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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.01mi
  2. Distance: 0.04mi
  3. Distance: 0.09mi
  4. Distance: 0.13mi
  1. Distance: 0.01mi
  2. Distance: 0.04mi
  3. Distance: 0.09mi
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About Cafe at the Opera

A night at the opera or ballet is an elegant event, deserving of a remarkable culinary experience. Our gorgeous setting offers an ideal environment for pre-performance or intermission dining at the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center.
We are located on the lower level of the War Memorial Opera House. Our menu is offered in buffet and à la carte format, keeping performance start time at the forefront for all visitors.

301 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Continental

Hours of Operation:
Open 2 hours prior to all evening and Sunday Matinee performances only.

Cross Street:
Franklin St. & McAllister St.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 861-8150

Website:
http://www.cafeoperahouse.com/

Catering:
Host your next event at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, and Patina Catering will create an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. A variety of breathtaking historic venues in the Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall and the Veteran"s Building perfectly complement Patina Catering's unrivaled cuisine and impeccable service. Perfect for weddings, galas, corporate parties and pre- and post-performance events, this is San Francisco's premier choice for events of all sizes.

Parking Details:
Parking is available in several lots in the surrounding area. Please call lots for current hours and rates.

Performing Arts Garage

*Patrons dining in the Opera House may enter through the North Carriage entrance of the Opera House (adjacent to the War Memorial courtyard) up to two hours prior to curtain.

Public Transit:
For transit directions, visit 511.org or call 511.

Executive Chef:
Levi Mezick

Additional:
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Weddings, galas, corporate parties, pre- and post-performance events. To receive more information about our private event options, please contact:

Catering and Special Event Sales
events@cafeoperahouse.com

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Cafe at the Opera Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.0

service

4.1

ambience

3.9

value

3.6

Noise

Moderate

82% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (59)
Special Occasion (15)
Good Vegetarian Options (10)
See All
Healthy (8)
Romantic (7)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Good for a Date (6)
People Watching (6)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Quick Bite (5)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Comfort Food (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Tapas (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Cozy (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Live Music (2)
Organic (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Vegan (2)
Casual (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Authentic (1)
Bar Seating (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Fun (1)
Neighborhood Gem (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Seasonal (1)
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1105 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

We were thoroughly delighted by the experience. The buffet was bountiful, the food fresh, the atmosphere convivial. We will return for pre-opera meals.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good Vegetarian Options, People Watching, Fun
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food5
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

Service was great. Food was good. Horrible cell phone reception so don’t try to meet someone there without knowing that!

Tags: Live Music, Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

Love how easy it is to eat here before the Opera and Ballet. Always delicious food and now a new cocktail menu!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Disabled Access, Tapas, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Good spot for dinner prior to the Opera. The food is good. The buffet is quick and a good deal for all you can eat. Nice selection of tasty sides and salads. The service is fine as long as you leave enough time. Arrive no later than 6:30 for a 7:30 curtain.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

The buffet is ok, but a bit expensive for what you get. Also they were very slow to refill empty offerings, and we had to wait standing around for at least 5 minutes to get the main meat offering. They definitely struggle with the fact that everyone comes at the same time, because of the opera.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

This used to be a good place to get a salad lunch before the Opera. However, a recent menu change made the salad portion size so small that it was not a good lunch. It seemed more like a small appetizer. The change was not indicated on the printed menu. We were very disappointed. We had been looking forward to lunch and left hungry.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Naples)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Very good dining experience pre-Opera. You have a choice of the buffet or an a la carte menu. We ordered chopped salad with salmon and Dungeness crab. Very good. Service was also prompt and efficient.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 3, 2017

The restaurant is super convenient if you are attending a performance at the Opera House but it is a bit pricey for what you get. We didn't mind it too much since we know it supports the opera operations and the serving staff are very good and attentive. The food is good -- and if you get the pre-show buffet ($45 pp) you won't go away hungry. If you go with the a la carte menu (about $20 for salad), the selection is pretty limited but the portions looked reasonably sized. The bar has a good selection of cocktails and the wine list, while not extensive, is good.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Wish they would change the menu and include a soup and sandwich option at lunch.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 3, 2017

I love eating here before the opera. A bit expensive but really makes the evening fun. The more I eat here, the better I like it. For a buffet, the food is pretty good. We had some questions about the food and the chef came out to talk with us about it. If you are heading to the opera, you can be relaxed because you are in the building. But even better, if you don't want to eat everything, or have a snack at intermission, you can plate out the food, and the servers, will cover it for you, as you have your table for the whole show. You can also order your drinks and dessert and when you come down at intermission, everything is waiting for you. For a show with 2 intermissions, coming down for a break, is pure luxury. Love it.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Very busy night with many high level patrons but the staff handled it very professionally. Enjoyed the buffet with beef and salmon. Incredible service from Percy on such a busy night. Very convenient for the Opera.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2017

