Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto
Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto

Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.maxsworld.com/
  • Phone: 6503236297
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: M-F 11:30am-4:00pm
    Lunch: 11:00am-4:00pm
    Dinner: Su-Th 4:00pm-9:00pm
    Dinner: F-Sa 4:00pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Javier Rivera
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We offer a wide variety of catering options including sandwich and salad platters as well as Entrees and dessert platters. Great for both business and home events.
  • Entertainment: Starting at 6:00 pm Thursdays thru Sunday we have live music. The musicians will play and sing everything from opera to Billy Joel. We also have singing staff members that will perform throughout the evening.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Sandhill Rd
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is pleny of immediate parking as we are located at the Stanford Shopping Center
A word from Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto
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, ribeye steak, BBQ ribs and portabello mushroom pasta all on the one table. And for those with a sweet tooth, Max's sinful, awarding desserts will keep you coming back for more.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
Max's Opera Cafe of Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
53 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food3.9
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (33)great for outdoor dining (23)kid-friendly (19)good for groups (17)fit for foodies (12)great for brunch (10)neighborhood gem (9)hot spot (4)special occasion (3)vibrant bar scene (1)romantic (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • My wife and I enjoyed a pleasant
    EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    My wife and I enjoyed a pleasant lunch at Max's Opera Cafe, as my Chinese Chicken Salad and my wife's turkey club were both good, as was the service. This is a conveniently located restaurant and a good choice for anyone shopping at the Stanford Shopping Center.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible service
    EleLVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2013
    I went to Max's with my two daughters (age 4 and 7). We waited over 15 minutes to order. We had been there for over an hour by the time they got their kids' meals. Fortunately, they were very patient. I will certainly nver go there again and would not recommend it to anyone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ladies lunch out
    Mothersday
    Dined on 5/15/2013
    Great service. I had my usual 1/2 pastrami & cup of matzo ball soup. Friend tried sometgvnew & enjoyed it.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very accommodating of our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/12/2013
    Very accommodating of our seating requests, even on Mother's Day, first to be outdoors, then to be indoors when I got too hot!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I ordered what I thought should
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 4/19/2013
    I ordered what I thought should have been a specialty - a combo sandwich with corned beef and pastrami on rye. The ingredients were just fine, but the preparation and presentation were disappointing. Small bread, meat piled haphazardly and sloppily on the bread so that the sandwich came apart. As a result, the sandwich was difficult to eat. I've had much better experiences at Max's, and hope that this was just an anomaly.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • consistent
    SSPaVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2013
    Food very good & waiter was excellent! Only issue I had was told waiter 'very light on dressing' because kitchen often drowns the salad. Kitchen still drowned it! The waiter was great & immediately brought me more lettuce to distribute the dressing. Next time, I'll just say 'on the side' & avoid the problem
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best pastrami outside NY
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/27/2013
    Where else could I find such a delicious pastrami sandwich with sweet potato fries on my birthday?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent service!!My friend
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/26/2013
    excellent service!!My friend didn't care for her tomato soup and the waitress removed it from the bill and offered to bring her something different! My onion soup and burger were excellent. Desserts are amazing
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had a lunch meeting with two
    Seafoodlover
    Dined on 3/15/2013
    Had a lunch meeting with two other colleagues at Max's. It was perfect for us because the noise level wasn't too loud and the food was delicious. The service was very good and the food was prepared and brought to our table fairly quick. A variety of fresh hot rolls were served before our meal and the butter just melted right in. I had the salmon on ciabatta bread and loved it. I had it with red potato salad but I think next time I should order it with salad (just too many carbs), but it was good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A friend and I sat on the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/10/2013
    A friend and I sat on the patio and had a great meal in perfect weather. The hostess accommodated my request for outside seating in shade, which I appreciated. The service was excellent and the wait staff attentive. We returned late afternoon to have tea and coffee. That experience was not so good. The server never returned to refill either the decaf or the iced tea.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food & Service dropped considerably
    LindaVIP
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    I have been going to Max's for the past 15+ years. I go there roughly 6 times a year. My past few visits have not gone well. The food and service have dropped considerably. Their Matzo ball soup, (what they are known for outside of their desserts), was bland, no flavor. The service was non existent. The waitress took our order, served two of the kids dinners 8-10 mins before the rest of our meals come out. The two other children were just sitting there wondering when their food was coming. We had to ask twice for the kids drinks. Wait staff never came by to ask how the food was and btw, she passed by our table half a dozen times and never made eye contact. We told ourselves, no more, we are not going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sound System Volume Too Loud!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/1/2013
    Complaint: The sound system volume (Singing Waiters)was TOO LOUD! I could NOT hear the person -- sitting across from me -- speaking. I asked the manager on shift to please turn it down. He said he would look into it, but the volume never came down. The manager also failed to follow up with my complaint.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Reduced Menu, but Still Very Good.
    frequentDinerVIP
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    Menu has far fewer items than when we last visited. Shame to lose the chopped chicken liver sandwich, but the Reuben was still very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistent Food to the Max!
