A magical place that sells loads and loads of organic food, and the only one in the area that is TWO FLOORS HIGH… I present to you: Whole Foods Market in Pasadena!
Day 111 of 365 Things To Do In Pasadena takes us on an adventure through the largest supermarket around Pasadena, or as I like to call it “food heaven”: Whole Foods Market.
Whole Foods Market is located at 465 South Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena. There is also another Pasadena Whole Foods Market on 3751 East Foothill Boulevard, but I really suggest heading to the first location because it is Whole Foods’ flagship store and has way more of a selection (it also just feels so high-tech and modern there :D).
Whole Foods Market started out as one small store in Austin, Texas in the year of 1980, and now has spread to 270 various locations throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
How can a store that has been around for only 30 years be so darn popular and carry so many delicious items? Well, I am going to explain the experience of shopping at one of these healthy, technologically advanced markets.
When you first enter the Whole Foods on South Arroyo Parkway, the bright and colorful fruits and vegetables are displayed beautifully and perfectly and are a feast for the eyes. This is not your typical fruit/vegetable section at a regular supermarket (sorry Vons!) There are fruits that you’ve only read about or never heard of before, along with unique and specialty items (a couple I have noticed include fresh guacamole/salsa and coconut juice in it’s original shell).
Oh, and did I mention they have a little cooking supply section in this area? Yes, they even have some cooking tools for your convenience. 🙂
Moving along, you will find about 70 different types of dried fruits, nuts, and cereals combined in the area behind the fresh produce. Our family favorite are the dried mango! Next to this area, there is a smoothie and juice cart where you can pick up an organic drink while you shop for goods.
On the rest of the first floor there are about 50 different types of tea on display, organic shampoos/conditioners (lots of Burt’s Bees = yay!), and herbal supplements.
The first floor is great, but the second floor is my FAVORITE!
So, at this particular Whole Foods they have two escalators side by side… one for yourself and the other for your cart (so cool!).
When you get to the second floor, make an immediate left… why? Because the bakery is calling your name. Their bear claws and chocolate croissants are amazing and sold fresh daily (come in the morning, otherwise you might be too late).
Whole Foods sells really beautiful and intricate cakes (large and small), cupcakes, European and Artisan style bread loaves, and even Italian gelato!
The rest of the floor contains a specialized cheese and meat section with hundreds of different cuts, flavors, and intensities! They have a pre-made meat section where you can buy some smoked wings (really good and always on sale – speaking from experience :D), ribs, or chicken! The rest of the aisles contain mostly more of the generic foods (Pirate Booty, snacks, drinks).
Helpful Hint: if you have tickets for the Hollywood Bowl, go to their deli section and ask for their special sampler box. You can select a variety of cold cuts , brie, and cheeses with fruit and french bread. It’s a great way to try the wide variety of deli items and everyone at the bowl will be super jealous! Don’t forget the wine!
The last section contains ice cream and frozen organic packaged food. If you love ice cream and are ready to take it to the next level in the ice cream world… try a brand called Dadu. I used to only be able to have Dadu ice cream when my dad went to the Russian store in Hollywood… now I can have it whenever I want with Whole Foods!
Basically, Dadu is a really tasty, but surprisingly light ice cream in a wafer cup. Their vanilla ice cream does not taste like ordinary vanilla. Trust me… I offered a friend one at my house one day, and now she will not stop asking me for more. She describes Dadu ice cream as a “heavenly, cloud-like form of ice cream.”
One thing I did not mention was that on the second floor they have a salad bar, olive bar, and a sandwich section, sushi, soup bar ++++ There’s seating available if you want to have lunch there.
The last piece of advice I’ll leave you with is: look for specials! Whole Foods is a great store, and a lot of items are really affordable if you just keep your eyes open. You are sure to walk out with quality food.
Have fun exploring Whole Foods Market. It will change your life. After all, we eat food 3-4 times a day… anything involving food can be life changing! 😉
465 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
3751 East Foothill Boulevard, Pasadena