Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto
Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto

Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.maxsworld.com/
  • Phone: 6503236297
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: M-F 11:30am-4:00pm
    Lunch: 11:00am-4:00pm
    Dinner: Su-Th 4:00pm-9:00pm
    Dinner: F-Sa 4:00pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Javier Rivera
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We offer a wide variety of catering options including sandwich and salad platters as well as Entrees and dessert platters. Great for both business and home events.
  • Entertainment: Starting at 6:00 pm Thursdays thru Sunday we have live music. The musicians will play and sing everything from opera to Billy Joel. We also have singing staff members that will perform throughout the evening.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Sandhill Rd
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is pleny of immediate parking as we are located at the Stanford Shopping Center
A word from Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto
For over 25 years, Max's has served America's favorite foods with an upscale style at affordable prices. Boasting "everything you've always wanted to eat," only at Max's will you find a corned beef reuben, chinese chicken salad, ribeye steak, BBQ ribs and portabello mushroom pasta all on the one table. And for those with a sweet tooth, Max's sinful, awarding desserts will keep you coming back for more.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
54 reviews since May 2, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (32)great for outdoor dining (31)kid-friendly (24)good for groups (20)great for brunch (17)neighborhood gem (12)special occasion (6)fit for foodies (6)hot spot (3)vibrant bar scene (2)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Max's is Good Enough
    southerngrub
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    When looking for a place to meet my daughter who works at Stanford, we remember Max's Opera Café from our past. It is in the Stanford Shopping Center which was very nice on a Wednesday evening in the summer. Max's food was good. We got Reuben's and they weren't as ridiculously large as I remember, so I could eat a whole sandwich. My daughter had summer menu grilled peach salad and it was delicious. Their desserts never disappoint. We enjoyed a 7 layer cookie bar - heated to perfection. It was a very nice dinner. I was disappointed by the state of the actual building. As I walked to the restroom, the floors were dirty and the overall cleanliness of the restaurant was not impressive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Homey food in updated environment
    localcoupleVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Enjoyed chicken pot pie and pastrami on rye in a high-ceiling airy dining room.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • thenomequeen
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    My husband and I have eaten at Max's here and at Opera Plaza in San Francisco many times. I don't think we've ever been disappointed in the food, and rarely in the service. (They always try, but if a place is packed, taking and filling orders are going to take a bit of time.) The menu items are sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, soups, a few entrees, and desserts. On the expensive side for such fare, but the bread and produce are better than at cheaper places. This time I had garlic shrimp pasta, which was delicious. Not as garlicky as I expected--the garlic came in whole cloves, but they were cooked to sweetness, no bite. The spaghetti was properly cooked, there was a lovely faint lemon flavor, and the shrimp were excellent and plentiful.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Singing Max's Praises
    KailaniVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I love going to Max's with my family. We seem to get a cushy booth when we bring the little ones. The menu is always changing, and now it has more healthy and delicious salads which I love, as well as a big barbeque section that the carnivores are loving. I am so happy when someone is singing and playing the piano at Max's, and the ambiance seems to put us all in a convivial mood. Portions are large enough to take home tomorrow's lunch. Service is usually caring and sincere. Max's is a favorite and it's fun to stroll the shopping center on Sunday nights after all the stores have closed.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Max's Opera Cafe offers a nice selection of salads and entrees. My family and I enjoyed the house salad, bacon, lettuce, and turkey sandwich, as well as the hot pastrami & Swiss sandwich with fries. The service was very slow however, and after waiting 20 minutes without seeing our waitress I asked for and was assigned another waitress, who picked up our table and did a nice job of making sure we were taken care of. Max's is a good choice for a meal when shopping at Stanford Shopping Center.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very friendly service
    rwclunch01VIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Food's very good American style. Good portion, but not as delicate as some French or Italian restaurants. My kids have sensors that detect non-organic chemicals in the food and they loved the food - so Max' Opera Cafe is my-kid-certified.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good foods with huge portion
    Helen
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Good foods with huge portion. You can share with friends and families. I have ordered beef ribs. It is perfectly cooked and the meat melted in my mouth. The strawberry short cake is like "Food from Heaven".
