Duende

4.4
969 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Spanish
Duende is a Spanish-inspired, neighborhood restaurant located in Oakland’s Uptown district, featuring a modern and casual dining experience, a cutting-edge cocktail program, and an inviting Spanish-based wine program including more than 20 sherries by the glass!
What 969 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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s
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Easter brunch. It was quiet. They ran out of Easter punch which was a shame.

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MM
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A new meal at Duende suited me, brunch was great food, service and less noise. We four had four different things, everything from a lovely granola, yogurt and berry bowl to , asparagus and duck cracklings with a poached egg. I hope they keep brunch. I'd recommend it and definitely be a regular.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Duende is always a good time with good food. Although the decor is a bit ecceletic, I always picture myself eating the delicious Paella de Carne in the heart of Barcelona or sitting at an oceanfront restuarant in Ibiza overlooking the sea.

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P
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my second time here and I absolutely love the food, service and ambience. The food was absolutely delicious. Everything we tried so far. The waiter was super attentive and thoughtful and the ambience with the dark wood and unique decor was romantic without feeling stuffy and intimate. Would recommend this restaurant and would come back again!

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OW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Best server ever!
Food is tasty and very pretty! Sangria was okay, but wine and other cocktails are amazing!

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D
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and the waiter helped get our food quickly because we had a show to make , he suggested items that were good and fast
Will return and tell friends about this place

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PM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I brought a party of 6. We had many unusual small plates and share a meat paella. All were delicious. Our server couldn’t have been more helpful. Will definitely recommend.

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AA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a large party and the waitress was always friendly and upbeat. The food did take a while to come out, but it was delicious.

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v
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I love the food here, the service seemed a bit rushed this time though...but overall great!

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SD
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Good ambiance--certainly the highlight of the experience! Would be great to come for some light tapas and drinks before a show. Overall I don't think it was a great value. We spent around $50/person and left a little tiny bit hungry. The paella was definitely the star. I also loved the fried cheese honey things.

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I
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I don't know if my taste buds have changed or if the chef at Duende has changed but it's not as tasty as I remember from my first visit. The sauces were heavy, the bruschetta dry, the cannelloni too creamy, and the bill pricey (with a couple of glasses of wine). And the chairs are very uncomfortable yet better than the bar stools that accompany the bistro tables. Service was good but I think I'll just go for drinks and appetizer next time.

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IC
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great dinner. Food was delicious. would definitely go back again.

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SC
Los Angeles
32 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We enjoyed the ambiance. We also enjoyed sitting at the bar before dinner and were entertained by the bartender! Service was excellent in the beginning and middle of the meal, but unfortunately towards the end the attention to detail faded, even after people started to leave after dining. Two of us had ordered another drink and the wait took longer that it should. The food was good, but not outstanding. The meals were also served too far apart. The couple in our group were served their lamb burger and the paella I ordered did not arrive until about 5-6 minutes later. I think there is potential here which is why I would refer this to a friend,

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MH
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

At times I felt like the waitress forgot about us. She was nice but not very attentive. The wine was ok- not great. FOOD and Atmosphere amazing!

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OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Duende is one of the best restaurants in downtown Oakland. I highly recommend it.

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YS
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location for a pre-show meal before an event at the Fox! Good tapas, good for groups!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Concert at Fox

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PD
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

The service here is great! It was very very noisy but lively. Overall the quality of the food was terrible! We ordered the Patatas Bravas - this simply was cubed potatoes with some kind of spicy tomato paste on top. My husband and I shared the Paella which was greasy and heavy handed on the spices. We will NOT be returning.

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AF
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

We had a nice leisurely mean at Duende, arriving 5:30 on a Friday to start with a drink at the bar, and moving on to dinner when the place was largely still empty. By 6:30 it was popping! Great vibe. Our server was good. Attentive, offered information, gave wine samples. He did seem to fade away after awhile, and may have been bummed that we occupied our table talking and enjoying ourselves for quite some time (3 hours), which was not ideal for him. Our waiter forgot to return our boxed up leftovers to us with the check - and we ended up forgetting as well and left without them. (Bummer.) We had the noodle paella with duck on top, which I found to be a bit heavy and the flavors uninteresting. The gruyere croquettes were yummy and the brussel sprouts a bit dry and not many of them.

