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Max's Opera Cafe
Max's Opera Cafe
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  • Address:
    601 Van Ness Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Neighborhood:
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Cuisine:
    American
    Price: $30 and under

Max's Opera Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://maxsworld.com
  • Email: maxsoperasf@maxsworld.com
  • Phone: (415) 771-7300
  • 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.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Golden Gate
  • Public Transit: BART - Civic Center Station.

    SF Muni - Lines 5 Fulton, 31 Balboa,
    47&49 Van Ness
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is located beneath the restaurant on Golden Gate Avenue. Street parking is also available.
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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Diner Reviews
  • "Has not lost it's way thru the years. Really Busy for weekend lunch,but service and food terrific. Fabulous waiter"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Not much has changed about Max's over the years, well... maybe some things... but not the important ones like great food, good value and it's a fun place to hang out in the middle of San Francisco."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Max's is a great preconcert restaurant close to Davies and the Opera House. The service is fast, and the food is fine in spite of the huge portions!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The menu is varied, the portions are large and the food is delicious . But the pace is hurried and the servers are harried. It's not a place to relax and dine but a place for casual and honest eating, convenient to the Opera and Davies Hall."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Our sandwiches were delicious and the portions are more than adequate, I usually take half away for another meal. Our server was efficient and attentive and our food came promptly. We had a 7pm reservation (the earliest available when we booked) and our concert at Davies Symphony Hall was to start at 8pm, but no worries, we made it with a few minutes to spare!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "I went to Max's this past Wednesday for dinner with a co-worker and it was great! I got the house chardonnay, the three mushroom fettucine, and the raspberry sorbet. All were excellent. The three mushroom fettucine is better at the Max's in Palo Alto, but it's still pretty decent. The service was great and the atmosphere was great. I'll definitely come back here."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "We had dinner before the symphony. This is always a place that'll work as it is nearby and convenient to the symphony hall and most often we can get in, especially if reservations are made in advance. We've eaten at Max's many times and it's just a good place with reliably good food and drink and sufficient service. Nothing to really rave about for as a 5-star place."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Be sure to make a reservation if you are going for weekend brunch. Best reuben in the Bay! Convenient to Davies, Opera house, etc. Not five star dining but very good west coast deli food."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "My guest arrived early and was seated - she texted me that she was already there. When I arrived and checked in at the front, the hostess, didn't even look for my reservation, but told me to go find her. I wandered around in the very crowded restaurant, but didn't see her. Another host arrived and claimed I didn't even have a reservation. He offered to put my name down for a 45 minute wait. I finally found my friend by calling her cell phone. The poor service at the host station was an indicator of how off track this Max's was as we had problems with our server forgetting to bring us drinks and other things we'd ordered - they are either way understaffed or treat their staff badly for the service to be so bad."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "I booked a reservation here for myself, my daughter and granddauther as a pre-ballet lunch. It was hard to find something close to the ballet with a variety of food that a seven year old could select from. I read the reveiws and thought I would give it a chance anyway. The food was mediocre. I had the pulled pork and although the meat was tasty the bun was hard as a rock. Consequently I ate the meat only. The service was curt and sparse!! The only up side of the experience was that the reservation was easy to make via Open Table and it was close. That is the best I can say about it. Almost wished I had gone to the California Pizza Kitchen or to the cafe at the War Memorial Opera House. Oh well, I will know better next time!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "I had the pan seared Salmon, my husband had brick pressed chicken. It was convenient, we parked at the garage there and the ballet was within walking distance. Seating on the Van Ness side of the street was louder than the other seating area, we were seated on Van Ness side. It busy so the timing of drinks versus food were a little off. Took a bit to get a glass of wine and dinner showed up moments afterwards. Another glass of wine ordered during dinner never came. The personnel was pleasant; food very good. The atmosphere was loud and seemed focused on quick turnover. All in all I would say it was a good experience, pleasant staff, tasty food, price reasonable, and certainly convenient for our evening venue destination."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We have been season subscribers to SF Ballet for many years. For at least 20 of those years we dine at Max's before the performance. We have never had a bad meal and we have learned that sharing a sandwich or entre makes it possible to also have dessert - they have wonderful desserts! We do not share those..."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Cold. Dry and Greasy Best attribute Convenient location"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "We had a dinner with an old friend - between the visit to Asia museum and a concert in the area. Thanks for the OpenTable, we had a reservation and got a table soon, as the place was a mad house. Local crowd likes the extensive menu, so did we. Our server Evan was very attentive and changed burnt latsces for me twice. Other than that, chopped liver and salads were good. I am not sure i want to came back at the same busy time of the day, but they definitely have some rare dishes on the menu."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We went for a Sunday brunch with the extended family. They must have fouled up the order as it took a really long time. All those who ordered egg dishes did not like them much with the eggs all way overcooked. I guess we know not to go for Sunday brunch again. One person pordered the pastrami sandwich, which was up to Max's usual standards."