Max's Opera Cafe

4.1
1276 reviews
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$30 and under
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American

Max�s Opera Caf� is a place where people can enjoy an upscale dining experience at reasonable prices. It has a diverse range of dishes, including Chinese chicken salad, a corned beef Reuben sandwich and rib eye steak. This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to menu items on offer at Max�s Opera Caf�.

Many patrons come to Max�s Opera Caf� for its extensive desert menu, many of which have won regional awards. To add a little substance to your evening, order a complete three-course meal that includes salad or soup. The options are seemingly endless and every member of your party is sure to find something that pleases them.

What 1276 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.2
service
3.9
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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A
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Here is the best Ruben sandwich in San Francisco, maybe all of California! The portion is huge, we generally split it, an the grilled bread is wonderful, but the meat is lean, flavorful and well aged. Please try the potato pancakes, a real Jewish treat also.
The ambiance is NY deli and the place is well attended, especially on Opera days.

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AL
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

The sandwich bread fell apart on the pastrami sandwich. The salmon on the salad was dry.

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SP
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Meatloaf was bland and not seasoned well - underseasoned and warm NOT hot. The mushroom gravy was way too salty. Excellent mashed potatoes. Great server and not noisy in the dining room. Outstanding pianist - Larry!

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JM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Service a bit slow, inattentive. 15 minutes after seated had to signal for initial drinks. Same prob with getting check.

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J
San Francisco
109 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Still an excellent place for Jewish style sandwiches and soups.

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JC
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Max's is a great place to meet and eat. The service is always friendly and food prepared quickly. There isn't anything on the menu that I have ordered and not liked! They have great desserts too.

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l
New England
8 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This upscale cafe is conveniently located near the Opera and Taube Atrium Theater entertainment venues for before and after event meals. We had a party of 10 and were served quickly. The menu was eclectic and uniformally very good. There was live music during our meal and a bustling vibe.

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KL
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice place with good food near Herbst Hall, the Opera, and Symphony. Parking across the street under the civic center plaza or on the street if you are early enough.

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CS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

I go because of the location and the food is acceptable. Unfortunately service was terrible this last time

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SF
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I have season tickets to the SF Ballet and we usually have lunch at Max's before the performance. With a reservation through OpenTable, we are seated immediately at a table in a nice location (i.e. window). The servers are friendly and efficient. I love the soup and salad combo. I usually order the red cabbage soup and a mixed green salad. Great place to go to prior to a performance in the area----excellent service, reasonable prices, good food and many items on the menu to choose from.

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MM
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is a great place to eat not only for the place itself....food, service, etc, but it's very conveniently located near many of the cultural houses in the area.

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R
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 2

Restaurant was tired looking. Needs cleaning of light and fans, paint etc. Bathroom had paper on floor and generally dirty. Bathroom door paint worn off. Food was ok. Service was fine. One of the singers was so off key she left the stage after the audience complained in the main room. Have had great food there before but definitely not the restaurant it use to be.

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E
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very convenient when attending functions at the symphony hall, opera house, etc. Good basic food but a bit on the pricey side - $17 for a soup and salad combo for lunch. Good, efficient service.

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TE
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

It is convenient as we live upstairs in OP. The food is OK

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SP
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Sourdough and raisin rolls tasted hard like they have been sitting in the warmer for several hours.

We were not impressed with the salty and greasy batter on the beer battered fish and chips. Panko crust on the fish and chips would have greatly improved the taste and texture. Suggestion to Chef: Either cut the amount of salt used to marinade the fish and/or decrease the amount of salt used to prepare this dish. Fish is already salty and loaded with natural flavor. Too much salt is overkill. Try a different batter for your fish and chips, you might be surprised.

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s
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the moment we walked in we enjoyed our evening. The hostess is fantaastic and even came over to check our meal later. We loved the latkes and stuffed mushrooms and then my friend had a bluecheese iceberg wedge and I had a bowl of Russian Cabbage soup which was so good - with brisket. I love going to Max's before attending the ballet and have been doing so for years. I think there have been lots of improvements and the staff is terrific. And the piano man and singing waiters is a lot of fu

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K
San Francisco
65 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Max's has great comfort food and their serving sizes are always extremely generous. The restaurant's decor needs updating badly, but the good food continues. It's always nice to hear the piano being played and singing while dining, but I wish the volume could be turned down. Sometimes it's simply too loud to have a conversation, especially if you are sitting in the room with the piano itself. We will return!

