A taste of Mexico at Zona Rosa Caffé

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Located on 15 S El Molino Ave in Pasadena, Zona Rosa Caffe is a little cafeteria with a huge heart. The café’s perimeter is quite small, you might even miss it as you drive by, but it is rich in culture.

zona rosa caffe

Being my first time at the café, I immediately grabbed my Nikon and snapped the colors, artwork, and menus that surrounded the place. The orange walls, sugar skulls, guitars, picado banners, and chocolate aromas definitely took me to my mother’s native land: Mexico. The narrow stairs with bright lighting at the top teased me. My curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to check it out before I placed my order. As I walked up the stairs, Dia de Los Muertos-inspired art hung on the wall. Once at the top floor, I noticed a beautiful altar and more art of the same theme, created by Pasadena Community College students. And the cherry on top? A hangout spot with sofas, tables, and chairs for students or anyone to lounge around and study.


I made my way down the stairs again and glanced at the whole café. I noticed several people coming in to make their orders, crowding the small area. I grew even more curious about its popularity and history behind it.

Thus, I conversed with the barista Luis Morenda, who told me, “people like that it’s a family owned business and that it was the first café on the block.” I asked him what people ordered the most and he quickly responded, “definitely the Zona Rosa cappuccino.” I confirmed that as I heard what most people ordered. People appreciate organic and secret ingredients that you can’t get elsewhere. What’s there’s? *Whispers* Mexican chocolate.

Though I identify as team tea, rather than team coffee, I had to try one of their coffees. I went with their vanilla latte and added an almond croissant. Both were rich and original tasting. (I might be switching to team coffee.)

Luis added that Thursday nights in the summer, people come and enjoy live music, their coffee and food truck. For those who haven’t had a chance to make the summer night events, Zona Rosa Caffe will have their 21st annual day of the dead event on October 24. Luis said it is very exciting as many enjoy face painting, music, art, and of course, the cafe’s succulent treats and coffee.

So, if you haven’t visited this little place, make sure you do because you’ll find that size does not matter, ha! And remember, do not leave without trying their coffee.