We will come back strong. We are thinking of each and every one of you and looking forward to the other side when we can all hug each other again
All love & blessings,
Chef Paul Canales & the Duende team
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Duende is a Spanish-inspired, neighborhood restaurant located in Oakland’s Uptown district. Currently offering a to go menu for pick up or delivery through Caviar including Spanish wine, innovative cocktails and beer!
Paella de Carne
bomba rice + green garlic butifarra sausage + asparagus + butter beans + allioli
Paella de Verduras
bomba rice + farm eggs + honeynut squash + celery root + broccolini + mojo verde allioli
crispy potatoes + spicy allioli
I had a fabulous meal. Because of the tapas size plates I was able to try a few options. The tartar was amazing!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Food took over an hour to arrive. We only ordered 3 dishes. We waited way too long.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Very creative menu. The flavors were amazing.
Amazing celebration dinner for my husband. Incredible food and funky ambiance.
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.
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. :)
Duende is a fun and lively restaurant with delicious food and attentive waiters.
Lovely dinner on a Monday night before taking BART to SF for the symphony. Not many people there on a Monday eves.
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!
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."
Kinda price but very good food and nice place i would recommend to all
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.
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!
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.
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.
We skipped dessert.
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.
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.
Everything was PERFECT!!! Duede never disappoints!
The menu is broad, and we shared family style. Everyone found many dishes they enjoyed. We did not feel rushed by the waiter, and had a great reunion of friends and family.
The new oyster appetizer is amazing! Very nice seasonal addition to the menu.
Loved our meal and our server was wonderful. BUT we sat upstairs and it was cold! We might have lingered longer & bought dessert if we all hadn't had to put on our jackets due to the chill.
This review is mainly about the service. The food is always good here. My husband and I had gotten married earlier in the day at the County Clerk’s office and wanted to have a romantic dinner for two. When the server took our drink order, we told her we had just gotten married and wanted to celebrate with some champagne (we were also dressed up - me in a formal white dress and him a suit and boutonnière, but she didn’t ask if we were celebrating anything so we had to bring it up ourselves). She then asked if we wanted a bottle or glasses, clear that there was going to be no celebratory glass of anything on the house.
She then walked away and returned a minute later, pointed at me, and said “I’m going to need to see YOUR I.D.” I’m 29 years old but am never rude when people card me because I know it’s their job. However, the way she did it, coming back as an afterthought and asking only for mine, did not make me feel great. It felt like either she thought I was a 19 year old bride running off with a much older man, or an underage girl with an elaborate scheme to get dressed up in white, put on a ring and try to get some free booze. I guess I should have been flattered but honestly I don’t look younger than 25.
The rest of the night we received mediocre service - she brought our food and the dessert we ordered and then the check. No complementary slice of cake or even a congratulations at the end. What was supposed to have been a very special evening became underwhelming and even disappointing.
So while I like the food at Duende, I probably won’t be back soon and definitely won’t recommend for any type of special occasion. I’d recommend to the managers that they train their staff on some sort of protocol for recognizing a special event, even if that doesn’t include a complementary glass of sparkling wine. Also might be a good to card the whole table if everyone looks like they could be in their 20’s, that way you don’t single out women in an accusatory way.
We are three foodies who noticed, appreciated, savored every fine detail in the dishes we ordered. Cannot wait to return!
Have enjoyed Duende in the past, but this time disappointed. Menu was seasonal, but to a degree that was all squash all the time. Drinks were ok, but not as good a I remember and service was fairly slow for drinks but fast for food, so we had most of our food finished before getting drinks.
Super nice staff. We were soooooo late due to a traffic accident. They found a table for us. Food is amazing. Wait staff very knowledgeable. The kitchen can get backed up approaching showtime at the nearby Fox Theater. So be aware of that. Definitely a favorite.
Was pleasantly surprised how delicious all of our dishes were! Service was excellent as well - we'll be back!
Delicious food & we appreciated the sensitivity to our dietary needs.
The squid ink paella was excellent
Generally good & imaginative food. Both the cabbage slaw and the roasted squash appetizers- visually engaging- were marred by a little too much vinegar (the kitchen is heavy on vinegar). Grilled branzino was good. Wait staff -tho very busy - were mostly attentive.
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 4.3 stars by 1130 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.