Venga Paella – Popup and Catering

4.1
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46 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
A Spanish paella bar with a taverna menu available for Pop Up and Catering only! Located minutes from downtown and Jack London Square in the Oakland warehouse district.

“Always bringing people together”

A warm and welcoming place that replicates the traditional Spanish taverna eating experience found in the inviting Catalonian countryside. With a decade of experience bringing people together with Venga Paella Catering and taking cues from his families restaurant Casa Balaguer in Valencia, Spain, Eduardo Balaguer decided to open his own taverna in Oakland’s Warehouse district (Jack London district) to emulate the Catalonian experience of his childhood.
What 46 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
3.8
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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y
San Francisco
88 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

The food was solid across the board with the paellas being excellent. Great beer and wine list (though we had some excellent Spanish Cider). The service was definitely off that night. They either seemed understaffed or had pretty junior wait staff.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had 5 people. We ordered 3 tapas and 4 different paellas. Everything was yummy and filling. We were celebrating a birthday and the restaurant made it fun and speciall

JR
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

I was disappointed with the chicken "paella". It completely lacked the paella flavor.
Although good, it was arroz con pollo (rice with chicken). I could taste cumin, it had the coloring achieved from tomato paste, and the rice was not the consistency of bomba rice. I would suggest either adjusting the menu and listing the dish as arroz con pollo, or change the rice preparation to using saffron threads dissolved in a white wine, chorizo, Spanish pimenton, onion, garlic and grated tomato.
The stuffed piquillo peppers were very good. The sweetness of the goat cheese + sweet pepper + saltiness of the olives and drizzle of O/O were a perfect combination. The salad that accompanied the arroz con pollo was excellent with it's light dressing of fruity O/O!
We will return and try the seafood "paella".

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything we tasted was exquisite and well-prepared. We loved their Vermouth, Red wine Sangria, vegetarian paella and red-bell peppers tapas. Wish their portion sizes were a bit more. Also, the online menu prices are outdated.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

From tapas through dessert, every bite of every course at Venga Paella is memorably delicious. I'll definitely return again and again for the quality ingredients, meticulous preparation and intriguing flavors.

A
Phoenix
68 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great Spanish food ! We we t there on a weekday to avoid the crowds, made reservations and were promptly seated, we ordered the patatas bravas and Piquillo peppers to start, both were delicious, we ordered their Paella with chicken it was the special for that day. Ate every morsel of it.

We will definitely be back!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

2nd time we have eaten here and we highly recommend it. Nice atmosphere and the food is de-li-cious! We had traditional and ink paellas: really authentic Spanish paellas. Their tapas are varied and awesome too. Taste their sangria! Soo good! The service was great and friendly

DA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2016
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Great Paella - had the 'traditional' with seafood and it is a nice portion with a side salad. My hubby had the chicken version which he thought was great too. Appetizers were bacon wrapped dates and a special of sauted octopus & spiced potatoes. The dates were just great - that sweet/salty/crunchy experience. The octopus was OK - more potato than octopus, which was very tender for what there was. Sangria was nice - they offer red and white. Lots of fresh fruit as well as marinated. Interesting location - lots of parking - cute interior but it's one big room and got really noisy when a group of 8 came in as a party.

OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was our first trip to this restaurant. The food was fine & the octopus was quite good, but the blood sausage was not to my liking. Sangria & flan were very good.

S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2016
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Tapas came without the bread we ordered (bread is not an extra...) the waitress simply forgot it. The Paella came after a 20 minute wait after the tapas were already eaten, so a solid 35 minute wait time after the order was made. Paella was cold on the inside, cold outside so I think it was just sitting there for a while. Half of restaurant was empty - so no excuse... Overall disappointing. They ran out of the desert we wanted to order, which is minor but still the cherry on top... It was oakland restaurant week with a fix menu so I rate them a 2/5 for poor planning.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2016
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Our server, Nicoletta, was wonderful and helpful with menu selections . She was attentive and the timing of each course was excellent. The white wine wasn't very good; rather flavorless.

x
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Three of us went for restaurant week and we all loved it. Great service and delicious food.

l
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2016
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We went for restaurant week so I can't tell that the style or portions are the same for regular nights. I have usually had paella served in the paella pan, generally for two. This came on the plate with green salad. Portions were not large. Restaurant seems like it might have been a neighborhood bar not too long ago. Simple. Easy parking.

