Caltech Dining Scoop: Early bird gets the CDS breakfast

It has often been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Does this ring true for Caltech undergrads? If you didn’t know, CDS breakfast is available every weekday at Browne Dining Hall, Red Door Cafe, Broad Cafe, and open kitchen, and it is also available on weekends at Browne only. However, for many of us busy beavers, breakfast is usually sacrificed for more sleep. Are we missing out? Or is it worth getting up earlier – or staying up past 7:00am – for a taste of that sweet, sweet Nutella Toast?

The first stop for most breakfasters is often open kitchen, which usually offers an array of fruits, bagels, toast, and cereal. Sophie Dalfonzo (BE ‘25, Venerable) eats breakfast every day and typically enjoys oatmeal with peanut butter and some fruits. “I go to open kitchen every day and occasionally Browne or Red Door,” she explains. “But I like the setup of open kitchen! It’s really convenient and fast.” Most students would agree that the locations of the North, South, and Avery open kitchens make breakfast possible on those busy mornings when you need to fuel up before a morning practice or 9 am lecture. The grab-and-go nature of open kitchen is also much faster than waiting in line at Browne or Red Door for your food to be cooked. Additionally, some students with dietary restrictions – especially vegans or vegetarians – prefer choosing from a variety of items without having to ask anyone for modifications or substitutions. (Most breakfast items at Browne and Red Door contain eggs.) Although it is quick and easy, a stop at open kitchen is only reasonable if you are awake already and have 10-15 minutes to spare before class. I have never heard of anyone prioritizing the open kitchen spread over sleep, though I could be mistaken!

For any early risers that like a slow start to their morning, breakfast at Browne can be a nice choice. During their morning hours of 7am-10:30am, there aren’t too many people there and you can enjoy a quiet, peaceful meal. The weekday breakfast options at Browne Dining Hall range from a breakfast burrito to the Croissant Berry French Toast to satisfy both savory and sweet morning cravings. While many students enjoy the breakfast burrito (both its regular and veggie versions), my personal favorite is the Pancake Breakfast for a classic diner-style meal! Though some would say they’ve had better pancakes, I would argue that the three large pancakes are reasonably fluffy and are easily a solid 7.5/10. There have been days I dragged myself out of bed at 10am to go get pancakes before Browne breakfast closes at 10:30am. Was it worth it? As someone with relatively low standards for pancakes, yes. Make of that what you will!

Broad Cafe and Red Door Cafe also have a small range of breakfast items. Red Door is obviously popular for anyone needing a morning caffeine fix, but its Blueberry Waffles and Breakfast Sandwich are also great ways to jumpstart your day. Broad Cafe is a bit out-of-the-way for most people, but it’s a great choice for a nice Nutella toast with berries or a lox and cream cheese toast. If you happen to have morning classes in the Broad Biology or Chen Neuroscience buildings, Broad can be a convenient breakfast stop. Both cafes tend to have a bit of a morning rush, so be sure to give yourself some time if you want to grab a latte or a quick bite to eat before class.