When you walk into Dee Spot Café at 1195 65th St in Emeryville, you immediately feel the local community vibe and a warm welcome because proprietor Channarith Vanthin cares about people from the neighborhood. He and his staff want to get to know every single customer. Serving Breakfast and Lunch all day, you might say the cuisine is Asian Fusion meets American Comfort Food.
“We strive to make flavors that cater to everyone who comes in from the community,” explains Chan. “I really care about people who walk in that door – I want to get that flavor on point for them – just how they like it. On some occasions, I even make dishes not on the menu just because my customer wants it and I’m not too busy.” Why does Chan do that? Here’s the story.
He grew up in a very poor family. Chan walked to and from school and always walked by this one diner where he would stop to buy a snack. A very nice woman, the owner, would say to him, “Sonny, how can I help you?“ She would serve him Shepherd’s Pie or Mac & Cheese. According to Chan, these were his go-to comfort food. “And the diner lady would make it and not charge me.
“I like that warm family feeling – I like when the owner knows you and you can customize and make food you want. I am passionate to put forth the effort and energy to create great tasting food that hits home.”
Dee Spot’s house-made bagels were recently hailed by the SF Chronicle as one of the best bagels in the Bay Area. Chan said that making the bagels is a process that entails lots of critical thinking and monitoring. His secret is aging the dough carefully. “We use filtered water to boil the bagels before baking. We want a slow rise on the yeast so we put it in the fridge for 2-3 days, instead of leaving it out to rise.”
A lot of attention is paid to the bagels and they are a big hit for catering office meetings – either pickup or delivery. Toppings include avocado, along with cream cheese, butter, peanut butter, jam, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, capers and lox on weekends. Order a day ahead of time and they are ready for pickup or delivery the next day. Bagels can be ordered for delivery online through ezcater, DoorDash or UberEats.
Their Espresso coffees have many milk offerings and Lunch has something for everyone – from the Breakfast Sandwich to the Prahok Sach-ko steak rice bowl to the Loaded Bacon BLT. Dee Spot also offers a colorful variety of iced teas.
Customers’ favorite appetizers are the Fusion Samosas. There is the Brekkie, Taco, Angkor, Burmese and Veggie. They are similar to an egg roll but are made with a flaky triangle shaped dough.
The Emeryville community vibe is welcoming at Dee Spot Cafe. When asked why he chose Emeryville, Chan said Emeryville was an accident – he happened to be in the right place at the right time – and now he is passionate about the community. Chan’s parting words, “We put a lot of love and care into our bagels. Order a couple of dozen for your office.”
Hours: Daily 7am-2:30pm – 1195 65th St – 510.879.7026
About Chan Vanthin
Before opening Dee Spot Cafe, Chan hosted pop-ups in NY, LA, SF and Emeryville as a certified Chef on Feastly. He has also taught cooking classes at ITK (In the Kitchen) Culinary in Emeryville. Chan focuses on artisan style food and wants Emeryville to be part of the Best Cities for Bagels in the US.