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth another meal!
    betterthancooking
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We were seated promptly when we arrived. The server was friendly and efficient. Our order was taken and served in a timely fashion. My salad, which was the smaller portion, looked the same size as my friend's larger version of the same salad. The difference was in the size of the bowl! They left off the avocado in both salads, but the server brought it to us on a plate, upon request. Our salads was tasty and plentiful. Would return to this restaurant for lunch or dinner.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Palo Alto Staple for Pastrami
    Valhala95014
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Max's sets the standard mid-peninsula for pastrami on rye and Matza Ball soup. Recommend you have these with a Creme soda. The piano player provides good back ground musc as well.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great for lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    The salad specials were fabulous. My friend and I each had one. The service was very prompt and friendly! I would go again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • best corned beef around
    jkmenlopark
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    The food is not fancy nor exotic, but excellent simple dishes. Great reuben's sandwich. Love the warm rolls. Good salads, too. Usually too full to have dessert, but they look great--tall cakes! Never had a bad dish. A little hard to have a conversation due to the live music, but it is entertaining.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food; Large Portions
    bankofdad
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    The most difficult part of the experience is in deciding what menu items to get -- the choices are all too good! And save room for desert, if you can, as the desert menu is equally daunting in terms of wonderful choices! Be warned, bring a large appetite (and maybe a friend to share) as even the "sides" can constitute a full meal.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Almost a great experience
    GreenT924
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Went to Max's to celebrate Father's Day. Our party included my mom, our two children, my husband, and myself. The entrance is actually not as obvious as one would expect . My mom was in a wheelchair, and getting in was a bit tricky. Our server was outstanding -- I wish I could remember her name. She went the extra mile to accommodate all our requests. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: one of the managers helped to serve, and as he stood with two plates, he gestured for my husband to reach across the table to take it from him. My husband's fingers were sticky with buffalo wing sauce, and asked politely if he could place it in front of him. The manager looked annoyed. Manager could take a page out of his staff's book. Especially on Father's Day.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • HUGE (but tasty) Portions!
    JMackVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    There is quite a bit of variety on their menu, including great breakfast, brunch and lunch fare. As their motto states, "This is a good place for a diet / This is a bad place for a diet." You can eat healthy or you can let loose! Either way, you will find something here for you.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Max's is a good choice for reasonably priced food with decent service. The salads and sandwiches are tasty and served in large quantities, and breakfast is served late giving diners the choice of either breakfast or lunch late in the day on weekends. Reservations are suggested, as Max's get's crowded on many days. This is a good choice for lunch while shopping at the Stanford Center.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dinner Inside
    Foodie
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Food was good as usual. The soups and sandwiches are safe bets. tried the pork sliders for the first time and was pleased. Inside the singers are way too loud. If they were on for 20 minutes and off for 20 would be better. Judging by the full tables outside and the emptys inside I think the singers are driving people away. I certainly would not miss them.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Max's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Good lunch, though my friend ordered the patty melt, & her onion tasted of suger. I agreed when I tasted it. Server brought another plate. Just remembered that Open Table did not include points for me for this reservation. Why is that?
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My Plate Runneth Over
    ReynVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Good food and plenty on your plate. I ordered a To-Go box when I ordered my meal; then, divided the portion in half to take home. Good wines, experienced wait staff, happy people, superb ambiance, and feel-great residual emotions for the rest of the day. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cafeteria want to be fine dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The restaurant doesn't even had a decent entrance. You enter through the "patio dining" section and pass a bus station at the door to enter. The patio was filthy too! The service crew seemed ok except for our waitress who could not even make eye contact and rarely stopped by to see if we needed anything. The food was ok, but nothing to write home about. Items seemed rushed verse cooking to perfection and taste. The live music in a nice tough but too loud and fighting over the tv's which were on and a draw back from making the restaurant feel more up scale. The entire restaurant seems run down and dirty which always makes me wonder about the food quality and cleanliness of the kitchen.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • WON THE LOTTERY
    goodfoodVIP
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    WE EAT THERE OFTEN, THIS TIME WE WON THE LOTTERY FOR $ 10.00 OFF OUR BILL
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good
    PVNewfie
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Max's is a favorite of ours for its extensive menu--the service is usually prompt . The food is generally good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 33 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 100 reviews are from the Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto reviews archive.
