West Oakland has a new bakery dedicated to flaky empanadas: Javi’s Cooking opened yesterday at 3446 Market Street.
The Argentine empanada shop will likely look familiar to many East Bay residents — Javier Sandes has been operating Javi’s Cooking out of East Bay commercial kitchens since 2011, bringing his baked goods to events like Oakland First Fridays and even the Oakland Coliseum for A’s and Raiders games. The new bakery is his first brick-and-mortar location.
Up until this summer, the West Oakland space was the city’s last remaining Locol, the ambitious fast food effort from Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson. The small location remains takeout oriented, with a fresh coat of blue paint in place of Locol’s black-and-white aesthetic.
And instead of pizzas and burgers, it’s now home to a slew of freshly baked and crimped empanadas filled with the likes of spiced ground beef with peppers and boiled eggs; mushrooms with caramelized onions and cheese; and pulled pork with jalapeno and pineapple. Javi’s also serves coffee, yerba mate, jars of chimichurri, and alfajores, the Argentine sandwich cookie oozing with dulce de leche. You can also pre-order those cookies and empanadas by the dozen online and pick them up in West Oakland.
The location was tricky for Locol, with very little foot traffic, very few other businesses nearby, and a freeway overpass looming overhead. But Javi’s Cooking might be a better fit. At about $4 per empanada, it’s an affordable option for the neighborhood, plus Javi’s has already thrived for years without a retail storefront at all.
Javi’s Cooking is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily except Sundays.