Pasadena is nationally known for its assortment of restaurants and wide selection of cuisine. Though some of the restaurants in Pasadena may be too pricey for the average college student, the rest of the options aren't lacking in variety or taste. Pasadena has a McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Carl's Jr. There is also Tommy's, a California burger chain that some Caltechers are a tad obsessed with. Then there are places that are not quite fast food, but offer fast food-like prices such as President Thai, a Thai food restaurant. The food is inexpensive, good quality, and a nice break from campus food which can become extremely mundane. Pasadena also has diner-type places like Denny's, Carrows, IHOP, and few more that are good for a meal any time of the day. Getting off campus for a meal is usually fun and relaxing.
The more expensive restaurants, although less frequented by students, are nonetheless still accessible. Places like The Cheesecake Factory have great food and large portions, but they are farther away. There is also P.F. Chang's China Bistro, which is close to campus and has marvelous dining options. There are also many Japanese sushi restaurants in the vicinity of Caltech. There are so many eating places in Pasadena that few Caltechers have dined at all of them. However, Caltech students normally base their decision of where to eat on taste, price, and distance from campus.