I went for brunch. Buffet choice was very limited, mostly greasy food. Price did not include coffee or tea. Overall, food was overpriced.
We love coming here before the Opera and Ballet. A sumptuous buffet. We then have champagne and coffee and dessert waiting for us at the intermissions as well - very elegant.
We always ask for a table in Chiang's section - the best service and most affable person.
Had pre Rheingold dinner and pre Gotterdammerung brunch. Everything was acceptable. Location in the historic lower level of the War Memorial Opera House is convenient. The dining room was listless bordering on dismal. Bar area had warmer lighting. Buffet was uninspired. A la carte trout was replaced by salmon in a good sauce without mentioning the change. Decent wines by the glass. Good a la carte desserts. Servers worked hard. I expect more beauty and spirit from Patina Group Restaurants.
Convene t and satisfying
For two consecutive performances, one with preorder, they run out of a fruit cobbler.
Cafe at the Opera is overpriced -- a mediocre buffet at $45 (some of the food was pretty good, other items not very good at all). Don't rely on a la carte, an overpriced array of smallish salads. Great if you have a time crunch, but I'd skip this if at all possible.
There was a disgusting buffet. The serving dishes were often empty for some time which was ok because the food was unappetizing. Many salads and not much in the way of meat. Lots of potatoes and some gluey pasta. Yuck! $45 seems like a lot for this. The a la carte selections were a couple of salads and some charcuterie, all cold. Stupendously bad when it is SF and the opera!
$45 for a very limited buffet, featuring the equivalent of chicken McNuggets and child's plate spaghetti. No dinner plates at the buffet. No dessert. I think this concessionaire is being terminated by the Opera and the poor quality is either the reason or the consequence. But my wife's seafood salad was OK.
If your going to the Opera or Ballet this is the place to have a relaxing dinner before the performance.
As usual . . . excellent food and superb service in a wonderful environment. For what more could one ask?
Brilliant idea, buffet before the ballet. Delicious food, good service, what a treat.
Had a lovely buffet dinner before the ballet and thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was delicious and very nicely presented; the service was attentive without being intrusive, and we especially liked that the tables were far enough apart for comfortable conversation. There were several delicious cold salads, a platter of fresh fruit, cheeses, breads and a number of hot entree choices on the buffet. Everything was so tasty and well seasoned. The setting is elegant and the air of anticipation before a special performance just adds to the enjoyment. The chocolate dipped strawberries and truffles we ordered at the end made it absolutely perfect!
While the convenience is the primary reason for dining in the Opera House and the food usually is very good and appropriately hot or cold, both of the recent times we have found the food barely warm and a bit untasty. By the time we get to the server, the beef has been down to the final well done tip of the brisket and the server willing to cut up small bits for a serving. Tsk!
Compared to previous season and years' buffet, this year's has been just ok.
The server just disappeared after we got started and then mis-heard our coffee order for two and came up with one.
This wasn't a night I'd like to write a review about.
Over priced. Need more choices. Buffet needs updating. Same buffet every time.
In my budgetspending $60 for a quick dinner before the opera or ballet is a special treat.
I had a fabulous dinner the last time I ate here At the buffetand this most recent time it was not nearly as good. I don’t know if it’s a different Chef on Wednesday then Friday? Or why it was so much less good.Last time there was both roast lamb and salmon and the salads were really very delicious especially the arugula/frizee salad And The Caesar salad.Even this time at the beginning the potato gratin was quite good and when I went back to get a little bit more it was completely different and terrible. So I guess all I can say is when it is good it is very very good and when it is not good it’s not worth the money.
Also this time I was seated in the tunnel between the bar in the restaurant and I should’ve asked them to re-seat me in a better spot. There were many tables available and it was fairly late in the dinner hour so there were a dozen that are tables that they could’ve put me at. I’m not sure why I didn’t say something but it left me with a bad feeling for sure. It’s hard not to think that they knew exactly what they were doing. But who knows?
I guess now my Special Treat buffet dinner before the ballet is going to be a C *%p Shoot. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Oh well… Such is life.
service and salads great as always, with some interesting new ones like jicama and papaya salad
introduced a new dessert that was good - little churros with dipping sauces
very limited menu and expensive for what you get. The salad is just romaine lettuce
Having dinner with my daughter before ballet. Service was excellent and coffee and dessert at intermission (opera cake) was great. However food was like a caffitera. I has seafood Cobb and my daughter had Caesar with chic. Nothing to write home about.
