The Best Things to Eat and Drink at Historic Oakland Food Hall Swan’s Market
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When it comes to Bay Area food halls, Swan’s Market in downtown Oakland is the O.G. Its roots go back to 1890, when Oakland’s Free Market opened a few blocks away with farm produce and meats in a clean, sanitary setting.
The current white tile and red brick market dates back to 1917, when it was the jewel of the bustling Old Oakland shopping district. Through the 1980s, people flocked to the nearby Housewives’ Market for meat, seafood and produce. But “urban renewal” including Interstate 880 and the Convention Center sucked the life out of the neighborhood, and Swan’s closed in 1984. The East Bay Asian Local Development Corp. reopened the historic locale in 2000.
Today, you can still stock up on fresh pork-and-potato sausages at Taylor’s Sausage, or grab sushi-grade salmon at family-owned Sincere Seafood. But most downtown workers and denizens flock to Swan’s for the eclectic array of restaurants, many of which are run by women of color. “It’s this community of badass women of color doing their thing,” says Eman Desouky of Superjuiced. The pandemic has taken its toll, but it’s a great time to visit Old Oakland and support the hardworking corps of chefs and cooks making food they’re proud of.
Huang Cheng Noodle House
The Cook & Her Farmer
Dela Curo Curry
stock photo from Wix