With only some of us vaccinated, most of us are looking at our second Passover in isolation due to the pandemic. If cooking for such a small number makes you sad, there are plenty of restaurants and caterers stepping in to either cook your entire seder meal for you, or just help fill in the gaps. While we try our best to make this list as inclusive as possible, we apologize in advance for those we might have left out.
ANAVIV CATERING AND EVENTS This catering company is offering all the items for the seder plate: housemade gefilte fish, matzo ball soup, several sides and a choice between brisket with root veggies or a quinoa-stuffed Portobello mushroom, with flourless chocolate cake and macaroons. Order online by March 22 for pickup in Richmond. Anaviv Catering and Events, 600 Hoffman Blvd. (near Cutting Boulevard), Richmond
BISHULIM SF Israeli chef Aliza Grayevsky Somekh is cooking up her Ashkenazi-Sephardic-mixed Passover, including salmon in Tunisian red sauce, matzo ball soup, brisket, veggies, flourless chocolate and pecan cake. Order online for pickup or delivery (for an extra $10-20, depending on purchase total). No deadline but some items might sell out. Bishulim SF is kosher but with no overseer. Pickup in Oakland at Temple Beth Abraham, 327 MacArthur Blvd. (between Adams Street and Van Buren Avenue), Oakland
CARRIE DOVE CATERING & EVENTS This longtime Oakland-based caterer is offering such items as brisket, apple and mustard dill salmon, matzo ball soup and matzo toffee bark. Order online by 10 a.m., March 23 for delivery throughout the Bay Area ($20, free delivery for orders $120+). Pickup in Oakland at Carrie Dover Catering, 1050 22nd Ave., Oakland
COMAL Downtown Berkeley’s Comal will be doing “a fun mashup of traditional Ashkenazi Jewish dishes with Mexican flavors,” with tortillas standing in for matzo. Note: this meal has both meat and dairy as well as rice and beans, so is for those observing Sephardic-style. A meal for four includes ancho adobo-braised brisket, caldo de pollo with matzo balls, and Spanish mackerel standing in for gefilte fish. Order deadline is end of day Friday, March 19 (but it will likely sell out sooner), for pickup on March 26-27. Comal, 2020 Shattuck Ave. (at University Avenue), Berkeley.
EPIC BITES This kosher caterer is the only one to offer humanely raised meat from East Coast provider Grow & Behold. Its menu has over 20 items to choose from, including classics like brisket or more unusual, like duck confit. Its Passover menu is not only gluten-free, but nut-free. Order online ($150 minimum) by March 22 for delivery in Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito and Albany. Pickup on March 25 in Oakland at rear entrance of Beth Jacob Congregation, 3718 Emerson St., Oakland
GRAND LAKE KITCHEN Both locations of Oakland’s Grand Lake Kitchen are offering its popular matzo ball soup (it was featured in Carolyn Jung’s “East Bay Cooks” cookbook) on March 27 only. Grand Lake Kitchen, 576 Grand Ave. (at Euclid), Oakland; 2042 MacArthur Blvd. (at Dimond Avenue), Oakland
HUGH GROMAN GROUP Berkeley’s Hugh Groman Group is offering a set dinner for four, that includes charoset and housemade horseradish with beets. It comes with both poached salmon with lemon tarragon aioli and barbecue brisket, matzo ball soup, grilled asparagus with olive lemon vinaigrette, salad and several desserts. Order online by March 24. Delivery only, throughout all nine Bay Area counties.
MAGO Chef Mark Liberman’s Piedmont Avenue restaurant is offering smoked lamb shoulder with olives and cured lemons with a spring potato gratin and grilled asparagus with a “shakshuka sauce” and more. Order online by March 23 for pickup or delivery. Mago, 3762 Piedmont Ave. (near MacArthur Blvd) Oakland
MARKET HALL FOODS Both Market Hall locations have all of your Passover needs covered, with items like chopped liver, matzo ball soup, gefilte fish and numerous entrees and desserts to choose from. Pickup available at Berkeley or Rockridge locations, or order two days in advance (from Rockridge; from Berkeley) for delivery. Rockridge Market Hall, 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter Avenue), Oakland; Market Hall on Fourth Street, 1786 Fourth St. (at Delaware Street), Berkeley
OLIVE The Israeli-California fusion caterer Olive based in Richmond has a diverse Passover menu featuring more traditional items like matzo ball soup, and entrees like chicken and dried fruit tagine, artichokes stuffed with beef and lamb and strawberries and balsamic brisket. Order online by March 21 or until items sell out, for pickup or delivery in most of the Bay Area. Pickup in Richmond at 845 Marina Bay Parkway, at the back parking lot of The Artisan Cafe, by the fire fighters trucks.
