Duende

4.7
1236 Reviews
$31 to $50
Spanish
Duende is a Spanish Inspired neighborhood restaurant in Oakland's Uptown district
A modern and casual dining experience, a cutting-edge cocktail program, and an inviting Spanish-based wine program!
Parties of 7 or more will be served a prix fixe chef's menu, please call 510-893-0174 to make a large group reservation.

For private events please email events@duendeoakland.com

Duende reserves seats for walk-ins! If you don't see your desired reservation time, come on down and we will find you a seat!

Duende requires proof of vaccination for all diners over the age of 12. Those who are immunocompromised and can not yet receive the vaccine, can provide a negative COVID test within the last 48 hours. Thank you for helping us keep each other safe!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
What 1236 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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F
Fabrice
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We had a wonderful time! Our waitress was great, the food was very tasty and, because it was not packed, it felt intimate. And the wine was very good as well!

HH
vipHoldenH
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Nice meal in a stylish atmosphere.

SF
vipSusanF
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal. Lots of different flavors!

l
lindaliver
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We had 3 appetizers, drinks, and 2 paellas for 4. Plenty of food but we totally cleaned our plates including scraping to the bottom of the paella pans.

EO
vipEatoutinOakland
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Simply the best restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. The food, service and ambiance are all exceptional. We have been going to Duende since they opened and it always feels like one of the most special evenings out.

c
vipcookbook
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Beautiful decor; tasty food; wonderful service (on a weekday); definitely will return.

G
vipGreat
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The food is really superb, but the paella we got was just alright - we got the fideua which was a little soft and we wanted more of the crunchy bottom, but it was all stuck the pan but everything else was spectacular. The patatas bravas and the calabazas asados y romesco were outstanding. The cocktails were great and service was also wonderful.

BT
BigTipper
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Having booked tickets to the 7pm Early Show for Michael Che at the Fox theater…I only had a 5:30pm reservation for a party of 4 to dine. The restaurant hostess was great at letting me know they would work with this timeframe.

Our waiter didn’t miss a beat with respect to drink /tapas recommendations. Definitely recommend the Papas and the summer squash!!! Talk about fantastic flavor. Their specialized sauces for these items really made it all worth it. We ordered the veggie and meat paella and it came out in perfect timing.

The blackberry smash was favorite drink choice! We got to the show in time and would recommend this place to anyone.

TR
vipTerryR
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Wonderful ambience, great service and delicious, interesting Spanish food.

KF
KaliF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience3

I've been to Duende before and had a good experience. The service was really bad when I went this time and they were out of quite a few dishes.

C
vipCough2
New York Area
68 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a big hit with the entire crowd. We got the chef’s tasting menu and it was excellent. The paella(s) were fabulous. The assortment of pinchon and tapas was amazing. We would go back in a heartbeat. The service was superlative and most gracious. All in all an excellent choice in Oakland.

A
Annette
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived early for dinner before the show at the Fox. Everything was perfect.

TM
TonyM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We arrived with an extra person which pushed us into the prix fix (7) and were totally blown away at the quality of the choices that arrived in perfect order. It was a much better experience than when we've been there and chosen from the menu.

m
maryc
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

First of all I appreciate request of vaccination, seating spaced out we felt very comfortable. Server very knowledgeable and helpful. Food absolutely delicious. Paella 🥘 amazing.Will be returning soon.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was wonderful! We loved the tapas

RL
RogerL
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food prep and delivery was fast and good. The ink squid paella was skimpy on protein but tasty. The wooden seats are pretty uncomfortable.

MZ
MikeZ
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The staff is very friendly - highly responsive and the food is creative and wonderful. The appetizer choices are great and the hamburger was the best ever

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal . Great dishes to share. Beautiful presentation of requested birthday dessert.

JT
JanelleT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Hawai'i-based DMC professional on a leisure visit to the Bay and this is my first time at Duende. My party ordered the potatoes, the cabbage salad, the roasted summer veggies, the Arroz Negro, and the crostata for dessert. Everything was really tasty. I especially liked the sauce that came with the summer veggies, lots of good deep flavor. I was really looking forward to trying the Arroz Negro and it waa delcious. The rockfish and squid were perfectly cooked and the pickled salad really balanced out the dish. Overall great plating as well, most dish was interesting and had some great colors. Loves all the textures too. The roasted pistachios on some of the dishes were a really great texture contrast if you're into that sort of thing like I am :)

I really loved that the drinks were all summer inspired. Lots of fun clear drinks with alternative citrus flavors that paired well with the food menu. I had a couple Summer on Spains, a G & T (with extra cucumbers), a Tropidia, and a Blackberry Smash (which I asked to replace the bourbon with a Russian vodka just because I was just feeling the clears last night).

