Ratto is a pretty deli in the historical downtown of Oakland, on Washington at Nine. The store itself speaks of its historical origins: the old signage over the door, the beautiful early 1900s cash register on display at the entrance, end even the décor make you feel like you ended in a time warp- a nice one at that!
Ratto is mostly known for its sandwiches, but the shelves display a vast amount of specialty products that made me want to stock up my pantry! I had the pleasure to run my fingers through the bulk selection of beans, among which borlotti and cannellini were prominently displayed. I remembered the wonderful pasta e fagioli that borlotti beans make, and that was all it takes to sell me on a new store!
They also have an extensive selection of bulk rice, among which Arborio. They carry Carnaroli rice in very reasonably priced packages if you need to stock up for your risotto needs. Behind the counter another surprise: Baccala’! Baccala’ is a version of salted cod as I understand it, not a big fan but such a staple of Italian tables I could not skip it!
In the pickles section you will find pre-made giardiniera salad, a selection of fresh spring vegetables pickled in vinegar. A wonderful topping for your pasta salads, it is often used as part of antipasto dishes with some salumi.
The sweets section was quite extensive: pre-made cannoli shelves, amaretti, lingue di gatto and savoiardi cookies, Baci Perugina are all prominently displayed to make your mouth water. And the always-present Lavazza coffee is on the shelves, too!
Ratto’s Deli and International Market
821 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607
Phone: (510) 832-6503