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

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
View Larger Map

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

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

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

81% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (64)
Special Occasion (16)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
See All
Healthy (8)
People Watching (7)
Romantic (7)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Good for a Date (6)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Quick Bite (5)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Good for Groups (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Tapas (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Cozy (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Live Music (2)
Organic (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)
Local Ingredients (1)
Neighborhood Gem (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Seasonal (1)
Sort by
S
1113 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
·Dined 5 days ago

F0od fine, ambience fine. I do not recommend because had to wait 15 minutes for bill. I saw that everyone got bill at the same time. This practice must end!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Very convenient prior to the Opera. Food was good, plenty of choice and nice service.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Delicious food as always and very convenient for dinner before a show. They seemed to be rationing the salmon though— people were waiting for it to be replenished at the buffet table. Everyone at my table enjoyed it.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 5 days ago

Had dinner prior to the opera and intermission coffee with desert.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined 5 days ago

It’s the best place for a pre-Opera meal. It’s rather loud in the basement of the San Francisco Opera, but that’s part of the fun. Most diners opt for the buffet. The food is uniformly excellent, although I have noticed over the years that the selection has diminished somewhat. Instead of both salmon and roast beef, this time there was just salmon. The service can be a bit slow, if you want dessert (extra) or coffee. Still, it’s good value for the money, good food, and you can’t beat the convenience.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

As the buffet has improved the service has slipped up. Love, love, love all the vegetarian options! Please get a manager on the floor to oversee the flow of service. We waited about 15 minutes for the server to come by to pick up the check and credit card; it should be an automatic gesture to swing back by to complete this transaction after leaving a check at a table.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service2

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

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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 7, 2017

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 on December 7, 2017

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
 (Detroit)·Dined on December 7, 2017

This restaurant serves a buffet pre-opera performance. If you have the time to eat anywhere else we suggest you do so. The price is pretty stiff for what they serve. Roast pork, warmed over salmon till it was dry, spaghetti in a bland cream sauce. Grilled veggies kept heated until they became soggy. If you stick to the cold salad bar you would be wise. As for desserts - so many of them had nuts that with nut allergies it was tough to find anything to eat (strawberries - but we are allergic to that too!). Has anyone there heard of chocolate mousse or tiramisu? They also have a menu, but it is pretty limited. Service was a challenge - had to hunt down a waiter to pay the bill in time to make the opening curtain. In short - there are many better choices in the neighborhood near the Opera - the only thing to recommend this place is for its convenience to the theater.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service3
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 6, 2017

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 on December 6, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value2

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

Another great pre-opera experience at the War Memorial. Percy treated me like I was his only customer. Jonathan was awesome as always. Loved my chopped seafood salad. Will be back in June.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
·Dined on November 29, 2017

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

awful experience, will never return to this opera cafe.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

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

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

Wonderful cheery dignified room with very good food.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (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.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.