[Berkeley} Free food- Cafe Nostos Opening 7/26

I was walking to Trader Joe’s today on the corner of MLK and University and the cafe space on the corner at Berkeley Way is finally opening. It says there will be free food samples tomorrow (7/26).

I stopped in yesterday. I speak a little Greek, left over from childhood, and I said “hello” in the language. As is typical, the owners assumed that I was fluent and continued conversing in rapid-fire Greek, and I mostly had to just smile and nod.

It’s a strange little cafe. The only Greek items were savory pastries, cheese, spinach, and olive (“we import the olives from <couldn’t understand>, in Greece”), and a Greek salad. They didn’t have Greek sweet pastries at the time. They did have Italian pastries and paninis. And Wifi, of course. I got a cheese pastry (tiropita), and when I said I’d never tried the olive pastry (eleopita), they threw one in for free "so I could <couldn’t understand, taste?> it and let others know about it. The pastries were buttery and flaky, and they added some very good tzatziki.

I can see ducking in after shopping at TJs for some pastry to go.

I’ve been there a couple of times more. Berkeleyside reported that they import not just olives, but all of their pastries from Greece. This is surprising because they taste so fresh, but I confirmed it with the owners.

They do have sweet pastries, but not the typical baklava-style, sheet-pan ones. I got an apple ring and a cream-filled pastry, both excellent but especially the apple.

A nice addition to the savory pastries is one filled with potato and feta. I think their supplier is pushing the envelope on pastry concepts, and they work wonderfully. Also, their spanokipita is the best I’ve had since my own grandmother’s.

Cafe Nostos is located near Trader Joe’s but invisible since there are no signs. just look for numbers 1930 on their door.

Lily coffee (2.25) very fresh, best ever tasted for their varietal

Kozani Cheese Pastry (5) seem pricey. importation makes price more reasonable
-was heated up, served with sour cream, flaky pastry very tasty, fulfilling.

service very professional, quik…

Miraculously, I found street parking a block away from Nostos, so I could actually eat there instead of rushing in and out to get pastry after shopping at TJs . The halal chicken panini was very good, on a fresh ciabatta roll with what seemed like a mild harissa spread and some arugula. They crisped it up in a panini press. It comes with a small green salad, but the owner recognized me and made it a Greek salad instead, with very good olive oil.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold