Brunch Buddies: Panera Bread

My mom came to visit me this weekend, so of course, we had to find the perfect spot for breakfast (or brunch). And what better place is there than good old Panera Bread!

The location: The hotel that my mom and I were staying at had a Panera on the ground floor, which was very convenient for the both of us! It’s a pretty decent-sized Panera (I think a little larger than the one in Oakland) and what I liked most about this one was that it wasn’t very crowded. It was around 7:30 a.m. when my mom and I went, so I guess it was a little too early for most people to start eating breakfast.

The food: For the longest time, my favorite part about Panera has always been their bakery. I love all their pastries, and it’s so great how they’re all displayed right in front of you. My mom and I usually order this glazed pecan pastry to share, so that’s what we got. The freshness of their pastries does really depend on what time you go, but at least in my past experiences, their pastries have been pretty tasty and fresh.

Panera’s non-pastry food I would say is pretty okay. It is known to be one of the healthier fast-food options, so I guess that’s a plus. My mom and I would usually get bagels from their bakery for breakfast, and those are pretty good. I also appreciate some of their sandwiches and paninis, especially their chicken caesar sandwich (which I actually don’t know if they still serve). Even though Panera is a fast-food chain, it still is a cafe, and certainly not a bad one.

The vibe: Every time I go to Panera, I usually get some really chill cafe vibes. The music is always very relaxed and the employees I’ve met are pretty friendly. There are also various options for seating (tables or booths), which is great if you can’t decide between eating in a more public spot or having a little more privacy.

Lit or Nah: Nah. I think Panera’s a good place if you want to quickly grab some cafe-style food, but I don’t see it as anything more than that. The environment is very relaxed and I feel like most of their customers are elderly people (although, it depends on which Panera you go to). If you’re looking for more of a fun atmosphere, I suggest seeking out more unique cafes and eateries. Of course, this doesn’t mean Panera still isn’t great. It’s a classic go-to, the food’s simple, and you can still have fun there as long as you’re there with someone who makes you happy.