Duende

4.4
988 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 988 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
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Innovative menu, fair prices, good service, pleasant surroundings. Would go back

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R
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We stopped late on a weeknight so the quietness is an aberration. Our party of six had varying appetites given the hour, but all managed to find a hunger after tasting the variety of creative and flavorful food. Kudos to the kitchen and the service was attentive and informative about the ingredients. Although Duende was new to four in our party, all are likely to return.

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RE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Duende is superb in every way. The food is magical, flavorful and a gift to the palette. And the service is refreshing, not overwhelming, and professional. The restaurant itself is beautifully artistic and akin to a sanctuary. It is always a pleasure to visit this Oakland gem. Extraordinary.

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LB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful menu with great flavor profiles and pairings. Enjoy shareable dishes with friends.

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LM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Duende has fabulous atmosphere, efficient service and good food, but it was a bit noisy when we had dinner with long lost friends last Friday eve: the background music is cranked up high and is just not allowing for normal conversation. I was hoarse when we came out. Great place, but..not a quiet place.

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N
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique menu and liked the tasty food! Great service by Tristan! Good place to eat and enjoy to get in the mood for my trip to Spain, where I lived and studied many years ago.

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m
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent service and ambiance. Food is great but the prices are a bit on the high side. Wine corkage is also too high at $25.

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JB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Interesting environment. Food was all delicious and innovative. Great experience enjoyed by older foursome..

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OT
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

The food was good but service was less than stellar.

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JA
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food and waiter was amazing! My fianceee and I will visit more often.

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UF
San Francisco
57 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 4

Great ambiance and location in Uptown, close to Fox and Paramount. Food was very good with good size portions. Patatas Bravas was crispy throughout (which we liked); meatballs entree was tasty; and paella with lamb chop and clams was flavorful and cooked perfectly. The only negative would be the slow, inattentive service. Our server was not attentive after she took our order and we had a few failed attempts to get her to notice us. She seemed to pay more attention to the larger tables around us. Our drinks remained empty for quite some time until eventually the manager saw our irritation and came by and asked if we wanted another round of drinks. In summary, we'd definitely go back for the food and atmosphere but have very low expectations regarding the service.

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

Good service and ambiance. Food was not tasty and flavors desperately lacked depths. Asparagus with egg was the only palatable food we had that night. Everything else was underwhelming. Romain salad had good citrus dressing but the bits of eggs and lack of imagination in its presentation made no sense. The shrimp was over salted and sat on a bread which was soaked with brine and became too soggy to eat. The lamb paella was by far the worst plate we had for dinner. The lamb had a mutton taste to it and was severely over cooked. The paella was flavorless and there were over cooked clams placed circling the plate and a dollop of a paste that looked and awfully tasted like mayonnaise. I’m sorry for such a harsh review but Duende falls very short of representing good Spanish food.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was unforgettable! Can’t wait to go back again!

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MG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We tried Duende for the first time as we happened to be in the area and were looking for a good tapas restaurant. We tried a variety of tapas and ordered a chocolate flan to go. Everything was delicious and we appreciated the variety of small plates so we could try several. Service was excellent, and we had a table near the kitchen so it was also interesting to see the chefs work and the other plates that came out.

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s
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

We had a reservation and were seated promptly.
We ordered 2 glasses of sparkling rose at $13 and were shocked when a very small flute arrived less than 1/2 full, about one sip worth. We immediately sent back to bartender and it returned then at 1/2 full.
The order for food , after 45 min of waiting hadn’t arrived and we complained as we were attending a 7:30 and it was then 7:15.
The waitress then brought us bread to appease us.
It took nearly an hour for food to arrive !!!
We will not go back and have told friends to follow suit.

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SH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Delicious, innovative dishes. Something for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. I would recommend this restaurant in a heart beat.

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N
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good for a drink and a quick dinner before a theatre show.

Cocktails had fancy names, but the final product was lacking.

Will come back again and give it another shot.

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s
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Yum yum yum - get the paella with the cabbage salad and mix them together. Delish!

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s
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
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 on April 21, 2019
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
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

I was hoping since I made reservations and mentioned it was 2 bday celebrations .. we would have a nice table but we got sat by the door looking out to the street. The food and service was good.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
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
33 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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