Popoca serves progressive Salvadorian food. Our mission is to find and preserve techniques from the past to bring you a new and authentic experience in Oakland.
Popoca means “emits smoke” to the native people of El Salvador, who stoked wood fires to prepare food over a comal for their families. Revered as more than just a means of cooking, smoke represents a prayer or offering to the spirits.
Inspired by traditional Salvadorian wood-fire cooking and recipes, Popoca offers dishes — like pupusas and tamales that use the freshest ingredients and fresh-milled masa — delivering an experience that helps you envision the beauty of El Salvador from the Bay Area.
Bay Area-born Chef Anthony Salguero first fell in love with El Salvador while visiting his grandparents. On each trip back, he sought out old recipes and learned traditional wood-fire cooking techniques, connecting deeply with his roots and the food of El Salvador.
Chef Anthony has built a career in fine-dining kitchens, including Plumed Horse in Saratoga, Saison and Commonwealth in San Francisco, and Quattro in Palo Alto. He served as executive chef at Michelin-recommended Michel Bistro in Oakland, and helped open Bardo Lounge & Supper Club in Oakland as co-chef.
With Popoca, he is realizing his dream of sharing Salvadorian food with his home community in Oakland.