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  4. Pasadena / San Gabriel
  5. Pasadena

El Cholo Cafe

4.0
4
904 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
It all started back in 1923 in a small storefront in downtown Los Angeles. 95 years later and 5 generations later El Cholo has become synonymous with Mexican food all over Southern California.

Our Pasadena venue opened in 2000 and is at the Paseo Mall within walking distance of the Civic Auditorium and Convention Center, overlooking Colorado Blvd.
The menu consists of classics dating back to the original menu along with an array of more modern dishes showcasing the different regions of Mexico.

Four private rooms that can accommodate parties from 40-100 that allows our valued guest a memorable experience no matter the occasion.

Most famously known for our Margaritas and a menu featuring over 150 Tequilas. Both of our bars offer a comfortable environment allowing our guest to relax enjoy their experience.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 14 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Mexican, Latin / Spanish, Spanish

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Thu, Sun 11:30 am–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 11:30 am–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (626) 795-5800

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Jorge Degales

  • Catering

    El Cholo caters off-premise in addition to delivery to your home or office in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding areas. Please call our catering division at 626-795-5800 ask for Diego Fernandez or email him at diego@rmgroupllc.net.

  • Private party facilities

    Parties from 25 to 120 for private events offered in 4 of our semi private dining rooms and patios. In addition to that El Cholo Pasadena can also can accommodate parties up to 250 in an adjacent courtyard to our patio. We feature a full bar with over 150 Premium Tequilas.

  • Private party contact

    Diego Fernandez: (626) 376-3701

  • Neighborhood

    Pasadena

  • Cross street

    Garfield Ave. and Colorado Blvd.

  • Parking details

    Parking in The Paseo Colorado parking structures. Additional parking in the Marengo parking structure on the corner of Green St. and Marengo Validation available. First 90 minutes FREE

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 904 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.0
4 based on recent ratings
  • 4Food
  • 3.8Service
  • 4Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

  1. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    In town for the weekend and wanted Mexican food. Good menu choices. Convenient parking with validation. Fun atmosphere. Everyone enjoyed their meal.
  2. JeanF

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 19, 2023

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Wonderful choice to get together with family on a warm evening.
  3. thehungryhippie

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    As always, our meal was delicious and everyone was friendly! After 100 years, El Cholo has perfected every aspect of the business. We love the one in Santa Monica! The ice blended jalapeño margarita was just strong enough on a hot day. Chicken tacos with a crispy shell tasted incredibly fresh and so clean. The Mother’s Day buffet variety was amazing! We didn’t plan on eating in Pasadena after shopping at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, but glad we chose this restaurant.
  4. Faiyeah

    Los Angeles

    10 reviews

    3.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2023

    overall3food3service3ambience2
    Average food n environment. Service was ok. The restaurant demanded that only my server could give me my check, it took me over 20 minutes and 5 requests to get the bill as my sever disappeared for a while for whatever reason (taking a break?). The manager came and could NOT help.
  5. Marys

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 7, 2023

    overall2food2service1ambience2
    Usually El cholos is very good and it’s our families go to. This time however, our server was obviously overwhelmed. In her defense it was very busy. But it was very hard to flag her down, about 20 mins before we could. The food was ok. Usually love their margaritas. This time it was essentially juice and they only salted maybe an 1/8 of the entire glass. May have to convert to Anayas or Mercados.
  6. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    1.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2023

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    That place has seen better days. Everything had this old and run down feeling. It used to be pretty good quality Mexican food. Now it’s a low rent el Torrito.
  7. Shogun

    Los Angeles

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 3, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always a reliable choice for Mexican food in the SGV. I miss the Fair Oaks location, but the Paseo is always good.
  8. Dmeza

    New York Area

    31 reviews

    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on April 23, 2023

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    El Cholo is a fun place to meet up with friends and have a good meal with cocktails.
  9. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 1, 2023

    overall4food5service3ambience4
    First time here. I love the ambiance. The food was great. I was disappointed with the service because some of the order was forgotten so, they were not served. We let the manager know, barely any effort for rectification.
  10. JoanneL

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 22, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I’ve dined at El Cholo for over 40 years and have never had a poor experience. The Cadillac Margarita is outstanding. I highly recommend the tableside guacamole as a starter.
  11. OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 20, 2023

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Food was hit or miss so need to know what to order from the menu… crab enchiladas were good, seafood enchilada was good, cochinita pibil was average (could have been more moist), margaritas were great… good place to hang out with friends! Guacamole was fantastic. However, the service could have been better (especially for a slow Sunday evening).
  12. DeniseZ

    Los Angeles

    6 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on March 18, 2023

    overall2food3service1ambience2
    We waited for over an hour for our food. The restaurant was full. It appears they have problems keeping up service for lots of dinner parties at the same time which is unfortunate as they are across the street from a convention center and theatre.
  13. LiveNLaguna

    Orange County

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on March 11, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Incredible location for Pasadena Civic Center events. The food, ambiance, and service was wonderful. Knowing that this chain is available in other areas in Southern California is a savior. I'd love to have the same dish today!
  14. KevinT

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2023

    overall2food4service2ambience4
    Food took over an hour to get.
  15. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    15 reviews

    3.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on February 26, 2023

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Our chimichangas did not taste as fresh and crispy as usual. We were disappointed in the food. Server was polite but gif not check it n us as often as we needed.
  16. Phedellee

    Los Angeles

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Thank you for the consistent service and fun ambiance!
  17. CWE123

