daily californian logo

BERKELEY'S NEWS • NOVEMBER 27, 2022

Take a look at our 2022 midterm elections special issue!

Kuboba Spot brings Filipino-inspired flavors to Telegraph Ave.

article image

GAVIN SAGASTUME | STAFF

Following a soft opening June 18, Kuboba Spot on Telegraph Avenue aims to set itself apart from other boba chains with its Filipino-inspired flavors.

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

|

Deputy News Editor

JULY 12, 2022

Bypass several chain boba shops on Telegraph Avenue to find Kuboba Spot, a boba cafe featuring fresh fruit drinks and Filipino-inspired pastries.

According to Sam Bernardino, co-owner of Kuboba Spot, the shop’s name comes from the Tagalog bahay kubo, an iconic type of stilt house in the Philippines. Many of the decorations inside Kuboba Spot pay homage to the style, including a “TikTok wall” for patrons to take pictures.

“We want this to be very homey,” said co-owner Seyna Smith. “Whoever comes in, I want them to feel like, ‘Oh, okay, I can actually sit down and I can actually have a nice drink and something to eat.’”

In addition to indoor and outdoor seating, the shop also features a glass partition at the counter so patrons can see their drinks and pastries being prepared.

During the past few weeks, Smith said Kuboba Spot served about 75 patrons per day, with some days having more than 120. However, the owners anticipate “heavy traffic” when students return to Berkeley for the fall semester.

“We always ask for their name. If it’s not too busy, we always like to go and talk to them,” Smith said. “Our customer service is what we pride ourselves on.”

Kuboba Spot celebrated its soft opening June 18, but it previously opened pop-ups and catered throughout Contra Costa County, Smith said.

Both Smith and Bernardino used to work in the healthcare industry, but Smith said the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged them to “go for what their dreams were.” For Smith, this dream was to open a bakery, and for Bernardino, it was to open a cafe and lounge — so they combined the concepts.

The menu currently features a variety of drinks and pastries. According to Smith and Bernardino, some highlights include buko pandan — a popular Filipino dessert — as well as a strawberry Potchi drink inspired by the Filipino candy and empanadas filled with kaldereta, a traditional Filipino beef stew.

So far, the buko pandan drink is popular with customers, as are the kaldereta empanadas and chicken adobo empanadas.

UC Berkeley rising sophomore Ysabella Carrera said she liked the adobo empanadas and buko pandan, adding that they were “really Filipino-tasting.” Carrera also noted the price was more reasonable compared to other boba shops in Berkeley.

However, what sets Kuboba Spot apart from the many other boba shops in Southside is its concept and interactions with customers, Smith added.

“It’s the fact that you’re seeing someone actually making your empanadas, or you’re able to talk to the person that’s making your drink,” Smith said. “We try to make it as personalized as possible.”

Riley Cooke is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @rrileycooke.
LAST UPDATED

JULY 13, 2022


Related Articles

featured article
Now, the Berkeley community must fondly recall such memories following the news that the beloved family-owned restaurant will close its doors Sunday.
Now, the Berkeley community must fondly recall such memories following the news that the beloved family-owned restaurant will close its doors Sunday.
featured article
featured article
UC Berkeley’s Wurster Hall is now temporarily home to restaurateur Charles Phan’s Slanted Door pop-up, featuring cuisine from his award-winning restaurant.
UC Berkeley’s Wurster Hall is now temporarily home to restaurateur Charles Phan’s Slanted Door pop-up, featuring cuisine from his award-winning restaurant.
featured article
featured article
4bells Public House, or 4bells, has opened its doors, offering Hispanic-inspired cuisine, a vast variety of cocktails and a relaxing environment for Berkeley sports fans and families.
4bells Public House, or 4bells, has opened its doors, offering Hispanic-inspired cuisine, a vast variety of cocktails and a relaxing environment for Berkeley sports fans and families.
featured article