C
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2016
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Black calamari paella brought back happy childhood memories.

b
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2015
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

This is one of our favorite restaurants in the Jack London area. The paella is delicious, the servings are good sized (not too big, not too small) and the atmosphere is cozy. Plus who doesn't want to plan "Jenga" with 2X4's! Our waitress this last visit didn't seem to have as good a grasp of the dishes as others, but we got all our questions answered in time. It's relaxed, and wasn't very busy this time (right after Christmas). Other times we have been there and all the tables have been full. So be warned...

LE
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent Paella and Sangria

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place. What a nice discovery. It's a charming low key place with delicious food, friendly staff and its reasonably priced. I will definately be returning often; it could even become a regular hangout spot.

PP
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2015
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The Dates wrapped in Bacon were really good, as was the octopus.

F
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I love this place. First of all there is plenty of street parking. Then, the service is always great. The sangrias are delicious, and the food is always good. I recommend you try it.

t
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great place, only thing I could say is that I wish the portions were a little bigger. I wanted more. :)

O
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2015
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 5

somehow my teeth never get chipped but the paella sometimes have a few stones.. yummy food though..

j
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This lovely little place has great ambiance, friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff (Noelle!), and delicious food. We had a couple tapas and shared the traditional paella. The rice had great texture, didn't miss anything about it being plated vs served in the pan. The drink specials were good, and were directed to a nice tempranillo wine with dinner (after several small tastes of our options, thanks!). Manchego and quince for dessert! YUM. It's a sweet spot in the outer banks of Jack London Square and I'd go back anytime. Hoping to hit it on a night where there might be flamenco music....will keep my eyes peeled.

TA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

If you enjoy authentic Spanish food, Venga Paella is the place to go. A group of three hungry men showed up at 9PM on Saturday for paella. We were greeted by a very friendly waitress who explained the menu and foods very well. The tapas were excellent and authentic. They have a Morcilla sausage dish that one of us found outstanding. The concept was a bit too much for my friends! All of our paellas were excellent and we cleaned our plates. Eating the food here reminded me of my meals in Spain. Actually, the paella was recommended by a very dear Spanish friend of mine. We wish Venga Paella the best of luck and look forward to eating here again!

l
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My wife and I had a pleasant midweek dinner at Venga Paella. When we arrived the restaurant was almost empty, but slowly filled as the evening progressed. The layout seems well suited for large groups. The atmosphere is informal/casual.

We are currently exploring local restaurants that prepare paella, and although our research is incomplete, we enjoyed the paella at Venga Paella, and preferred the dining experience to that at Shakewell, an Oakland restaurant we had visited for paella. Venga Paella had a lower noise level, more reasonable prices and offered a better dining experience and value. There was even salt and pepper on the tables, an increasingly appreciated find as more and more restaurants feel a right to dictate how much salt should be in your food.

We sampled the white and red sangrias during happy hour, as we shared an octopus-potato-chorizo starter (pulpo a la Gallega) that was quite pleasant, a room-temperature serving of tortilla de potatas (sliced potatoes infiltrated by eggs and cooked), and some padron peppers that would have benefitted from a bit more time in the pan. The bottle of Albarino that we ordered worked well with both the traditional and the black squid ink paellas that followed. Both paellas came with a side salad; mine was noticeably underdressed. We finished the meal with the flan and the chocolate mousse dessert, and it was nice to see reasonably priced desserts. Although neither was fantastic, both were good and a very good value.

Overall, the service was very friendly. The atmosphere is pleasantly casual and unpretentious, and reminded me of neighborhood restaurants in Spain. It is a place where you could meet with a large group of friends or extended family and have a pleasant evening. The food ranged from good to very good. You got reasonable value for your dollar. I would like to go back and spend a bit more time sampling the tapas portion of the menu. Overall, a nice find, and a restaurant that I intend to revisit.

OF
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Venga Paella has delicious and traditional Spanish Tapas. I actually like the fact that the menu is limited and only has a handful of items. The service is always top notch. The paellas are very good and not unlike the ones I've had in Spain. However, the paellas don't have the delicious crispy burnt bottom called socarrat. My only complaint is that the wine list is extremely limited.

c
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Delicious paella, perfectly cooked, in this little hole in the wall in the midst of Jack London's warehouses. Cozy, casual, and not-at-all-fancy space.

