Nicolaus Balla at Duna


Nicolaus Balla is the chef/co-owner of Duna, an eastern-european inspired restaurant. He opened two successful restaurants in the Bay Area. He is known to use local produce to making anything and everything by hand. He wass born in Michigan but spent some of his childhood in New York, moved to Hungary for part of high school, went to culinary school, and then traveled extensively in Japan while learning to make hand-crafted ingredient.


  • Nominee for Best Chef: West
    James Beard Foundation
  • Chef to Watch
    Esquire magazine
  • Three Stars
    San Francisco Chronicle
  • Bib Gourmand
    Michelin Guide
  • Co-author
    Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes
  • ChefsFeed Winner
    One of the Best Things to Eat in SF

My Restaurants

  • Duna
    983 Valencia St
    San Francisco, CA

Where I Eat

Behind the Scenes

Chef Nicolaus Balla reviews  at
"So much love!! Thank you @beirutista ❤️😄 "There’s a perfectly good explanation for why Bartartine is my no-brainer go-to when dining out is in the cards. To say that the cafe, restaurant, bread baker, and pastry shop in one does everything right might sound overly subjective and ambitious. And any food critic knows there’s always room for improvement. But gosh darn it, Bar Tartine scores superlative marks when it comes to a tasty, purposeful menu; fresh, premium ingredients; great value at affordable prices; smart service; and smooth ambiance. New items are carefully and deliberately introduced to the menu -- the last polish occurred two summers ago, and it’s robustly withstood the test of time. The latest development is a weekend brunch offered exclusively at the Dbayeh outlet. You can imagine how much time, thought, market research, and kitchen experimentation the team must have dedicated to getting things correctly right off the bat, and they pretty much have. From 9:30 AM to noon every Saturday and Sunday, get your beach-day nourishment in buffet brunch form. Read on for a list of all the alimentary bliss awaiting you." #ToBrunchesAndWeekends #ToBreadAndFriendship"
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