VMWare Cafeteria — a Little Known Palo Alto Secret

Rather suddenly, I’ve moved from my nice comfortable, centrally located, downtown Palo Alto, plenty of restaurants, old Facebook building, to one of the IT complexes in the middle of nowhere. This is pretty typical for tech companies: they get too big for the small buildings in downtown Palo Alto and move to a “campus/complex” in the middle of the woods.

Unfortunately, the complex I’ve moved to is still under construction and doesn’t have a cafeteria, and won’t for a long time. So, I need to either bring food or do what everyone else in Silicon Valley does: start exploring other company cafeterias.

I opted for the exploration option because it seems to be the most interesting. And, I’ve made it a bit of a game to see what the geeks of Silicon Valley are eating every day.

This week’s sojourn was to the VMWare campus. You don’t need an ID badge to use their cafeteria. It also seems to be a fan favourite for many IT workers; they even have their own YELP page. Contained in its spacious halls is an ice cream station, a sushi bar, an espresso bar, an Asian food station, an Indian food station, a massive salad bar, a pasta station, and daily vegan and gluten-free options.

Once you have food you can choose to eat outside on the patio, at the fire pit, or at one of the massive wooden tables inside, under VMWare motivational banners.

My thoughts on the experience: I tried the salad bar and got really sick, I don’t have much luck with salad bars. The sushi bar was ok and they have the only espresso within a 2-mile radius and it is shockingly good compared to other office coffee offerings! Parking is pretty horrible most of the time as well; double parking is the norm.

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