Pasadena is a quiet city with an estimated population of 150,000 inhabitants. A legend says that the same person who lives in Pasadena can ski in Mount Baldy in the morning (about 45 minutes East away by car) and surf in Santa Monica in the afternoon (about 45 minutes West away by car).
Restaurants are located everywhere in the city with a high part of them in the old part of the town. Pasadena Weekly, which is a free news magazine (available in paper in every shop), has elected as best places to eat in L.A a couple of restaurants in Pasadena.
Be sure to also check out on-campus dining options, as these will often be cheaper than restaurants as well as being closer.
Shopping can be an enjoyable hobby, whether you prefer to wander among the boutiques of Old Town Pasadena or (window) shop in the nearby mall of Santa Anita or at the Americana at Brand https://americanaatbrand.com
Flea Markets are another ways to venture and discover Pasadena. Every first Sunday of the month, the Pasadena Flea Market offers a comprehensive choice of art, furniture and clothes (free entrance). The Rose Bowl Flea Market happens the second Sunday of every month and if you are lucky, you can find real antiques and old paintings (entrance fee per person).