  • Consistent, friendly, good food
    Gogiants
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Max's Opera is a staple for us for a fun family night out, or a place to take out of town guests. The food is always good, with lots of variety on the menu. At dinner time, they usually have a solo performer playing music, which adds to the ambiance. It is great for kids. The kids menu has some really nice choices.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a Pleasure
    kvonnner
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    I've been coming to Max's for years and can always say, I've never not enjoyed my visit. I absolutely love their menu. My fav, crab cakes and patty melt... Also, the Black Forest Cake- yumm!!!!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Service and Delicious Food
    Iheartfood
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    This is not the first time I've dined at Max's. It is a great spot for lunch. A friend and I had lunch here to celebrate her birthday, so we had drinks and appetizers. The calamari was nomnomnom and the steak nachos were filling. The serving size for both were generous. Most importantly, our server was attentive. Great Service.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Good for Groups, special occasion, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Max's is on an up
    JenLD
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We've been to Max's a lot over the years and are generally quite pleased with the food and service there. It seems to have its ups and downs. The menu had some changes since last we were there which looked quite positive. There were more healthy, vegetable- and grain-oriented dishes. I had a corned beef sandwich which came with a delicious side salad. The meat was very good! The only downside to the experience was the high volume of noise making conversation nearly impossible. It would be so wonderful if the obnoxious televisions were removed from the restaurant!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The chicken Cobb salad was
    EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    The chicken Cobb salad was very good at Max's Opera Cafe and the rolls are delicious. The host seemed annoyed and a bit distracted and our wait staff was a bit "off," but overall it was a pleasant lunch and I recommend Max's Opera Cafe to anyone shopping at the Stanford Shopping Center. As the restaurant was full at noontime, I strongly recommend that one makes a reservation to avoid a long wait.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I BELIEVE THE PORTIONS HAS
    goodfoodVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    I BELIEVE THE PORTIONS HAS GOTTEN SMALLER. WE GO THERE ALOT !
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pastrami really good. Having
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    Pastrami really good. Having made reservation got us seated promptly even though place was packed. Very good overall. Will return.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Work lunch
    Worklunch
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Perfect place for food. Perfect place to creat Silicon Valleys next gem
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • has-been
    siddy
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    proud that the 'menu has changed' Max's is no longer a unique destination with good deli food...out of nostalgia we went to lunch for a good corned beef sandwich and that turned out to be dry and unedibvle..worst, when we complaind the waitperson said "sorry" and drifted away..2 wonderful dishes were no longer on the "new menu...awful experience
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Max's Opera Cafe - Palo Alto
    SundanceVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    This is one of our favorite spots. Easy restaurant where we can relax, talk and have a good meal. Our service is usually good but this last visit, our service was excellent. It always makes for a pleasant dining experience when the server is friendly and experienced. (And the music was excellent on this night as well).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • NY style deli food
    John
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Max's Opera Cafe has the best New York style deli food on the Penninsula!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Place to meet after work!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 3/5/2014
    Had never been to the Max's at Stanforn Mall, Actually had never been to Stanford Mall :). Hooked up with a long time friend that I had lost contact with. She suggested This Max's to meet for an after work catch up fest. Got there early and found out they have this lil farmers Market right outside. Table was ready when I got there and waitress was excellent. We only ordered a few bites off the menu but the were ok. Wings were a little tiny but tasted good. Kale salad was excellent which was a first for me, the kale that is. All in all the place was good, people were pleasant and not that noisy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, romantic, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun for kiddos and adults
    TLee
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    We had dinner there on a Friday night with two of our kids, ages 8 and 10. We sat right next to the pianist and thoroughly enjoyed the live music and the food. The kid's desserts were HUGE, which the kids liked, but I thought were too big for them. Would have been good to split one between them.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyed -- but too loud
    butterfly
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    We enjoyed everything except the performer they had there. It was too loud and we found we had to almost shout to be heard.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great quality diner food
    EatandConfessVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Great quick service, food is always flavorful and delicious. The price point and portions are incredible. Enjoy a few drinks from the bar and relax -- the live music is always a plus!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reliable comfort food
    Foodie4VIP
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    Good place for a Reuben fix. Big portions. Service can be spotty though.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Max's
    Laura
    Dined on 1/9/2014
    We go to Max's frequently as our standby for great food and good service. Everything is yummy, but we especially love the pot pies and desserts!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Max review
    ishop
    Dined on 1/7/2014
    Friend and I usually would meet at Calif. Café but they are no longer in business. Very sad and sorry about that closing. Hope there will be a chance that they can reopen. Loved their menu and summer outdoor eating and visiting.. Now we have found Max's and we were not disappointed. Food was good except the pastrami could have been leaner but I guess that is what a Rueben is about! Very large portions so 2 people could split some items. Service was good and the restaurant is close to very good shops. I will go back and try to have a table out doors when weather is warm.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A sweet, old-style Palo Alto spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 1/3/2014
    My husband and I love Max's. It's charming, cozy and we always have a good, easy time here. The service is great and friendly, though the food is somewhat sub-par. It caters to an older crowd and often has live music. It's a feel-good kind of place.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.