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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 1 time today

Operacaffe

4.6
559 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Comfort Food
  • Casual
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
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Monday- Thursday 11:00AM-10:00PM
Friday-Saturday 11:00AM-11:00 PM
Sunday 1:00PM-10:00 PM
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Phone number
(619) 234-6538
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Patrizia Branchi
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Neighborhood
Additional
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 559 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 2
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4.0Dined 4 days ago

" Nice Small Romantic Restaurant "

My wife and I went to the Operacaffe Restaurant in Downtown San Diego before we went to the Balboa Theatre across the street to see the Righteous Brothers Concert. Davide our server was very nice as he explained the menu to us. Humberto the busser was so good as he hustled from table to table all over the restaurant taking care of everyone's needs. My wife had the ravioli boscaiola which is
homemade ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms, sage, pine nuts and a creamy butter sauce. It was very tasty. I had the fettuccine alfredo with shrimp. For dessert we shared the baba which was traditional neapolitan soaked rum cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Very different and good.

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Excellent meal!

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2.0Dined on April 10, 2018

We were very pleased with our experience at Operacaffe. The food was delicious and creative. Friendly service. We would come back here on a return visit to San Diego. Mom & Pop atmosphere which we really like.

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3.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Service and Ambiance was excellent!
Not impressed with the food!
Main dishes were not freshly made!

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Great food and service
We love this place!
Every one had something different and everything was delicious

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5.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Never have been disappointed with the food, the service, and the overall ambience of the place. The staff is attentive without being overbearing. The variety of the food is outstanding considering the size of the restaurant. Downtown parking is always a challenge, but other than that, this place is worth the trip from anywhere in San Diego county.

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5.0Dined on April 2, 2018

Great service and food in the heart of Gas Lamp district.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

My friend and I had a 4:30 reservation before a show at the Civic Theater. We enjoyed our experience, the food was delicious, and we received a free tiramisu after signing up for the email newsletter!

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

9 people and every dish was excellent. We really enjoyed our food. The nochi's were to die for.

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2018

This was the second time we've been here. The food was excellent again. My husband got Pesto Linguine and I got Crab and Shrimp Ravioli. We both loved it! This time the tables were too squished in together though. We could barely get into our seats and had to move so that the people around us could get to their tables. The first time we were here that wasn't the case and the time was exactly the same, Friday night dinner before a play at the Civic.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

The whole experience was incredible. Very authentic Italian.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

First of all, the food was AMAZING - I finished every single bite. The service was impeccable, the hostess was super friendly and welcoming and our server made sure our every need was catered to. We sat outside and had a pretty view of downtown and were able to people watch while enjoying our delicious food. Will definitely be back!

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Good food, with a varied menu. Great service. Live music some nights. Close to theaters so can be crowded at times.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Great atmosphere, excellent food and service. We went one night on vacation for a birthday dinner. The food was so good we went back the 2nd night ! Staff extremely cordial and welcoming.

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5.0Dined on March 19, 2018

The food is fantastic. This is a go to restaurant for us. We eat here every time we come to San Diego. It was a little crowded because there were several shows performing but it we were still able to have and hear our table conversation.

The wine list is decent and deserts are impeccable.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Operacaffe has classic Italian dishes that are light and flavorful. The dessert menu is a delight. The ambiance is casual and comfortable with attentive service. One of my favorite places in Gaslamp.

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4.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Great place to dine in. Food is delicious. Salad menu is recommended. Not sure about the pizza as the pizza choices on the menu was not so exciting to me.

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4.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Excellent choices on the menu, authentic Italian cuisine, moderate prices, and efficient service.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Superb Italian fare. Second time we have eaten there and we will be back.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Always delicious with good service. Can be slow to get your meal if they are busy.

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5.0Dined on March 16, 2018

I went here looking for authentic small Italian food spot to bring some close friends...wasn't looking for anything fancy but wanted a family style atmosphere with good food and an affordable price and that's just what I got! Greta food, affordable, great service, beautiful atmosphere and a nice place to spend quality time with family and friends!

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

BEST ITALIAN FOOD EVER! Big fan! The staff is so welcoming and kind! Must try the lemon cake dessert thing.

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4.0Dined on March 11, 2018

This was my second visit in a week to the restaurant, same day, same time. The place got progressively more crowded and the service got progressively less attentive, less personal. The table for two was small enough for personal conversation but not big enough for all our beverage glasses and food. The bread was awful, but my spaghetti and meatballs were good (over sauced but good).

