Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Wanderlust Librarian | Rockridge Market Hall and College Avenue

I am small town girl with San Francisco tastes. Up until this weekend, I never considered Oakland a place to stretch my adventure legs. The only real experiences I've had with Oakland have been in MC Hammer songs, the airport and at (one, glorious time) Fentons Creamery.

My offspring, Scout, was coming back from a weekend trip to Seattle and was slated to come in late. I didn't have a real agenda planned, but I figured I would try to find a cute food market to bide my time.

This was going to take some research. Searching the words "market" and "Oakland" yielded some interesting choices.  Most Farmer's Markets happen in the morning, so I knew that it would not be a possibility. I love sleeping in on Sundays way too much! In clicking through the sites, one place really stood out to me: Rockridge Market Hall. It looked like a school. Reviews of the Market on Yelp were positive and highlighted different shops within the market.

Rockridge was beyond my expectations! There are separate food stalls that sell different wares: fruits/veggies, flowers, meat/poultry/fish, cheese, pasta, deli meats, hot foods, bakery goods, and (of course) coffee.  

In entering the market, a shop worker was cutting up fresh pears for samples. There were many bowls with other pears for trying. I didn't waste any time and enjoyed a pear-bonanza! I took a quick walk past the fish and meats since I wasn't going to get any that day. Past the meat market was a HEAVENLY smelling area where the pasta shop, cheese shop, deli and hot foods were located. There were jars of so many goodies. Who knew there were so many types of jarred anchovies?

A majority of the fresh items are all local. Other delectable items in jars are a mix of local or imported. This is not the local grocery store! Of course, the prices reflect these specialty items. Why pay more? Sometimes it's just worth it. One a day when I don't have to go to wait at the airport and I have a good cooler with me, here are the things I'll be buying:

  • fresh, handmade pasta and raviolis
  • cheese, glorious cheese
  • chocolate pound cake

A few steps out the Market Hall is College Avenue. It's full of delightful row shops, cafes and a bookstore! There's nothing better than enjoying a walk in the nice weather. I try to soak in as much sun as I can before the rainy season arrives. 

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