The Novel Cafe
The Novel Cafe
Reviews Coming Soon

The Novel Cafe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.novelcafepasadena.com/home.html
  • Phone: 6266833309
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast
    Monday ~ Sunday
    9 am - 11 am

    Lunch
    Monday ~ Sunday
    11 am ~ 4 pm

    Dinner
    Tuesday ~ Sunday
    4 pm ~ 10 pm

    Happy Hour Specials
    Tuesday ~ Sunday
    3 pm ~ 6pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, High Tea, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: Live music from local musicians every Friday and Saturday night starting at 7pm.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: N Bonnie Ave
  • Public Transit: Gold Line Allen Station, Metro Bus 180,181, 687, 686, Foothill Transit 187, and Arts Bus 60
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Free unlimited parking for Novel Café customers in the back parking lot.
    Please note that there are signs for a one hour parking limit.
    For full day validation, please speak with the parking attendant immediately after parking.

    Parking Attendant hours:
    Mon. to Friday from 5am to 6pm.

    Unregulated Parking Hours:
    Mon. to Fri. 6pm to 2am
    Sat. and Sun. – All day parking
A word from The Novel Cafe
Our menu of diverse American classics lets the exceptional quality of ingredients take center stage. Our menu items most assuredly are a gift from the hearts of our chefs and staff. Inspire your creativity by choosing a freshly constructed salad, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, entrees r sauce. Enhance your culinary adventure with one of our new sustainable signature items featuring locally grown organic herbs and produce, or by typing one of our world class housemade sauces, or one of our mouth watering featured "Special of the Day."

Free unlimited parking for Novel Café customers in the back parking lot.
Please note that there are signs for a one hour parking limit.
For full day validation, please speak with the parking attendant immediately after parking.

Parking Attendant hours:
Mon. to Friday from 5am to 6pm.