    Los Angeles

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    LOVE El Cholo!!!
  18. OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    8 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on January 26, 2023

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    The food is not as good as it used to be.
  19. MoniqueB

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 18, 2023

    overall3food2service4ambience4
    Service: Very good. Our server was attentive & patient while we tried to decide what we wanted. Ambiance: Outdoor patio is wonderful. Heat lamps were were placed for a crisp January day. Food: Big disappointment & quality has declined from what it used to be. I ordered an aged cheddar steak quesadilla that I have loved for years. This time, it was so greasy, the plate was orange from oil. Albondigas soup and tortilla soup were also average. Overall: Hopefully, this food experience was an isolated one, as El Cholo is such an iconic LA experience. I would still go back because the ambiance is great.
  20. OpenTable Diner

    Palm Springs

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on January 16, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    family visiting me from NorCal.
  21. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    37 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on January 8, 2023

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    Service was terrific. Food wasn't to my taste but the other parties enjoyed their food very much. Prices are on the high side.
  22. LanaW

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 4, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The staff was top notch and responsive and even brought us flan and sang Happy Birthday to us as a surprise because they heard us talking. The food was excellent, authentic and just plain tasty. I wanted to take some of my food home but because I couldn't stop eating, it was too late!
  23. OpenTable Diner

    Salt Lake City

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 3, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Post rose bowl
  24. SteveT

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 3, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great setting/location and the food quality delivers to the same El Cholo standards. Menu seems to have a few more choices from other El Cholo’s which was great. Service / food / drinks are exceeded and/or met expectations. Would definitely come back to the Old Town Pasadena El Cholo.
  25. Service

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 2, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We plan trips around being able to eat at El Cholo.
  26. Sean

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Food is alright, margaritas are good. Overall it’s the definition of “OK”
  27. JosefinaG

    Sacramento

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was authentic and excellent. Friendly service that checked-in often to ensure our comfort.
  28. Lucky13

    Los Angeles

    255 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    255 reviews

    Dined on December 25, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    El Cholo remains a classic. Tried one of their 1923 menu items for the first time, Chile Colorado, and it did not disappoint. Service was tremendous, especially for a holiday (Christmas Eve). People could not have been nicer. Tableside guacamole was fantastic.
  29. OpenTable Diner

    Palm Springs

    23 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Chridtmas week with family visiting ftom all over.
  30. OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on December 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food! Our waitress was the BEST!
  31. KMCIIII

    Washington DC

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on December 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    El Cholo has one of the best margaritas in the San Gabriel Valley. The food is great. We loved the skillet nachos.
  32. OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food with attentive servers. Thank you
  33. FunkyChicken

    Los Angeles

    11 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on November 27, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    $20 for a burrito is excessive.
  34. danas

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a great time. Wonderful food, ambiance and service.❤️
  35. iloveallfood824

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 26, 2022

    overall3food4service1ambience1
    Our server was good and the food came out on time and delish. However we sat at this odd table in the middle of the floor and when we asked to sit elsewhere even though the restaurant was pretty empty one of the hostesses was quite rude. There seemed a big disconnect between the manager and hostesses. They just weren’t very accommodating for our party. Would only recommend for four or less people bc we had five in our party, the restaurant was pretty empty yet the only table left for five in the middle of the floor and felt slightly odd.
  36. BruceC

    Los Angeles

    35 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on November 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Nice dinner with friends. The patio was a nice open air place to have dinner.
  37. MichelleA

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience1
    Restaurant was VERY dirty. We sat at a booth that had a light with lampshade mounted on the wall. The amount of dust on the fixture was so bad. The carpet walking to our table was so dirty with paper from the straws and food it was not comfortable. Service was okay. We were seated quickly, no drink order was taken. Waitress came and asked what our order was for food.... we had to remind her that a drink order had not been taken. Seemed disinterested, no eye contact, no "hello"... Safe to say we will not be returning nor recommending the restaurant to anyone.
  38. OpenTable Diner

    Orange County

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    The food and drinks were delish! The ambiance was nice. Fun place for Mexican food!
  39. CherylY

    Los Angeles

    9 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Not as good as it used to be. Very salty.
  40. Mamacat90807

    Los Angeles

    46 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    46 reviews

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Service a little slower than usual (short staffed) but efficient and friendly. Great food and margaritas as usual!

FAQs

El Cholo Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (626) 795-5800.

El Cholo Cafe is rated 4 stars by 904 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 14 times today
Google Map for El Cholo Cafe

300 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 214, Pasadena, CA 91101

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Garfield Ave. and Colorado Blvd.

  • Neighborhood

    Pasadena

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Thu, Sun 11:30 am–9:00 pm Fri, Sat 11:30 am–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Mexican, Latin / Spanish, Spanish

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Parking in The Paseo Colorado parking structures. Additional parking in the Marengo parking structure on the corner of Green St. and Marengo Validation available. First 90 minutes FREE

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Jorge Degales

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (626) 795-5800

  • Catering

    El Cholo caters off-premise in addition to delivery to your home or office in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding areas. Please call our catering division at 626-795-5800 ask for Diego Fernandez or email him at diego@rmgroupllc.net.

  • Private party facilities

    Parties from 25 to 120 for private events offered in 4 of our semi private dining rooms and patios. In addition to that El Cholo Pasadena can also can accommodate parties up to 250 in an adjacent courtyard to our patio. We feature a full bar with over 150 Premium Tequilas.

  • Private party contact

    Diego Fernandez: (626) 376-3701

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