Operacaffe
Operacaffe

Operacaffe

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.operacaffe.com/
  • Phone: (619) 234-6538
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday -Saturday: 110:00am - 3:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 3:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 3:30pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Patrizia Branchi
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Operacaffe
At Operacaffe we are passionate about our culinary business and our customers. The reputation for excellent cuisine, top-notch service, the quality and freshness of ingredients are the reasons we are so proud of our brand new restaurant
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Operacaffe reviews from OpenTable diners
43 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (18)fit for foodies (17)great for outdoor dining (12)good for groups (11)romantic (11)special occasion (10)hot spot (4)notable wine list (4)great for lunch (3)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Nothing unusual
    Hobbes636VIP
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    So many Italian restaurants in the Gaslamp area so its hard to pick. Chose this place based on a small coupon and the fact that they had veal. However, while the veal was tender it did not have much flavor. Cesare salad was strange - very lightly dressed and again, not much flavor. Lovely guitar player was the best part of the experience. But for exceptional Italian food, I'd look elsewhere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nothing Special
    Bostonfoodies
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    My husband and I were visiting San Diego from Boston and made a reservation based on a very good recommendation from a friend. We arrived early and were seated right away. The hostess was very nice and the restaurant was not at all crowded. Our waiter was less than pleased to wait on us and he seemed in a hurry to get us fed and out of there. Although we ordered glasses of wine and a pre-dinner salad, he seemed annoyed with our choices. The salad was okay - nothing special for $12.95. Our entrees were fine (again nothing special) and we ordered dessert which was also okay. We were in and out in a little over an hour - not really the romantic dinner we had looked forward to.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great spot in the gaslamp
    Gaslamp
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Was here on a business/pleasure visit in San Diego. The veal, shrimp, wild boar were all great. Only complaint on the food is the cheesy risotto was just ok. Everything else was amazing. Service was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Italian food!
    larry
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    First time there for the four of us. Good wine list. Excellent calamari appetizer. Each tried a different pasta dish and all were delicious. Cozy place with good service. We will definitely return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Something for everyone
    Pickyeater
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Whether you are a foodie who prefers squid ink spaghetti or just a good old-fashioned eater wanting some spicy Penny pasta OperaCaffé has it all. Plenty of tempting options under each course, will need to go back to try items we wanted but alas we couldn't eat everything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • cleminsd
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    WE found this restaurant on line and the menu was interesting. The food was wonderful, fresh and tasty. The server di not seem friendly, but the person who brought the bread, food and drinks was very friendly and very nice. The prices were reasonable for the dishes and amount of food. We will definitely go back to this place.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently good food and service
    out4fun
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Operacaffe is one of my favorites downtown. The food is always, good the service is always good, and you can dress in shorts or an outfit for a fancy night out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good!!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    The food is always great!! The price are resonable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The place to go!
    AnotherPlace
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    An excellent eatery before going to the Theater. The food is excellent with great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • average food good service
    Marink9
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Pasta ordinary, way saucy not flavorful. Large portions.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing tasty handmade pasta!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    This was a random business trip choice. I was blown away. My advice, drop what you are doing and just GO.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I felt like at home
    Lou2dine
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Ragu was amazing, just how my mom, grandma etc..would do it. The appetizers just great, but generally all very good food. I'm Italian and I don't usually like Italian restaurants outside of my country but I changed opinion...there I found the real flavors of home. If you want to know how Italian cuisine is, go there you'll be more than happy. It's a real Italian restaurant and for the quality I think the prices are fair. Very good wines, abundant portions and friendly staff. I'll definitely go there again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WOW
    sdn8tv
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I am always a little leery when it comes to good Italian food and incredibly critical of decent wine lists. Operacaffe did not disappoint. This was not my first time, but it was the first time I chanced the wine list. The chicken parm was GREAT. Not too heavily sauced or breaded, just the right balance (and flavor too). Their farfalle campanola (sp?) - AMAZING. Again, not too heavily sauced, which I find to be more of an issue with white sauce plates.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • culinary mistake
    LOU27VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Quick review. Our sever (who I believe was the owner ) was completely disinterested when we sat down. He did not welcome us or offer any courtesy. The busboys were nicer. He simply asked for our order and then gave us our food. We waited 20 minutes for bread and water. Food was mediocre at best. We LOVE San Diego but I definitely would skip this place. Much better culinary choices in Gaslamp and old town. We won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This is a "foodies" place to go
    WinnipegkidVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Everything we have ever had at Operacaffe is fabulous. It is truly the best Italian restaurant in San Diego. Their wine prices are very reasonable and have a good selection of good Italian wine. The food is simply fantastic! I have become a regular there, and largely stopped going to Little Italy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • sallydelta
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    What a fabulous find. Our first trip to San Diego and a great choice for our first night. The food was fresh and delicious and the service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 27 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 246 reviews are from the Operacaffe reviews archive.
  • Great place to eat.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    The only recommendation is to not serve from the sidewalk
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    FrankW
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Wasn't sure what to think, easily getting a table during Comic Con, but I think this is one of the overlooked little gems in SD. My "date" never showed, so teh staff was very patient with me taking up a table by myself for so long. Apps were great, enjoyed the bread, cold beer, and perfect pasta!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Italian food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We really enjoyed Operacafe. This is our second time in two weeks. We both had fettuccine Alfredo the first time. we both loved it so much! We could not wait to go back!!!! The noddles were so fresh, the sauce was just the right amount and tasty. The second time, We ordered two specials (seafood on black spegettiti and noddles/ portobello ) both very very good!! The service is great! The ambiance is three star. The price is affordable for great Italian food downtown. Waiting on a third time!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Italian food
    WinnipegkidVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    I have been to Operacaffe about a dozen times now. I have never been let down. The food is simply wonderful! Everything is fresh and the chef was noted in Firenze (Florence) before she and her late husband moved to San Diego. I have been in Italy many times, and eaten Italian food all over the world, and Operacaffe is as good as any. The partner and host Peter is an absolute gentleman, and always gives you straight advice about everything. I have had many out of town guests dine with me at Operacaffe, and all have given it an A+ Located on 4th in the Gaslamp district, it is a dependable jewel for a great meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Find!
    KathyVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Had dinner at Operacaffe on Saturday evening and the experience was wonderful! The waitstaff was attentive, the food delicious and the ambience warm and inviting. Highly recommend this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Italian cuisine
    SDAlan
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The restaurant stands out among the many Italian restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter. Food preparation was outstanding and service was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unanimous - GREAT!
    vvGinSD
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    7 of us in my party all agreed OperaCaffe is the BEST and absolutely the most (and so far only) authentic Italian food in San Diego. From the homemade bread to the homemade desserts, everything we ordered was delicious. Service is impeccable. Owner/Executive Chef, Patrizia Branchi, ensures an elegant and comfortable experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • NIce Tuscan place in Gaslamp
    BillVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    This is a very nice Tuscan-style restaurant in the Gas-lamp district. It has a good variety of authentic dishes, good wine and good prices (for this area). It is a great place to eat prior to taking in a concert at the Balboa theater or a perfomance at the SD rep or other entertainment venue in Downtown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing Italian
    Mikk
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    My husband and I celebrated our 6th anniversary here. We received excellent recommendations from our server. We were undecided on what to order because there were so many options that sounded amazing. We each ended up with both a pasta and a meat entree, as well as an appetizer and desserts. The food was so incredibly flavorful, even the basic marinara for dipping the fried rice/mozzarella balls was spectacular. I highly highly recommend dining here!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pre theatre dinner
    Act3VIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    This is a great choice for a pre theatre dinner.. It is within easy walking distance of the Balboa and Civic theatres. The food is very good with homemade pasta dishes that are very well done. (We had lobster ravioli and shrimp pasta). Great spumoni ice cream to finish up.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great as always
    Fred
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    My fiancee loves Opera Cafe's salmon and I always enjoy their pasta dishes.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • HappyCamper
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    Both the food, service and over-all experience was wonderful. The live spanish guitarist on Wednesday evenings is fantastic!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SD in May
    SicanguVIP
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    This is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere! Had a great meal with a fine bottle of wine. The staff was friendly and fun. When you visit take a moment to watch the kitchen and you will see why the food is so good - the staff obviously love making it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overall good dinner
    CaGirl
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    I booked this location for a business party. Overall, the food was good to excellent. The portions for appetizers were fairly small (3 pieces per appetizer) The wine was not chilled as it should have been. I also was less than impressed by the paper napkins.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not fine dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Was expecting a fine dining establishment and this was not. The food and service were excellent but the ambience was meh. As long as you realize that when you go you'll be fine.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite Italian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    This is my new favorite new Italian restaurant downtown, mostly due to the food. It's small inside, service is good, and the food is great. The ambience of the outdoor dining is not as nice as the restaurants on Fifth and Sixth Aves. But still cozy and enjoyable. Wines choices are limited and mediocre. But the food has been fantastic. We drive almost an hour just to get the mushroom ravioli with truffle oil. Love it!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service needs tweeking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    It seems they do tag teaming with the wait staff. I wasn't sure who was my server at times. It just seemed like they were in a hurry to get me fed and out the door. Other than that, the food was very good. I had the Wild Boar Osso Buco with saffron risotto. Nice wine and selection and appetizers. I do recommend it while in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Italian Food at its Best
    Bateswriter
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We book a table at OperaCafe each time we come into San Diego to attend a performance at the music venues nearby. Everything about it is consistent: food, ambience, service. Moreover, if we tell them we have a specific time we must leave, assuming we have allowed an hour to dine, they make sure we're out of there on time without rushing us. This restaurant reminds us of several we visited in Italy. It's that good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EXCELLENT ITALIAN RESTAURANT
    Foodie
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    A true gem! Great food, ambiance and service. Just like in Italy! Must try!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre-Opera
    goodfood4me
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Wonderful Italian food, some different dishes than the "usual," all served beautifully and in a lovely ambience.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food not spectacular
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Good food. Good service but not quite as good as the prices would lead you to expect.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food. The best Italian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Excellent food. The best Italian food in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Giacamo is an attentive, fun,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    Giacamo is an attentive, fun, delightful knowledgeable server. He took very good care of our table of (4) with patience and great recommendations of entrée selections. The porcini ravioli...to die for....and I've had a lot of porcini rav in Italy. Every guest fully enjoyed their meal and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Italian meal. Great
    JanKopVIP
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Great Italian meal. Great location for pre-theatre dining downtown.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet