Saying "times are tough" is now an understatement. Many of you reached out to me to write a blog on budget friendly things to do in Claremont. And let me tell you, there are many! You just have to know where to look. That’s why I write these blogs from a local’s perspective.
There were countless times I spent an entire day in the Claremont Village and spent less than $50. That’s what I love about Claremont; the experience you want is one that you choose.
If inflation’s got you down or don’t want to spend a lot going out, consider these free or inexpensive things to do in Claremont.
For a sit down breakfast that’s all American, go to Village Grille. It’s a classic 50’s style diner and my breakfast and coffee costs me well under $20.
Grab a fresh bagel at 42nd Street Bagel and choose from a variety of cream cheeses made in-house. My favorite is the jalapeno cheese bagel with scallion cream cheese (yum!).
Claremont Village Eatery offers Avocado Toast starting at $6 or get a loaded Piggacado for $11.95. Consider their Breakfast Burritos, Specialty Bagels, French Toast, and Protein Bowls all under $12.
Rev’d Up Coffee & Classics is my personal favorite for breakfast and coffee. Grab a cup of Stumptown Coffee with a loaded breakfast burrito or build-your-own breakfast sandwich. *Fun Fact* I wrote this blog at Rev’d.
Egg sliders from Somecrust Bakery is a local staple. Their egg sliders are customized to your liking and start at $3.25! You can also choose from a plethora of pastries, bread, cupcakes, cookies, and creampuffs.
(Image 1: Egg sliders from Somecrust Bakery image from Instagram @somecrustbakery; Image 2: Breakfast burrito from Rev'd Coffee; Image 3: Piggacado image from Instagram @claremontvillageeatery)
Saca’s Mediterranean Cuisine is my go-to for a budget friendly lunch. Their Pita Sandwiches start at $6.50 and Falafel Platters are $11. It’s incredibly yummy and you can’t beat it!
Patty’s Mexican Food is a Claremont hidden gem and can be easily missed being located off Towne Ave and Foothill Blvd (Stater Bros center). Their tacos start at $2.25, taquitos at $2, chile rellenos $5.50, burritos at $5, and more!
The Tamale Guy in Claremont offers an array of tamales starting at $2.59 from vegetarian and vegan to varieties of meat.
Petiscos is my go-to for fish tacos and pozole. The tacos are on the gourmet side and start at $5 for fish, chorizo, chicken, pork, and veggie (potatoes and cactus). Their menu extends to burritos, street corn, empanadas, quesadillas, ceviche, and more! Seating is outdoor only.
Pizza N’ Such is the best pizza in Claremont! It’s family owned since 1979 with incredibly loyal/dedicated patrons. Grab a 10’’ cheese pizza for $15, peperoni for $17, or other specialty pizzas starting at $18.
Dr. Grubb’s is the best dinner in terms of value and quality ingredients. Their combo meals start at $13 where you pick a protein (e.g., blackened Salmon, shrimp, steak, chicken), side (e.g., potatoes, rice, veggies), and sauce (e.g., lemon thyme vinaigrette, garlic apple aioli, tomato pesto). They carry local craft beer and wine.
When I’m craving sushi and don’t want to pay sushi dinner prices, I turn to Poke. Poke Dot is my personal favorite; you can get a small poke bowl for $13 with all the sushi fix-ins (spicy tuna, crab meat, salmon, rice, avocado, masago, tempura flakes, seaweed, and spicy mayo).
This is a list of places that offer happy hour in Claremont.
For a very reasonably priced adult beverage grab an award-winning craft beer at Claremont Craft Ales. If you’re an IPA lover this is your place as they’ve won numerous awards for the Jacaranda Rye IPA, Pepper & Peaches West Coast IPA, Grapefruit IPA, Station 101 Red IPA, and more! *Fun Fact* Every first Tuesday of the month is free Bingo.
If beer isn’t your thing, try a refreshing cider at Ironbark Ciderworks. They offer interesting flavors such as Hot Elderberry Chai, Elderberry Sherry, and even Glitter cider.
