Duende

4.8
1170 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!

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
What 1170 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MW
vipMarkW
Orlando
15 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

So happy to have a source of delicious paella back in downtown Oakland.

Great food, interesting cocktails, and friendly service will keep us coming back.

l
lovestoeatout
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great, we loved our meal and happy to be back at Duende!

f
foodlover
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a marvelous meal at Duende. Every dish was perfect - the sauces, the combination of flavors and textures, the variety of dishes - all excellently prepared and served. Service was great - attentive but not intrusive. We had a total of 6 dishes, all delicious.

RS
RajivSethy
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambience! I would consider Duende to be amongst the top 5 places to dine in Oakland.

O
Outstanding
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My new favorite place, I look forward to when they open for lunch too 👍

m
marniew
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The service was great. The menu was good but less than I expected given the reputation.

ZF
ZaneF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and authentic Spanish Basque cuisine. Say no more.

PT
PeterT
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

very unique and good tapes and excellent paella in an really cooll design

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great spot!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Top notch food and atmosphere!

MD
ManDarakis
Portland
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The tapas here are out of this world good. The cobb salad is a major dark horse best item. The croques are delicious, and the pea salad is not to be missed. And don’t leave without hitting up the granita. Excellent service, killer cooks. I love this place.

J
Julia
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is still just as delicious as ever and the staff is a delight. Thank you to them for making my birthday dinner a delight.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a group of 5 people so we were able to order several tapas as well as a paella. Everything was delicious! I’m so glad Duende is back! Slight service dip at the end but our server seemed really busy and we survived ok :) Overall a lovely meal.

DB
vipDonnaB
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Nice and fun restaurant.
Love the causal vibe with good music.
Food is good and drinks are a fun mix

TO
TO5000
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Menu is divided between 15 tapas, 4 mains and 4 paellas. Cocktail menu, wine list.
We had a lot of tapas, paella. Cocktail and a few glasses of wine. Wine list extremely reasonable.

m
vipmyrawyrd
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Black rice paella was amazing...and the cabbage salad was an unlikely star.

GP
GaryP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although Duende was closed during the pandemic, they have reopened and Chef Paul Canales and crew haven’t missed a step. Everything was just as we remembered. So glad to have them back!

EO
vipEatoutinOakland
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Paul and his staff continue to be one of the very best restaurants in the SF Bay Area. Creative and delicious food, and exceptional service.

s
vipsandy
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Music was a bit too loud for conversation

AZ
vipAZSF
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Duende has upped its game “post pandemic.” Always enjoyed eating here. But the food and service are significantly better now. Can’t wait to get back to try a giant Paella! Good job Duende.

MH
MaryH
Sacramento
6 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our experience at Duende was five star from start to finish. Our waitperson, Carlos, guided us through a wonderful culinary journey with a solid knowledge of items on the menu allowing us to experience the delicious flavors of the plates chosen. The food, absolutely delicious, our server, stellar, and the ambiance relaxed and creative. Definitely on our return list.

SH
SusanH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent and knowledgeable server set the stage for an enjoyable evening. The food was imaginative and delicious.

K
vipKiddendad
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner at Duende, as always! We can count on fantastic service and people, amazing food, and a beautiful , fun restaurant- EVERY TIME.

AC
vipAmyC
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cabbage salad is so good! I’m not usually a dessert person but the apricot tart and the chocolate flan were outstanding. Always love the octopus and the rabbit paella was outstanding.

s
vipstylishmom24
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2021
Overall3food1service3ambience4

I was so excited to learn that Duende is back in business! Unfortunately, the food was horrible. The service was almost ok… yeah, almost but not even ok. We ordered drinks and a couple of appetizers first, 15 min later the appetizer arrived and still no drinks. There were only 2 other parties in the restaurant, I have no idea why the drinks took forever. The first 30-45 min of our dining experience was so disappointing I decided to not order a main course. I’m all about supporting local businesses especially during and post pandemic but unfortunately, I won’t be coming back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time! The service is great. Everyone seemed happy to be back out in the world. The food was magnificent as ever. I have been to Duende a few times before and always really enjoyed myself. I’ll definitely be back for some fried chicken and chocolate flan.

CL
CaseyL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Truly spectacular experience. Love the vibe, the food is ... I have no words. Just weird moaning mouth sounds while savoring every bite that make everyone else at the table uncomfortable. Worth it. Can’t wait to come back.

JB
JessicaB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here for our anniversary.

The food was spot on, we had a majority of the Tapas on the menu. they were all exceptionally prepared. We weren't a huge fan of the flat bread but it was cooked well and beautifully presented it just wasn't for us. The paella was exceptional. the rice was perfectly cooked with just a bit of crunch around the edges, and the chocolate flan was so good it made me want to punch someone.

They were a little understaffed but you wouldn't have noticed. Service was spot on and our server Kate was so sweet and was super helpful even though she was the only server on the floor. We will defiantly be back to visit with Kate soon.

E
vipEatabix
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was most excellent

n
ng54
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was absolutely FANTASTIC - the flavors are difficult to describe, but one bite of the salad and each of two paella's we ordered and we were in heaven. We ordered two different cocktails recommended by Kate and they, too, were delicious - mouthwatering flavors. The service was impeccable and we were greeted by Paul, owner and chef, and he couldn't have been more cordial, attentive to our experience, and enthusiastic about the reopening. The 4 of us couldn't have had a better time!!!

HE
HappyEater
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you are an adventurous eater, you will love this place! The food here is superb and unlike anything you can get anywhere else. The drinks are also unique to this place, but you can also get any standard cocktail. The service is superb. It is not inexpensive, but it is well worth the cost. Of course, if you keep the alcohol to a minimum, the overall cost is lower. The noise level does rise as the evening wears on, but early in the evening, a quiet tète á tète is more than possible. We have been waiting for the reopening after the pandemic to get back to this place. We love it!

M
Melissa
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The vegetarian paella was incredible and the gin martinis were perfect. Our server was also just lovely.

t
viptinac
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So happy to be back at Duende!! Everything was perfect- food amazing, service lovely and restaurant full of life!

HE
vipHappyEater
San Francisco
70 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We were so thrilled to come back to Duende! The food, as always, was phenomenal, and service was impeccable. Thank you, Paul and team. Looking forward to our next visit.

EA
EAF21
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic Spanish cuisine. Best since I was in Barcelona. The tapas and fideua were exceptional. Great service and wonderful staff. Comfortable decor. Background music was a bit loud but we were seated right under a speaker.

SS
vipScottS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience3

Service was great but the food was not that great. We had a flatbread with sardine, marinated mushroom, onion and arugala. The flat bread was tough and overall flavor of the dish was flat with the onion over powering all the other flavors. We had the carne paella as the main dish. This was salty and lacked any real flavor. The best part was the crisp rice at the bottom. Even the sausages had very little flavor.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was delicious and exceeded expectations. Service was perfect.

C
Cullulloo
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

None of the dishes were very good. The swordfish was particularly inedible.

The tap beer, Pilsner, was fine.

KS
vipKenS
San Francisco
70 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always Paul Canales outdoes himself in creating dishes that are transporting. Make a reservation while you can still get one. In addition to outstanding food,they have a great cocktail program and an excellent wine and beer selection. So glad to have his restaurant back.

R
vipRobinsline
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were looking forward to Duende reopening and we were not disappointed. The chef has created some new dishes that are simply outstanding. We loved the canalones with green garlic pasta and goat cheese; a swordfish carpaccio-type dish with pickled ramps was amazing. Duende makes a great pisco sour too. The wine list is short, appropriate, and reasonably priced. Service was friendly and efficient, giving no suggestion of opening night confusion. This restaurant is a short walk from where we live, was a favorite pre-Covid, and has picked up where they left off.

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 4.8 stars by 1170 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.