Copa Vida

Quite often for lunch

70 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

Sean: Sometimes I decide to work from home somewhere other than home. When that feeling strikes, I always head to Copa Vida. Located at the corner of Green and Raymond, just off to the side of Downtown Pasadena’s main street, Copa Vida is my personal go-to spot when I need to be productive away from home.

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Spacious and well-lit, Copa Vida presents a warm and inviting atmosphere to patrons who wish to enjoy their coffee and food either on the go or at one of the many tables scattered throughout. Their selection of drinks is pretty standard as far as coffee bars go these days (with accompanying high prices), and their menu doesn’t hold any secrets or surprises, though they have tasty breakfast options before 11am, after which they switch to their lunch menu. I typically order the same things every time: their chicken fillet sandwich and a mocha. The sandwich costs a bit over $14 and the mocha a bit over $5. Personally, I wish their prices were a bit lower, but I realize that in a town like Pasadena, their prices are probably quite competitive. 

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The chicken fillet sandwich consists of sumptuous pieces of chicken breast, roasted piquillo peppers, red onion, parmesan, arugula, and chipotle aioli on toasted panini bread. It comes with a side of soup. I really like how juicy the chicken comes out, it never tastes dry and is well-seasoned with some pepper and rosemary. The accompanying kick from the peppers, aioli, and onions really hits the spot for me. The tomato soup compliments the sandwich nicely, though it’s decidedly one-dimensional on its own.

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Despite how busy they can get, I’ve never had an issue finding a seat. I can’t always claim a spot with easy access to an outlet, but more often than not, this isn’t the case; they’ve got many strewn throughout. Coming from Berkeley, a college town where the cafes try to accommodate students, we take amenities like outlets and wi-fi a little for granted. Copa Vida is the most comparable cafe I’ve managed to find so far in Pasadena, with a good outlet-to-seats ratio. That and the fact that their interior is bright and inviting, as well as them offering decent lunchtime fare and coffee, means I can sit and work the afternoon away.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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