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Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar

4.3
1117 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican
Calavera’s diverse menu celebrates the unique and layered gastronomy of Mexico. Using traditional ingredients and techniques, Chef Omar Huerta 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 bottle wine list. Come enjoy the spirit of Mexico in an artistic, comfortable environment in Oakland's uptown!

Support Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar during COVID-19

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
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
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 1117 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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K
Kimberly
1 review
Dined 20 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The ambiance is great, a beautiful space with lots to look at. Servers were prompt and friendly, giving feedback about entrees and selections and checking in at appropriate intervals. Food was yummy with a wide range to choose from. My party ordered appetizers as well as entrees and enjoyed everything (guacamole, aguachile verde, tostadas de atun, barbacoa, mole enchiladas and the cochinita pibil). A nice spot to come and unwind with good food!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience3

The food quality appears to be going down and the service is nonexistent. I really hope that they upgrade their game because this was one of my favorite restaurants. I just don’t understand why the owners would allow this restaurant to go down. Oakland needs good restaurants so badly.

JW
JasonW
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The phone-based ordering system kinda detracts from the fine dining experience. There’s no option to customize, and nobody is around to answer questions about the menu. Oddly, coffee was nowhere to be found on the brunch menu. I really enjoyed my food, but I’m not sure that the price was justified.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Great food, the habenero hot sauce was one of the finest I have eaten. We were there for breakfast/brunch so it was disappointing that there wasn’t any coffee or tea on the menu, but we were able to get some from the coffee shack next door. Other than that minor irritation, everything was good, the ambience, the staff and the food was very good indeed.

MK
MikeK
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food5service3ambience5

Food was excellent, would come back again. They where using this order system using a QR code and no wait staff which sounds good on paper. Some kinks In timing tho. Appetizers were slow to come and main dishes were delivered right after that which all preceded the margs. All very awkward.

EA
vipEATS4BB3
San Francisco
228 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

They had empty bottles of Clase Azul in the window, BUT none behind the bar (bummer) Started with the Guacamole Verde (tasty); then I had Torta Milanesa (very good); food came out HOT, nice when food from the kitchen is HOT, only downer was the missing Clase Azul.

HH
HilarieH
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Nice meal… sitting outdoors , loved my gin and tonic😀

FF
FormerFoodServer
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Food was excellent and it was better than I recall from pre-pandemic days. The new style of self-ordering was interesting experience. Orders were placed and quickly served. Unfortunately it was very impersonal; I’m not one for modifications but my party couldn’t get any questions about the menu asked in a useful timeframe. Also, our drinks arrived after the food and that was after we chased someone down. No one checked on our meal so no issues could be addressed in a timely manner. Seeking a to-go container required having to go to the front desk as there were no servers around.
The food was great!
Ambiance was lively.
Seated quickly with a reservation.
No actual service to speak of.
For the pricing and the pushed 20% gratuity the app kept resetting to I did not feel this experience deserved that.
We might go back again in some time to see if it was a fluke.

G
Guyg
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

It had been way too long to revisit Calavera. Every morsel was meticulously crafted. The cocktails were beautifully presented while an alchemist crafted unique concoctions. I have been telling everyone to visit Calavera, it is a true gem in the heart of Oakland. My only caveat is there new server-less ordering system….one must space out the ordering process because ordering drinks, appetizers and main courses all together does make them arrive haphazardly. At one point we had too many plates on the table at once. Otherwise, ordering from your phone scanning a QR code was seamless.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Something Nice and Laid Back. The service was great

L
Laura
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and great ambience! The food and drinks were unique and fun, will definitely be back!

