In my mind, breakfast achieves superiority among all other meals. Not only does it provide energy throughout tiring days and lengthy lectures, a solid breakfast also brightens any gloomy morning. After all, being hangry is a real thing, especially while operating on only a few hours of sleep. This semester, thanks to my early classes, I discovered various breakfast spots open by 9 a.m. on Grounds. After exploring these options, I have compiled a list, in no particular order, of the best breakfast meals to help prevent your “hanger” from taking over.
Einstein Bros. Bagels
As University students, bagels are essentially a staple in our diets. While nothing truly compares to Bodo’s, breakfast from Einstein Bros. is the next-best alternative when you stray too far from the Corner. This dining option offers toasted bagels — including chocolate-chip, honey wheat, asiago and more — with a variety of spreads as a meal exchange option. Einstein Bros. also offers the classic breakfast sandwiches, but personally, I always go for an everything bagel with garden veggie cream cheese. The warmed, soft bagel pairs perfectly with the tangy, savory spread. Rightfully so, this dining option is highly popular among students, translating to perpetually long lines. Don’t let the lengthy wait times discourage you, though. You can still enjoy a bagel while near the Aquatic and Fitness Center or School of Engineering — just order well in advance on the Grubhub app.
Rising Roll is my personal favorite breakfast spot on Grounds. Located on the second floor of New Cabell Hall, their quick service in the morning is unmatched. I never wait longer than five minutes for my go-to order of peach oatmeal and french roast coffee. The oatmeal is hot, perfectly sweetened with pieces of peach and brown sugar, and assuming it’s properly mixed, offers the optimal thick consistency. I am also a fan of their blueberry muffins, which are moist and soft in texture. Rising Roll, however, has one weakness — their cinnamon rolls. Served at room temperature, they are dry and incredibly bland. Despite this subpar menu item, Rising Roll is ideal for a high-quality, quick breakfast.
The Juice Laundry
After a particularly sluggish early lecture this semester, I stopped by The Juice Laundry for a little morning pick-me-up. The stylish, sleek interior heightened my expectations, and after receiving my CB&J — short for cashew butter and jelly — smoothie bowl, I was not disappointed. The bowl was filled to the brim and topped with fresh strawberries, bananas and — my favorite part — sweet, slightly chewy granola. An additional layer of granola rested at the bottom, ensuring a solid ratio with the actual smoothie. The bowl overall was refreshing, filling and an instant mood-booster. While the high prices are drawbacks to this breakfast option, with signature bowls costing around $12, I highly recommend occasionally treating yourself to The Juice Laundry. Especially as we transition into spring, it offers the perfect breakfast to enjoy while soaking in the beautiful weather.
While I never object to a Starbucks run at any hour, it is an especially great breakfast option. I always opt for a blueberry muffin and an iced shaken espresso, but you cannot go wrong with any coffee and pastry combination. This option is also easily accessible with locations in Newcomb Hall, Nau Hall and on the Corner. Unfortunately, although I always use Grubhub to order ahead at the Newcomb Starbucks, I often end up waiting for a bit. My conclusion — if you have time and need a jolt of caffeine to cure your morning grogginess, swing by Starbucks for breakfast.
Runk Dining Hall
Lastly, despite the inconvenience of walking to Runk, this spot offers an exceptional breakfast, especially compared to the other two dining halls. The menu includes a greek yogurt bar — complete with an assortment of fruit, granola and other toppings — fresh smoothies and juices and top-tier cereal options. It also rotates daily between pancakes, waffles, french toast and more. During the weekends, especially after a late night out, I try to visit Runk for a hearty breakfast at least once. Unlike the limited, greasy options at O-Hill and Newcomb, Runk offers plenty of fresh items to choose from, making it a great way to start the day.