We've finally hit the end of the semester and the imminent stress of finals is setting in. To send off the last day of formal classes this semester on November 30, 2018, Spoon University at Berkeley brought back a bigger and better SpoonFest: Best of the Bay. We invited ten of the best food spots across the Bay Area to come to Cal and offer up some truly unique, delectable food to hungry students. From Creme Brûlée Boba to Matcha Ice Cream Taiyaki, there was no shortage of options or Instagram photos. Here are some of the food highlights.

Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas

Ariel Yue

I was most excited to try Hayward native Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas. I love tamales and every single one I tried from Alicia's didn't disapoint. Not only was the meat-to-masa ratio perfect, but the tamales were incredibly moist. My personal favorites were the mole poblano, carnitas, and Oaxaca cheese tamales, doused in plenty of the homemade salsa verde.

Brittany Crêpes 

Brittany Crêpes is a Berkeley favorite and offered both sweet and savory options during SpoonFest. One favorite flying out of the booth was its La Compléte—an over-easy egg nestled in slices of ham and cheese, wrapped around a thin crepe. The yolk acted as a sauce once the fork broke into the egg and each bite was balanced with the salty ham and creamy warmed cheese.

Crumble & Whisk Patisserie

Ariel Yue

Crumble & Whisk served up adorable mini cheesecakes for students looking for a rich, decadent treat after classes were done for the day. I had to try the seasonal pumpkin cheesecake and frankly, it was the best pumpkin cheesecake I've ever eaten. Each bite was silky and flavored with warm pumpkin spice throughout. The pumpkin seeds on top looked stunning and added some crunchy texture. My only regret about SpoonFest was not getting a chance to try every single flavor available on its menu.

Crumb•wich Silvanas

Ariel Yue

San Jose got some more representation with Crumb•wich Silvanas, serving up its cookie wafer buttercream sandwiches. These crisp, bright and colorful cookies were surprising and came in delicious flavors such as the tangy purple Ube and tropical Buko Pandan crumbwich. If you want to kick it with some classic flavors, the cookies and cream flavor was a standout for me.

Matcha Café Maiko

Ariel Yue

Another San Francisco favorite from Japantown made its way over to SpoonFest: Matcha Café Maiko. The matcha soft serve ice cream was quite the crowd pleaser. I loved that the slightly bittersweet matcha flavor was so concentrated, making every taste a delightful treat. The extra dusting of matcha powder really helped to intensify the flavor and aesthetic of the soft serve.

Rice Rice Baby

Sarah Fung

Rice Rice Baby, representing San Jose, served up more than great food puns to patrons. The sticky rice was so popular, it sold out halfway through SpoonFest. I got a taste of the last bowl of Rice Rice Baby's colorful DJ Custard—a bowl of purple coconut rice, with egg custard and topped with coconut shavings. Each bite was a texture lover's dream with soft, sticky sweet rice and crunch of tropical coconut shavings. 

Sam's Chowder

Ariel Yue

Friday was a particularly crispy, chilly day and San Francisco's Sam's Chowder Mobile offered up some New England Clam Chowder to keep everyone warm. It was a thick, creamy soup with large chunks of clam and potatoes. But that wasn't the only thing flying out of the Chowder Mobile. The Famous Lobster Roll had beautiful, large chunks of lobster tossed in butter wedged in a warm roll. 


Ariel Yue

Tante's of Oakland came to SpoonFest to give people some tried and true favorites like Garlic Fries and Polish dogs. However, Tante's opened up minds and mouths to its vegetarian Potato-Spinach Knish, a potato cake mixed with sauteed spinach and onion then wrapped in a thin dough and served hot from a griddle. Every bite was perfectly seasoned and still had a good amount of firmness, showing off the well-executed fresh cooking techniques Tante's proudly advertises.

Uji Time

Ariel Yue

The oh-so Instagram-able treats of Berkeley's Uji Time made an appearance with its signature Matcha Taiyaki, a creamy matcha ice cream with the signature fish-shaped croissant cone. The buttery, flaky texture of the croissant cone was a perfect compliment to the smooth, refreshing flavor of the matcha. If you missed out on catching Uji Time at SpoonFest, no worries—there is a location just down on Telegraph. 

Urban Ritual

Sarah Fung

Every heard of a Creme Brûlée Boba? Urban Ritual from San Francisco was selling this unique boba drink alongside other intriguing concoctions like the Forever Young, a sangria drink with elderflower cordial, berries, and lemon. Both drinks were so different from each other. While the Forever Young was bright, complex, and refreshing, the Creme Brûlée Boba had a caramel, toasty flavor with bits of crackled toasted sugar throughout.

SpoonFest was the best way to show off all the great, new and innovative restaurants and food trucks the Bay Area has to offer. While students will have to start cramming to pass their fall classes, at least we can know they will start off dead week right with satisfied, full stomachs.