Oakland’s Pleasure Principle is one of a few local small food businesses operating out of the Alice Market in downtown Oakland. Photo: Dana Plucinski 

If anything good has come out of the pandemic, it’s been the wave of innovative ways we’ve learned to go about our day under the constraints of a global health crisis. And perhaps one of the coolest things to have happened is the explosion of collaborative and pop-up kitchens (not to mention the increase in unique food delivery services) sprinkled throughout the East Bay.

Commercial collaborative kitchens and ghost kitchens (purveyors that typically provide only takeout or delivery services), are often — but not always —large, nondescript buildings filled with caterers, restaurateurs, chefs and food purveyors all renting kitchen space under one massive roof. These types of collectives are great for culinary creatives who might not have the capital to open a brick-and-mortar but still want to launch their business; which allows kitchen-space renters to focus on building their brand, menus and clientele without the pressure of “starting from scratch.” 

While these “hidden” kitchens aren’t new, they’ve certainly seen a spike in interest with purveyors all vying to make their mark in the culinary world. We’ve rounded up a few of these commercial kitchens (some new, some not so new) and their current roster of delicious tenants, as well as a few new pop-ups and East Bay-based delivery services, that have been right under your nose this whole time.

As things can change at a moment’s notice, especially these days, be sure to check with individual purveyors about their availability and current schedules.

Oakland Food Hall

San Francisco’s Mochill Mochi Donuts are now available in Oakland through Oakland Food Hall. Photo: Mochill Mochi Donuts

Formerly known as Jingletown Eats, Oakland Food Hall (2353 E 12th St., Oakland) is home to more than 30 restaurants representing over 20 different cuisines. Operated by CloudKitchens — a Los Angeles-based real estate company that leases commercial, ghost kitchen space to aspiring restaurateurs — all food businesses in the ghost kitchen offer pre-order pickup or third-party delivery. 

Oakland Food Hall has also launched a “Help Those in Need!” campaign with participating restaurants Cozy Wok, Keto Bake & Bowl, Montesacro and The Governor. When you order a family meal from these participating eateries, that restaurant will donate two meals to local families in need.

Tenants at Oakland Food Hall change frequently, but current purveyors include:

Hidden Kitchen at The Hidden Cafe

Michoz is serving up Eritrean meals for pickup and delivery on Fridays and Saturdays at The Hidden Kitchen. Photo: Michoz

The Hidden Kitchen is a culinary arts residency program focused on sharing international flavors from local culinary wizards. Hosted by the Hidden Cafe (1250 Addison St., Berkeley), a communal space that combines food, music and activities, the culinary residency offers food creatives the chance to hone their skills while grounding themselves in the community through regular pop-ups. 

Current resident culinary artisans include:

  • Cod Damn (seafood, fish and chips; available for preorder pickup and delivery)
  • Hella Bagels (bagels, sandwiches; available for preorder pickup and delivery)
  • Michoz (changing menu, currently offering Eritrean-focused fare; available for preorder pickup and delivery)
  • Rasa Caffe (Indian-Asian fusion, coffee, pastries; available for pickup)
  • Sweet Love (dessert, pastries; gluten free, vegan; available for pickup)
  • Bakers in Common (baked goods from local bakers: Bake Sum, Ono Bakehouse, e Cafe, Sadie’s Babkas, Sweet Love, Brulee, Gluten Confraternity; available for pickup)

Local Food Hall

San Francisco’s Poki Time offers its poke bowls for pickup or delivery through Local Food Hall in Berkeley. Photo: Poki Time

With 10 locations across the Bay Area, including in Berkeley (1812 University Ave.), Local Food Hall provides access to great food from small, local businesses through its online ordering system. Think of it like a giant, virtual food court with some of the best purveyors around with a small selection of each restaurant’s offerings. So if you feel like pizza, samosas and poke for dinner, order takeout or delivery all from one place.

Current options at the Berkeley Local Food Hall include:

Port Kitchens Marketplace

A fried chicken sandwich from Fowl + Fare, available Friday and Saturdays through Port Kitchens Marketplace. Photo: Fowl + Fare

Oakland-based Port Kitchens (101 Broadway, Oakland) is a coworking, commercial kitchen that launched a marketplace in Jack London Square in August 2020. Port Kitchens Marketplace hosts frequent food pop-ups and offers locally made beer, wine and spirits, as well as pre-packaged food selections from Bay Area purveyors.

Current Port Kitchens food options include:

The Alice Market

Mexi-Cali fusion from Tacos el Precioso is available for pickup on Saturdays at the Alice Market. Photo: Tacos el Precioso

Located in downtown Oakland, the Alice Collective (272 14th St., Oakland) houses a cafe, bar, event venue and 3,600-square-foot commissary kitchen. In response to the pandemic, the collective launched The Alice Market as a way to support small, local food businesses through curated pop-ups. All food is available for pickup and it’s recommended to visit each purveyor’s sites for the latest menus and pop-up information.

Alice Market pop-up purveyors include:


Cal-Asian dumplings from SF-based Dumpling Time are available for pickup in Piedmont or Lafayette through SF2Bay. Photo: Dumpling Time

SF2Bay‘s tagline touts that this new service brings some of San Francisco’s best restaurants to the rest of the Bay. East Bay pickup locations include Piedmont (at Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave.) and Lafayette (201 Lafayette Cir.).

