Mi Cocina Marketplace Stockton

What’s better than hot food?  Hot food, a meat department, a tortilleria, and a bakery all in one place.

That is exactly what Mi Cocina Marketplace is. 

Head to 609 Porter Ave. in Stockton to check it out for yourself. You can’t miss it, it’s building decorated with colorful Mexican “papel picado” banners.  

Randy Cohen, co-owner of Mi Cocina Marketplace, said he wanted to bring a slice of Mexico to this side of town.

“I have a food distributorship, and I have sold to all the Mexican markets. They’re all the good ones on the other side of town, forever I’ve been saying, ‘I’m going to do this out north,’” Cohen said. “When this building (became) vacant, I said, we’re doing it here.” 

Cohen owns Mi Cocina Marketplace with his wife, Rene Cohen, and his two brothers-in-law, Paul and Jeff Canepa.

“Our recipes are just the best,” Cohen said.

Mi Cocina Marketplace will be celebrating one year in business on Oct. 29.

Here, you will find small grocery items such as Nestle Abuelita, La Morena Jalapeños and assorted candies. But aside from that, there is a menu.

If you are hungry and want to order a warm meal to dine-in or carry-out, you can do that, too. Regular tacos start at $3.29 and go up to $4.99 for a super taco with cheese, beans, avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream and salsa.  

An enchiladas plate with rice and beans will cost you $9.99, the same price as a torta with meat, beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, jalapeños, and cheese. 

My favorite

I ordered two tacos, one carnitas and one pastor, with red salsa, cilantro, and onion. I also ordered a plate of three green chicken enchiladas with rice and beans. Oh, and let’s not forget a watermelon agua fresca.  

The taco de carnitas was my favorite.

Carnitas are Michoacán style pork, and as a daughter of Michoacán native parents, carnitas hold a special place in my heart. They were tasty but a bit crunchy. It was also the end of the day. The red salsa was tasty and not hot, but more mild.  

The pastor taco, also pork, had its special seasoning. The taco was a bit spicy but good. The enchiladas’ green salsa was what made the enchiladas. It was full of rich flavor.

And last but not least, the watermelon water tasted exactly like a slice of fresh watermelon. It was on the sweeter side. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you may want to choose something else.

This place is different. You will smell the fresh tortillas if you go early in the morning. A smell that will transport you back to Mexico and memory lane of running to the tortilleria down the street for fresh tortillas right before your abuelita finishes cooking breakfast.  

More to offer

Let’s not forget the meat counter. Here, you can order various fresh cuts to cook your meals. From chicken filet to skirt steak and chuck roast.  

Cohen also co-owns businesses like Canepa’s Carwash and Canepa’s Lube & Oil, which his wife’s family started. He encourages everyone to stop by and try the recipes made by Luis Enrique Calderon, also the manager of Mi Cocina Marketplace.

Calderon, who was born in Orange County, lived most of his life in Michoacán, Mexico, he said. This is where many of the dishes he has created are inspired from.  

“Toda la comida es preparada aqui. La salsa, las ensaladas, los aderezos, todo es preparado aqui,” (all the food is prepared here. The salsa, the salads, the dressings, everything is prepared in-house) Calderon said.  

Calderon and Carla Vargas, the kitchen manager, created the menu, Calderon said.  

Their meats seasonings are made specially for the business. This way, customers can differentiate from other places, he said.  

The menu changes with the seasons. In December, their menu will change again. That’s when you can find some dishes like pozole, champurrado and atole. But you don’t have to wait long if you want some menudo or birria. They sell them on the weekends.

Here you can also find the “carnitas estilo Michoacán,” (Michoacán style carnitas), Calderon said. One that has become a popular choice among the customers. They even sell them in big quantities for parties.  

They have a Wednesday special where if you buy one pound of carnitas, they give you half a pound free. While they do not offer catering services at the moment, Calderon said it might be something they add in the future.  

If you are thinking of ordering a large quantity of carnitas for your next pachanga (party), make sure you order in advance, at least the day before. They prepare them every day but also sell them throughout the day.  

The baked goods are not baked in-house but purchased from La Flor De Puebla Bakery. They plan to bake their bread in the future, Calderon said.

“Look how cute and beautiful it is, and to go along with that, we have great food,” Cohen said. 

Mi Cocina Marketplace is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Follow them on Instagram at micocinamarketplace.

Record reporter Angelaydet Rocha covers community news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AngelaydetRocha. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.

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