Your Cafe Dulce survival guide for finals munchies

Photo of long line outside of Dulce Cafe in the Village.
Cafe Dulce draws a huge crowd despite its infamously long lines full of students feening for the iconic breakgast burrito and pesto chicken sandwich. (Amanda Chou | Daily Trojan file photo)

Cafe Dulce is rightfully loved by many at USC. Its USC Village location, chic decor, trendy bops and efficient service make it hard not to join its ever so long line. Its stylish baristas and ample study room don’t hurt either.

Despite the constant wait, there’s something at Dulce for everyone. But for that same reason, it can be intimidating to choose from the menu. Many stick to their morning coffee, but daring to go beyond will unlock the tastiest world the USC Village has to offer. Without further ado, here are your must-order Dulce staples.


Classic Brick Toast

The brick toast is an amazing reprieve from Dulce’s sweeter and more unsightly pastries. If you’ve ever spent your time inside the cafe wondering why anyone would need to put bacon on a donut, this one’s for you. The toast mirrors Taiwanese pastries commonly sold in boba shops. Although Dulce’s Brick Toast may not be the most glamorous item, it packs so much flavor. I would even argue that it packs the most flavor. When warmed up, the toasted white bread provides a satisfying pull — one that deserves an ASMR feature. I prefer the classic brick toast, but the green tea version is still highly popular. 

Strawberry Cream Donut

Forget the cherry on top — a strawberry on top is so much better. Dulce’s strawberry cream donut is not just nice to look at, it carries the perfect level of not-too-sweet sweetness. Instead of opting to fill the donut, the cafe tops it with a light whipped cream. Beware — this one can get a bit messy — but I promise it’s worth all the effort.


Dulce Breakfast Burrito

Dulce’s Breakfast Burrito is a top seller, and for very good reason. The combination of scrambled eggs, gooey cheese and perfectly roasted potatoes are what really hit the spot. It’s why the cafe prepared 17,000 breakfast burritos in Spring 2019. The burrito originally comes with bacon but has a variety of substitutes that accommodate everyone, such as avocado, turkey sausage and pork sausage. I recommend ordering it with extra cheese. It costs another 50 cents but provides that beautiful cheese pull you deserve as you devour your morning burrito. Don’t forget to top it off with Dulce’s salsa as well for spice.

Dulce Breakfast Sandwich

Dulce’s (secret?) mustard sauce is what makes the Breakfast Sandwich better than the average. It has a simple ingredient list that could honestly be prepared in five minutes at home — spinach, toasted bread and an egg. The ham protein can also be switched out for turkey or avocado and the egg is always cooked to medium perfection. If you’re looking for an even cheesier and tangier alternative to the Breakfast Burrito, this one’s for you.


Pastrami Sandwich

There’s definitely a reason this sandwich is called a pastrami sandwich and not a Reuben. The burger’s whopping amount of cheese definitely isn’t kosher and is also highly unnecessary. Still, the pastrami burger satisfies your finer tastes with a fresh brioche bun. The dill pickles are a bit too sour when paired with the house slaw, but the high-quality pastrami makes that all very easy to overlook. 

Pesto Chicken

Calling all ciabatta bread lovers! It makes sense why the pesto chicken was the second most ordered sandwich item in Spring 2019. Its quality ingredients provide a heap of flavor, doing it more subtly than the breakfast burrito. Consider this entry a sleeping giant. It’s perfect for when you don’t want a breakfast burrito’s heaviness but still want to enjoy a flavorful meal. Its fontina cheese, roasted peppers, pesto sauce and chicken breast are all served on two hearty slices of ciabatta bread, but, if you can’t finish it, feel free to direct your attention to the delicious side of organic mixed greens that accompany it.

Basket of Fries 

Ah, the Basket of Fries. Just the thought of acquiring three days’ worth of fries in one go warms my heart. This gem is still prone to sogginess, so best to eat it with a friend or two. The best part about Dulce is its sentimental value, and you haven’t truly experienced the meaning of the cafe if you haven’t leisurely picked at these fries with classmates after a hazy lecture. Freshmen especially should take note of this one, as it’s the perfect way to make friends as we revive campus.