Max's Opera Cafe
601 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102Neighborhood:
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
AmericanPrice: $30 and under
Max's Opera Cafe
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://maxsworld.com/
- Phone: 4157717300
- Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 2:00pm; Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
- Executive Chef: Carlos Salcedo
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: We have on -premise catering services, perfect for office lunches, meetings and less formal parties. Max’s Delivery or To Go can bring our fantastic food to you. We will deliver within San Francisco, or you can pick up your order at a predetermined time, for a fantastic yet cost effective event. For an additional fee, Max's offers service staff for set-up and maintenance of your event. Please contact our Catering Department for more information.
- Private Party Facilities: Max's has a semi private dining area that can accommodate up to 48 people.
- Private Party Contact: Michael Adams 415-501-0222
- Entertainment: Max’s at the Opera Cafe features live music seven nights a week. Servers not only provide guests with superior service but entertain them as well. Diners can expect an array of musical styling's ranging from Opera to musical theater. The "singing servers" are accompanied by a live pianist, who from time to time will perform for the crowd. The entertainment begins at 6:00 pm Monday- Thursday and 6:30pm Friday –Sunday.
A word from Max's Opera Cafe
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, rib-eye steak, BBQ ribs and Roma pasta all on one table. And for those with a sweet tooth, Max's sinful; award winning desserts will keep you coming back for more.Continued
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Max's Opera Cafe reviews from OpenTable diners
125 reviews since May 23, 2014
- Ambiance3.5Noise LevelModerate
great for lunch (43)neighborhood gem (42)good for groups (32)great for brunch (29)kid-friendly (23)fit for foodies (17)late-night find (14)special occasion (12)vibrant bar scene (7)hot spot (6)scenic view (2)notable wine list (2)romantic (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
- not what it used to beOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/14/2014My brunch experience left much to be desired. I ordered lox, onions and eggs, a favorite of mine in various Max's establishment. But the lox was watery and the eggs were dry. The peach cobbler, that had held such promise in the menu picture was tasteless. It was very noisy as well. The one bright spot was the service. The waitstaff was very attentive and couldn't do enough for us. Bring back the Max's I used to know.
- Good for GroupsABDineDined on 9/14/2014Overall experience was good. Food was good and service excellent which was nice since we had a large group. Only drawback was the ambiance. The restaurant was very warm and everyone in the group took notice.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always great food, but service?jonesdljsfVIPDined on 9/12/2014Always enjoy the great deli menu and good food. Usually service is very good, but not this time. It was still early, but they were overwhelmed, so we weren't even served by our designated server. However, the worst part was I know I left my credit card in the wallet with the check, but the next day they said they didn't have it. Caused me to have to cancel the card, which is more of a hassle than anything.Special Features:
- Food Quality SufferingUpMarketDined on 9/12/2014Years ago I loved Max's Opera Cafe. In more recent time, the food quality has been sliding badly. This last trip was my last. I will not go back, which I find sad because it has been such a great institution. However, our dinners were tasteless. An old standby, Guy's Chinese Chicken Salad is covered on top with sliced fried chicken that is more fry than chicken and very little flavor. I kept getting bites that were completely fried breading without chicken. The salad underneath had far too much dressing and was not nearly as robust as it has been in the past. Similarly, my dining companion's meal was also notably lacking. Adios, Max's. There are too many restaurants offering much better quality in the neighborhood.
- Mother-Son BrunchOpenTableFanatic88VIPDined on 8/9/2014I had a terrible week and my mother came into S.F. to cheer me up by taking me to brunch at Max's and I couldn't any happier. Love the food options and the fact that is an upscale diner makes it easy to bring casual to special occasions to the venue. Love Max's.Special Features:
- What happened to my favorite?OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 8/2/2014I ordered my old-time favorite, sausage & shrimp with peppers, and the sauce that it was in was pretty bad and not like I remember it. Also, it was served with rye bread toasts which I never would have paired it with. Unfortunately, I would not order it again, what a shameSpecial Features:
- Dining area too warmMaureensfDined on 8/1/2014The food and service were very good but we were so warm. There are bright lights that shine down on the tables in the first dining area near the kitchen.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 8/1/2014Food is usually a pretty good portion and tastes decent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pre DaviesPriscillaDined on 8/1/2014Perfect place before the symphony for an informal dinner. Piano was good but loud.
- Quite accommodatingSharonDined on 7/31/2014We were dining at Max's before going to the symphony. We got stuck in traffic and were 30 minutes late. Ic alled snd they held our reservation and rushed our order. We had a fabulous dinner and were on time for the symphony! Thanks, Max's staff!Special Features:
- Prime Rib NightanimavenDined on 7/31/2014The Prime Rib is tasty, and I like the Baked Potato - it's good sized and just right.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 7/27/2014Checked in with the host sat down and wanted to order a glass of wine. No one came so I went to the bar and ordered my own. Later in the meal I wanted another glass but only a 1/2 glass. I was told they do not do that. I have been to many restaurants and they will do this Bad policy not to especially since I had already a glass. Service was not good as I had to ask other waiters to please find our waitress. I have been here other times usually before ballet or opera. Not my favorite spot to go but it is close. Nothing wrong with it just not my cup of tea.I would recommend this to a friend.
