Market Hall: A Culinary Dream

Sarah Rockwood and Margaret Ross, Staff Writers

When you step out of the Rockridge BART station, only one stop away from Orinda, you feel as if you’re much farther than 6.5 miles away from Theatre Square.  Filled with a diverse range of unique restaurants and cafes, there is always something new to explore in Rockridge. But one of the greatest exhibitions of cuisine is right across the street from BART: Rockridge Market Hall.

The delicacies include edible rose petals, cardamom ice cream, fragrant teas, gourmet cheeses and meats, live lobster, fresh bread, pizza, pastries, and more. Within the market is a butcher, fish shop, bakery, cafe, cheese shop, pasta shop, florist, wine shop, and endless shelves of delectable snacks.  Employee of nearly two years Jane Malloy works at the cheese counter and mostly enjoys “the giant variety of different cheeses that come in each week which I get to try and serve to curious customers.”

Although created to alleviate the stress of weekly treks to the supermarket, Market Hall is more than just the only European-style market in the Bay Area. The eight shops are home to some of the most sensible sustenance in town. From the 100% grass-fed meat to the Northern California produce, Market Hall captures the essence of Bay Area food culture.

The bustling environment, shouting of orders, and sensational mixture of aromas creates an atmosphere truly representative of what you might find in the alleys of Paris or the open markets of Venice.  When looking for an exotic delicacy to add to that special dish or a special gift for a culinary connoisseur, there is no better place to look (apart from taking a trip to Europe itself), than Market Hall, right here in our very own Oakland.

 

Although it is most crowded at lunchtime, when the businesspeople of Oakland arrive for their midday delights, Market Hall offers food for any demand. One can step into any of the shops, each individually open to the sidewalk, and pick up a morning coffee with a croissant topped with a unique flavor of jam, like rose and hibiscus. The bakery offers freshly made warm focaccia and cakes for an afternoon pick-me-up, the florist whips up elegant arrangements for any occasion, and nothing makes a better dinner than handmade pasta or fresh fish.

Earlier this month, the pasta shop featured a special red, beet pasta, and the bakery heart-shaped cookies and french macaroons for Valentine’s Day. The selection of unique holiday treats is available on the Market Hall website, but is always changing, depending on the occasion. The produce section offers fresh seasonal produce, and is currently featuring the ‘Citrus Spectacular,’ a colorful array of seasonal citrus fruits.

Along with seasonal selections of food stocking the market, catering for celebrations, meetings, and banquets is also available. Professional event planners, platters, and menu diversity can make any gathering delicious.

In addition, Market Hall’s supply will soon be accessible from the comfort of your home at its online grocery store, MarketHallFoods.com. Until the site has been fully launched, it can be used to browse the stock of the market. There is no excuse to not enjoy all that Rockridge Market Hall has to offer.

Next time you’re craving a culinary treat with an exciting market experience, and a trip to Europe seems a little overboard, opt for the next best thing right in your own backyard.