Best Restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fall 2022


Oculto is found on the second-floor mezzanine of a suburban food hall in Castro Valley. Chef Mikey Ochoa’s fascination with vegetables always shines through the seasonal menu, which might offer a smoky eggplant tostada ($14) slathered with tangy romesco and topped with crunchy summer beans. But it’s the chicken ($39) that’s the showstopper with a […]

This Mexican-Hawaiian chef is making Castro Valley a fine dining town


Head chef-owner Mikey Ochoa of Castro Valley’s Oculto, the fine dining restaurant inside the Castro Valley Marketplace, vividly remembers the first time he tasted chile verde. He was 10, and his family had recently moved from San Leandro to Castro Valley. Despite being half Mexican, Ochoa didn’t grow up with much Mexican food. But from […]

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 […]

Michelin-cred tacos and arepas now at Castro Valley pop-up


Castro Valley is on the brink of being more than mini golf and fast food. The census-designated place is already home to a sparkling marketplace of artisanal vendors, from Seven Hills Baking Co to Akemi Japanese Cuisine. And let’s not forget that world champion pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani threw his first pies in Castro Valley. This month, along […]

A New Pop-Up Brings Buzzy, Michelin-Pedigreed Tacos and Arepas to Castro Valley


Hermanos Verdes is slinging fun, boldly modern Venezuelan and Mexican dishes in the East Bay suburbs In Castro Valley, local lore has it that the census-designated East Bay community was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the “most fast food restaurants located in a one-mile strip.” That title seems to be […]