About Max's Opera Cafe

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.

601 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, Comfort Food

Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 2:00pm; Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
Golden Gate

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 771-7300

Website:
http://maxsworld.com/

Entertainment:
Max’s at the Opera Cafe features live music seven nights a week. Servers not only provide guests with superior service but entertain them as well. Diners can expect an array of musical styling's ranging from Opera to musical theater. The "singing servers" are accompanied by a live pianist, who from time to time will perform for the crowd. The entertainment begins at 6:00 pm Monday- Thursday and 6:30pm Friday –Sunday.

Catering:
We have on -premise catering services, perfect for office lunches, meetings and less formal parties. Max’s Delivery or To Go can bring our fantastic food to you. We will deliver within San Francisco, or you can pick up your order at a predetermined time, for a fantastic yet cost effective event. For an additional fee, Max's offers service staff for set-up and maintenance of your event. Please contact our Catering Department for more information.

Parking Details:
Valet parking is located beneath the restaurant on Golden Gate Avenue. Street parking is also available.

Public Transit:
BART - Civic Center Station.

SF Muni - Lines 5 Fulton, 31 Balboa,
47&49 Van Ness

Executive Chef:
Carlos Salcedo

Private Party Facilities:
Max's has a semi private dining area that can accommodate up to 48 people.

Private Party Contact:
Michael Adams: (415) 501-0222

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Max's Opera Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.5

service

3.6

ambience

3.6

value

3.5

Noise

Moderate

73% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (31)
Comfort Food (30)
Casual (23)
See All
Great for Lunch (18)
Quick Bite (17)
Business Meals (10)
Live Music (10)
Bar Seating (9)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Sunday Lunch (8)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Good for a Date (7)
Fun (7)
Authentic (6)
Kid-friendly (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Late-night Find (6)
People Watching (6)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Great for Brunch (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Healthy (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Special Occasion (3)
Cozy (2)
Creative Cuisine (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Romantic (1)
Scenic View (1)
Vegan (1)
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967 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

We come regularly before the symphony and almost always enjoy it.

Tags: Comfort Food
1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
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service2
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

Max's is a decent restaurant for a pre opera/symphony meal.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Even on a slow night the service was even slower.

Food was just Fair.

Desserts were good.

It was hard to get around the burnt smell of the restaurant emanating from the kitchen.

The restaurant was FAR better with Max's owned it and before it was sold out as a franchise. Not

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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 14, 2017

Max's is always a good spot for a good meal! Our server was excellent as well!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Comfort Food, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Kid-friendly, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 14, 2017

My turkey burger was like slightly tender shoe leather, maybe a frozen turkey patty thawed out and slapped on the grill. The fries were good. Over-priced and unappealing.

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food1
ambience3
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 13, 2017

The chicken salad I ordered had dried chicken but the menu description did not provide that detail and I don't like fried chicken. And the booth seat I sat had a large rip in it not even duck taped.

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food1
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

The convenience when going to the performing arts locations cannot be discounted. However the restaurant has all the signs of aging and in fact it does belong to the past. Tables are sticky and very unpleasant to touch, bench seats uncomfortable and chairs creaky. Food is not too exciting after few visits and there is not much of a rotation in the menu. Overall this place has all the signs of a downhill decline in quality other than their prices.

Tags: Casual
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food2
ambience2
service4
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 12, 2017

While the food was very tasty the portions were ridiculously large. Two people in our party ordered chicken pot pie but one was large enough for 3 people . The waiter should have advised us of this when we ordered. Since we were traveling the next day we couldn't take it home. Sad waste of food and money.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

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

I had the crab salad! WOW! Fantastic! One of their best salads ever!!! My husband had their shrimp Louis — also fresh and totally delicious!

Our waiter was either overworked or slow; we had to wait too long on our requests. Otherwise, our meal was fine.

Tags: Late-night Find, Bar Seating, Disabled Access, Good for Groups, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience3
service3
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We often go to Max's before a symphony, opera, or ballet. The food is very good, and the service is good, although if they don't know you need to get finished at a reasonable and/or specific time, it can be slow. We had a 5:30 reservation, and were late to a 7PM talk at Davies.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour
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food5
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service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 4, 2017

it's ok. Not very exciting. Menu was much better 1 year or 2 ago. was served cold fries.

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food3
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service2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Great food and excellent service!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 1, 2017

Very poor food

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 31, 2017

Great Swiss and Mushroom Burger - LOVE the Tuesday Lunch Special. Food was piping hot and it looked as good as it tasted!

Outstanding server, Miguel, gets it right every time! Kudos Miguel if we could just clone you!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Afternoon Coffee, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

Food was COLD had to send it back -Returned a bit warmer-Staff didn’t understand that food should be served hot on warm plates
Don’t bother ☹️☹️☹️

Tags: Late-night Find
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food2
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service3
value2

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Much improved. The staff made an effort to be friendly and attentive. Good job guys/gals.

Tags: Quick Bite, Bar Seating
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food3
ambience5
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Great bistro atmosphere with piano and singing in the bar area.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Luncheon entrees are often inconsistent. I had a fabulous lunch last month and it was mediocre today. Server Veronica is always cheerful and takes great care of us every time. She always gets our order right and she checks on our table often. Managers were seen interacting with guests. Restaurant was clean and tidy. I would recommend this restaurant for a business lunch and when it is not too busy.

Tags: Business Meals, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 15, 2017

It was good. I liked it. Hope to come next time. Thanks!

