Calavera Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar

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4.2
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829 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 829 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
4.2
food
4.0
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Everything was fine. Appetizers were good.
Drinks took longer than we expected, but we were understand it was probably because it was pretty busy. The food was good and dessert too!! We come regularly.

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g
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Our meal was hit and miss. I ordered the ceviche, it was too much fish and not enough veg, the balance seemed off. I love ceviche but this one didn’t satisfy. My husband however did love his short rib and bone marrow dish, very hearty, well made and a good value with two long bones; made three very substantial tacos. Service was patronizing and my server disappeared for long periods. Asked for the check and didn’t receive it for over 15 min when she was nowhere to be found, had to ask management - they were very nice and actually comped our guacamole for the inconvenience, but noted the server returned to bring back the credit card with a very fake thank you.

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RH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always good and the drinks! No complaints!

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AP
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

The food was so salty. There were 8 of us and we all had a different dish but all were salty.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This is one of my go-to’s in Oak. Great cocktails, good tacos (although the carnitas are some of the beat I’ve ever had, and I take a claim like that very seriously), and great ambiance. The wait staff is friendly, pro, and generally great at what they do.

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JB
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to Calavera a number of times. The food is always good. What I don't like is the noise level. The background music is so loud that it's difficult to hold a conversation.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was slow and server uninformed. The whole experience sloppy all around. Disappointing since we had tried to get in a few times unsuccessfully. We were really looking forward to it.

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MR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Very slow service. Waited too long for food to come

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

Always a GREAT time!

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MI
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

The service was not very good. Although we were greeted almost immediately by a busboy, our server did not show up for about 10 minutes to take our order. My drink was also forgotten, which I had to remind her about. The "vegetable" platter consisted of only cauliflower and nopal with beans and rice. I would have expected a wider variety of vegetables.

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R
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Service is pretty bad from the wait staff. The support staff is great, but the waitress not. Two of our meals came out 25 minutes after the others, and we had to ask 3 different people about them. Water was rarely refilled. They clearly need to hire more wait staff.

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CH
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Just from what was ordered I would not recommend however I might be open to try more dishes.

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LG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service so slow, we order drinks nd they came so slow that last 2 had be house charged. I do not get, not that many people and lots of staff!! The was mediocre at best. No carnitas??? And carnitas was half of the menu, had to eat chicken. Tinga chicken so spice I could not eat it, the hand made tortillas, pathetic. There were 4 of us, all unhappy>

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R
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice brunch menu and cocktail list. Not crowded on a Saturday at noon. Service was friendly and accommodating (3 gabby, foodie friends who hadn't seen each other in 6 months). Manager stopped by to check on us. Will be back!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Just ok. Food good but everything served with chips or tortillas. Service absent.

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1
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food, Not commonly found in Mexican restaurants. Lively ambiance and great drinks.

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A
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 5

Server was unfriendly and didn't check in with us at all. Forgot our chips for 40 minutes then brought them once we were done. Didn't even asked if we wanted to see a dessert menu (we did) before bringing the check. We've had great service at the bar, but in the main restaurant the service was really bad. It's a shame because the food and ambiance are good here.

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RM
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 5

The food was outstanding and I really liked the vibe. I shared a couple of orders of tacos, got a drink and dessert and it was thirty dollars a person, pretty pricey. If I go back I will have to try the plates. The Carnitas and Rock Cod are the best tacos.

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IB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 5

After a great first visit, the second trip really disappointing. The food was very lackluster and we left with stomach aches.
Not sure what could have happened in a few months but the food quality really dropped off

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JC
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
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 on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ceviche. Tacos too.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
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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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Thought the food was nothing to write (text) home about. The service was really disappointing, lack of attention to the table, it was necessary to flag the hostess down to get a glass of wine and she was not happy about it. With so many great eating spots in Oakland, I will not return to Calavera . May I suggest someone in management visit Cala in San Francisco for a real treat, both food and service are outstanding.

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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
13 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
9 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
9 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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