Another underrated East Bay city with destination-worthy food: Castro Valley


A taco from Hermanos Verdes, a pop-up in Castro Valley, California.

A recent trip out with a colleague confirmed something that I’d suspected for a while now: Castro Valley has some really great food that’s worth the trip if you’re not from around there. (Also check out my colleague Janelle Bitker’s recent article on the exciting food scene in Walnut Creek.)

In the East Bay community, we came across jiggly Vietnamese rice cakes dusted with savory shrimp powder, a cozy empanada shop and the Castro Valley Marketplace, a shiny, 39,000-square-foot food hall complete with a spice shop, grocery and wine cellar. A subsequent visit brought me to an exceptional pop-up in a saloon, where I dug into handmade corn tortillas filled with braised pork chile verde. 

I have to admit: It all won me over. Here are the highlights, if you’re looking for great spots to eat in the area.