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  • Operacaffe

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Operacaffe Details

  • 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
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "The only recommendation is to not serve from the sidewalk"
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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!!!!!!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "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!"
    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."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • " 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."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "My fiancee loves Opera Cafe's salmon and I always enjoy their pasta dishes."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Both the food, service and over-all experience was wonderful. The live spanish guitarist on Wednesday evenings is fantastic!"
    Dined on 5/21/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "A true gem! Great food, ambiance and service. Just like in Italy! Must try!!!!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Wonderful Italian food, some different dishes than the "usual," all served beautifully and in a lovely ambience."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Good food. Good service but not quite as good as the prices would lead you to expect."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Excellent food. The best Italian food in San Diego."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Great Italian meal. Great location for pre-theatre dining downtown."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "We booked a table early (5pm) for a light meal before attending the opera four blocks away. The cafe was not busy at that hour; we enjoyed our Operacaffe salads and tasty foccacia bread and were finished in time to attend the pre-opera lecture at 6pm."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "I love this place, the food is flavored so great! I could eat there once a week and never get tired of it!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We eat at Operacaffe before the opera, before events at the Balboa Theatre, and when we have out of town friends in town. It is reliably good and very close to many places downtown."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Took the wife for Valentine's Day to Operacaffe because she enjoyed it so much the first time we went. We had reservations and arrived a few minutes early but were seated right away. Took awhile for the server to come to our table, but it was a busy night so not an issue. We ordered drinks and appetizer which came out quickly and my wife enjoyed a lobster pasta dish while I had the chicken parm. Everything was delicious and the portions were just the right size.. no room for dessert. Waiter was friendly and attentive and the bill and checkout was handled without incident. Would probably come here everytime I go to see a show at the Balboa Theater."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Chose because we are from Rome and like Florentine cooking and web sight spoke of owners being from there. But found service lacking mostly. No bread after 3 requests, then as soon as pasta arrived they came and took basket of bread? Are they counting the pieces? Had to ask server to bring it back. Plus too much salt in all our pasta's. My husband had to send his back, has diabetes. Also too quik to take plates away. If you stop eating or put your fork down someone is there to take your plate. My nephew turned them away 4 times. Just not a relaxing a dinner as we had hoped."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "This was not my first time at Operacaffe and certainly not my last. I think that the food is consistently delicious and the server's recommendations for my appetizer and entree were spot on. My only disappointment was that the check came to the table without first asking about my interest in coffee or dessert! I did want coffee which was then served."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Homey environment, decent and well-priced wine list, ample but not overwhelming menu, and the food is good. Not a chain, not four-continent fusion, just good food. Not our first time there - we came back for a reason."
    Dined on 12/16/2013
  • "We were caught in traffic and had to change our reservation time which greatly limited our eating time since we had theater tickets. The staff was excellent and very accomodating for our situation. We still had an excellent meal. My only criticism is that the food was a little to salty for my and my friend's tastes. Next time I will request that no extra salt be added to the dishes."
    Dined on 12/3/2013
  • "I loved my chicken pasta plate, delicious! The tiramisu was ok, good taste but a little dry.... I expected more since its their house specialty. My friend enjoyed his ravioli w stuffed mushrooms. I loved that the students sang opera, it was a nice change from a typical dinner experience. They of course get loud, but not overly loud. They sounded great. They don't sing too long either so you can still have a conversation :) The staff was attentive and friendly."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "Ate here for several reasons. Very convenient to Balboa Theater; good reviews on Yelp; 15% discount because we showed our theater tickets. Place is welcoming, a nice old fashioned look consistent with the Gaslamp district. We were seated promptly. A large party nearby was a little raucous but calmed down so that was not a problem. I had a delicious Minestrone and a slightly overdressed but tasty Salad Operacaffe. Wife had veal and loved it. We could very we'll return here."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "Must admit, I didn't think I would like the place as much as I did. My wife and I decided to try this place out before seeing a show at the Balboa Theater on Saturday night. We showed up right in time for our reservation and were seated immediately (with a choice of indoor or outdoor seating). We chose indoor because it was a little chilly out and we didn't see any heat lamps outside. Our waitress was very attentive, offering suggestions when we asked, clarifying menu items, and bringing our food and drinks in a timely manner. Our food was excellent and just the right amount (we didn't want leftovers). My wife had the spinach ravioli and I had the chicken parmigiana. My wife already wants to go again."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "Had bought a certificate for this restaurant in January and it never seemed to have much appeal, OperaCaffe? Much to our delight we stumbled on a real gem. The food was what we would call "gourmet Italian", excellent. The prices were reasonable, wine outstanding and the flavors in each dish made me of Julia Roberts while in Italy in he movie Eat, Pray, Love. Service was excellent, ambiance good and in a great location across from Horton Plaza. We don't go into downtown very often but will now be making the trip anytime we feel like great Italian food."
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "Operacaffe added that extra treat to a night of going to the theater"
    Dined on 11/15/2013