Unregulated Parking Hours:
Mon. to Fri. 6pm to 2am
Sat. and Sun. – All day parking
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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The Novel Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Across from Pasadena City College
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/3/2013
    Fun decor, nice long bar, inexpensive but good food - The Novel Cafe is perfectly situated across from Pasadena City College in a strip of Colorado Blvd, which doesn't seem to offer much else besides fast food joints. We enjoyed.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good local spot
    nachisVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Great live music on Friday & Saturday. Good spot, drinks are good too. Food just needs an update & to be given more care.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow!
    Linda
    Dined on 9/28/2013
    Food was terrific, the entertainment (VR Smith) was fantastic...what a great Saturday night find! They need to get the service a bit more together.....brought food but no plates. Brought main entree right after they served the salads....there was barely room for all the plates at once. But the deliciousness and ambiance made up for it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fancy Internet cafe
    Jenny
    Dined on 9/25/2013
    Very classy looking Novel Cafe. I went to original one on Pier in Santa Monica which has boho flair and good food. This one is in my neighborhood and very pretty and classy. The wait staff are usul really friendly. Tonight- not great, but okay, but the waiter got my order perfectly done according to my discriminating taste.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/15/2013
    This was a restaurant I had on my "To-do" list. The food is good, we ordered the Shrimp Buschetta for a starter ; our entrees were Linguini and Clams and Organic Chicken Breast. The linguini was very generous with clams, and the French Lentils that came with the chicken were really good. The service was also very good and I felt well cared for. The ambience of the place was lacking. I thought by the name and the logo, there would be bookshelves and a library theme going on inside, but that wasn't the case; both the televisions and the music playing overhead just didn't mesh. Overall, it was an anticlimactic experience, not because of the food, but how it all came together. If ambiance isn't important to you, the food is good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Better Service This Time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/14/2013
    My wife and I like this place but, service can be uneven. The last time we came they had one poor waitress doing her best running around but, a lot of tables weren't being bussed. Things were much better this time and the food was good as always....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very nice place
    Zugah
    Dined on 8/1/2013
    I really liked this restaurant. Good food, good service, pleasant surroundings. The house wine is a bargain at $4 or $3 during happy hour.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food that need better service
    Kizofdragon
    Dined on 7/30/2013
    We came here for dinner on Tuesday night. Although we made a reservation, but the waitress just told us to sit any where we like and she forgot about us, sitting there for over 5 minutes without offering the menu or water. Later she said because it was a busy night, well, the restaurant was 1/3 full, I wonder how they are going to handle it when it is really full full. Anyway, the fish tacos, seafood pasta and veggie penne pasta we ordered were all delicious! Just hope that we don't have to wait for nearly 30 minutes to get our appetizer (tacos), because we were starving. Parking behind the building are marked with 1 hour limit, wonder if they really tow the cars. There's no way you can finish your meal in an hour.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Horrible Waitress
    gardenloverVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2013
    Our waitress had ZERO personality and was one of the worst servers we have ever had! We waited so long for drinks, highchair, food, napkins etc. If it weren't for the bus boy service wood be nothing!!! He brought us chips and salsa, extra napkins and refilled our drinks etc. At least the food was good!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice for brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    Nice place for brunch, very crowded but all nice people there!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/22/2013
    We had lunch at The Novel Cafe to celebrate a couple of birthdays and an anniversary. Overall, we had a good time. There was a mixup at first regarding our reservation. Having said that, the rest of the lunch went very well. Everyone enjoyed their meals, the service was great and the ambiance was nice. We all agreed that we would go back again :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It had been a couple of months
    Ti5mVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2013
    It had been a couple of months since our last visit and I was glad to see an update to the menu. I got the newly added Pork "Tex-Mex", which I would recommend. Service continues to improve and is now quite good. It is no longer the "Bring a Novel" Cafe.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not great
    barbydollVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2013
    Place is gruggy!! Food was good but a rip off did not honor the full value of the coupon
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Experience
    Jason
    Dined on 6/4/2013
    Great food, service and the outdoor tables are set very nicely with plenty of room for 2 or 4. Possibly the best Carnitas Tacos I have ever had!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice Breakfast
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 5/27/2013
    My wife had the Eggs Rancheros while I had the eggs Benedict. Both were very good. Christina our server was great but, the poor thing was running around like crazy. I thought I saw another waitress but, she would disappear at times. I saw a lot of tables not getting bussed so people coming in (Us included) had to wait until Christina was able to clear a table and wipe it down. I saw one guy come by later to clear one table but, he was moving at a snails pace and then he disappear. I hope the owners of the restaurant notice this ....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was just ok, nothing
    FionaVIP
    Dined on 3/31/2013
    The food was just ok, nothing to be amazed about. Service was good even though only 2 servers at a time. But the latte I ordered was disappointed, it came without any foam, just like a cup of milk coffee that I can make it at home.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We enjoyed this restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/31/2013
    We enjoyed this restaurant very much. The food was delicious and prices were reasonable. We sat on the patio with our baby and dog. Very happy we were able to bring our dog and happy we weren't forgotten about on the patio.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We always enjoy the friendly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 3/22/2013
    We always enjoy the friendly service and tasty food. I tried the hanger steak this time. Though it was a little more chewy than I'd hoped, the flavor was delicious. My husband always likes the fish and chips.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Comfortable restaurant with
    MelanieMcVIP
    Dined on 3/20/2013
    Comfortable restaurant with good food. Decent selection on the menu. Not kid friendly unfortunately. No kids options at all. Good place to meet a client or friend for lunch. Prices are reasonable. Seems silly that you can't get in through back entrance though.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I found the experience very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    I found the experience very enjoyable. The waitress was always available, and there was always someone to refill our waters and check on us. My only suggestion would be for there to be a greeter at the door.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our favorite neighborhood
