Where can you eat fish tacos, sample Indian street food, sip coffee, nosh on a doughnut and see fairies all in one location? That would be in the hipster Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, California.
While Oakland sometimes gets a bad rap, join in a Temescal Tastes food tour with Edible Excursions and you will experience a natural high. Perhaps food coma is a better descriptor for this Sunday morning escapade conceived by owner Lisa Rogovin?
This culinary tour company offers intimate strolls through San Francisco, California’s Ferry Building Marketplace, Mission District and Japantown, as well as epicurean tours of North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, but the Temescal Tastes tour, located in the East Bay, takes the cake – or the Kouign Amann cake.
Urban Village Farmers’ Market
My first encounter of the Kouign Amann pastry was shared with Brian Wood at the Urban Village Farmers’ Market. Wood, the owner of Starter Bakery, is the man responsible for bringing us this butter cake, originally found in the northwest of France and now, Oakland’s Temescal district. His tasty treats sell out fast at the Urban Village Farmers’ Market and once they are gone, they won’t make another appearance until the next Sunday.
Another participant of the Urban Village Farmers’ Market, as well as the Temescal Tastes tour, is Cholita Linda. Be sure to try the fish tacos and agua fresca. This popular booth is a mix of eclectic Latin America street food.
Moving on to Oakland’s Temescal Alley 49, we arrive in time for coffee and doughnuts. Like peanut butter and jelly, coffee and doughnuts are a match made in heaven. Whether you prefer your coffee iced or spiced, and your doughnuts cream or jam filled, you will be delighted with the outcome.
The Cro Cafe owners are dedicated to creating the perfect cup of coffee and Doughnut Dolly owner Hannah Hoffman is the woman behind the Naughty Cream filled doughnuts. This clever girl named her company after the Doughnut Dollies, Red Cross helpers, who delivered coffee and doughnuts to injured service men and women from World War I.
From Indian street food at Juhu Beach Club to vegetarian offerings at Abesha, tomato soup made with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer at Sacred Wheel Cheese, or Korean food at Bowl’d BBQ; Temescal Tastes participants will not return home hungry from this Oakland, California food frolic.
Priced at a reasonable $75 per person, the three hour tour is an easy walk. I say this after having a total hip replacement not too long ago. Parking is easy by the Urban Farmers’ Market meeting point and the MacArthur Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station is within walking distance of tour.
If You Go:
Edible Excursions (415) 806-5970
Temescal Farmers’ Market
5300 Claremont Avenue
Open Sundays 9:00 am to 1:00 pm year round.
Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Edible Excursions.