Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.01mi
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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
  4. Distance: 0.13mi

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

84% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (37)
Special Occasion (10)
Good for a Date (5)
See All
Healthy (5)
People Watching (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Romantic (4)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Comfort Food (2)
Cozy (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Organic (2)
Tapas (2)
Vegan (2)
Authentic (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Casual (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
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1074 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

Wonderful cheery dignified room with very good food.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

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

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

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

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

 
·Dined 5 days ago

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 5 days ago

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 5 days ago

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.

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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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
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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
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 8, 2017

We often dine at the Cafe prior to attending performances at War Memorial. The service is a recurring issue, and was really bad on our last visit. If the opera is going to offer a restaurant, it should be run with a level of professionalism.

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food4
ambience2
service1
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Poor service at crunch time. On my last visit we ordered coffee and desert around 7:00, probably a mistake, but there was adequate time before the 7:30 curtain. The coffee came promptly but not the dessert. The kitchen had gotten backed up (on creme brûlée? really?). As it got closer to curtain time we canceled dessert and asked for the check. That took 10 minutes, so we had to rush up 5 flights to our seats in 5 minutes. As we left, at 7:25, the party next door was just getting their entree! Everyone has the same curtain time, no excuse for getting so slow when it matters the most. If you eat here, and it is convenient, get there at 6:15 no later, and don't order coffee or dessert.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 8, 2017

A new menu has upped the prices to a sobering level. A split of sparkling wine was$28. Service was terrible as they were under staffed. One order for steak salad was forgotten. It finaly arrived 20 minutes before curtain!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Variety of interesting salads, warm dishes good, desserts weak

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 5, 2017

As usual the meal before the opera was superb. The good news was they had the a la carte menu which gave us options. The buffet was superb, and I don't even like buffets. The fellow at the carver table is a delight.

Tags: Quick Bite, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 18, 2017

Fine place for preOpera dining. Opera tickets required to gain access. Limited menu but good choices. Also a buffet for those with big appetites.

Tags: Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 15, 2017

This is located in the same building of SF Opera, so we went before Opera. The pricing is so high , considering the food we had, maybe because of its location. The salad dish we ordered was missing the ingredient listed on the menu. Disappointing.

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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

We go for the before opera lunch. Lovely as can be.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 1, 2017

The salads from the menu are great. Tuna tatar fabulous! Chop salad always good. Flank steak salad delicious! I always enjoy dining there before the Sunday matinee. Service is always very welcoming.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, People Watching, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 1, 2017

It was my first time here. I had the buffet and enjoyed it very much. Good flavors, good variety. The atmosphere of dining in the opera house, and the convenience of being right downstairs can't be beat. I will be a repeat customer.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Menu limited and boring. Meal overpriced! Wanted appetizers but only chunks of cheese and grapes available. Husband looked for beef but none available. Chicken dish nearly empty when he got to it tho it was only 6:45. Salmon only other main option and thot it a bit 'fishy.'

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on October 1, 2017

We did the buffet since we were running late for the opera performance. The food was great but a little pricey. Service was quick and efficient. It is dark and I would even say gloomy in the dining room. But I would go back.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Hot, airless space - became more stuffy as more people arrived.
Buffet - mediocre at best - rather limited in variety - and expensive all things considered.

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food2
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Find the food delicious and the service very attentive. A wonderful place to dine prior to the Opera; and so convenient, especially because one of our party has to use a cane.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 29, 2017

A reliable place to dine before an opera performance. A very satisfying buffet.

Tags: Organic, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 29, 2017

Great spot for a meal before the opera! Concvenient !

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 28, 2017

Entrée quality and wine list have improved significantly. Dessert is the only disappointment; edible but commercial bakery quality. Service is always excellent.

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food3
ambience3
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Would appreciate more diversity on ala-carte menu. Same old choices and if you go, as I do, as a season ticket holder it is boring.
However, it is convenient for going to the opera for Sunday matinee.
Other suggestions from Open Table?

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Salads are very good. The menu changes with the opera being performed.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined on September 23, 2017

It is perfect to have such good food and drink available right before the opera. I've been quite a few times, and never disappointed.

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Ordered a la carte salads, and they were very slow to arrive. This happened last week too. We arrived in time for a leisurely meal, but that was not possible.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 23, 2017

The buffet was awesome, especially the Beef Bourguignon. The absolutely great service from Percy and Bob. It was great meeting Robert as well.

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Good: very convenient for pre-opera, decent food, comfortable seating, quiet, good service
Bad:Gloomy environment, high markups on wine.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience2
service5
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Nice buffet before the Opera. Salmon was gone (later brought out) when I went through, but I loved the salad samples and the vegies. Beef stew was ok.

Tags: Disabled Access, Tapas
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food3
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

A great option for dinner before the opera performance. You need to make reservations at least a few days ahead as there are often no feasible times left on the day of the opera. Most of the dinners chose the excellent buffet for $45, which I've had before and found to be excellent. This time we decided to choose something light off the a la carte menu. We ordered salads, one with crab and other seafood and the other a Caesar salad with salmon--both very generous and satisfying. Service is friendly and attentive.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Disabled Access
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on September 22, 2017

Before the opera or ballet or whatever, the Opera Cafe, has good service; quiet ambiance and great for people watching. Very conveniently situated in the War memorial Opera House.
We had the steak salad and it was delicious and plenty of it, medium rare, with small sweet root vegetables. Next time might order the cheese board as an appetizer. The price was moderate, considering the location.

Tags: Romantic, People Watching, Quick Bite
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 20, 2017

You can't beat the location if you're attending an opera or ballet. The food is very good, but not commensurate with the price, which is astronomical. It's also noisy and the service is at best fair. I won't eat here again.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 20, 2017

Very good buffet food with good service when its not crowded. A perfect way to catch a decent meal before the opera. You must have a ticket and enter through the north doors of the opera house.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 17, 2017

One of my favorite places to eat before the opera. Great service, good good and so convenient!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Perfect place to dine before opera. The salads come with just the right amount of protein so you don't feel the sleepies during the opera.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

There wasn't a lot of food options for the price point, but the quality of food was alright. You are mostly paying for the convenience of the location for attending the opera. We were very disappointed that the meal didn't include dessert.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

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