SF2Bay’s current pop-up options include:

  • Cuisine of Nepal (Nepalese, Himalayan; available for preorder pickup)
  • Burma Superstar (Burmese, Asian fusion; available for preorder pickup in Lafayette only)
  • Dumpling Time (Chinese, dumplings, noodles; available for preorder pickup)
  • Oren’s Hummus (Israeli, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern; available for preorder pickup)


Feastin offers dishes from popular Bay Area restaurants, including San Francisco’s Che Fico. Photo: Che Fico

Feastin, the innovative Oakland-based meal delivery service isn’t your average third-party vendor. Rather than order from just one Bay Area restaurant, Feastin lets you order from several local eateries (and grocery providers) in one fell swoop before delivering the food to your door. And the lineup is impressive.

Participating restaurants and food purveyors include:

  • 620 Jones (barbecue, soul food, cocktails; available for preorder delivery)
  • AlaMar Kitchen & Bar (seafood, Southern comfort food; available for preorder delivery)
  • Angry Ramen (Japanese, ramen; available for preorder delivery)
  • Atelier Crenn (modern, French, fine-dining; available for preorder delivery)
  • Bamboo Asia (Asian fusion, California; available for preorder delivery)
  • Calavera (Oaxacan, Mexican; available for preorder delivery)
  • Canela Bistro & Wine Bar (Spanish, tapas; available for preorder delivery)
  • Che Fico (Italian; available for preorder delivery)
  • Crumble & Whisk Patisserie (dessert, baked goods, patisserie; available for preorder delivery)
  • Daughter’s Diner (American, diner, modern, burgers; available for preorder delivery)
  • Donato Restaurant Group (Italian; available for preorder delivery)
  • East Bay Pie Co. (pie, sweet, savory; available for preorder delivery)
  • Fabrique Delices (French, charcuterie; available for preorder delivery)
  • Fiery Hot Pot (Chinese, hot pot; available for preorder delivery)
  • Flour & Branch (cookies, baked goods; available for preorder delivery)
  • Fraiche (artisanal frozen yogurt; available for preorder delivery)
  • Ginto Express (Japanese, udon, donburi; available for preorder delivery)
  • Kagawa-Ya Udon (Japanese, udon; available for preorder delivery)
  • Ladle & Leaf (soup, salad, American; available for preorder delivery)
  • Mama Liang’s (Taiwanese, noodles; available for preorder delivery)
  • Namu (Cali-Korean, Asian fusion; available for preorder delivery)
  • New England Lobster Company (seafood, lobster, chowder; available for preorder delivery)
  • Noboba (tea, boba; available for preorder delivery)
  • Omni Bev (Vietnamese, coffee, cold brew; available for preorder delivery)
  • Ox + Tiger (Filipino, Japanese; available for preorder delivery)
  • Palette Tea House (Chinese, dim sum; available for preorder delivery)
  • Perbacco (Italian; available for preorder delivery)
  • Pinoy Heritage (Filipino; available for preorder delivery)
  • Saison (French, new American, fine dining, Michelin; available for preorder delivery)
  • Sobre Mesa (Afro-Latino, comfort food, cocktails; available for preorder delivery)
  • Woops! Macarons (French, macarons; available for preorder delivery)

Black Food Collective

Full Belly Bakery’s caramel pecan carrot cake is available for pickup at Black Food Collective or home delivery. Photo: Full Belly Bakery

Oakland-based chef Rashad Armstead started Black Food Collective (1430 23rd Ave., Oakland) as a way to help other Black food makers get access to kitchen space, as well as gain networking opportunities, business management skills and capital. Armstead told Nosh that during the pandemic, BFC members host regular pop-ups, and have been cooking about 1,000 meals a week for various organizations that feed the community. Check BFC’s Instagram for upcoming pop-ups or contact individual purveyors for ordering information.

The current BFC roster includes:


Understory’s menu rotates regularly — it currently serves Moroccan fare. Photo: Understory

A collective kitchen run in Old Oakland, Understory (528 Eighth St., Oakland) was created to empower refugee, immigrant and other underrepresented chefs and restaurant worker-owners. The worker-led restaurant, bar and commissary kitchen was developed by the 8th Street Collective and Oakland Bloom, and features a rotating lineup of menu offerings that are influenced by the seasons and Moroccan, Filipino and vegan Mexican flavors (see the latest menu here) as well as seasonal cocktails and other drinks. Understory also hosts collaborative, Sunday pop-ups featuring a new chef each time.

Berkeley Kitchens

Morrell’s Bread makes and offers its whole-grain sourdough breads at the Berkeley Kitchens. Photo: Morrell’s Bread

You might not have known it, but every time you visited the restored brick building on the corner of Eighth and Carlton streets in Berkeley to grab a mochi donut or vegan sandwich you were actually patronizing Berkeley Kitchens (2701 Eighth St., Berkeley), a vibrant culinary and art studio collective comprised of 26 different businesses including more than 10 restaurants, bakeries and food purveyors.

Current Berkeley Kitchen members include:

Alkali Rye

Bentos from lauded Japanese restaurant Rintaro are available for pickup at Alkali Rye on Thursday evenings.

Cool newcomer Alkali Rye (3256 Grand Ave., Oakland) not only curates some exceptional beer, wine and spirits out of its Grand Avenue shop, but it also hosts pop-up food events almost every week.

The list of participating Bay Area chefs and restaurants shifts frequently.

  • Ali & Alix (Italian, California, pasta; available for preorder pickup)
  • Pietisserie (pie, sweet, savory; available for preorder pickup)
  • Reem’s California (Arab, Lebanese; available for preorder pickup)
  • Rintaro (Japanese, bento, izakaya; available for preorder pickup)
  • The Sunday Bakeshop (Asian, Hawaiian bakery, pastries; available for preorder pickup)

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Lauren is a Bay Area freelance writer and editor specializing in all things lifestyle including travel, culture, fitness and food and drink. She has an incredible soft spot for cheese and is a firm believer...