Alameda County began granting permits to "microenterprise home kitchen operations" during the summer, and since then a number of them have begun operating in the county.
Alameda County supervisors, concerned about the impact of COVID on the local economy and out-of-work restaurant workers, voted to legalize such home restaurants last May, but the county took some time to get permitting up and running. The county's move was made possible under a 2018 state law that allows counties to grant permits to such enterprises. During the pandemic in particular, home-cooking outfits with handmade signs and micro-popup eateries have proliferated.
The new Alameda County ordinance is a way to regulate those operations, allowing cooks to earn a legal living while also ensuring their outfits are undergoing safety inspections like those regular restaurants are subject to. The eateries must operate under strict regulations, including being restricted to selling a relatively small number of meals per week.
A few months into the county's program, here's a rundown of home restaurants offering meals right now:
Pimpin Chkn - Oakland
Fried chicken and sandwiches, plus fixings like Cajun mashed-potato balls and caesar salad, served for dine-in at the home restaurant or available for pickup.
Purpose And Hope - Oakland
Homemade soups for pickup. Purpose and Hope makes soups intended for "eating for health," with a nutrient-rich broth base of either bone broth or a vegan mineral broth for pickup.
Mother And Daughter Kitchen - Hayward
Korean cuisine, Korean beverages, and specialties (their Halloween platter included pumpkin croquettes) for pickup. Chef Jenny Hong learned to cook from her grandmother growing up in South Korea.
Vegan Chula - Hayward
Mexican-inspired tapas and small bites for pickup. Chef Danielle says she came home to the Bay Area to build her dream of owning her own vegan eatery after working as a chef in New York City for the past four years.
DeVol's Cuisine - San Leandro
Cajun and Creole-inspired comfort food available for pickup from local Lisa DeVol, such as crispy fried fish (choice of catfish or red snapper) accompanied with a twice-baked potato and green salad.
Vegan Alien - Fremont
Vegan Mexican food and more for pickup, such as various kinds of vegan tacos, quesadillas (made with vegan mozarella), burritos, flautas, ceviche, and sandwiches.
Maila Isla - Pleasanton
A husband-and-wife team serving Chamorro-Filipino fusion. Main dishes consists of Chamorro red rice, pancit, and pork adobo. Sides include potato salad, macaroni salad, Lechon kawali, pork sisig, Chamorro chicken kelaguen, Chamorro empanadas, and lumpia.
Mary's Keto Kitchen - Dublin
Serving keto cuisine for pickup, such as marinated lamb shank, grass-fed lamb and ground beef kebobs, creamy garlic-salmon lemon, mashed cauliflower or keto pizza.
Home restaurant ordering platform Foodnome also lists eight other home kitchens for Alameda County that aren't currently offering menus on a specific date (though you can message them to inquire about custom ordering). These include Indian, French, Vietnamese, Puerto Rican, and Mexican cuisine, as well as the county's first legal home kitchen, Bao House, operated by Foodnome founder and home-restaurant-legalization advocate Akshay Prabhu.
To see all the home restaurants operating in the area, visit foodnome.com.