Tags: Kid-friendly
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 12, 2017

Great spot pre-music for both the SF Opera and Symphony, both just down the street. Old fashioned ambiance, has been here a long time. I can just imagine some regulars have their daily dinners here.

Tags: Good for a Date, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Live Music, People Watching, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 12, 2017

Perfect place for an efficiently prepared dinner before going to the cosert or opera. Staff knowledgeable about the routine and readily accommodate. Quality of food is between fast food ordinarily. Not gourmet by any means. Quality is large usually and the roast beef particularly very good. Piano player plays his instrument softly.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
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service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Location near Symphony, Opera and Ballet are great. Convenient place to dine for a business lunch for those of us who work in or near City Hall.

Tags: Casual, Business Meals, Great for Lunch
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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

The food is very tasty and portions very generous. Great matzo ball soup, pastrami, corn beef, egg dishes, full dinners, fab desserts.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Quick Bite, Worth the Drive, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Comfort Food, Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Max's is always good but I tried the chicken parmesan and it was not up to their standard for food. Pasta dry with a lot of oil on it. I would stick to the sandwiches -

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
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service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2017

My wife had an excellent salad and I had a delicious salmon entree . Seated at a cozy booth and served by a delightful waitress. Pop live piano music created very enjoyable atmosphere

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food4
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service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Max's used to be our go to restaurant, bar none, when going to the opera or ballet.
It was upscale, fun, busy and sophisticated. Now, not so much. The place could
use an upgrade, new table tops, new carpet, sharply dressed wait staff, and any
other considerations that wouldn't erase or replace the wonderful ambience of this
wonderful, New York style deli.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
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service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 29, 2017

Table was sticky. My meat patty had a piece of bone in it. Service was poor. Error with bill. Would not go again.

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

My sister and I ordered our standard fare: hot corned beef sandwiches with coleslaw. The coleslaw was made with too much mayonnaise, the rye bread and corned beef weren't nearly as good as they used to be.

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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Wonderful service from hostess and waitress. Wish we could get old fashion lox and bagel.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Not what it used to be. Quite disappointed. Had the Brisket platter and it was very fatty.

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food2
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

We had a reservation and explained that we only had an hour and 15 minutes to eat. It took forever to get our waiter to show up and then come back to take our order. The 3 of us each ordered matzo ball soup, half a pastrami sandwich and iced tea that finally showed up 15 minutes before we were due back at our class. We asked for the check at this time and it again took forever to get. The soup was good, but the pastrami sandwich was only a small pile of pastrami on a cold slice of bread and nothing else. The bill came to $22.60 with tip per person. To top it all off, of course we were late getting back to our class a block away...not a good experience!!

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food3
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service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Unfortunately Max's was not ready for the big rush of people that all came at 12:30 from an event at the nearby Herbst theater. There was not adequate wait staff or kitchen staff to accommodate this lunch crowd. Many people waited over half an hour to receive their food, and some could only take their food to go to return to the event to the afternoon portion of the event.

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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

We were to attend 4 lectures at the Herbst Theater through One Day University so we made reservations at Max's. I asked if we could get served and eat within an hour since we were only given an hour and 15 minutes for lunch. The answer was yes. At lunchtime we walked fast and was at the beginning of the line. There were many, many people behind us. Still it took awhile to be seated. After ordering quickly, we waited while all the people around us got served. When we flagged down a waiter he got our meals. We had to gulp half the food, took half with us, and were the last to get back to the Theater and had missed about ten minutes of the lecture.

We suggest a separate line for those with reservations since many did not have any. Knowing about a special event which would bring more patrons, that more chefs and servers be hired for the occasion or just not except the number of patrons who would all order and need to be served at the same time. The restaurant couldn't handle this lunch as many, who had been served, had their lunch packed up. A horrible experience for us and many others.

Tags: Casual, Vegan, Healthy
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food5
ambience4
service1
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

I have been going to Max's since it opened - always good food, good service, and comfortable place to eat before symphony, opera, ballet, or other event in the Civic Center area. There is a nice selection of appetizers, and I have been known to have two appetizers for my dinner.
I especially like the Russian soup and the Reuben sandwich.

Tags: Quick Bite, Fit for Foodies, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

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

Any conversation between two people is almost impossible---especially the front dining room. Portions are too big and service was rushed.

Is there some way you can make sections of the restaurant sound proof and/or better acousticlly? It would help so much.

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food2
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 17, 2017

Portions are large. Food is good. I would recommend it to friends.

Tags: Casual, Kid-friendly, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 17, 2017

We have eaten at Max's for years, but lately it seems the food quality has declined. All members of our party felt the food was mediocre.

Tags: Casual
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food2
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 16, 2017

The hostess gave the couple ahead of us a choice of tables even though they had no reservation. She seated us at a too-large booth that was tucked next to the bar and behind the piano. When we asked to sit in a booth near the window, she told us it was reserved. Sorry, isn't that what a reservation is all about? The server was obviously put out to have us at his table. Although we had bread plates, he never brought us a basket of rolls, nor offered a refill for my soda. Inexcusable. We won't go back.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 14, 2017

Excellent service from server, Brian. My lunch was cooked to perfection exactly as I ordered it.
Keep the lunch and dinner exactly as is. GM Will is the best GM this location has had possibly since inception. When Will is in the house, food is expedited piping hot, we do not wait for our order, service is perfect and the restaurant always looks and smells clean.

Tags: Casual, Quick Bite, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 13, 2017

The service was just awful. This is not my first time at this restaurant, but sadly the service was completely unacceptable and the experience was not very pleasant. We will not return for a while.

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food4
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