Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar

4.2
809 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Calavera’s diverse menu celebrates the unique and layered gastronomy of Mexico. Using traditional ingredients and techniques, Chef Dario Patoja presents both new and familiar Mexican flavors with an inspired, modern perspective. Calavera offers a full bar with an extensive tequila and mezcal collection, innovative cocktails, and a 120+ bottle wine list. Come enjoy the spirit of Mexico in an artistic, comfortable environment in Oakland's uptown!
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What 809 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.0
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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JC
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Group of six tried had a great time w/ pitchers of margaritas, various Oaxacan tacos, beans/tortillas, chiles rellenos. I loved my corn on the cob and quesadillas. Server was charming and attentive, and noise level lively but not unpleasant (restaurant wasn't completely full). Can't wait to go back.

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TR
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ceviche. Tacos too.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

The service is extremely slow at lunch

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c
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impressive variety of tequila. Chicken Tinga tacos were delicious!

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GS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Creative dishes. Excellent, friendly service. Easy walk to Paramount or Fox Theater.

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I
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

We love this place and always have great service. Our waiter seemed less than pleased to be at work that day and it was reflective in the service we got. It was the first time at Calavera where we had to get up and ask other waiters to get our waiter to come back to the table. I’d still go back again and again but not in his section.

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

Awesome, delicious food! Friendly and fast service.

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EM
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice place to eat - especially the patio (less loud then the interior).

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SR
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really great place! Lovely to sit outside and inside decor/atmosphere is both chic and homey. Food is excellent.

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

Joel the bartender was AWESOME! Great evening!

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RN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Had a great time! The restaurant kindly made room out on their patio even though we booked an indoor table. Took awhile for service but the wait staff was excellent once they were at our table. Food was all delicious and huge portions. And what can I say about the cocktails? Simply amazing!

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JS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service was very slow. First round of drinks took forever. We had food before drinks. We also got our dinner before the salad. The cactus salad was way under dressed and had no flavor.

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MC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, friends and staff made our night special. We will be back to dine again!

Thanks for supporting Dining Out for Life and Project Open Hand to help end HIV/AIDS, Calavera!

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g
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

great vibe, interesting menu, delicious drinks, pleasant staff

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C
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 5

My wife and i were excited to try this restaurant. When we arrived we were very pleased by the appearance and feel and were looking forward to a great meal. We had made reservations and were promptly seated right next to the hostess stand even though tables were open in all areas of the restaurant. We sat and looked at menus for 15 minutes without anyone greeting us or taking drink orders. We finally asked the host who our waitperson was so we could be served. The host took our drink order.

The runner delivered our drinks and we still had not seen a waitperson so we asked her who would be serving us and she ended up taking our order. We did not see the waitress until the food was delivered. By that time my drink was long gone and I was not asked about another until the food came.

Bottom line the service was horrible, the food was good, but not great and it was expensive. Not much value received on this visit and won't be back unless it just for a drink, but there are plenty of places in Oakland so need to return.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

We went last night for a causal dinner - the food and drinks were the slowest I’ve ever experienced and they were completely understaffed. My friend canceled her wine because it didn’t come even AFTER we had appetizers and our mains. Ouch.

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DG
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A delightful restaurant with lots of choices for vegetarians. Mexican favorites are elevated to a new level of freshness and creativity at Calavera. I look forward to more visits!

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KH
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The service was really bad. They barely came by our table of 10 people. The drinks arrived like 20 minutes after the food. Also, the portions are incredibly small. They charged us for a few more chips for the expensive guac. I felt taken advantage of.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was great. Service was a little shakey but we were not in a rush.

Overall very friendly and good suggestions from waiter

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SF
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food is always delicious. Service this time around was slow

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MB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

Food was great as always, but the service was actually pretty slow. Food and drinks took a very long time, and after we ate , our plates stayed in front of us for over 40 mins

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The food was well done, however it was quite overpriced. I also felt ignored by staff on a slow Sunday evening. I was dining solo and felt less important compared to other tables around me with bigger parties.

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BF
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good, interesting and innovative Mexican foods. On the surface, it seemed a little expensive, but the entrees were huge, large enough for 2 to 3 meals. Great Mescal and Tequila inspired drinks.

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C
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Great afternoon lunch on the patio. The tacos were great and so was the guac.

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MC
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was very good and the weather was perfect for the outside patio

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D
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Good, not great. Drinks are inventive and fresh. Mole and bar b q sauces very good. A bit heavy on the oil on whole fish and tacos. Cheese dish should have been hotter. Ditto for the coffee.

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KT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food & service. The drinks were awesome & outdoor seating was nice.

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S
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate out on the porch which at first we thought we did not want to do. The lovely hostess showed us and it was quieter ... and she treated us to our chips and guacamole because of our misunderstanding. The food was fabulous... from. margaritas to tacos and apps. We will return!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Food was very disappointing

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OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

I really liked the atmosphere, the margarita was amazing and so smooth. Food was ok, the flautas were yummy, not a fan of the chicken taco or the squash taco. Go with the carnita taco ! Service was ok, not very friendly and I got an eye roll or two when asking questions about the menu. Didn’t get our drinks until after food was already served

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MC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Nothing special. Beans were good but we didn't receive them until we pointed out to it server that we were given a duplicate item instead of our order. Staff didn't seem invested in customer care.

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OT
Atlanta
138 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Outstanding lunch. The menu is very interesting and I hope to sample several other items. It is more expensive than most Mexican restaurants but the quality of our guacamole and two kinds of tacos suggests that it is well worth it. The whole area is very "hipster" and it costs $8 an hour to park in the lot but it is fun.

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JL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful! Food and service are always top-notch!

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AF
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I came to Calavera for my 50th birthday and had a great dinner with 6 friends. The service was above and beyond warm and welcoming. The food and drinks were delicious and the ambiance makes for a special night. I would highly recommend Calavera, the staff there made my birthday memorable and fun!

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PM
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

The tacos were awesome. The cocktails were all very sweet but interesting.

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KH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Had a great time. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and gave us great recommendations. Food was excellent-We will be back.

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z
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Food is fine, but definitely not amazing.
We got really bad service though, our drinks only arrived after our second dish... and we had to ask for them at least twice. Then, once we finally finished our dinner, they asked whether we wanted desert. We said we’d love to see the menu, but when it hadn’t arrived 20mins later and weren’t able to attract attention we had to just walk over and ask for the check. Also it was cold, they kept the side door to the terrace open, which on a rainy day in March just made the whole place unpleasantly cold. It’s surprisingly crowded and maybe others got better service, but personally I wouldn’t return.
I’ve been there before prob a year and a half ago and remembered it to be very nice, but seems things have changed.
FYI: Acoustics aren’t great for bigger groups, bit of a swimming pool effect

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MM
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Sunday evening and they were missing multiple items in the food menu and drinks menu.
Server was new and was struggling to keep up with things.
It was an OK experience but nothing we would like to repeat anytime soon.

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O
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food, varied menu, everyone in our party loved their dish.
The tequila choices were also a great hit,
good all round experience.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I really enjoyed Calavera. Food was well prepared and tasty and influenced by Oaxacan style cuisine. Service was excellent and so was the selection of Tequilas and Mezcals. The restaurant had a great vibe and was very busy when we arrived at 8pm.

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