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/5/2013
    Our favorite neighborhood spot. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights and inexpensive tasty food. The fish tacos are the best and the fish and chips appetizer is big enough for a full meal. Service has been very good the last couple times we've been there...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I love this cafe. It's normally
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/1/2013
    I love this cafe. It's normally not too crowded. The food is very good and a good value. They have a good variety on the menu and serve breakfast as well.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very disappointed - it took
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/17/2013
    Very disappointed - it took nearly an hour from when we ordered to receive our food! And it appeared that we weren't the only table with this issue. Waiters tried to be attentive, but slow kitchen staff.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice vibe, friendly and attentive
    Ciga
    Dined on 2/12/2013
    Nice vibe, friendly and attentive service. TVs available for Laker fans. Breakfast available for dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cheap and suitable for PCC students
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 1/8/2013
    Great menu prices. Excellent service. Very friendly and accommodating wait staff. Not what I expected from the reviews and the menu posted online. The environment is quite casual; perhaps a little too casual for my taste. The wine menu is quite limited. And as far as a cocktail menu, there was none. Great for quick and cheap dining for the Pasadena City College crowd. Unfortunately, that does not suit my demographic.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • never fails to impress. love
    BrunchVIP
    Dined on 12/8/2012
    never fails to impress. love the decor. live music is wonderful, but with the very high ceiling louder pieces can be very annoying, smothering any table conversation. our group had the fish and chips, thai hanger steak, novel burger. All delish. Starters include fish tacos that are heavenly with grilled fish ? tilapia, farmers salad with grilled baby veggies, and rave reviews for the watermelon salad. Would suggest 1-2 specials every night, not yet happening. If they deal with the music/acoustics issue, this is a 5 star local winner. otherwise expect not to hear your companions too much, sit at the bar and enjoy the music
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • introduced 3 new patrons to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/7/2012
    introduced 3 new patrons to Novel Cafe...........all enjoyed the experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Service very poor, not due
    melsvetVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    Service very poor, not due to server, but only 1 wait staff for entire restaurant. Brought a bottle of wine, no one available to open/ pour it for our group. Fortunately a member of our group had an opener in his car. However, we asked that the corkage be waived, and it was, The entrees were very good, and in spite of all, would return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • If not for the music would
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    If not for the music would have walked out. This restaurant is understaff. So fault is not with the server, but with the GM and ownership. Sorry but when you ask for bread when you sit down and it does not show up for over a hour later.... this states that one should not patron this restaurant. As if ownership lacks interest in their investment - we the eating public should take our business elsewhere. Oh and the food with tastless. No seasoning. Again comes from a stress out kitchen without adequate help so meals are just tossed together.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My wife and I came here with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    My wife and I came here with a friend for a quick bite. We all had the fish tacos which was still good but, we noticed they changed from a kumquat sauce to an orange sauce. My wife and I preferred the former. We also had the tofu dogs which were cute and the arancini which was tasty. They have a happy hour so everything was half price but, I made sure to tip at the regular rate. We just missed the live entertainment but, we'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2nd visit, just as good as
    BrunchVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2012
    2nd visit, just as good as first. Happy hour deal cannot be beat. Delicious fish tacos with grilled snapper, rancini crispy outside, " Farmer Salad " with fresh grilled vegetables was GREAT, Fish and chips well cooked pieces of cod. Quiet in early evening when musical entertainment not scheduled. Great neighborhood spur of the moment gem, but for me, worth the drive from Burbank!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food !
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 10/20/2012
    Love this place! Everything me and my boyfriend gets we always enjoy. Endless happy hour on weekend nights and live jazz music :-)
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Novel Cafe has good food
    slmtVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2012
    The Novel Cafe has good food and a great space. Their prices are reasonable and it is a great place to stop by and eat if you need to grab a meal in the middle of the week or a casual place to go for a coffee date.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Novel Cafe a winner!
    BrunchVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2012
    Foursome for Sat night dinner - not packed, as others noted. Why? Food was luscious, super foodie quality for amazing low price ( further lwered by happy hour specials that lasted all night! ). Fish taco appetizers blend of fresh grilled snapper, sweet, crunchy. Watermelon salad unique, with pistachio crusted goat cheese balls, strawberries,cherry tomatoes. Main courses of crispy range chicken over lentils with fresh grilled asparagus was delicious, tho not quite crispy, and few menu noted ingredients left out. Barramundi was scrumptious, as was salmon over black and white peas that looked suspiciously like lentils.Very spacious seating, bar unobtrusive. Wonderful live music, tho at times volume needed to be turned down. A definite go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • They recently changed the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 10/4/2012
    They recently changed the menu but we came here on a Thursday night and it was not busy at all. They had an incredible happy hour menu 4-7pm. All appetizers were half off. their appetizers were basically the size of entrees so it was an amazing deal. All the food was great and you can't beat the value. It was a great place to relax after a long day.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • short of servers ~ but overall
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/2/2012
    short of servers ~ but overall the food is great ~ good portion & delicious !
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • the food was terrific, and
    channelplaceVIP
    Dined on 9/29/2012
    the food was terrific, and we thoroughly enjoyed the musical group/female vocalist
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This place has great potential,
    AnaDVIP
    Dined on 9/26/2012
    This place has great potential, food selections should be reviewed, too much bacon on menu, food was salty. Although there were only 4 people in the place it too at least 20 minutes to get our meal.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and very reasonable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 9/20/2012
    Great food and very reasonable prices. I haven't found an item on the menu that I don't like.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Novel Cafe. I always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2012
    Love Novel Cafe. I always order the same thing because it tastes so good. Friendly attentive wait staff and manager always greets us warmly and makes us feel glad we came. We're regulars now.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate