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Walnut Creek Magazine

Local Flavor: A fresh batch of bakeries are coming to town

Jun 10, 2021 04:33PM ● By Harper Klein

From donuts to cupcakes and noodles to kebabs, Walnut Creek's culinary scene is heating up. Here's the latest food news. 

Third Culture Bakery, known for its mochi muffins and donuts, is expanding to 1310 S. California Street as Matcha Café, where it’ll serve drinks and desserts flavored with green tea (matcha) as well as it’s wildly popular baked goods made with mochi (Japanese rice cake paste.)  Originally on track for a July debut, permits and construction delays have pushed it out to at least mid-August.   

Known for her incredibly moist cupcakes in dozens of flavors, Lila Owens is bringing her Cupcakin’ Bake Shop brand to Walnut Creek, opening a fourth sweet spot in the former Kara’s space on Main Street. Owens began her bakery business on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley seven years ago, followed by a second inside Oakland’s Swan’s Market and a third in the Gourmet Ghetto.

Bay Area fast casual chain Starbird opened its ninth restaurant in Encina Grande shopping center dishing up signature fried chicken sandwiches topped with kale slaw, avocado, and spicey dill pickles. Big baskets of chicken tenders with fries are also a big hit.

Chefs with impressive resumes are behind Table 7 and Killiney Kopitiam, two new restaurants coming to Walnut Creek in the former Prima space on Main Street. Nora Haron, known for her celebrated IndoMex cuisine, will focus on modern takes of Singaporean/Indonesian cuisine at Table 7, while Killiney Kopitiam, one of Singapore's oldest franchises dating back to 1919, will do more casual fare like kaya toast and noodle bowls.

Taking the Bombay space on Main Street is Turkish restaurant Sultan’s Kebab. When it comes to kebabs and Middle Eastern eats, Walnut Creek has quite a few options: Opa, Silk Road, Alborz, Babalou’s,  Kabob House, Yalla, and now Sultan’s. This is the third location for the casual eatery.

Pizza champion Tony Gemignani has entered the bursting Bay Area bread and bagel business, opening Toscana Brothers at 728 Vallejo Street in North Beach. According to a story in the SF Chronicle, Gemignani selected the name "Dago" for his bagels—an ethnic slur sometimes aimed at people of Italian or Spanish descent—to shine a light on discrimination after a recent customer altercation. 

MORE NEW & NOTABLE NEWS: Bierhaus is back dishing up dinner on weekdays; lunch on weekends, for now. Future neighbor, 5 Tacos and Beer, tell us they are working on a late June or early July debut. A new boutique event space, Gather Walnut Creek, opened on Locust Street hosting weddings and other intimate affairs. The Planning Commission approved Shake Shack’s parking, outdoor dining, and pick up window plans moving the project closer to a final nod. Rita's, a new Latin American-style bar/restaurant is coming to Lyric, West Coast Sourdough is replacing Jimmy John’s over on North Main Street, and Taco Daddy’s is looking for space.

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