- I Really Like This PlaceKASSanFranDined on 7/26/2014Great service & good food! Just basic hearty down to earth food. Lots of room to eat comfortably! I hate eating at those restaurants when everyone in the restaurant has to shift places when one diner has to make a bathroom run.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 7/25/2014Portions are huge and food good. I frequent Max's whenever going to a show at Davies Symphony Hall or the Opera House.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service great butOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 7/18/2014Service was great this time. But there were 3 bone chips in the ground lamb which was tasty and too generous.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food OKGoodtogoDined on 7/9/2014Food OK but feel the quality has gone down a bit. For instance, the Guy's chicken salad is FILLED with cardboard tasting, chow mein type crunchy noddles, so much so that you can't taste the lettuce. Chicken is fried to the point of being too dry. This is the 3rd time I"ve ordered this dish, so it is not just a fluke, and someone at the table who ordered this salad was annoyed by the same observation. A comment from two other persons at our table said the mushroom fettucchini had too much herbs, "it was like having tough tree branches in the dish". They too had noticed the same thing the last time they ate at Max's. Time for who ever is in charge in the kitchen, to sample at least these two dishes and make some adjustments.Special Features:
- Great food and entertainmentPwh007Dined on 7/6/2014The beet salad was amazing along with the fried calamari and house wine. Great entrees too! Entertainment piano player and servers/singers were an added feature at this restaurant! Applause to all!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/4/2014Made a reservation early afternoon on July 4th for Max's at 5:30 p.m. When we arrived, we found Max's had closed at 3:00 p.m. that afternoon.
- Only as a last resort . . .Love2EatVIPDined on 7/3/2014We had a 6:00 reservation before a 7:30 performance. We were seated on time and our very nice server took our order. At 6:45 our appetizer had still not appeared. The server admitted for the second day in a row the kitchen was way behind even though not every table was filled. We gave up, ordered salads which were a bit tired but adequate.
- Menu needs reviewknowgoodfoodDined on 7/3/2014This is a good choice for pre opera dining, but the menu has been pared so that Are few good choices.....I feel that it is more oriented to the economics of food cost in the kitchen and less to interesting and tasty food. What is going on here...???? A small inventory of food choices prepared in dishes that aren't reallyl working ....WAKE UP.. We used to love dining there... Now it is becoming tough to find a dish that sounds appetizing...I wnat to like you again.
- Diverse MenuAlwaysHungryDined on 7/3/2014Near the Symphony/Opera House. Something for everyone. Large portions!!! small ladies room, very crowded nearing show time.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Canvienent but servicer can't reachOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 7/2/2014The servicer couldn't reach across the huge corner table so it seemed that it was trouble to give us our bill.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/1/2014They could not handle a crowd. We arrived 15 mins early and wasn't seated till 15 mins after our reservation time. Once our food arrived, we were only visited once. I had to get up to collect our bill.
- Off night at Max'snotthatpickyDined on 7/1/2014My first disappointing experience at Max's. I have been there many times in many years and always enjoyed it, so this experience will not keep me from going back. But Tuesday night was disappointing. The service was slow and I had to ask for items that are normally supplied, such as a steak knife for the pork chop. They managed to under-cook the pork chop (too pink), yet make it dry at the same time. My companion's salmon was ok, but the broccoli was ice cold.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pre opera brunchFoodie2Dined on 6/29/2014We were delighted to get a table and be able to have an unhurried meal before attending the matinee performance at the Opera. We arrived earlier than our booking, but were still given a table. We had a delightful waiter and both the food and service were excellent. We will definitely go again.Special Features:
- Great place to eat before an event.SocialGrammyDined on 6/28/2014We had tickets for Showboat at the Opera House, so Maxes was ideally located for us. We have always enjoyed Maxes, and frequented the one in Ramon , in the many years that it was there, and miss it greatly. We enjoyed the piano music played during our dinner, as he played all the songs from Showboat which was very appropriate , and the young lady(who is a waitress there), has the most beautiful voice, and sang like an angel, as did the young male waiter. The entertainment made it a lovely dining experience. We always enjoy Maxes food, and it's a menu that works for us. We were seated promptly, and everyone was very pleasant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointing, Bland, Mediocre MealOpenTable Diner Since 2008VIPDined on 6/27/2014Service minimal, food mediocre (fatty, overcooked barbecued ribs; mushroom fettuccine bland – no amount of parmesan cheese or salt seemed to help). Our server spilled sauce from one of the plates on one of us; nonstop piano music made it almost impossible to carry on conversation. The ultimate chocolate cake however was delicious. Max's used to be our default pre-symphony or opera restaurant, but quite honestly did not enjoy the experience and would book somewhere else in future.Special Features:
- Sometime a Hit..then sometimes...PoorMaxDined on 6/27/2014Usually a good spot to dine with group prior to a performance. Lately, not so. Simple ordering turning into..wrong food, plates NEVER bussed, disappearing wait staff. This place knows there is a rush between 6 and 8, so why is management ill prepared? Has always been my go to place...I will try ONE MORE TIME. So sad....Special Features:
- Max's Opera CafeSusanVIPDined on 6/27/2014Ialways enjoy dining at Max's. The service is friendly and attentive and the portions are more than generous! The food is delicious and reasonably priced.Special Features:
- If there's nothing else available..daphneDined on 6/26/2014Two good things to say about Max's is that it is located close to parking garages and the Symphony and Opera House. We chose it because, at the last minute, we couldn't get reservations at other nearby restaurants early enough to get to the Opera performance. We arrived on time for our 5:45 reservations and were told we had to wait in a cafeteria-type line to be seated. When seated, the service was slow. The piano music was entertaining, although it contributed to the noisy atmosphere; the interior doesn't appear to have been upgraded in years. The food was marginal, at best. The beef brisket tasted of liquid smoke. The 'famous' crab cakes tasted of filler. However, the portions were large and not expensive. Not a place for foodies.
