Duende

4.7
1141 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 1141 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
4.9
service
4.7
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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n
ng54
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined a day ago
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 a day ago
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 a day ago
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 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

HE
vipHappyEater
San Francisco
66 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
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 4 days ago
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
37 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.

b
vipblainh
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a fabulous meal. Because of the tapas size plates I was able to try a few options. The tartar was amazing!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food.

n
nonane
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience4

Overpriced for the quality and taste of the food. Nice atmosphere. Our table had the worst wobble I have experienced in a full service restaurant, even after our wonderful server attempted to balance it. Potato chips with the burger is just lame; the burger was excellent. The pasta dish was really boring and bland. I could have spent half the money and gotten better food elsewhere. Overall, great service, nice place- perhaps we went on an off night but the food did not deliver.

R
vipReliable
San Francisco
178 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I like this place. As a pre-show spot it’s perfect. My only caption is that the paella, while good, is terrible value. The one we had included some pasta and about 6 shrimp for $50. Stick to the tapas and other large plates.

P
Phil
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall2food1service3ambience2

Have been here many times and had great meals...not tonight.
Patats bravas were hard all the way through.
We ordered vodka tonic and got vodka and soda twice!
Paella was uninspired.
The overall experience felt like the restaurant was very tired.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience3

The place is very nice. Unfortunately the food quality is mediocre. The potatoes in papas bravas were like rocks. The salad super salty. The mix tapa cold with mushrooms from a jar and not good quality chorizo. Sad.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience4

Food took over an hour to arrive. We only ordered 3 dishes. We waited way too long.

JS
JanS
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We were going to Oakland Symphony that is nearby. We are fond of Duende as they always have some outstanding food. The cabbage salad and the tartlet for dessert were excellent. The paella was overcooked and a little dry. Great service.

N
Norge
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It would be hard to say which was better: the food or the service. I have seldom had such good service at a restaurant. Our waiter made good suggestions, explained things that we needed to ask about as first-time diners at this restaurant. My friend and I ordered four small plates to share for our meal. I realized after the first two that the waiter was serving them at the right pace and in the right order for the perfect meal. We did not even have to ask for that. And the food was delicious. The cabbage salad raised cabbage to new heights, and the beef kabobs were tender and tasty, with crispy garbanzos my friend raved about the rest of the evening! Duende was a special occasion treat for me; I don't usually spend over $100 for a glass of wine, one mixed drink, small plates, and a shared dessert, but I would do it again on another special occasion.

d
devushka99
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Service was excellent and the place is lovely - lots of warmth and visual interest in the atmosphere. Nice, varied wine list and interesting cocktails. Much of the food was really excellent - we had mushroom toasts that we both loved, and my husband had the anchovies, which he raved about. I thought the vegetarian main was a little too tart without anything to balance it (even though there was a goat cheese sauce), but overall we really enjoyed it, have already recommended it to several people, and look forward to coming back.

AR
ARiv
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food!

WW
WonderWoman
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall3food2service1ambience4

I have been here several times. The server never came to check on us, there were no special offerings and the mussel dish really just involved one mealy, dried out mussel in the end of some speared bread thing. I can’t really explain it, but it was pretty awful. Burger was great and the drinks, as always were excellent.

T
Trent
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Very creative menu. The flavors were amazing.

T
vipTracy
London
3 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing celebration dinner for my husband. Incredible food and funky ambiance.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food was great but kitchen was SO slow. Took an hour + to get food and waiter was slow to come and get us another drink while waiting.

O
Orelhao
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Came here about a year ago but did not have the chance to try the paella, so we did this time. It was good but not a super traditional preparation, could probably have done without the aioli on top. Amazing homemade sausage! Enjoyed the lamb appetizer and patatas bravas. Excellent homemade pepper tonic. While we loved the ambiance, we would have liked to have been seated in the actual dining area as we had made a reservation- we didn't realize we were in the bar area until we were leaving. Service was friendly but felt a bit off-timed and rather rushed (even though we told them we were *not* in a rush- there was a show nearby several customers were attending). Overall good though but may stick to the Raciones next time. :)

S
Susie
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Duende is a fun and lively restaurant with delicious food and attentive waiters.

k
kimberlym
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely dinner on a Monday night before taking BART to SF for the symphony. Not many people there on a Monday eves.

KW
KimW
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We had a lovely time at Duende. We had the Ensalada de Col and the Paella de Carne. Both were excellent! My cocktail was also delicious. It was busy and loud and we wished our waiter would've come by to offer more wine in a more timely fashion, but overall, we enjoyed Duende very much and will be back for more!

JW
vipJohnW
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Just not impressed. It was a Saturday night, so it should have bene their ace crew. Drinks, food, and service were just meh. We left saying, "Good thing we don't have to go back."

V
Victorc
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Kinda price but very good food and nice place i would recommend to all

A
Ahernandez1
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

It was something new to do for restaurant week . Food was ok, nothing too special. We are on a mission to find the best paella. This wasn’t it. Waiter gave off a weird vibe and my daughter who has worked in restaurant industry and believes in tipping well did not tip well this time. It was freezing and I left my jacket on the entire time. We probably won’t be returning.

F
Fast
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We were reminded of our paella in Barcelona. Great cabbage salad. We loved the young and diverse servers, gentle and helpful. The down side was lack of decent heating system. We had to wear our jackets the whole Time!

TB
TomB510
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Intrigued by Oakland Restaurant Week we paid our first visit to Duende and we're delighted. We ordered the Prix Fixe menu and were very satisfied. We had the black squid ink paella as the main and it was delish. The Savoy lettuce salad was an eye opener and the waiter's wine recommendation was spot on.
We'll be back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Slow service: we stay at our table after being seated for almost 10 minutes before anyone came to take an order or see if we had any questions or most importantly explain the menu. There were only 4 other couples when we got there and it was the start if their night. So, why the poor service?

Food: nothing mind blowing Or exciting. One taps we ordered was too salty. The other was a very plain and left we wishing it had been crisps or French fries rather that bland fried potato cubes.

Cocktails: meh.

We skipped dessert.

LS
LindaS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We made reservations and still had to wait an extra 20-30 minutes without any updates and had to approach the host to inquire. Seen multiple 2tops (table for 2) get seated before us. At least 4 other groups who were not there before us.

Food wise! We had the Restaurant week menu, the starting salad is really good! Something I would order again. The squid ink Paella was good too but not sure if the fish on top was suppose to be extra chewy . Everything else is eh. Potatoes def over cooked.

Overall we spent over $150 for two- I don’t think it was worth it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Restaurant week

C
vipCatcher
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Drinks were very slow and the plates of food were too fast. We had three plates of food before the wine came. The food is really good.

t
viptinac
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was PERFECT!!! Duede never disappoints!

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 1141 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.