Cafe at the Opera
301 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102Neighborhood:
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $31 to $50
Cafe at the Opera
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.patinagroup.com/sanfranciscowarmemorial
- Phone: 4158618150x
- Hours of Operation:
Open 2 hours prior to each performance
More info can be found here: http://sfwmpac.org
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Continental, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Dean Rona
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Cafe, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
- Catering: Host your next event at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, and Patina Catering will create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. A variety of breathtaking historic venues in the Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall and the Veteran"s Building perfectly complement Patina Catering's unrivaled cuisine and impeccable service. Perfect for weddings, galas, corporate parties and pre- and post-performance events, this is San Francisco's premier choice for events of all sizes.
- Public Transit: For transit directions, visit 511.org or call 511.
- Parking: Street Parking
- Parking Details: PARKING
Parking is available in several lots in the surrounding area. Please call lots for current hours and rates.
Performing Arts Garage
*Patrons dining in the Opera House may enter through the North Carriage entrance of the Opera House (adjacent to the War Memorial courtyard) up to two hours prior to curtain.
A word from Cafe at the Opera
Committed to Chef Joachim Splichal's impeccable food and quality service, Café at the Opera is available for pre-theatre dining. Located in the lower lounge of the Opera House (Lower level), the Cafe serves an elegant hot buffet beginning two hours before every performance. Lighter fare is also served before performances and during intermissions at Patina's Café Express and Dress Circle Café. Please note that reservations can be made for Performance Ticket Holders only.Continued
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Cafe at the Opera reviews from OpenTable diners
190 reviews since June 27, 2014
- Ambiance3.5Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (87)fit for foodies (27)good for groups (24)great for lunch (13)neighborhood gem (11)romantic (10)great for brunch (9)kid-friendly (3)notable wine list (3)late-night find (1)hot spot (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- An Excellent MealCrochetsmithVIPDined on 10/23/2014The restaurant has a very tempting buffet, but it was pricey and we didn't really want to eat that much so we each ordered salads off the a la carte menu. My husband and I each had a different salad, but both were wonderful. We then shared a lovely dessert. It made a great start to the evening and, of course, it was wonderfully convenient to just head upstairs to the opera. My husband liked it so much that he suggested we eat here again the next time we come to San Francisco for the opera.Special Features:
- TinySuzyDined on 10/23/2014Good food, convenient. Fast and very pleasant presentation of food.Special Features:
- Perfect for Opera GoersOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 10/21/2014It was a very pleasant evening. Thoroughly enjoyed. Food was very good. Beautiful presentation.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good buffet, poor serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 10/21/2014There were too few wait persons, and the one we had ignored us as soon as big groups who bought several bottles of wine arrived. He didn't even bring the coffee we ordered, and it took him ten minutes to take our credit card and ten more to process it. So we missed the start of the opera talk.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sunday Brunch At The OperaOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/19/2014I asked the waiter for coffee. After a suitable wait I asked again. After another suitable wait I asked another waiter for the manager. He inquired to my need and immediately brought coffee. It was a brunch, there is not a lot of service required. I left a ten per cent tip on two brunches. In regard to the food, I am very pleased to see that onions are no longer included in EVERY dish. I will return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- mamaravioliDined on 10/19/2014The food is good, the location in the opera house is very convenient, but our service, this last Sunday, was woefully slow.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great spot for opera diningCSKOPERADined on 10/19/2014This is a fine buffet and short menu for days or nights at the opera. New decor is rich red and setting inviting. Service efficient and friendly especially Rustee our favorite..Special Features:
- OverpricedpeterVIPDined on 10/18/2014This was too expensive for what they offer, which is a rather limited buffet, which ran out of some things.