- Perfect before Opera.OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 6/26/2014Met some pals at Max's Opera Plaza before a show. We were happy we had reservations as the place was packed by 5:30pm. The food was terrific; had a few cocktails, crab cakes, patty melt, and a burger. All our meals and drinks were delicious. Portions not huge but enough, which we appreciated. Service was great and very fast. We were also treated to a piano player and opera singing waiter during our meal. Festive and lively atmosphere, really set the mood for the entire evening. Highly recommend before a show or anytime.Special Features:
- Pre Opera DinnerParshuuterDined on 6/26/2014We had dinner here prior to an opera performance. The location is very convenient as it is one block from the War Memorial Theater and two blocks from Davies Symphony Hall. Max's is like an upscale casual restaurant with a good variety of food in a very nice environment. I had the BBQ short ribs which was on their seasonal menu and my wife had the Prime Rib special which they have Thursdays through Sundays. both were very good and very reasonably priced. Service could have been a little better as our waiter did not check back with us as frequently has I used to. I had to flag him down to get refills on my iced tea and coffee and we had to flag down another waiter to get the bread basket. It does get busy make a reservation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- disappointingMieeDined on 6/20/2014The food was not up to San Francisco standards. It was middle America diner style food, undistinguished and not tasty at all.Special Features:
- A pre-concert favoritemsorangeblossomDined on 6/20/2014We've learned the hard way to make reservations ahead of time and to go a bit early as the 6 pm pre-event crush gets over-whelming. The menu has changed a bit; the prices continue to rise. But we delighted in the spinach salad and shared a piece of Niagara cake, which is what we looked forward to. Our server was less than attentive and didn't offer to refill drinks or bring more bread. However, our one real complaint is that they have crammed the two-person window seating so close together that the customers have to realign themselves every time someone new comes to a surrounding table.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointingHappyCamperVIPDined on 6/19/2014You'd think that a restaurant this close to the Opera House would be prepared to handle the pre-event crush. Max's wasn't ... at all. We arrived for our 5:45 reservation, were seated immediately, and then waited 45 minutes for the waiter just to take our drink order. The food wasn't bad when it arrived , but we had to rush out to make the 7:30 show. We will NOT be back.
- Opera loverLnd60Dined on 6/17/2014This is a great spot for a quick bit before the Opera.Special Features:
- Always a pleasure!dine4funVIPDined on 6/17/2014We went to Max's for dinner before the opera and had a great time. Their menu is nothing fancy, just your basic comfort food with very generous portions and reasonable prices. I tried the chicken piccata this time, and my husband had the pork chop entree. Both were good. Our waiter was very helpful and attentive, and he still managed to sing a few tunes with the piano player. What more could you ask for! Their live music adds a lot to the dining experience there. Overall, always an enjoyable experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Grreatest deli in Bay AreabarbsbergDined on 6/15/2014Food was wonderful, service was fine, reservation was available on time, request for specific table was honored.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good for the symphony or operaSunsetFamilyDined on 6/15/2014Max's is very close to the Davies Hall and when we have Sunday 2 pm tickets we go there for brunch/lunch. It is usually fun and tasty if not too exciting. This time a bit disappointing. My poached eggs (Benedict) were hard and when I asked to have them redone the waiter said, "That's just how we do them here." Hmm. Service is usually better than that, too.Special Features:
- The live music is the draw for me!nonicknameVIPDined on 6/10/2014This is the best Max's in the Bay Area because . . . the pianist is the best! He plays all the standards, and more! The service is outstanding - all the servers are so friendly and very accommodating - as are the hosts! The location is great too! As for the food, well, it's Max's - something for everyone! While dining at Max's, we feel like we're in NYC with the boulevard traffic, and the vibe within the restaurant - it's energetic! Glad to live in a city that has such a fantastic, sophisticated restaurant/deli - with live music!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.