    DCFremont
    Dined on 2/15/2013
    Always consistent, food wise, service wise. Servings are meant to be shared. Prices are very reasonable. I would always go for the Chicken Livers - the best so far! Save room for dessert esp the Shoe sized Choco-Vanilla Cream filled Eclair!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always reliable, but nothing
    PADiner
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    Always reliable, but nothing special. If you need a restaurant that will have at least one menu option for everyone in your party, Max's is always a good choice. The food is nothing special, but it's consistent and satisfying. The noise level can be loud at times, but usually you can have a civilized discussion with your table mates.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I arrived 1st and they were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/8/2013
    I arrived 1st and they were nice enough to seat while I waited for my friend.. Our server was overall fine, but I ordered the matzo ball soup for dinner and she brought me clam chowder instead. The restaurant was pretty busy so instead of sending it back I ate it. Our bill was correct so she didn't bring what I ordered. I couldn't help but wonder if she knew the difference... Otherwise this place is what I would consider a "solid" choice, with good service and food you can count on to be good-very good. I am a pianist by profession and I usually have a hard time having to listen to their performers (for one thing, too loud to be able to carry on a conversation) While seated very near the piano, the music was pleasant enough and not too loud
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • In general I like Max's but
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/3/2013
    In general I like Max's but I won't order the "brick-pressed chicken" again: the chicken part was a small drumstick-and-thigh combination, and a wing in there somewhere. Also on the plate was a large chunk of zucchini and an even larger chunk of yellow squash, and lentils and spinach and several cloves of roasted garlic. It was a decent way to get dinner in the late afternoon, but hardly remarkable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Highly recommend
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/1/2013
    Wait and greeting staff were very friendly and service was excellent... as was the wonderful Sweet and Sour Brisket. Will return soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a great place for a
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 1/21/2013
    Always a great place for a family gathering. There is something on the menu that meets everyone's diet needs. Large portions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I am writing this note to
    Luncher
    Dined on 1/16/2013
    I am writing this note to praise the attitude of the hostess, manager and waiter who served my lunch party of three on 1/16/13. One of our party was delayed a couple of times, and the hostess was very helpful in adapting the reservation while we waited. Then, when a phone call came into the restaurant from the delayed person, a nice man who I think was the manager, looked all until he found me and then let me take the call on their phone. The server was very patient and pleasant as we proceeded with our meal. We all had delicious sandwiches, but today's service was what warmed and impressed me.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Outdoor Seating
    Skkyup
    Dined on 1/6/2013
    This has been a stable rendezvous for us North Bay/South Bay families. The potato latkes with the Russian cabbage soup is my favorite combination. Our lunch was a bit loud and all coming from a 30 minute lunch of a Wednesday gaggle co-workers. Otherwise it was a relaxing lunch with family. My wife couldn't stop talking about her roasted Brussel sprout salad with orange, lemon and sweet bacon. She couldn't finish her Reuben and lets say it made a nice desert.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not the "Good 'ol Days"
    nothingfancy
    Dined on 1/1/2013
    Our extended family has been going to Max's for years (all locations). We wanted something fun for New Years Day and got a reservation through OpenTable. This was so nice. We thought Max's did not take reservations and were afraid we would have to wait for a table. With Grandma being 90, it is hard to be comfortable waiting for any length of time. When we got to Max's, it was pretty empty. We do not know if it was because they were closing early, it was New Years Day, the menu is so much smaller, the portions are much smaller or that the quality of the food is so much lower. Not one of us commented on how good the food was. We used to rave about how tasty the food was. Not even the matzaball soup was good! We are sad : (
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We always have lunch here
    YMMV
    Dined on 12/19/2012
    We always have lunch here on our annual trip to Stanford Shopping Center. The food is always good and the menu offers interesting choices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Menu offers a wide variety
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/17/2012
    Menu offers a wide variety of food. A little pricey but highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This was one of the worst
    EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 12/9/2012
    This was one of the worst dining experiences of all time. The waiter dropped two pots of boiling water and two glasses full of ice on my wife (I don't know why this is the way Max's serves ice tea), told my daughter that due to a menu change Max's no longer serves something as simple as a turkey sandwich for lunch, and then served my wife the worst looking ham & cheese omelet one has ever seen. Four squares of American cheddar dropped on the eggs and just barely warmed---the cheese was not even melted. Diners from other tables were more responsive to my wife's situation, as several came to our table from other tables, but Max's staff offered nothing more than the waiter's apology.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing
    lxticsVIP
    Dined on 12/6/2012