KG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2015
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

They were on the Oakland Restaurant Week list but they weren't talking reservations then, so we decided to pass. Finally tried it on Wednesday and don't see what the fuss is about on Yelp. So so paella in an industrial setting with no decor or particular charm. The server was nice but overall we won't be back. Try the paella place in Temescal instead.

MT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2015
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

For $15, the paella dish is really small, and you need to order something else to feel full. And what's up with a bunch of lettuce leaves next to the supposed paella? Paella is eaten with bread next to it, here of course there was none. Very disappointing.
My wife is from Spain and we have eaten Paella many times on our trips there, in Madrid, in Alicante, in Valencia, in many other places. This thing they serve here doesn't even resemble paella, not even close...
The music playing in the background was great....

A
Phoenix
68 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

This is an awesome place for Paella and spanish wines. My wife and I went there with a friend, we ordered a Verdejo, it was amazing and a low alcohol content!

We ordered patatas bravas to start and my wife and I ordered their house special Paella and our friend ordered the Paella Negra. Amazing food and service.

We will definitely be back.

IB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

No pretenses spot in no pretenses location. Friendly staff. Spanish menu a welcome variation on the more usual offerings in these parts. The price is right by comparison to tonier neighbors. The default Friday night choice for my wife and me. Took guests there last week; they loved it.

PR
San Francisco
172 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2015
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

Very authentic Spanish tapas and paella, we'll return

FF
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Took a friend for her birthday and this was perfect. The service was great. Everything we ordered was delicious and well prepared. Best flan ever!

M
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

this is a great little spot for a quick dinner before a show at Yoshi's. It's walking distance away so worked perfect for us. We visited Spain last fall and have been in love with the cuisine since. The appy's were just as we had them in Barcelona and very delish. We had the Tortilla De Patatas Y Cebolla and also the Prawns followed by their special Chicken Paella and also the Traditional Paella and enjoyed it all. Found it to be just the right amount of food for us and our bill came to reasonable $70 ish which included corkage for the wine we brought along. Will definitely go back!

O
Palm Springs
64 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The paella is served by the plate, rather than in a pan, and the crisp rice on the bottom is missed, but the flavor -- when enhanced by the side of flavored oil, a little heat, more garlic, perfect -- was very good. The shrimp and mussels cooked just right, the rice moist but separate, and some surprises, such as the vegetarian paella being so balanced and varied. The appetizers were fine. Again, shrimp was perfectly cooked; the bacon-wrapped dates crisp on the outside, moist on the inside; the small peppers filled with stuffing and tasty cheese exactly what we imagined. The wine list was fairly priced, nothing spectacular, but good drinking wines. Concrete floors magnified noise, but part of the character. Service was friendly and good. We'll be back.

T
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome! Fave spot in Oakland!

b
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

This is one of our favorite restaurants in the Jack London District. The menu is limited; they do paella. And they do it exceptionally well. There are always at least 3 different varieties, served with a green salad. Plus a few appetizers, and a few desserts, all delicious. Plus there is a JENGA game in the back, made with 2x4s; how fun is that!!

J
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been looking for a good paella restaurant. Very authentic Spanish paella. Great ambiance and place to have dinner and a drink. The service was great and the live jazz music was not too loud to be able to carry a conversation with friends at dinner table.

Gambas al Ajillo and Tortilla Española were delicious. Can't wait to return for another dinner.

M
San Francisco
57 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2015
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful little restaurant with great people. They have a very limited menu, appetizers/tapas and main course of paella, as the name implies. An excellent concept and, probably due to the limited menu size, the food was terrific. Prices are reasonable too.

RN
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the paella here! I get the vegetarian version--has a great smokey flavor, lots of great vegetables! Love the red Sangria! A real gem.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2015
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We wanted paella and we sure got it. I had never heard of this place and it is certainly in an out of the way location. But I loved it. PLENT of seafood in my paella. Fresh and yummy. I liked receiving a salad wit the main course. LOVED the decor, the posters, the tables, large and small. Very attentive and friendly server. Great evening.

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