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Watermelon Trucks in East Bay

giacomantonia Jul 8, 2011 08:45 AM

Hey, have any of you seen any trucks selling watermelon in the Oakland area?
I'm looking for old-fashioned watermelons with thick rinds and black seeds, for making watermelon pickles.
I read in another post that there was a guy in SF last summer selling watermelons with seeds.

Would really like to find some over here in the East Bay.

I'll go to places outside of Oakland in the East Bay if necessary. Thanks so much. ;o)

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: giacomantonia Jul 8, 2011 08:59 AM

    Little early in the year, maybe, given the cool spring. Berkeley Bowl usually has a good assortment of watermelons.

    Berkeley Bowl
    2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

    1. k
      kc72 RE: giacomantonia Jul 8, 2011 09:33 AM

      I;ve seen one at 66th Ave and San Leandro St in Oakland a few times

      1. josquared RE: giacomantonia Jul 8, 2011 10:06 AM

        Not in the Oakland area mind you, but I did notice my first watermelon vendor heading up on Hwy 29 in the Vallejo area the other day

        It still must be early in the year for them like Robert mentioned, though - this section is still dominated by the cherry trucks.

        1. s
          srr RE: giacomantonia Jul 8, 2011 11:38 AM

          No in the East Bay, but we bought one on the 3rd of July from a man parked near Webster and Geary in SF. It was delicious. We've bought from him many times. He's usually there on the weekends somewhere on Webster.

          1 Reply
          1. re: srr
            baron45 RE: srr Jul 23, 2011 09:04 AM

            The truck on Webster & Eddy was still there this week.

          2. s
            shanghaikid RE: giacomantonia Jul 8, 2011 10:46 PM

            haven't paid attention lately. seen trucks before at
            -front of abadoned gas station, 22rd & e. 12th st.
            -sidewalk opposite gas station on bancroft near hegenberger.
            -side streets (e 12th, etc) in the fruitvale district.

            1. m
              ML8000 RE: giacomantonia Jul 9, 2011 12:12 AM

              In the past I've seen watermelon trucks in Oakland on W Grand before Mandela going towards the Bay Bridge. Also on Embarcadero from 23rd to Jack London Sq. Both have steady if not heavy traffic but are low key-ish and out of the way.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ML8000
                Ruth Lafler RE: ML8000 Jul 9, 2011 12:23 AM

                Right. There's usually (different fruits at different times of year) trucks:

                on the Oakland Embarcadero at the 5th Ave. undercrossing
                along Coliseum Way on the north side of 880 between High St. and 66th
                on the other side of the freeway on whatever the street is the Home Depot is on between Fruitvale and High St.

              2. rworange RE: giacomantonia Jul 9, 2011 09:10 AM

                OK, there are four issues here - timing, seasonality, trucks and watermelon variety.

                Timing - How soon do you want the watermelon?

                Seasonality - It is tied to the trucks. Local melons aren't realy in season right now.

                Trucks - It is fine to say where trucks are located, but identifying them doesn't mean they are going to sell the type of watermelon you are looking for.

                If you look at the sides of these trucks, the addresses are usually tied to some Oakland Mexican market. We aren't taking about farm to truck. We are usually talking farm to Oakand produce market to Mexican market to truck. This time of year, the watermelons on the trucks are likely to be selling watermelons from the same out-of-the-country source as any supermarket. Some could be from Southern California. There is no guarantee they will be the type you are looking for.

                Come local watermelon season, you'll see different trucks ... often without any marking They will be selling watermelons and only watermelons. Local, but no guarantee of variety.

                Variety - My suggestion is instead of looking for watermelon trucks, if you don't need the melons immediately, start talking to the famers at local farmers markets and ask if they are growing good pickling watermelons this season and when they will be available.

                In Fremont, Perry Farms grows a number of heirloom variety watermelons, so in-season that might be one of the best sources.



                My suggestion to you would be to repost asking for pickling watermelons or old fashioned watermelons with large seeds and thick skins because you would have more responses for the exact type of watermelon you want. I'll keep an eye out this season for you though.

                1. j
                  Jim RE: giacomantonia Jul 9, 2011 10:37 AM

                  I used to buy these delicious seeded watermelons from Van Groningen & Sons located in Manteca, CA. They had a truck at the Serramonte Farmers Market several years in a row, but no longer. I called them last week and they sell their seeded melons at Foodmax in the bay area. Here's their website if you'd like to give them a call for more info. They have the most delicious commercial seeded melons which are supposed to be sweeter than the seedless.


                  If anyone knows of seeded watermelons in SF area, let me know. I used to see a truck down on Third St. near Oakdale.

                  1. Stephanie Wong RE: giacomantonia Jul 9, 2011 09:48 PM

                    Saw 1 this afternoon about 1pm on Fruitvale Ave. at Galindo in Oakland. Didn't stop & didn't spot any name on truck. Don't usually drive by so don't know if it's regularly there or not.

                    1. jillyju RE: giacomantonia Jul 9, 2011 10:46 PM

                      On MacArthur, practically across the street from the entrance to Mills College, off of 580, a guy has been there pretty regularly for about 2 weeks now. I didn't see him yesterday, but he was definitely there other days this week.

                      1. rworange RE: giacomantonia Aug 24, 2011 08:21 PM

                        Don't know if you found your melon and already made the pickles. If not, the Charleston Gray watermelons at the Berkeley Bowl today sound like they might be exactly what you want.

                        1. p
                          phwib RE: giacomantonia Aug 24, 2011 10:37 PM

                          If you are going north on 880, exit on 29th and turn right at the sign. He is there most week days.

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