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AP
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A really fantastic wonderful meal, with lots of interest in both the atmosphere and the food itself. Nice wait staff who knew what they were talking about. My only issue would be that our table was connected to other diners through the wall, and the other diners kept thumping something on the table which was quite distracting both in movement and noise.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Unique Food in a Unique Setting with Unique Artwork!!!

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SH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

We paid 42 bucks for a two person paella. It turned out to be a platter of burnt rice, about 6 clams with no flavor, and two sausages that were overcooked, small, and basically cheap. This was a major ripoff.

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GB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Food is outstanding but the service is spotty if not incompetent. Prices are extremely high for portion size.

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N
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The small plates were very good. We had the tuna carpaccio, the beef tartare and the cabbage salad which all were excellent. We shared a meat paella for two and it was plenty for four. For dessert, we had biscotti and walnut pear torte. The wait staff was very attentive and paced the plates.

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V
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautifully appointed and staffed by sweet people. Would love to see music back here.

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SJ
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great dinner at Duende. We had tickets to the theatre. We were able to eat at a relaxed pace and make it out on time without being rushed. Food was delicious! Excellent service from the staff. Ask to sit downstairs- upstairs lacks ambiance and was super warm.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and cocktails are always delicious. Service was professional and thorough.

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GY
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about Duende! The restaurant was rustic and the decor was quite pleasing to the eye. The food was absolutely delicious! We had several appetizers (grilled shrimp, fried oysters and a beet salad) and we tasty steak dinner. Best part, was the dessert...chocolate flan! We should have ordered two :-) Highly recommend this restaurant. GY - SF

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JF
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dependably great place to eat. We tried all new things this time and found them all yummy. Their salads and cocktails are excellent frames for their wonderful tapas.

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GC
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Soulfully spirited..................... food Awakening.

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t
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been to Duende several times, always delightful. Well informed servers, delicious food, charming ambience. Recommend for date night, evening with friends, or any time you just want delicious Spanish food in a warm, inviting space.

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AB
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here for by birthday with three girlfriends. They really went out of their way to accommodate the vegan in the group - with sauces and cheeses on the side. And OMG the paella was delicious. Thank you!

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F
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Tapas are amust! We tried 5 different tapas! Tartare beef is the best

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

A little pricey, but great ambiance and service

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J
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

We came here because Duende was highly recommended on OpenTable. We found the food to be OK at best and the paella, which should be their signature dish, was a big disappointment. We don't know why this place is so highly recommended, but they do have a few highlights including their romesco sauce (yum) and a couple of the tapas plates, notably the patatas fritas. Also the service was really good. However, the sangria was bland and seemed bereft of fresh fruits. The paella for two seemed like an exercise in selling $6 worth of food for $42. We suggest these substitutions to make the paella more delicious: shrimp instead of brussels sprouts; scallops or mussels instead of gigante beans, and chicken instead of that weirdly flavored sausage. Also throw in another 3-5 clams. We paid and left a decent tip but won't be back.

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BD
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Table was ready when we arrived. Great service and food was excellent. Overall a great experience. Only thing I miss was when they used to have live music....

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E
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and food was spectacular. We were 10 minutes late because of the rain and traffic and when we called to let the restaurant know, we almost cancelled because the host said we’d only be allowed to sit at our table for an hour. So we didn’t order the more expensive dishes. I am not sure we will return knowing that our meal and table is so closely timed. There are other restaurants that are just as good, if not better, where we would be received more graciously.

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LV
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Our appetizer and their salad were delicious, I would go back for those again. Our paella was so so and the service wasn't very good, but I think that was just our one waitress.

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PC
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Duende. It never disappoints!

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FD
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Duende is a restaurant with great food that is matched by the interior design.

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