The 5 Best Desserts at Duke’s Brodhead Center

By Taylor Delgado

Students walking outside of Duke’s Brodhead Center dining hall at sunset
Photo credits: @thisisduke on Instagram

Duke’s beloved Brodhead Center, also known as West Union or WU, is home to various cultural foods and delicious treats. You may hear someone yelling out coffee orders from Cafe or smell Skillet’s chicken tenders. Between picking up food and heading to class, you will likely run into your classroom bestie or favorite professor on a lunch break with a student. More importantly, the Brodhead Center is the perfect place for an afternoon croissant or chocolate chip cookie. Which pastries are a must-have? I’m Taylor, a first-year student and @DukeStudents intern, and I’m here to highlight and rank the best ones for you.

5. Cafe’s Chocolate Chip Croissant

Cafe’s chocolate chip croissant — not to be confused with their regular croissant — is the perfect addition to your run to your 8:30 AM class. It is a sweet, buttery supplement to an iced coffee (with oat milk!) or smoothie order. Cafe’s crescent-shaped treats are truly unforgettable and the perfect treat to share with your best friend if you don’t want a snack that’s too filling.

4. JB Chop’s & Roast’s Tiramisu

This tiramisu is every shade of perfection: brown, beige, and delicious. It is a decadent, layered dessert made of the most incredible mix of espresso, eggs, and sugar. Follow one of JB’s chicken entrees with sweet potato fries on the side with this treat. The workers are beyond welcoming when you approach the dessert bar to order the creamy, coffee-flavored pick-me-up.

3. Cafe’s Pumpkin Bread

October is finally here, so you MUST stop by Cafe for the yummiest piece of pumpkin bread. This is a scrumptious snack for walking from class to class, but it might get crumbly, so grab some napkins! This treat fulfills all of your Halloween dreams and is one of the best sweet treats on campus.

Loaves of pumpkin bread next to two cups of coffee with latte art designs
Photo credits: @dukecafe on Instagram

2. Il Forno’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

What’s a pizza night without some dessert? Stop by Il Forno’s check-out counter for a nicely-wrapped chocolate chip cookie! This snack has the richest chocolate chips and an excellent chewy middle. Don’t forget to grab a glass of milk from Panera or an extra cookie for your roommate.

1. Cafe’s Cheesecake Brownie

Cheesecake brownies stacked on top of one another
Photo credits: @saladeliacafe on Instagram

My #1 pick goes to the most underrated dining hall dessert: Cafe’s Cheesecake Brownie. This dessert is a swirl of chocolate and cheesecake colors. It is a splendid square with an intricate taste that teeters between a chewy brownie and a sugary cake. This dessert will catch you by surprise because so many people rarely take the risk of trying something so innovative.

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