Service was really great. Very attentive but not too much. Always refreshed our tap water via a wine bottle and served sparkling water in a decanter. Checked on us enough and our server had a few tables on their section.

Really great vibe. We ended up staying for almost 4 hours and our server was super kind about not rushing us to leave. I ended up ordering a couple more drinks because we were there so long, so hopefully that made up for it!!

I noticed that this is one of the older restaurants in the area so wanted to support local business that's at least 5 years old or more.

Glad I went and would definitely recommend.

ST
vipShaulT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Authentic Spanish food. Attentive service & good drinks.

r
viprisermon
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Well prepared and somewhat unique entrees, if a bit pricy. Portions of some items were adequate while others were skimpy.

Positives: the cabbage salad was tasty, substantial and somewhat different than any I've had in Spain or elsewhere; The mixed charcuterie and cheese platter was very tasty, and the salami tasted homemade, but the portion was not a good value for $18.
The large dish Arroz Negra with the squid ink was unique in its combination of ingredients, very flavorful and quite substantial, though more expensive than comparable platters from other local Tapas bars like Cesar's in Berkeley. We both really liked it. Reasonably good selection of Spanish wines

Negatives: The Sangria at $13/glass was way overpriced, considering that it lacked the sweetness and fruitiness I'm used to with Sangria. The amount of seafood and rockfish in the $44 Arroz Negra dish should have been more substantial. The fruit crostata at $13 was average at best, sort of small, with a hard and not flaky shell. Fruit filling was tasty. Coffee was decent but not exceptional.
If they were to make some of the improvements I'm suggesting, they'd probably be the best in the East Bay

GN
GirlsNightOut
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent service, fun atmosphere. A little stuffy and warm, better ventilation would've been nice.

MC
vipMartaC
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great fun last night! Amazing food and Flamenco music & dancing!

F
vipFavorites
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Soooooo delicious!!

AA
AlichaA
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a nice surprise there paella is obviously what you come for, we had the seafood paella and it was done perfectly. Flavors were definitely different than we are used too. Drinks were good and service was excellent! It was a Sunday so not sure if the moderate noise level was due to that but it was relaxing for a Sunday dinner. We will definitely be back to try the other paella dishes!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My birthday dinner

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall2food2service5ambience5

Great service but very average food. Good cocktails. Probably won’t go back

JG
vipJonathanG
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious paella and an unforgettable salad de Col. wonderful server!

CK
vipCharlesK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really outstanding food - the cabbage salad, the pepper relleno appetizer and the arroz negro were all excellent, and you should try out the Maker's Mule. Great service and value.

DR
DerkR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the top restaurants in the East Bay! Chef Canales’ creativity, curiosity, and execution is unsurpassed.

A
Ariadne15
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We loved Duende - having no idea what to expect from downtown Oakland. The menu combinations were interesting & unexpected, but oh so tasty. We had the crocettes, which were delicious & the yellow bean salad with perslaine (what an interesting mix), also good, only since wax beans tend to be a tad hard uncooked, they could have been parboiled. We shared the arroz negra paella. The rice was crusty and tasty but the paella could have used more fish on it. We started with a rose and cava rose which was like a pinot, also perfect for this type of food. We will be back when we have an event in the east bay - to try the other paella with rabbit.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience2

A Spanish tapas restaurant with no bread. Noisy. Ambience everything but Spanish. Drinks came 1 hour after ordering - after tapas and during dinner.

AL
AnnL
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The menu is incredible - so good that my only complaint is, with so many amazing options, it is difficult deciding what to order. Everything I ordered exceeded my (already) high expectations!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Indiana
27 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING IN CAR! Dinner was great. Service and food was awesome. Don’t miss the paella. Take everything with you. Rental car window was smashed and all luggage taken. Restaurant says leave no valuables in car. This must happen all the time. Be warned

MC
vipMartaC
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Duende never disappoints! The food and service are fantastic!!!

I love the high ceilings, booths and openness of the space! It is more open than some of the outdoor places.

SM
vipSeanM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My husband and I have loved this restaurant since happening upon it by chance around 3 years ago, and we were really happy that it's survived the pandemic. The ambiance is really cool and the waitstaff welcoming and responsive, and all the dishes we've tried have been interesting, tasty and satisfying. If you haven't been, definitely give Duende a try!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Excellent service. Only had paella so can’t speak much about food in general. The paella was good.

KF
KaliF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service were excellent. A great place overall.

OF
OaklandFoodDude
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The food is good, the atmosphere is cool jazz mixed with funk, and the staff is friendly and welcoming. We chose to do a series of Tapas and Pinxhos for dinner. We were not disappointed! Don't miss the Patatas Brava

L
Lang
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

LOVE THIS PLACE

FAQs

Duende does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates. Duende also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (510) 893-0174.

Duende is rated 4.7 stars by 1236 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.