M
vipMiguel
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience2

A disappointment, especially at this price point. Calavera's food is tasty and certainly among the more refined Mexican fare one can consume in the San Francisco Bay Area. That said, their ordering system turns this fine restaurant into a cheap, counter-service, diner experience. Our food came out in the most ridiculous order. By the time our drinks arrived, we had consumed too many chips to make the drinks worthwhile. I hope Calavera either returns to waiter-placed orders or updates its digital ordering platform to allow customers to sequence their dishes properly. I walked away thinking outloud to my spouse that I would rather have gone to Tacos Sinaloa and spent less money on an equally authentic experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always my favorite place to go!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was a little skeptical at first because the reviews on Yelp mentioned a lot of complaints about service but I’m glad we ended up going anyways. Off the bat, the waiter explained that we are supposed to order online and provided the QR code (current process due to COVID-19). He said that once we put the order in online, the kitchen will know to start making it and they will bring it out ASAP. I really enjoyed the process because it was easy to follow, less contact and we didn’t have to wait for a waiter to order something else. It was also very quick and we went on 4th of July while there were a good amount of people. The food and drinks were very delicious! The highlights for me were: 1) Queso Quesadilla - we added chorizo to it, highly recommend! 2) Barbacoa plate - yum! 3) Margarita de la casa - Jarra. Delicious! And great size if you’re with a small group. We got two and had a great time :)

SL
vipSL89
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Super friendly staff and good service

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderfully attentive staff that made us feel taken care of and special. Additionally the food is so good and so many options to choose from we ended up ordering way more food than we could eat and enjoyed every bit of it!!

CS
CamS
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Our server was neither welcoming nor very attentive. When he took our orders, he sounded very lethargic and wasn’t very enthusiastic when talking about the food. In fact, each time he came to our table, the energy of our group completely dissipated because it seemed like he didn’t want to even be there. Additionally, when it was time for us to pay, we asked him to split the bill for two cards and told him the amount to put on each card. But he insisted on splitting it his way and later came back to explain that he messed up and overcharged one of the cards. So we were stuck at our table for 20 mins until one of us brought the check for him to sort it out. Overall it was a terrible experience along with overpriced, not-so-great food. The meat on the carnitas tacos were really tough while the taco shells for the shrimp tacos were flimsy, making it difficult to eat.

A
Abby
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall2food1service5ambience2

Our chips were burnt to a crisp, like crackers, and the drink my sister ordered tasted like dirt. Additionally, it was incredibly noisy in the restaurant to the point where we could not hear each other from two feet away.

MB
vipMaryanneB
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I thought the food was wonderful, good portions sizes, but the entrees are not cheap!

I am not a fan of patrons having to order their own lunch, but I get it. Just makes it annoying.

Again place is cool, food is very good, just wished it was slightly less and not so noisy.

LP
LP11
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Super delicious food and drinks, great service, was a little loud and crowded though great open air space including great outdoor patio

PS
PamelaS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Today’s experience made up for the last experience we had at Calavera. My last visit was disappointing because the customer service was horrible. Today, Gerardo made up for the last visit, as his customer care is off the charts, amazing. Ty!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I came to Calavera with my daughter for Restaurant Week pre-pandemic and the food and drinks were unforgettably good. Yesterday ( Sunday) I read an email from Open Table with a suggestion of Restaurants in my area I saw Calvereas and made a reservation for 3 that afternoon for 1:00pm. My friends had never eaten here. Parking was available, for a fee , so Oakland. We were greeted as we walked in and seated immediately. The server (Tori) was a jewel. My friends weren’t familiar with viewing or ordering from there phone’s (old school) Tori didn’t miss a beat, she provided paper menus to our table and took our drink orders, my favorite is the Spicy Margarita, we shared an order of the soup with avocado yummie. Pollo enchiladas, carnitas tacos everything was on point. My friends loved the food and drinks and gave me high praise for the restaurant selection. Thanks to you Open Table.

G
Gastropuppy
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience3

The food is delicious. We ordered the braised pork and it was yummy but they only provide three small corn tortillas and you need to pay for more tortillas. there's enough meat to fill at least six tortillas. It's a minor point that is off-putting. Just increase the price of the dish and avoid making the customer place another order for tortillas.