    I took a friend here for the Thursday night special - prime rib - which has been very good in the past. The service was slow, the creamed spinach arrived cold - the beef barely cooked, center chilly, all but inedible -- the baked potato lukewarm. Our hard-to-understand waitress never came to ask how it was - maybe she knew- and I had no luck flagging down anyone else. When she did come, she addressed me as "mama" - to ask if I wanted another glass of wine. No. We had to ask for the cookies that come with the special, then wondered why we'd bothered. My OT reservation got us what might have been the worst table in the house. I don't usually rate any restaurant this low, but this was a memorably bad experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service was very slow and
    MelissaVIP
    Dined on 12/2/2012
    Service was very slow and it seemed that our waitress was a deer in headlights everytime we asked for something (twice we asked). Food could have been better if it was served to us right away versus sitting in the window for 5 mins for our waitress to bring it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • They changed their menu--and,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/30/2012
    They changed their menu--and, NOT for the good! Some of the lunch favorites are missing. If you're a regular, prepare for the change.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our server did an excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/18/2012
    Our server did an excellent job. He was pleasant and would stop by to see if we needed anything else during our lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our waiter was very nice but
    LindaVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    Our waiter was very nice but the service overall was very slow. It was 40 mins after we had ordered our food that was served to us. It's a long time to wait when you have two children with you.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was awful. Corn beef
    lfiszerVIP
    Dined on 11/3/2012
    Food was awful. Corn beef dry and tasteless, hamburger was borderline inedible. Food was awful. Corn beef dry and tasteless. Hamburger inedible.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good service and carrot cake
    aggie107
    Dined on 10/20/2012
    Service was excellent. We arrived very late and they were gracious when we ordered dessert and were the last to leave the restaurant. The carrot cake was great as usual but the rest of the food left much to be desired. The burger was horrible although they get points for asking how we wanted it cooked - the patty was totally flavorless and a tad overcooked. We had to slather ketchup on the burger just to make it palatable. The prawns scampi was on the heavy side and very very salty. I expected more garlic and butter and less heavy sauciness... it may be just a preference thing. Portions are big. Ambience is okay... this is more of a pig out with family kind of place than it is a date spot. Just wish the entrees were more reliable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The men had beef patty melts
    MickeyVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2012
    The men had beef patty melts that were very good. The ladies had turkey burger melts (patty melts with ground turkey instead of ground beef). The turkey burgers were probably pre-made and not particularly appetizing. Everything else was fine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The terrible music was almost
    SusieZVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2012
    The terrible music was almost fun, the eaters a mix of older people and children. The chip on the rim of my wine glass was NOT acceptable - and when I sent it back, I got a shrug. The food is decent, but nothing special.Big.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were lucky to visit on
    CoCo
    Dined on 9/30/2012
    We were lucky to visit on a Sunday night when the restaurant wasn't that crowded and there was a very talented piano player providing the entertainment. A lot of the waiters took turns singing, probably because the restaurant wasn't full and they didn't have to neglect any tables. We went with teenage kids and Max's has so many options on the menu that everyone can find something that they like. I had the chicken pot pie which is excellent and truly good "comfort food." One daughter had the roasted chicken special, the other had ribs, and my husband had meatloaf. The portions are enormous which also means you can all taste each other's food without causing trouble. We took desserts to go as we were all stuffed. Delicious!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lousy Service
    JReneeVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2012
    We have eaten here a few times in the past with good experiences. This time, unfortunately, the service was very poor. Starting with the check-in person (early dinner @4:45) who acted as if we were imposing on her. She led us to a booth fully set for four, we were five. Bread was brought, but no fifth setting. Had to ask for a bread plate (which should have been a clue that other things were missing). Had to again ask for a fork. Cream for coffee came in an espresso cup that dripped on my hand and table when attempting to pour. We asked if the large dessert could be split onto two plates for the two children and were told it would cost $3.50 more. The food was good, but we'll pass on this place in future.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and great service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/11/2012
    Great food and great service in a winning location. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waiter seemed indifferent.
    Hapa
    Dined on 7/28/2012
    Waiter seemed indifferent. Food was average. They have a rule if your fries are soggy you get another basket. Our fries were soggy and no one cared. It was my first visit and expected opera. No one sang inside the restaurant, only outside and it wasn't opera. Don't think I would return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Restaurant at SSC
    RDB27
    Dined on 7/15/2012
    Max's at the Stanford Shopping Center continues be a good place for a snack, lunch, or dinner. It's very convenient to all the shopping. Their prices are moderate, and portions are large. The food is tasty. Service is friendly and competent. They don't usually take reservations, so Open Table is the way to go, since you don't have to be on a waiting list.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Too many bad choices
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/16/2012
    Fish and chips were something I might suggest them not serving. Chicken tostada salad had Greek olives in it and tasted confusing. If they limited their. Bounces to a few great dishes, I might go back. But for now, we will not be returning.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic