835 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101Neighborhood:
Downtown / Gaslamp
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.operacaffe.com/
- Phone: 6192346538
- 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
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 restaurantContinued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Operacaffe - Best Restaurants in Downtown / Gaslamp ›
Operacaffe reviews from OpenTable diners
42 reviews since May 19, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (21)neighborhood gem (18)romantic (17)great for outdoor dining (16)special occasion (13)notable wine list (11)great for lunch (7)good for groups (6)great for brunch (4)late-night find (4)hot spot (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- average food good serviceMarink9Dined on 9/12/2014Pasta ordinary, way saucy not flavorful. Large portions.
- Amazing tasty handmade pasta!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/8/2014This was a random business trip choice. I was blown away. My advice, drop what you are doing and just GO.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I felt like at homeLou2dineDined on 9/5/2014Ragu 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WOWsdn8tvDined on 8/21/2014I 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:
- culinary mistakeLOU27VIPDined on 8/19/2014Quick 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.
- This is a "foodies" place to goWinnipegkidVIPDined on 8/18/2014Everything 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:
- sallydeltaDined on 8/13/2014What 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place to eat.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/28/2014The only recommendation is to not serve from the sidewalkSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Food!FrankWDined on 7/26/2014Wasn'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:
- Italian food!OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/19/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous Italian foodWinnipegkidVIPDined on 7/11/2014I 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:
- Great Find!KathyVIPDined on 6/28/2014Had 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:
- Excellent Italian cuisineSDAlanDined on 6/28/2014The restaurant stands out among the many Italian restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter. Food preparation was outstanding and service was very good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unanimous - GREAT!vvGinSDDined on 6/18/20147 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:
- NIce Tuscan place in GaslampBillDined on 6/18/2014This 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:
- Amazing ItalianMikkDined on 6/6/2014My 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:
- Pre theatre dinnerAct3VIPDined on 5/28/2014This 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 as alwaysFredDined on 5/24/2014My fiancee loves Opera Cafe's salmon and I always enjoy their pasta dishes.Special Features:
- HappyCamperDined on 5/21/2014Both the food, service and over-all experience was wonderful. The live spanish guitarist on Wednesday evenings is fantastic!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 234 reviews are from the Operacaffe reviews archive.
- SD in MaySicanguVIPDined on 5/14/2014This 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:
- Overall good dinnerCaGirlDined on 5/4/2014I 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.
- Not fine diningOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 5/4/2014Was 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:
- Favorite ItalianOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 4/26/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service needs tweekingOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 4/12/2014It 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Italian Food at its BestBateswriterDined on 4/12/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- EXCELLENT ITALIAN RESTAURANTFoodieDined on 4/5/2014A true gem! Great food, ambiance and service. Just like in Italy! Must try!!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pre-Operagoodfood4meDined on 4/5/2014Wonderful Italian food, some different dishes than the "usual," all served beautifully and in a lovely ambience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food not spectacularOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 3/28/2014Good food. Good service but not quite as good as the prices would lead you to expect.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent food. The best ItalianOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 3/23/2014Excellent food. The best Italian food in San Diego.Special Features:
- Giacamo is an attentive, fun,OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 3/15/2014Giacamo 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:
- Great Italian meal. GreatJanKopVIPDined on 3/12/2014Great Italian meal. Great location for pre-theatre dining downtown.
- Great for pre-opera diningsdladyDined on 3/11/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Italian food, everDaniDined on 3/1/2014I love this place, the food is flavored so great! I could eat there once a week and never get tired of it!Special Features:
- Always a favoriteOutOftenDined on 2/18/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 2nd time there, won't be the lastsdrobDined on 2/14/2014Took 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dinner for 6OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 1/31/2014Chose 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.
- Almost PerfectBalboafanDined on 1/26/2014This 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.Special Features:
- High-quality Italian comfort foodOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 12/16/2013Homey 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very accomodating!Linda1Dined on 12/3/2013We 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.Special Features:
- Great Food with Free OperaLoveSteaksDined on 11/24/2013I 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.