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: (650) 323-6297
  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
58 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.8
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (38)kid-friendly (19)great for outdoor dining (18)good for groups (16)great for brunch (14)fit for foodies (14)neighborhood gem (6)hot spot (3)special occasion (3)romantic (3)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • This is my go-to place with girlfriends.
    happydiner
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    This is my second visit in a week. I had the salmon/havarti on ciabatta roll. It was wonderful with the salmon perfectly cooked and moist. We were seated in a lovely table by the window on the little landing above the booths. Very attentive service. I love this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New York Type Deli Food
    MushashiRings
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Although all the food is excellent and the ambience and service great, the pastrami and corned beef sandwiches are exceptional and cannot be matched outside of the great New York deli's. The wait staff singers are unbelievably good and provide an unmatchable ambiance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No indoor table available
    basslady
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    I arrived early for a 12:30 reservation on a particularly busy day, Veteran's Day. The maitre d' acknowledged that he had my reservation, but didn't have a table. He put my party outside on the patio on a somewhat chilly, windy day, with no outdoor heaters. My elderly mother was freezing. The service and food were surprisingly decent given the complete chaos going on, however. To add insult to injury, a couple of hours later I received an email saying that my reservation was cancelled because we didn't show up. I called, and the manager said he would take care of it but of course he didn't; I had to complain to Open Table to get my dining points. I would probably eat at Max's again, but not trust their reservation system.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I took my 7 year old daughter out for dinner here. A few things subtracted from the evening: * The "Crispy Calarmari" was a gooey, floury mess. * I ordered the Mac'n'cheese, glass of milk and scoop of ice cream for my daughter. She was given adult portions and was, initally, charged as such because I did not explicitly state that I wanted the kids meal. Frankly, for a 7 year old this much should be obvious. * Drinks took a long time to come, arrived long after the starters arrived. Server never came back to offer us more. Will not bother with
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ladies' lunch
    happydiner
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I met my friend here on a Saturday at 11:30. Our hostess couldn't have been more accommodating as were the wait staff. A gentleman in a starched dress shirt served us our lunch. I had the salmon and havarti sandwich on a ciabatta roll. My friend had a cheeseburger. Both were absolutely delicious and very generous. We were seated at a quiet booth which was really great for talking. What a lovely time! They added outdoor seating which we will try next time. It is becoming my go-to place.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very high energy
    SeppoTheTenzo
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    This Max's is in the Stanford Shopping Center, and it concentrates and amplifies the energy of Silicon Valley's Illuminati as they refuel on special treats you don't find at your average food-stop. There were a few larger, more settled groups here, but the majority of clientèle is girlfriends shopping together.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • huge menu items
    rosajean
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    I have eaten here in the [ast as it is very convenient]; I took two young men, who seemed to enjoy their food, it was well prepared and served without much of a wait. It's kind of a no-nonsense place known for more food than you can eat but they provide carry out cartons. they rarely go wrong on the food itself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • delighted diners
    2disappointedtwosome
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Much better than expected...food excellent..large portions..great service...enjoyed it
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Okay lunch
    landerbar1
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    The ambiance was fine. Service was good. Pear salad was delicious but the turkey sandwich was very basic and pricey for what you get. Since it was a business lunch, overall it worked because the table was suitable to work on. Otherwise not overly impressed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place
    Fisherkat
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    Great food choices, good for kids, and the dessert was phenomenal. Not a bad selection of wine either. All in all, we had a wonderful dinner despite it being at a shopping center, deceiving indeed!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Max's Opera Cafe is a good place to dine when at Stanford Shopping Center, as the menu is varied, food is good, and prices are reasonable. Our service was slow however, and the waitress had attitude. When desert was being served my 85-year-old mother told the waitress that she was full and would like to take the piece of cake home and the waitress made a disgusted face, shook her head, and walked away. The cheeseburger and Caesar salad were good, as were the rolls served prior to lunch. I'll likely return to Max's but hope to get a different waitress.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Shopping Break!!
    Sweeete
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Max's Opera Cafe has been located in the Stanford Shopping Center for years. It offers an excellent menu for lunch and mid-day break from shopping. The menu has a wide variety of selections, portions are very generous and the food is always fresh. Desserts are outstanding...from the mile-high chocolate cake, fist-sized macaroons, tarts and other assortment of sweets. You will never be disappointed. So shop, make reservations at Max's Opera Cafe...get off you feet and sit a spell, enjoy and delicious lunch or snack.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Palo Alto Treat
    DateNightVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Max's Opera Cafe Palo Alto is a busy restaurant in equally busy Stanford Shopping Center. The only live music is outside, so you can't hear any unless you eat outside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 43 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 119 reviews are from the Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto reviews archive.
  • 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
  • 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