- Convenient and yummyviolynDined on 10/18/2014Cafe at the Opera is a perfect prelude to an opera. It's conveniently located in the Opera House, which is wonderful for an 89 year old handicapped lady. The food is always delicious, with a wide selection of options. I'm not normally a big vegetable eater, but Cafe at the Opera prepares them so creatively that I always pile more veggies on my plate than meats.Special Features:
- OperacafeariamuncherDined on 10/15/2014The overall experience was very pleasant and delicious! Excellent way to start an Opera Evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Most convenient before an operaRoyAtTheOperaDined on 10/13/2014When you are going from work to an evening at the San Francisco Opera House, the Cafer at the Opera down stairs proves to be the most convenient place to have dinner. The dinning is buffet style, although you can order things on the menu. The waiting stuff is very prompt and attending for your wine and etc. The dinning can be as long as two hours or as short as 30 mintues. It's all up to you. If you order a bottle of wine and did not finish before the show. They can save it for your pleasure at the intermissions. I have been using this cafe for more than 15 years.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- dinerDINERDined on 10/13/2014Charming ladies to meet you at the door. Efficient and fast wait staff. Well prepared food. Arrived, served on time, and then off to hear the opera lecture. Wonderful experience.Special Features:
- Okay but badly lit!UrsulaDined on 10/13/2014The new configuration of the cafe looks nice, though with the buffet moved into the center of the dining space, there's less room than ever. The new a la carte menu had some tasty salads. But the tiny table lamps which might have given the space a cozy glow, don't show any light at all. The overhead lighting is ghastly!
- great place for nice pre-opera mealroscoeDined on 10/10/2014my only concern was the service was a bit slow- we would have had dessert but service was too slow so had to cancel our requestI would recommend this to a friend.
- CorlissDined on 10/10/2014Lovely meal in just as lovely setting. Buffet best deal!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/7/2014it is very handy before an opera. It is pleasant, food is good and quick!
- Dining before the opera or balletajrreviewDined on 10/7/2014A wonderful place to dine before the opera or ballet, great food and great atmosphereSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SF Opera HouseOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 10/7/2014A great place to dine before the opera. The buffet belies its name. Each item is excellent combining into a medley of flavors.Special Features:
- Dinner before the operaJnJKVIPDined on 10/7/2014I do not like the new arrangement for the tables or the buffet food. If there are two of you; you are lined up with other couples and it is impossible to escape hearing everything going on around you. Of course you can start a conversation with your neighbors, which is fine. The buffet is now in a dark space in the middle of the tables. Interestingly the tables all had cute little lamps which produced no light. Previously I had noted that the food was not as good but this time I found the food and especially the salad selections admirable. They also had selected a better variety of cheeses. I find it is still deplorable that they cannot produce espresso coffee. Apparently they had bad experiences with their espresso machine in the past!Special Features:
- Good foodLikesgoodfoodDined on 10/7/2014Elegant location,good variety of food,good service,convenient to operaSpecial Features:
- opera nightkatedogDined on 10/4/2014worked out perfectly... we got just what we wanted... easy dining, right there at the opera house, such good food, no rush, very comfortable, service very good. all very tasty and satisfying...nice way to start the evening... we'll be back.I would recommend this to a friend.
- SuzyDined on 10/4/2014Very convenient to say the least. Good service and good food. Would enjoy again. Love that this is available, a great asset for the Opera House.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/4/2014The food was OK. There were very few servers to be found for a large dining area. A rather mediocre dining experience. Main plus is proximity to the opera.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/4/2014I like to dine at Cafe at the Opera when I intend to attend the opera. It's just fine for that purpose.Special Features:
- Great before performanceOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 10/4/2014Cafe at the Opera is of course extremely convenient for opera goers, but it's also a wonderful dining experience. Wide variety, esp salads, all fresh and interesting; very reasonable and quiet (seldom found these days) though it's self-serve, it's easy and bonus is you can try everything!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food OK, service lackingBelgoVIPDined on 9/30/2014Let's face it. People go here because of the convenience when you're going to the opera, especially when there's a 7:30 PM curtain. The food is decent for a buffet. For a buffet, though, the waiters can be surprisingly difficult to get a hold of. They don't put waiters in sections, but have them running all around, so getting their attention can be difficult...