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "We went before the ballet--wonderful and great menu!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Been going to Max's for yrs! Think they sold it & it's been going downhill since. There we 5 of us. My husband & I asked for the large Guys's Chinese Chix salad, but substitute grilledchicken for the fried chicken. 2 of another item ordered came & only 1 CC Salad - small with the wrong dressing. When we finally got the "large" salads, it was basically some lettuce & maybe (max) 1/2 chicken breast. Let's put it this way. I was still sooo hungry afterwards,On our way out, I asked the manager for a raisin roll to go (we never got bread either). I was still hungry afterwards. Oh, & the drinks didn't come until we had to ask again after our food came. Let's just put it this way... I could have shortened the review & just written - sucked!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I think we were all happy with our meals. my salmon was crispy on the outside but moist inside. I'd like to know how that was done"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Enjoyed a fine meal that reminded me of family home cooking. Nice piano bar and excellent wait staff."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "If you are going to an event at Davies - it's convenient to eat here. The food is OK - but the service is poor. The vibe lacks any energy or enthusiasm"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Very good before a concert. a lot of food, so you can share a plate. Make a reservation for any time after 5 PM."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Menu has expanded over past. Excellent choices and our selections were well presented, by a friendly and knowledgeable server and delicious."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Max's offers a "known quantity" for pre-ballet dining. Our server was new so there were issues but it all worked out. Sit chat eat all will be good."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "My father has heard so much about Maxs and couldn't wait no longer to go try it for himself... What a great birthday experience he loved it!!! Coodles for me... Yay"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Max's is conveniently located close to the Opera House and Davies Hall and has a quirky, fun atmosphere complete with an occasional singing waitperson. The wine list has very drinkable wines at popular prices and the portions are generous while the food though not haute cuisine is very good."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Not much here but overpriced, very average deli food."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "My wife and I enjoyed our meal before going to the symphony."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "this is a reliable convenient restaurant for pre-ballet dining. I've been coming here for years. On my most recent visit, they prepared a pastrami sandwich for my companion "off the menu." She loved it! My linguini dish was excellent--lots of salmon! The sauce was not overpowering. What can I say--always good! Service also allows you not to rush--tell the server and he/she will make sure you don't have to rush."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Only a block from the ballet and Davies Hall. Always dependable. Happy to be able to book a table with open table, thank you! And I always ask for Michael as he is terrific!"
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "My daughter and I likes chicken matzo soup. My husband likes pastrami sanwich. The service is good. Love this place"
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "I had the Pan Seared Salmon w/ quinoa and it was awesome. My usual cheesecake was perfection. I always enjoy my visit to Max's."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Nice place for a bite to eat or a meal after the symphony. Menu has a good selection of sandwiches, small bites, and entrees - and all six people in our group left satisfied. Service was very good - waiter was efficient, friendly, and just seemed like a nice guy. We had a good time and will keep Max'sin mind the next time we go to a concert in the neighborhood. Live piano music made dining even more enjoyable."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Overstuffed sandwiches, variety of sides (all very good), excellent service. Full dinner mains also very good. Reservations honered. The perfect place for a meal before the opera, symphony or ballet. Not bad afterwards as well."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Oldie but goodie with a lot of character and no yuppies... portions are very generous, food is all american good....we went before the movie at Opera Plaza and had good time."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Max's is very accommodating and provides quick service, but you never feel rushed. Love their food, especially the salmon salad! It's best to make a reservation on performance days."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "We went for dinner before the symphony. I felt really young, as most of the crowd was the older, symphony/opera/ballet crowd. But other than a bit of slowness getting our drinks from the bar, it was fine. Max's has really cut back its menu from a few years back. But it was still fine. Not outstanding, just fine."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "The hamburger was tasteless. I asked for a pickle, but it never came. The waitress forgot my cabbage soup, then brought it with the hamburger. The soup was good but greasy. It took a long time to get the bill. It was a busy night and they seemed understaffed. I should have ordered the Rueben,"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Max's Opera Cafe is located close to the Opera House, within walking distance and provides an extensive selection of food choices. It is crowded and noisy and the receptionist could not find our Open Table reservation until the manager came over and found it was first on the list. The service was prompt and excellent, and the food good."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "We went to the San Francisco Ballet GOOD FOOD And with in walking dist. of the Opera House"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Max's is a long time go to place for pre and post show dining. They have a pianist in the evening, sadly we only caught one tune before he packed up. Service is always friendly. Portions have shrunk while prices have risen slightly. The restaurant was fairly empty; we came in at 9:45 and ordered the Russian cabbage soup, chopped liver appetizer and beef brisket. Desserts are good. Order the small size if available; it's plenty."
    Dined on 2/1/2014