Before dawn: Exploring Palo Alto’s early mornings


DOWNTOWN DREAM — The outdoor area of the Crepevine restaurant on university avenue is illuminated by the sunrise. The restaurant opens at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Photo: Rahul Shetty

In Palo Alto, the early morning hours, when almost nobody is awake, is the quietest time of day. When exploring Palo Alto before dawn, don’t be surprised to encounter deserted streets, solely illuminated by streetlights.

Amidst the morning silence, some business owners like Victor Marku start the day earlier than most. Though 2:30 a.m. is not a typical time to start work, Marku, the co-owner of Douce France Cafe, takes this extra time before the opening to get a head start prepping baked goods for the shop.

 “There’s a process,” Marku said. “You have to take the croissants that you are gonna bake, you have to get them to rise in a warmer temperature and that usually takes … if it’s cold, three hours, and if it’s hot, 45 minutes to 1 hour.” 

Verde traveled around Palo Alto and some of its popular destinations to capture the city before dawn.