- pre-show diningBuffinDined on 9/30/2014My wife and I enjoy dining here before going to the Opera. It takes the stress out of the timing of going to a restaurant and then walking to the Opera House. The Cafe has been remodelled recently and is more comfortable and more formal in feeling. We prefer to eat a la carte than do the prominent buffet which most appear to select; my wife enjoyed a seafood salad and I my steak salad. Service was somewhat gruff.I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/30/2014Food was quite good overall, but desserts were not so great. Service is excellent!
- Cafe at the Opera update...OperDined on 9/30/2014The Opera Cafe has some new decor changes-upholstered chairs and banquettes. The food features seasonal fare. It is a convenient place for dinner before an opera. On our recent visit the service was very good. Better than times in the past.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disaster in the Opera House CafeSallyDined on 9/30/2014The renovated Opera House Cafe is a disaster. Attached banquettes line the eastern side of the room. The food is now located in the center of the dining area and not in a separate room. There was not enough room to serve yourself at the buffet, carry your plate and be in line waiting for someone to move along the table. The wait staff who is experienced had trouble taking off the used plates and putting clean dishes in front of you. Difficult to get a drink served. Along the banquette three of the tables were unable to get the wait staff attention to provide the check so we could pay and leave. Assuming the changes were to separate the eating from the bathroom entrances and separating the bar from the tables, bad idea.
- Good buffet style diningplrsfDined on 9/30/2014Nice way to enjoy a meal before the Opera. Friendly staff, good quality food served buffet style.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DinerDINERDined on 9/30/2014Select dinner at buffet. Much quicker and very tasty.Special Features:
- Great BuffetBonnVIPDined on 9/30/2014We always enjoy the buffet at Cafe at the Opera. The service and the food are very good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Horrible SeatingPeteDined on 9/30/2014The small tables for two are way too close together. It's virtually impossible to squeeze into the inside seats (the bench). Who approved this design? They obviously didn't try it out.
- Nice but service mediocreFoodloversDined on 9/30/2014We decided to try the Opera Cafe before seeing the opera "Norma". The hot buffet food was good, the room pleasant, and the service was fine for the first half of our dinner. Obviously there are not enough servers and ours was a bit overwhelmed when the restaurant really filled up. I never got a chance to order a dessert for he simply did not come back, and we had to look for him to pay the bill. We finally paid it in the bar area. Also, with just one drink, no dessert or coffee, the bill was close to $100.00, way too much!
- Not the old CafejufyVIPDined on 9/27/2014We used to go to the Cafe before a ballet, eight times a season. Then we stopped to try more local fare. We came back before seeing "Norma" mainly for convenience. We thought the food tables were crowded. The salad table had mostly empty platters and they were not replaced very quickly. The food was just okay although some of the salads were delicious. Our service was terrible. We sat waiting for clean plates while our server set several other tables. We are not coming back.
- Horrible service!!!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/27/2014Expect poor service and long wait if you order off the menu and do not have the buffet.
- wammyDined on 9/27/2014We were attending Opera after dinner, there should have been coffee or tea and desert, if there was it was never offered or did not see it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Remodel missesSeniorfoodyVIPDined on 9/27/2014The Cafe at the Opera has remodeled the dining room since our last visit. In the past the buffet was held in the area near the bar with the various items spread in a straight line. Now the buffet items are bunched in the center of the dining room. In the past there was room to walk around the tables without worrying about bumping into other diners now one needs to be constantly on the alert to avoid bumping. I love the buffet and the food is always very tasty but this development takes the pleasure out of the experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Forgot to check me inForecasterDined on 9/27/2014Didn't check me in on open table system so they thought I was a no show. Credit card records will prove I was there.I would recommend this to a friend.