I have been coming to El Mercadito for years. I love this place but sometimes it can get loud. Its about three levels. On the first and second levels there is a swap meet. You can also get snacks like Mexican candy, corn on the cob with chili and cheese, fresh fruit, and all kinds of other stuff.
On the third level are two restaurants. Both have mariachi bands and you can either hear them sing or sing yourself.
There are people walking around trying to sell you flowers if it is obvious that you are on a date. Other people will want to take your picture. Its alot of fun.
There is a huge parking lot outside and parking attendants letting you know where to go people this place gets very crowded. Parking is free by the way. There is even a shrine to the Virgen Mary in the parking lot.
Favorite Dish: The food is pretty good. I have tasted better but its not bad. I really like the carnitas. What you come here for is for the experience. We really like to come here with alot of people it makes it so much more fun.
We came here one time when my son was a few months old. I was surprised that with the blasting music of the mariachis that he slept through the whole time we were there.
I've tried their asada, cabeza, chorizo and carnitas tacos. I liked them all but the chorizo was a bit hot and spicy. I understand that's the way it's supposed to be.
Favorite Dish: The asada and carnitas tacos are my favorite!
Right below Old Town Pasadena on Fair Oaks is my favorite parking lot. It sits between 2 AMAZING THAI restaurants, "Saladang" and "Song" that are run by the same family. It's a joy to decide which one to pick when you're there. Sometimes the wait at Saladang is too long, so it's the beautiful outdoor patio of Song that particular night. Either way, you are in for a treat. The food is very fresh, very traditional or imaginative--depending on your mood AND very reasonable. quick friendly service with great atmosphere.
WORTH the extra drive: off the 210 or 110.
I challenge anyone to explore these two and offer a better choice. Scrumpilicious!!!
Favorite Dish: How can i pick just one?
at Saladang: they have great fried Calamari, Pad Kee Mow with duck or even vegetarian, the Pad See Iew, the Black Pepper Garlic Scallops and the Crab Pot are amazing...you can't go wrong with anything. at Song: they have some of the same dishes, but the Yum Asparagus and the Saladang Song Wraps are among many fresh new-to-america thai dishes.
Panaderia La Fama. Not really a restaurant but a Bakery.
For those of you that heard of Huell Howser, well he once featured this bakery in one of his TV shows.
Favorite Dish: I come here for the best chicken tamales. Their red (pork) tamales are also very good but I'm trying to cut down the red meat.
They make a sweet tamale containing raisins, pineapple and a sweetened tamal de elote.
Favorite Dish: The red pork tamales. They also make flautas, sopes, gorditas and huaraches.