Kid Hit Menu Items: The junkie cereal cat’s been out of the bag ever since the breakfast buffet at a Marriott Residence Inn during one family trip or another. I try to steer the kids towards toast and butter when we’re feasting at hotel morning buffets, but it’s no use — they see the cereal dispensers, and I may as well let ’em at it. Thankfully in their compartmentalized way of thinking, cereal with lots of colors and sweetness happens ONLY at Marriott hotels. Except as of a couple weeks ago, Mix n’ Munch cereal bar and grilled cheese cafe in South Pasadena blew their minds. It was as if I’d stumbled upon a salad bar with every kind of raw kale combo imaginable. Or whatever the opposite of that would be. The grilled cheese component is obviously a smart move, too, along with oatmeal bowls, and fun signature cereal combos to go with the customized options. The Mix n’ Munch folks sure get creative with these raw materials.
Adult Perks: Back in the day, my sister and I had a few good fights over who’d get what boxes in the Kellogg’s snack packs. (We’d eventually come up with an egalitarian trade-off system.) I don’t have a ton of nostalgia for the “part of this nutritious breakfast” that we saw repeatedly advertised during Saturday morning cartoons. My husband, on the other hand, is a different story. He LOVES this place. Maybe even more than the boys do.
Pros: Mix n’ Munch is a few storefronts away from the Mission Gold Line station in the heart of charming South Pas. The wall of magnets and books indicates that these folks know their target market, although it seemed to be more high school/college age youth hanging out there than toddlers or grade schoolers. In all fairness, these kids might’ve had their own mix n’ munch needs to satisfy. Otherwise it has a nice college town cafe/coffeehouse vibe that’s good for studying, with some fun cereal-inspired art mixed in, too.
Cons: Good luck convincing your kids lunch counts as “daytime dessert.” Chances are you’ll probably still hear begging and pleading for sweets a few hours later.
Changing Station: No but a convenient bathroom set-up.
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Either Gold Line it there, or find easy street parking. Our friend rode her bike since the area is bike-friendly.
Other Tidbits: If all else fails — and I seriously doubt it will — there’s a La Monarca bakery location next door.
1005 Mission St., Unit A, South Pasadena
Hours: Monday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.