D
David
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall3food5service3ambience4

Service needs some work, didn’t feel very organized and it felt kind of transactional. Food was good, but limited in variety. Very flavorful and good, but they missed the mark a bit in how the flavors came together. Prices are a bit exaggerated. For example $5 for chips and salsa (where taquerias give those for free) or $10 for a side of beans. A bit ridiculous and boogie when you can go to really good Mexican food for much less, 10-15 min from there. I was a little disappointed from my last visit, but still an okay place to go and experience more elaborate Mexican food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favorite restaurant. Great food , drinks and service is always outstanding. Grande & Ryan are fantastic!

W
Whateverman
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Loud, crowded, service was MIA, food was overcooked and bland. Grilled asparagus was a standout, and the cocktails were alright. Would not go back.

BR
BikeRick
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Covered patio seating is pleasant and comfy. Churrodoños for desert are to die for.

B
Babalu
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

This was a wonderful experience. The atún tostada appetizer was excellent as was the Cochinita Pibil - so perfectly cooked and flavorful. The pork chop was less than we'd hoped for. Our shared cocktail - the Corazon - was beautiful, delicious, and fun. The service was just right. Because we sat outside in the covered side patio, the noise level was fine. If we'd chosen to sit inside we both thought it would have been too loud. This was for our 35th wedding anniversary and we had a delightful dining evening.

BF
BarFly
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Due to covid they implemented a new service to order at your table via the app. it is clunky, time consuming and there is no actual "service". And they ask you to pre-pay the tip when you order which isn't ideal.

Food was good, not amazing. Came out somewhat cold and then no one came to check on our order during the meal although someone did bring water. Also, they use these synthetic plastic plates that are reusable and even though I am certain they were clean, they don't really look clean. I'd much rather eat out of a ceramic or other porcelain material plate. Sounds picky I know but it was kind of gross to eat on a plate that had stains in it.

Calavera can do better for the prices they charge.

MS
vipMichaelS
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Good food and cocktails. The restaurant relies on the QR menu system and divides the table service duties... so you never have a person really engaging you as a customer... each moves through as swiftly as possible and it’s noticeable.

VA
VirginiaA
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great cocktails, friendly staff and wonderful food. One of our go to spots

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great pre-fathers day dinner!

AO
AmyO
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fun, always delicious. Inspirational cocktail menu!

N
Nunya
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience2

Was really looking forward to celebrating husband's birthday at Calavera. We did not enjoy ordering drinks and food on my phone. I look forward to returning once the qr scans are gone! Be safe and continue to take good care.

NL
NikkiL
Central Coast
8 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Food was tasty. Drinks are a bit expensive. Hard to judge service, they are still doing covid protocols (QR code menus, ordering and paying on your phone, limited contact with staff, etc).

SL
SarahL
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

With the online ordering system you rarely see a server. We had no water and one person came by once. They automatically included a 20% tip which was not deserving.

F
vipFoodie
San Francisco
74 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience1

The food was quite good. The problem was the rude, slow, and nonexistent service. Never been to an expensive restaurant like this one before where the entire experience was ruined by such a horrible greeter and lack of service.

L
Lala
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We ordered the wrong plate it was $2 difference than what we wanted.. Rather than switching it out they had to issue a refund and we had to repurchase it too much work.. we just kept it..customer service is always very important to keep your customers..

JG
JamieG
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Was looking forward to introducing two friends to Calavera, but sorely disappointed in the dinner now. Over-spiced salad, guacamole and the Hongas were bland. I had the vegetarian dinner, which was unmemorable. My friends enjoyed their Tacos de Pollo and Braised Pork though.

The wait staff was very friendly and helpful, but the software to order wasn't functioning on my phone and by the time we even ordered a drink and starters we'd been there for a good 30 minutes.

We let that pass, as the restaurant is just reopening in a bigger capacity and they were flooded with diners.

I'll say yes to recommending, but with caution and in hope of better food as they reopen in full.

L
Lea25
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent food and cocktails. Outside seating was pleasant.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar using the Order Online button. Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (510) 338-3273.

Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar is rated 4.3 stars by 1117 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.