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TG
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

We have usually had excellent experiences at Max's but this time, not so much. The service was very slow, mostly I think, because our server was also the entertainment. We got our drinks relatively quickly, but everything else took a very long time. The table next to us ordered a bottle of wine, and it was delivered, but by the time someone came to open it, they told them to take it back as they wanted to have wine with their appetizers and it was far past that time. We ordered wine before our entrees came, and the wine didn't get to us until we were almost done with our entrees (which everyone enjoyed). I think in the case where a server is also singing, they ought to have somebody backing her up. Anyway, this trip to Max's was disappointing. We will probably hesitate to go there in the future.

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BS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

reliably good food, good service, pleasant atmosphere. Can be noisy at times.

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I
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

I enjoyed the piano player and the singing servers, Dawn and Brian! Unique!!

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WM
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Server was excellent with great recommendations. Food was outstanding.

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D
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Max's is conveniently located close to Davies Symphony Hall and the San Francisco Opera House, so for that reason, it is where we often go. The food is good and the portions are generous. Service is also prompt.

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b
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyed our simple but delicious sandwiches and wine and easy-going atmosphere of Max's Cafe. Price was right too. Thank you.

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e
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

I ate a Pastrami on Rye. It was cold, dry and very lean. This is a travesty. It should be hot, moist and FATTY! I used to be that way years ago. I don't need the restaurant to look after my coronary arteries. I just want the authentic thing when I order Hot Pastrami on Rye.

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K
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have always loved Max's in both Burlingame and San Francisco at Opera Plaza...for me it's Guys Salad first, then the Meatloaf is really great...and the burgers are divine. Once I have ruled each of the above out, I always find something wonderful. Next time, though, will make my reservation direct since no Open Table points are given when you make a reservation...so why bother!!~

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D
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

On a Sunday post theatre night, service was extremely slow and food was sub-par. My first visit back to Max's in several years, and my group was very disappointed.

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DW
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Sat near the piano player. Nice ambiance, good food, close to symphony Hall

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SP
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, loved the braised short ribs with mashed potatoes - nicely seasoned and perfect portion size. Chicken pot pie - fabulous. Not busy that evening and the kitchen really produced a lovely meal. My guest was visiting from New York. She loved the fresh baked cookies and brought one home to her husband! Kudos to the baker - always fresh and delicious oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies.

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SP
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service, great pianist on duty, excellent food. A fantastic place to relax after a long day in the office before going off to the SF Symphony or other concert!

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SP
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, delicious entrees and some of the BEST desserts in San Francisco!!!
Much better than Cheesecake Factory!

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OT
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pretty good menu variety, very good service even though it got a little overwhelming with the evening rush, the portions are very honest and the desserts enormous. As an added value, the restaurant is close to the Opera and other venues.

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v
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 4

Worst service. We went after an event at the Opera ariund 3pm. Max’s is usually pretty consistent on food quality. So food was fine, nit exciting, but decent. Our waitress was awful. We had to ask for everything; bread, refills, the bill, etc. It is super expensive for what the food is. I think this will be my last visit for awhile.

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IC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great place for a meal before performances. A very short walk to Opera House and adjacent venues. Very attractive setting, good food, well served. A comfortable place to sit and talk As well.

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JN
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

A bit of a letdown after the very good experiences I've had here. Big issue was waxed paper stuck to the bottom of the potatoes au gratin, which I wound up chewing, and it took some time to figure out what was wrong. Sent my plate back to get this fixed, which took nearly 10 minutes, and when it came back, the ribeye steak was cool, and not as good as in the past. The server and restaurant could and should have handled it better. But it's still a favorite place for food before movie or theater.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

I originally didn't rate the service because, although our server was excellent, there were long delays in bringing our food. She did everything possible to mitigate the situation, which probably was due to the crowd for New Year's Eve. I've now rated the service as outstanding because you wouldn't accept an incomplete review and to give credit to our server, but I still want to note the delays.

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PD
Tahoe
17 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as always. Love they they take reservations on opentable.

Food is always fresh and yummy. Huge portions.

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LC
Hawaii
8 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

New Years Eve pre symphony dinner of 9, great location as we headed to the symphony after dinner.

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M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent. Had great chicken but must say my Partners chicken pot pie was to die for,

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J
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

We went for NYE and had a great time before the symphony! Had a guy at the piano and even a singing waitress! And such a great deal for dining out on NYE!

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P
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food is consistently good with more than sufficient serving size. The service is normally great which adds to the experience.

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