In 2020, a lot of chefs started takeout and delivery operations out of their homes (something we’re calling at-home pop-ups). And one at-home pop-up I can’t stop thinking about is Bicycle Pies in Oakland. When I picked up my box of savory and sweet hand pies, they were still warm and fresh out of the oven. I hustled home and unboxed them with the same level of excitement I had when I bought myself a hand-crocheted cloud hat (DM me for details). I got four, including a chicken pot pie, brown butter apple, and one with persimmon, ginger, and candied pecans. But my favorite was the roasted kabocha squash, turnip, garlic, and bacon, which was folded into a golden-brown, flaky pastry, and tasted like a hug and the very essence of autumn. If you live in the East Bay, owner Michael Barrett will even deliver the pies to you on the titular bicycle, something I’ll definitely take him up on next time.
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Head to Dyafa in Oakland for Middle Eastern food and great cocktails. Order a lot of pita and small plates.
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Verve Coffee Roasters
Verve has a very nice space in the Castro and solid coffee and sandwiches too.
Reem’s California is a casual Arab bakery in Fruitvale serving pastries, wraps, and an incredible shakshuka on weekends.
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