It’s not just students heading back to Berkeley: A group of five businesses from La Cocina, an SF nonprofit incubator for food entrepreneurs, are back on campus at the MLK Jr. Student Union building (2495 Bancroft Way) in Sproul Plaza. The five food stands include established farmers market favorites like Noodle Girl: The whole lineup is below.
That means La Cocina basically operates a mini East Bay food hall on weekdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And you don’t have to get into Berkeley to go dine there: The UC Berkeley Student Union is open to the public. La Cocina’s businesses will be back for at least another two semesters, since they were selected by student votes following a three-month trial run at the end of last year.
Old Damascus Fare, a Syrian refugee family making traditional Syrian food
A Girl Named Pinky, an Oakland native making from-scratch baked-goods, available for on-campus and local catering
Noodle Girl, featuring noodles and soups from the south of Vietnam
Pinky and Red’s, a mother-daughter duo serving “soul food on a sandwich”
El Mesón de Violeta, offering “a mix of Chilean empanadas, history and activism”
Like Cal grads, La Cocina alums have gone on to some pretty impressive things. Past cohorts have included chefs like Reem Assil (Reem’s California, Dyafa) and Nite Yun (Nyum Bai), whose new restaurant was among Bon Appétit’s 10 best of the year. Meanwhile, La Cocina is at work fundraising for a full-time food hall of its own in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.
- Berkeley Student Union [Official]