POMELLA Oakland’s Israeli restaurant is offering such dishes as cod cakes in Tunisian red sauce, brisket tagine, matzo brittle and pistachio rose pavlova, with a seder plate kit on offer as well, with house-made charoset and horseradish. With both a set menu for four or ala carte. Order online by March 24 for pickup or delivery in the East Bay. Pomella, 3770 Piedmont Ave. (at Yosemite Avenue), suite B, Oakland
PROPOSITION CHICKEN This Bay Area chicken chain has matzo ball soup year-round. Order online for pickup; delivery available through Grubhub, Caviar, and other third-party apps. Proposition Chicken, 3260 Lakeshore Ave. (near Lake Park Avenue), Oakland
SAUL’S RESTAURANT AND DELICATESSEN Saul’s is making its own matzo this year, in addition to its plentiful choices, including chopped liver, both vegetarian and non, chicken dukkah, brisket in tzimmes, matzo ball soup, and more. Order online for pickup starting on March 25. Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen, 1475 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine Street), Berkeley
WISE SONS The popular deli with multiple Bay Area locations (including two spots in Oakland) is offering a meal kit for the holiday through April 4, with matzo ball soup, brisket, veggies, potato kugel and more. Orders must be placed two days in advance of pickup. Wise Son’s Jewish Delicatessen, 1700 Franklin St. (at 17th Street), Oakland; Beauty’s Bagel Shop, 3838 Telegraph Ave. (between 38th and 40th streets), Oakland
Extra Passover items:
AFIKOMEN Berkeley’s Afikomen has a large kosher for Passover wine selection and other items. Afikomen Judaica, 3042 Claremont Ave., Berkeley
BAD WALTER’S BOOTLEG ICE CREAM/PYRO’S PASTRAMI Bad Walter’s will be making some Passover-themed ice cream and teaming up with Oakland pop-up Pyro’s Pastrami to sell matzo balls, latkes (yes, latkes), brisket and tsimmes, and an ice cream flavor called Elijah’s Munchies. Order online through March 18 or until items sell out, for pickup in Oakland.
BOICHIK BAGELS Berkeley’s Boichik Bagels is selling chocolate matzo bark between now and Passover. Note, since Boichik is kosher, and it’ll be closed for Passover, they are selling it now, and therefore it’s not kosher for Passover. Boichik Bagels, 3170 College Ave. (near Alcatraz Avenue), Berkeley
COVENANT WINERY Berkeley’s Covenant Winery has 20 different kosher for Passover wines available. Covenant Winery, 1102 Sixth St. (between Red Oak and Harrison), Berkeley
CULT CRACKERS This Berkeley-based cracker company has been offering its own seeded, gluten-free matzo for several years now. Find it in stores or buy it online to be shipped anywhere. Note: it is not kosher for Passover.
HAMOTZI GLUTEN FREE HaMotzi Gluten Free is offering housemade, gluten-free matzo made with oats. Ingredients are kosher, but no certification. Order online by March 25 for delivery in Oakland and Berkeley.
KVELL NEIGHBORHOOD BAKESHOP This Oakland neighborhood cottage bakery has Passover-friendly desserts, like a cookie box, coconut almond chiffon cake and a flourless chocolate cake. Order online by March 24 for pickup the morning of March 27. Kvell Neighborhood Bakeshop, 1023 53rd St., Oakland
LOCAL BUTCHER SHOP If you’re cooking your seder meal yourself, Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley has your Passover needs covered, including grass-fed brisket and schmaltz. The Local Butcher Shop, 1600 Shattuck Ave. (at Cedar Street), Berkeley
OAKLAND KOSHER The Lakeshore Avenue market has all kinds of kosher for Passover items, including wine, and a full deli department. Oakland Kosher Foods, 3419 Lakeshore Ave. (near Mandana Boulevard), Oakland
SHUK SHUKA This new Middle Eastern food startup is shipping a Passover kit nationwide, or for pickup in Richmond (at its kitchen at 600 Hoffman Blvd.), that includes zhug, beet horseradish, charoset and a flourless chocolate cake. Order by March 22.
A version of this story originally appeared in J. the Jewish News of Northern California. Reprinted with permission.