For trendy clothes at low prices, go to DeeLux on Yale Ave. It’s a buy, sell, and trade store and I’ve found some really cute and unique dresses, purses, jewelry, skirts, belts, and other accessories. You can also take your unwanted clothes and sell them for store credit or cash.
The Economy Shop is a thrift store on First St. operated solely by volunteers where all proceeds go to charities in the Claremont area. I’ve found some unique finds like a grandmother clock, an art deco-ish statue, cocktail glasses, and coasters carved out of cedar.
The Claremont Forum, founders of the Claremont Farmers Market and Prison Library Project, has a bookshop located in the historic Claremont Packing House. They have thousands of titles from $3 to $5. They very frequently have $1 book sales.
Visit the Claremont Farmers & Artisanal Market every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Claremont Village on Harvard Ave. You'll find local produce, bread, meats, nuts, flowers, plants, and other vendors for reasonable prices.
Local Music & Theater
Claremont is bursting with live music on any given day of the week.
Grab your camping chair and picnic dinner and head to Claremont Village to watch free, live music during Friday Nights Live. Each year from May to October, there is live music every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at these locations: Chamber of Commerce, Village Plaza, and Shelton Park.
Monday Night Concerts in Memorial Park are back! Grab the family, the dog, chairs and dinner for a memorable evening watching free, live music. Each Monday features a different band/genre and there are concessions available for purchase. Don’t wait, the concert series ends August 29th.
Check out Claremont Music Scene’s live music events calendar for live music happening in the Claremont area.
Grab tickets to see a play at Ophelia’s Jump, a non profit theater company based out of Claremont. Tickets are reasonably priced, sometimes offering student discounts and a “pay what you can” night. Visit their website to purchase tickets and view upcoming plays.
In Claremont, you don't have to look far for scenic hiking trails. Claremont is conveniently located at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The Claremont 5-mile loop is a local favorite. Thompson Creek Trail, Johnson's Pasture, and Potato Mountain are excellent options for hiking/walking. Check out Best Hiking and Walking Trails in Claremont: A Community Blog Post.
Take a stroll through the California Botanic Garden (CBG) in Claremont for only $10. Seniors and students are $6, Children ages 3 to12 are $4 and under 3 years of age is free. CBG is home to a 86-acres of gardens with the largest collection of plants native to California. You’ll find a 300 year old Majestic Oak, redwood groves, Joshua trees, a turtle pond, wildflower meadows, butterfly pavilion, and more.
Play a few rounds of tennis in the court at Mallows Park or basketball at Memorial Park. Throw a frisbee across the incredibly long green belt in front of Bridges Auditorium at Pomona College.
Connect with your body and nature with yoga in the park. Grounded Yoga offers a donation based yoga class at scenic, Higginbotham Park on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. You can also take a Gentle Yoga class for only $10 through MPower Yoga.
Meander through any of the Colleges Colleges for breathtaking architectural and garden views. My personal favorite is Scripps College as it’s often been referred to as one of the most beautiful college campuses in America. The Margaret Fowler Garden and Denison Library is a must see with Mediterranean, Spanish, and gothic style architecture.
Claremont is home to several museums. The Claremont Lewis Museum of Art located at the historic Claremont Depot and the Benton Museum at Pomona College displays contemporary and historic works of art.
Every Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Alexander Hughes Community Center is Bonnie’s Country Western Line Dancing and costs around $13. Pay at the counter inside before class and have a blast line dancing and meeting new people!
Volunteer at Priceless Pets in Claremont, a no-kill pet rescue organization. They are always in need of volunteers to walk dogs, bathe animals, provide administrative support, assist in adoption events, and animal socialization.
Volunteer for the Prison Library Project, a volunteer community that supplies free books to any inmate nationwide who requests them. It's ran through the Claremont Forum Bookshop and has been a service project of the Claremont Forum since 1986.
A sincere thank you to everyone on my Instagram who suggested things to do in Claremont on a budget.
This truly is a community blog post and it brings me much fulfillment for us to put something so valuable together for our community. Merci, gracias, and obrigado!