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2018

Nice place to go to after or before a show downtown. Food was excellent and reasonably priced.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2018

The food is very good, although my food was too hot when I had asked for little chili. My husband almost finished his dish, and It took a long time for them to redo the food. When the food was redone, it was wonderful.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

We were craving good Italian food, read reviews from Trip Advisor and took a chance. It was just exactly what we were hoping for, across the board. Going back next weekend!

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Very nice food in a lovely setting. Friendly staff, and rapid service (always good before an evening out at the theater).

Brushcetta delicious, but Octopus Carpaccio was nothing special. However the Duck Ragu pasta (from the chef's special section of the menu) was truly excellent!

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

We were very pleased with the extensive menu options made to order. The raviolis dishes superb. Fun happy hour specials.
Perfect spot for a light dinner before the opera. Parking validation for Horton plaza.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

First time at OperaCafe and we will be back. Excellent pasta, fish, shrimp, mushroom INES. Limoncello cake was the terrific dessert.

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5.0Dined on February 23, 2018

First time visit. Server, wait staff were exceptional. Restaurant was very busy but service was timely. Food was excellent. Definitely would come back on a future pre-concert dining.

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4.0Dined on February 22, 2018

Best pizza I have had in many years. Excellent pasta and soup. Service was attentive and engaging. A delight!

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4.0Dined on February 21, 2018

4th time visiting and always above average

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2018

The food was delicious and service was great! This was our first visit, we were headed to the Balboa Theatre and everything timed out perfectly.

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Outstanding, flavorful meal. The waiter was very attentive to our need to be done by a certain time. Great food. Great service.

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4.0Dined on February 16, 2018

The burrata appetizer was excellent. Pasta was cooked perfectly and sauces were delicious. The chocolate nutella lava cake is my new favorite.

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3.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Special request wasn't taken into account and service was not the best. Had to ask for a box multiple times before having one being brought. Food and ambiance was good. Came here Valentine's Day since it's where my girlfriend and I had our first date years ago. Unfortunately won't be coming back.

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3.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Went there for Valentines Day.
We wanted something casual but something a step up from a chain like Olive Garden.
The food at the Operacaffe is definitely a step up. There was so much on the menu that we wanted to try. When our choices did arrive, they were delicious. I should add that our service was quick and we waited only a reasonable amount of time for our dishes.

What detracted from our overall experience was this:
We elected to sit outside. The outside areas of any restaurant in the Gaslamp is small, there were only about a half-dozen tables. That part was fine, but one of the hostesses talked the entire time about who she's dated, who she thought was cute, and at one point, I think who she has slept with. The behavior would have been acceptable (though equally distracting) in the young college age folks who usually dot the doorways in the Gaslamp, but this hostess appeared to be old enough that she should have known better how to conduct herself professionally.

It wasn't a terrible experience, but it was distracting and did impact our overall enjoyment. When you're eating out you don't want the staff to be the show, unless you're at the House of Blues or some other similar venue.

The most important thing, would we go back--yes for the food, but I would sit inside, since being so close to the hostess station and listening to their conversation, really took away from the atmosphere for us.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

THIS RESTAURANT WAS THE VERY BEST--AUTHENTIC TUSCAN FINE DINING. WAITRESS KIKI WAS KIND ENOUGH TO BRING US A FREE APPETIZER OF MOZZARELLA AND RICOTTA-STUFFED VERY LIGHT PIZZA DOUGH BALLS COVERED WITH RAZOR-THIN PROSCUITTO--I ASKED FOR ADDITIONAL ANCHOVIES--BOTH WERE THE BEST WE'D EVWE EATEN IN OUR LIVES! THE BLOOM OF YEAST WAS FANTASTIC!!--ROLLS LIGHT AS A FEATHER! I HAD ROAST BOAR--IT WAS CUT SLICES, VERY TENDER--I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED IT WITH BONE INTACT. SAFFRON RISOTTO--EXQUISITE! SPOUSE HAD FILET TO PERFECTION--GREEN PEPPERCORN SAUCE WITH RISOTTO. SUGGESTION TO CHEF, COMBINE SAFFRON RISOTTO WITH FILET MIGNON. CAN OFFER OPTIONAL BLUE OR PURPLE RICED GARLIC POTATOES. DESSERT, NONNA'S TORTA AND LLIMONELLO CAKE!! WITH GLASS OF MILK--YOU CAN'T GET ANY BETTER FOOD ANYWHERE ELSE! WE ARE BOTH SELF-TAUGHT 5 STAR CHEFS AND MAJOR FOODIES! KUDOS!

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5.0Dined on February 8, 2018

Still my favorite Italian Restaurant in San Diego. Something for everyone. You just can't go wrong here.

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4.0Dined on February 3, 2018

Good food. Bit expensive.

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