Where to Find Passover Meals in Oakland and Berkeley
The guest list is set. The perfect seder plate selected. And the perfect wine – kosher, palatable – was selected. But what about dinner? For those of you who don’t have the strength to drain grated potatoes for the crispiest latkes or the patience to braise a brisket for maximum tenderness, Nosh has you covered.
From rented bagels with chopped liver and caramelized onions to a layered casserole of sautéed cabbage and beef, we’ve found the best takeout and dining options for Passover in the East Bay. We even have the greatest dessert known to mankind, which you can easily make at home!
Note: This list does not cover all East Bay markets, delis, and restaurants that offer holiday fare. Consider this an approved guide to our favorites or a starting point for your Passover shopping.
Judaic Afikomen, while primarily a retail staple, includes a handful of Passover delights, like a whimsical plate of dairy-free dark chocolate seder, red and white bottles of Mensch California wine, and Ba-Tampte horseradish. Order online or come see us. Judaic Afikomen3042 Claremont Ave. (near Prince Street), Berkeley
Bagels Boichik has the best conversation starter: East Bay Bakery’s bagels were controversially crowned the best of the best in the country by The New York Times, making it an ideal dish for any Passover gathering. (Who’s Zabar?) Don’t forget to top them with this kosher spring herb cream cheese filled with green garlic, tarragon, dill and chervil. Bagels Boichik3170 College Ave. (near Alcatraz Avenue), Berkeley
Market Hall Foods isn’t futzing: In addition to the classic seder plate offerings — which include roasted lamb bone, long-boiled eggs, and tasty vegetable kugel — the specialty food store, with locations at Oakland and Berkeley, offers Pavlova kits. Few things in life are as exciting as seeing — and tasting — that delicate meringue cake, beloved for its crispy exterior and fluffy marshmallow interior, arrive at your table. You don’t even have to make the flimsy meringue base yourself; Market Hall Foods’ kit comes with a pre-made pavlova shell, plus lemon curd, passion fruit puree, whipped whipped cream and assorted berries to anoint your cloud-like confection. Buy two if you can swing it. Rockridge Market Hall5655 College Ave. (at Keith Avenue), Oakland; Market Hall on Fourth Street1786 Fourth St. (between Hearst Avenue and Virginia Street), Berkeley
Restaurant and delicatessen Saul, a North Berkeley institution, stands out from the crowd by making its own homemade matzo. Grab a few boxes to go along with the “seder plate bone kit” consisting of roasted lamb bones, parsley, haminados eggs (roasted eggs soaked overnight in coffee, onion and spices ) and two types of chicken liver, one for carnivores and one for vegans. Advice to the wise: order at least 24 hours in advance before pick-up. Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen, 1475 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine Street), Berkeley
Three stone hearthThe Passover menu, available to order online for delivery or pick up from their physical store from Wednesday, April 13, will include a range of seder staples, including chicken vegetable soup made with vegetables and herbs from local farms, organic chicken and their own homemade bone broth; DIY matzo ball dough that uses schmaltz pulled from the roasted bones used for the aforementioned broth; minced chicken liver rich in umami; and beef brisket stewed with carrots. But the highlight of the menu has to be the restaurant’s deconstructed stuffed cabbage rolls: a layered casserole of sautéed cabbage and ground beef tossed with a splash of beef liver mash, a dish that comes topped with a sour- gentle. For the vegetarian and vegan celebrant, check out the beetroot borscht or the lemony white bean and asparagus soup. Three stone hearth1581 University Avenue (at Sacramento Street), Berkeley
BishulimChef Aliza Grayevsky Somekh draws inspiration from the food markets of Jerusalem, the Jewish Diaspora and the Golden State to create her signature fusion of Israeli-Californian cuisine. Its roasted salmon includes poached asparagus in early spring and its simmered brisket, braised with onions, honey and tomato sauce comes with sweet potatoes and vegetable antipasti. To cut down on the richness of meat dishes, grab an order of Lemon Carrot Slaw for a dose of puckery brightness. Pickups are between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Bishulim, Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd. (between Adams Street and Van Buren Avenue), Oakland
Great Lake CuisineMatzo Ball Soup, proudly featured in award-winning James Beard food writer Carolyn Jung’s East Bay Cooks cookbook, can be found in both Grand Lake Kitchen locations. Grand Lake Kitchen, 576 Grand Ave. (at Euclid), Oakland; 2042, boul. MacArthur (at Dimond Avenue), Oakland
appleThe “everything but the plate” seder plate includes a cup of haroset, a cup of hazeret, a lamb shank bone, four hard-boiled eggs, and a pound of matzah. Chef Mica Talmor also creates more contemporary California-Israeli cuisine such as cod cakes in tomato sauce, brisket tagine with dried fruits and preserved lemons, and kugel with potato shallots. Also of great importance: their pavlova kit with rose cream and berries. Available April 14-16 only. apple3770 Piedmont Ave. (at West Oakland Boulevard), Oakland
Oakland Kosher Foods is here for anyone who wants to cook their dinner from scratch. Under the supervision of Vaad Hakashrus of Northern California, this store is stocked with kosher meats, hummus, baked goods, candies, beverages and more. But if you’d rather skip the kitchen, they can also host your party, whether it’s an intimate get-together of 10 or a bacchanal of 500. Oakland Kosher Foods3419 Lakeshore Avenue (at Mandana Boulevard), Oakland
Chicken proposalYear-round crispy matzo ball soup, tomato and cucumber salad, and free-range roast chicken offerings make a perfect pairing for your seder dinner. Chicken proposal3260 Lakeshore Ave. (at Lake Park Avenue), Oakland
wise sons serves a meal kit for the holidays, which can include a brisket dinner or roast chicken dinner, both of which serve six to eight people. Meals come with spring vegetables, Nana’s potato kugel, matzo dumpling soup, sharoset, box of matzo, and chocolate-caramel matzo. Grab an order of the deli’s famous minced chicken liver, topped with caramelized onions, while you’re at it. Orders must be placed two days in advance. Wise Sons Jewish Charcuterie, 1700 Franklin St. (at 17th Street), Oakland; Beauty’s Bagel Shop, 3838 Telegraph Ave. (between 38th and 40th Streets), Oakland