approximately 1 1/4 miles on flat ground (no hills or inclines) in a complete loop around Old Pasadena, so you are strongly encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes. We walk at a comfortable slow pace with frequent stops most of the way and occasional opportunities to briefly sit down.
- Do we just walk around and sample food?
- Not at all! Aside from sampling delicious food from a variety of food establishments along the way, you will also get a fun history lesson about some of Pasadena's more colorful residents of the past and why this neighborhood is known as Old Pasadena. The tour guide will also point out and discuss architecturally significant buildings in the neighborhood, discuss noteworthy restaurants and entertainment venues, and lead guests through hidden alleys and passageways that look just as they did 100 years ago.
- What happens if it rains?
- The tours are held rain or shine. We recommend you dress appropriately and bring an umbrella if possible. On the rare occasion when there is heavy rain or local flooding, you may be notified that the tour for that date and time is canceled, and you would be able to reschedule your tickets or receive credit for a future tour.
- How should I dress?
- Casual and comfortable is key. If you are sun sensitive, we strongly recommend a hat or a parasol and sunscreen, as the sun is almost always shining in Pasadena. Also keep in mind that this area can get very warm (90-100 degrees) during the summer months. You will be on your feet the majority of the three hours during the tour, so please wear comfortable walking shoes. Also keep in mind the tour is about 1 1/4 miles in length.
- May I bring my dog on the tour?
- Animals are typically not allowed in food establishments in California, so we can't allow them either. Sorry!
- Why would an L.A. local take this tour?
- Unless you live in the immediate neighborhood of this tour, chances are good that you may not be familiar with what's new and different since your last visit (as change is an ongoing phenomenon in this part of the world). We think locals will find a food tasting tour to be a fun and novel alternative to the usual leisurely lunch, and locals just might find a few new favorite haunts along the way. And unless you are a history or architecture buff, chances are good you will learn stuff you never knew (but always wanted to know) about Pasadena.
- Can I book a private tour?
- Yes, private tours can be arranged for groups of at least 10 and up to 48 guests touring simultaneously. Please click on the "Contact MeltingPot" link and let us know what you're interested in!
- Are gift certificates available?
- They certainly are. Drop us a line at email@example.com or visit our website at www.meltingpottours.com to purchase online. Gift certificates cost $65 per ticket and are can be used for the Old Pasadena tour or for our Farmers Market Food & History Tour or for our East LA Latin Flavors Food & Culture Tour. Our gift certificates also have no expiration date.
Melting Pot Food Tours
Given their lifetimes of experience living and working in the Los Angeles area, the Scalia sisters are particularly well qualified to select the most interesting and intriguing neighborhoods in the city and surrounding communities in which to conduct food tours. Their careful selection of locales for their tours ensure their guests an entertaining, fulfilling and memorable culinary experience.
Melting Pot Food Tours started in June 2008 and since that time has been featured on or in the Los Angeles Times, the local CBS Evening News, the Pasadena Star News, Daily Candy, Tasting Table, AAA World magazine, the KTLA morning news with Gayle Anderson, the Los Angeles Daily News, AM830 Radio with Mario Martinoli, So Cal Now television, Peter Greenberg Worldwide online, AARP magazine and online, WHERE Los Angeles and About.com. It is also consistently one of the highest rated attractions in Los Angeles on TripAdvisor.