Noisy, crowded seating, food just OK, service is good, convenient but commercial.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Everything was average. The servings we had from the a la carte menu were skimpy for the price. I wish they would bring the food up a few notches to match the quality of the operas performed. The nearby restaurants in all price ranges are excellent. Next time we'll skip the convenience of eating at the opera house and walk a few blocks for a better meal. By the way, the diners next to us were disappointed in their food too, and even had trouble getting utensils from the waiter. Eventually one of the women got up and found her own knife and fork.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
·Dined on November 29, 2017

Generally nothing special.
Very convenient location for Opera is the selling point.
Drinks overpriced.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 29, 2017

The A la Carte menu has a very nice, simple to assemble section. This is important for us who attend before the Opera, and want a fairly light meal. The staff is excellent, and you get your bill quickly, as they know curtain time is getting close. It is so relaxing to already be in the Opera House, and to be able to spend some time talking and reading about the Opera before the performance while enjoying the meal.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 29, 2017

I have never been to the SF Opera and when I found that we could enjoy dinner at the same venue, I was thrilled. The service was amazing! The buffet was beautifully well appointed with a lot of great choices.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Rustee and Pepe give us outstanding service!!

We go every time we have opera

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Would like more hot cchoices on a la carte menu.Soup would be a good idea.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

WAY too expensive for thee quality of the food. Good only for people with money to burn.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 26, 2017

The food is well prepared and is very tasty with some creative touches. The price for this buffet is pretty steep ($44.00) does not include a non-alcoholic beverage nor a dessert. There are other restaurants with full service and excellent food where I could pay less for same or better quality. However, we like the convenience and ambience of dining at the opera house prior to the opera and we know that we will enjoy the meal.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

awful experience, will never return to this opera cafe.

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

 
·Dined on November 25, 2017

Cafe at the opera was a lovely way for us to start our evening. The food was excellent and the spread was great. I recommend it highly !

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Very nice, good food, very convinium.recomended foe opera and ballet performance.

Tags: Tasting Menu
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2017

selection of carving - pork - was the same as the last time I was there. Salads were not as well seasoned this time.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on November 23, 2017

I was pleasantly surprised with the elegant ambience and the excellent buffet food considering so many negative reviews here. Yes, at $45 the buffet is expensive, but all the offerings on it range from good to excellent. The variety makes it worth the price.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (London)·Dined on November 22, 2017

We had dinner a la carte before going to the opera. The food was good, the waiter kind and attentive. The place is nothing special but extremely convenient if you are going to attend a performance

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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2017

The table was ready and the service from the waitperson was excellent. The awareness of a performance was very much appreciated.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 22, 2017

We enjoy this restaurant before an opera; though it's a bit dicey trying to eat dinner in under an hour in order to make the pre-opera lecture (always a must!). The buffet tastes delicious and the staff is gracious; so I recommend it.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Chef has changed.. not as good .. Need bearnaise sauce for prime rib and steak! Like they used to do.. just not quality food...

Tags: Live Music
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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Dining at Cafe at the Opera is a truly special experience.

One feels suffused with a sense of elegance and culinary delight.

Having desert during intermission is wonderful.

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

Wonderful cheery dignified room with very good food.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

Always the best choice to dine before the opera. a la carte meals are mostly salads with enough protein to last you through a 3+ hour opera. The seafood salad, steak salad and prawn salad are great selections.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

Love that you can now, in addition to the usual buffet before the opera, order from a menu. And the choices are excellent.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

Always dependable. Tasty buffet and servers are keenly aware of timing for the opera.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 17, 2017

Great option for pre-opera dining for out-of-towners. Good food, prompt and courteous service, reasonable prices, and oh so convenient.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Not so good recently. I have been dining here for over 10 years probably more than 40 dinners all together

Cafe at opera disappointing. Now

i'm dining here for convenience prior to the opera and a nice ambiance

However the buffet price is up to $45 per person and the quality of food has declined to the point that it is mixed between some good dishes and some mediocre ones

It used to be much better, it seems that patina is gouging their customers. I'm going to start looking for alternatives in the neighborhood.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 17, 2017

No service at all. It took more than 15 minutes for a waiter to come to our table. Food mediocre. It is convenient if you are going to an early curtain opera.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

The food has improved this year, but service is still not good. The buffet is overpriced.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Love this place. Perfect for the opera. Very healthy foods. We will come back.

Tags: Healthy
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Brought my friends who had never attended an opera. Percy was out sick, sadly. Saw Bob who took care of us. Had the al a carte salads which were great. Love dining here.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

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