There is something nostalgic about a cafe tucked into the back corner of a local market. It feels reminiscent of times when the local general store offered a lunch counter to stop and enjoy a quick bite, or a fountain shop to grab a scoop or two. Grocery shopping used to be less of a chore, but part of a daily routine; taking time to grab ingredients for the evening meal, saying hello to neighbors, stopping for a cup of coffee. So many cultures around the world still treat shopping this way. I think of grocery shopping as a tedious task I try to get through as fast as I can. As our culture sees a shift towards local, sustainable, organic, and small producers, a secondary movement is taking hold, reviving the corner market in an refreshing way. Just across the historic Leimert Bridge in the Oakmore Neighborhood of Oakland, Rocky’s Market is a great example of this shift; and just past the produce aisle, Two Local Girls is a wonderful and inviting addition.
Two Local Girls is a one-stop-shop, within a shop, that offers a daily breakfast and lunch menu in addition to prepared dinner options to grab on those days when preparing your own meal just isn’t in the cards. Brought to the area by Oakland native Corinne Kinczel, Two Local Girls is a neighborhood addition that offers delicious solutions for daily meals; walkable for many and just a short car ride away for others. I popped in on a Friday morning, grabbing something to drink and enjoying a breakfast sandwich of brie, bacon, and apple. A mellow start to the day, not only for me, but for a couple chatting side-by-side a few tables down, a young man catching up on daily news on his phone, and for a mom with her two young girls in search of a breakfast bagel.
Two Local Girls has a rotating menu, changing their seasonal selections every 2 weeks. Breakfast menu items include local Beauty’s Bagels with a variety of tempting toppings from cream cheese and lox to bacon or avocado. Or take it a step further like I did and go for one of the delicious “sammy” options. Lunchtime brings more “sammies”, or you can go for a “sallie”, such as a panzanella or green goddess cobb. Paninis and a daily soup offering round out the list. Prepared dinners are perfect for those days when grab-n-go is your only way to-go; tasty dishes such as beef enchiladas, polenta with a bacon bolognese, and acorn squash with a farro poblano pilaf were just a few I saw on the current menu. Lots of sides are offered as well. Within the coming days, Two Local Girls will be adding online ordering capabilities to make things even easier. A cold case also holds a selection of brilliant and healthy snack packs, as well as hummus, dips, and even housemade creme fraiche to take home. Tubs of local Tara’s Organic Ice Cream are tucked behind the counter when a scoop, or two, is in order.
As you are on your way in, or headed out the door, the aisles of Rocky’s Market are well worth a browse. Recently brought back to life with improved selections and a revived interior, the market is a wonderful example of what neighborhood markets can be again. Hints of the store’s midcentury origins are still in place, quaint and sentimental signs of the stores origins. Two Local Girls owner Corinne Kinczel and her partner Brady Bellis will be purchasing the market in the coming months and taking over management. Corinne told me that as the warmer months come, outdoor tables and a potential farmers market in the adjacent parking lot may be added to the growing list of reasons to visit.
As I was headed out the door, I overheard a pair of ladies chatting about what to cook for dinner as they were grabbing a baguette off the rack. It was the perfect example of what a wonderful combination like Two Local Girls and Rocky’s can bring to our Oakland neighborhoods. A welcoming and comfortable place to find exactly what you need, whether it be ingredients off the shelves or prepared for you to-go.
I have popped into Two Local Girls a couple of times, and will surely be back on a regular basis. Each visit leaves me a bit more envious that I don’t have a spot like this within walking distance of my own home. Lucky for me, they are just a short car ride away. If you are in the area, consider a visit to Rocky’s Market and stop in back to sample all that Two Local Girls has to offer. I can promise you won’t be disappointed.
Two Local Girls
(located inside Rocky’s Market)
1440 Leimert Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94602
Mon-Fri: 7:00am – 8:00pm
Sat-Sun: 8:00am – 8:00pm
(breakfast, lunch, and prepared dinner options are available all day)
For more information, including menu options and coming soon, online ordering, visit www.twolocalgirls.com
For more information about Rocky’s Market you can visit www.rockysmarket.com
All Photos by Adrienne Schell