This restaurant is only available for people with tickets for the performance but the food
and service are excellent and it's the best possible choice for a full meal or a snack or desert
before a performance or even during intermission.
Terrific food and excellent service in an unique, historic setting. For what more could one ask?
We always enjoy our visit to the Cafe at the Opera, the chef prepares great healthy tasty food, a large variety for different tastes, and the buffet is beautifully displayed. The service is excellent, very friendly wait staff with good recommendations if asked. Looking forward to our next visit to the ballet and the Cafe at the Opera! Sincerely, Deborah Secrest
Good place to eat before the performance at the Opera House. Good food and ambiance. Extremely good staff and service.
Excellent and welcoming
I was somewhat apprehensive but pre ballet dinner was just right. A la carte or buffet. I had a Cesar salad with King salmon. Salmon a bit on the very raw sashimi side but it turned out being very fresh and excellent. Next time I will have a bigger appetite and try the buffet. One of the few places in town where you can hear yourself talk and eat without rushing before a performance. Positively surprised. Would have had a second cocktail if it wasn't for the performance....Small portions on the $$ side.
This spot is convenient—that's what it has going for it. If you like mediocre, over-priced cafeteria food then this is for you.
Attentive staff, sensitive to time and diet constraints. Quality food.
This is a quick and covient place to eat when attending a Ballet or Opera. We had a delicious Caesar Salad. I only wish they would add a little more to thier small menu.
Wine is Very Overpriced
$14 per glass is gouging
The buffet prior to the March 25 Ballet was disappointing, and not for the first time. Need some meat. Not worth $45.
Wonderful venue for pre theater dinner and relaxing during intermission.
This was the first time after 20 years of attending the SF Ballet as season ticket holder that we tried dining at the Ballet restaurant. We actually ate dinner at the box seat level restaurant above the lower Cafe @ Opera House level. It was very disappointing. The food mediocre and much too expensive for the quality. The service was great however.
We will continue to have desserts during intermissions and enjoy dining outside of the Opera House.
The white staff knows that everyone there needs to be on their way shortly before 8 o’clock to go upstairs. They need to bring diner is their checks more quickly and collect payment more quickly. There’s nothing more annoying then waiting to get your credit card back and missing the first act because it came too late! This is my only complaint
Entree seafood salad was meager. Very little seafood and very few greens. By 9:00 i was starving. For that and a glass of wine, with tip, etc., it was $46. Way overpriced. But worse, I was hungry! The buffet was $45. It looked nice but really? Again, way overpriced. I think the Opera House needs to deep six that company. They reflect poorly on the house.
The Opera Cafe is so very convenient . The waiters are very attentive and service is quick. For a lighter meal order from the menu and even share two or three items with a friend. It's nice to order dessert and come back during intermission to enjoy it as well. I especially appreciate this location when the wearher is unusually cold, windy or wet. you can head right up the stairs for the performance after dinner and you are not rushed and wind blown!
Excellent service, buffet choices, convenient location. We could not have had more attentive, helpful service. This is the best way to dine and arrive relaxed before the ballet. I wish I had realized how easy it is to make a reservation, this having the most relaxed per-ballet dining experience ever.
iz have been going to this restaurant before go9ing to ballet for many years. The last two times I have gone , the food has not been as good. There have usually been three main course entrees, usually meat, salmon and chicken. The chicken rends to be dry .
The salmon is very good and the steak OK but not as good as the prime rib which has not appeared on our trips this year.
The salads used to seem inventive but notes much.
And the price has gone up!!
You can only go there if you have tickets for a performance. It’s convenient, but a bit pricey.
After almost two decades of regular attendance at the Opera house, we decided to try the cafe and were pleased by its ease and efficiency. The food is fine, the service outstanding, and the ease of simply being in the same building as the performance made for a much more relaxing dinner; we came back to dessert at our table during the first intermission. We'll go back!
Hot buffet is $45 and looks very lavish. As I recall, the other dishes are under $25. These are cold plates for a light dinner. We liked the cold beef plate with butternut squash, beef was tender and very flavorful. Did not like the chopped salad - not tasty. I only go pre-theater at the Opera House.
The Cafe at the Opera House can't be beat for a pre-performance dinner. It's elegant, comfortable and relaxed -- because you're already there! It's a little on the pricey end, but the buffet items have always been delicious and excellent quality on all the occasions we've visited. On this particular evening, it was a little disappointing that there were no vegetarian entree items (although there were plenty of nice salads and sides). The mussels and salmon, on the other hand, fed my seafood-loving soul.