Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.10mi
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  3. Distance: 0.19mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.10mi
  2. Distance: 0.12mi
  3. Distance: 0.19mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi
  1. Distance: 0.10mi
  2. Distance: 0.12mi
  3. Distance: 0.19mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi

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

3.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.5

service

3.7

ambience

3.6

value

3.5

Noise

Moderate

75% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (33)
Comfort Food (29)
Great for Lunch (24)
See All
Casual (23)
Quick Bite (17)
Business Meals (16)
Fun (11)
Good for a Date (10)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Good for Groups (9)
Live Music (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Kid-friendly (8)
Late-night Find (8)
People Watching (8)
Sunday Lunch (8)
Good for Birthdays (8)
Authentic (7)
Happy Hour (7)
Great for Brunch (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Cozy (5)
Fit for Foodies (5)
Special Occasion (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Afternoon Coffee (4)
Healthy (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Creative Cuisine (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Great Beer (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Romantic (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Scenic View (1)
Vegan (1)
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994 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

Food was great, but service was slow. In fairness to Max’s, the place was packed that night with symphony and ballet goers .

Tags: Live Music, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Kid-friendly
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food3
ambience3
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

We have been to Max's many times over the years but weredisappointed this time. Not only was it very noisy, the service was rushed, and the food was cold. I had to send back the "crispy" onion strings that came with the beef sliders because they actually were soggy and cold. They did quickly replace them with hot crispy ones, though, so that was good. Not sure we will continue to go there.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

Max's is a go to place when in the area! Good Food, Live piano player, unfortunately this time the service was very slow.

Tags: Quick Bite, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Live Music, Comfort Food, Late-night Find
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

Very nice place to take my mom and mother in law after a matinee. Everything was as ordered, as usual the portions were generous.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined 7 days ago

Short staffed on a Saturday night at 10:30 with a wave of patrons entering after events in the area. We left our table before being attended to presuming we would not be served in a reasonable time.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined 7 days ago

Server was a bit pushy in the beginning as I waited for my friends to arrive, forgot to bring bread and au juice sauce for my friend's prime rib. Pushy to get us to order, unattentive on the details.

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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 7 days ago

Excellent service and great food. Needed to get in and out fairly quickly for the Opera and the hostess and waiter did an excellent job to keep things moving but didn't feel rushed even with the large crowd. I had the Ruben which was tasty with lots of meat. Very good overall.

Tags: Casual, Fun, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 9, 2017

Our bi-yearly get together was perfect at Max's. We all had a brunch and desserts. We left feeling spoiled and indulged.

Tags: Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Great for Lunch, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 9, 2017

A Holiday tradition ... friends gather at Max's for dinner then San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus concert. Menu has something for everyone AND the fact hat a reservation can be made, makes it the perfect spot to meet up. A tad TOO loud for casual catch up conversation.... but that's the restaurant's vibe. Not much you can do about that!

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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 8, 2017

This is a fun place to go for lunch and/or with a group. We went for a birthday lunch & they brought out a surprise bowl of ice cream with a candle. Nice touch. I would love to see more vegan options.

Tags: Fun, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 8, 2017

They were disorganized from the beginning. The table was dirty and the server not forthcoming with the enormous size of the portions for our kids who could have shared. The meatloaf was inedible and the server told us she would take it off the bill and then didn’t. We will never go there again.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined on December 8, 2017

We were caught in bad traffic and was rushed to get something to eat before the symphony. Our wait person was so accommodating to our timeline and we were able to eat and made to our show on time.

Tags: Fun
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 7, 2017

Served food cold and served wrong order so that one in our group when served late had to rush to make the Opera. If not close to War Mem. Opera House would never eat there. Need to find a better place close to Opera House. Any suggestions?

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
·Dined on December 4, 2017

Max's is getting too expensive. At over $20 per person, there are a lot of choices close by that offer a better value. Size does not equate to value.

Tags: People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals
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food4
ambience3
service4
value2

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

Symphony and opera goers beware that this is not a place for a nice meal before your event. This is a coffee shop with a piano in it. The food is marginal at best and the cocktails are awful. It is loud, extremely bright with no table cloths, paper napkins and an overall coffee shop attitude. There were many people dressed for the symphony when we were there and all looked as disappointed as we were. A place to avoid at any time really.

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

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

Good food and great server - Veronica. Prices are a bit high.

Tags: Business Meals, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 3, 2017

Better post than pre theatre, service was fun a little slow given the time thus the post thought.
Your sandwiches are a 10 the entrees because of size slips somewhat (I live with great cooks). It's hard when folks read cook books and think about dinners when they get up in the morning.
Our server was the kicker in the whole experience

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 2, 2017

1. Seats (vinyl bench-like seats) were lopsided, the vinyl torn. 2. Our entrees came at 7:15, 45 minutes after we'd been seated, even though I had told the server that we had an 8:00 performance to get to. 3. The server told me twice that the entrees were on the way, but they weren't. It was only when I got up to find the server that he finally brought our entrees. 4. When it finally arrived, my companion's roast beef dinner was lukewarm and he said that it tasted only so-so. My shrimp Lous not only looked unappetizing but had no taste and in fact, from the looks of the shrimp, I wondered whether they were fresh and whether they'd even been cooked properly. I left most of it uneaten. 5. Before leaving, we used the restrooms. The ladies' room was, literally, a mess, with paper towels strewn around, no toilet paper in my stall, and generally uncared-for. What happened to Max's? I have eaten here many times over the years, but last night was such an unpleasant experience overall that I will likely not ever come back.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 2, 2017

We were a party of 9 who arrived on time for a 5:45 preshow meal. We order drinks and two people ordered salads. Our meals came at 7:20. Many smaller parties were seated, served, ate and left before our food was served. The salad plates were never cleared, water was never refilled. The manager who was alerted to the problem never visited the table. Inexcusably poor service.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Prior to a recent Sunday matinee opera, my friend and I enjoyed eggs Benedict and cocktails. The eggs and roast potatoes were cooked appropriately. Each of us enjoyed our meal—one was the original recipe, and the other was the vegetarian option with Portabello mushroom and spinach. The dishes would be enhanced with a small portion of fresh fruit to complement the savory flavors.

The mimosa was fine, but the Bloody Mary was marred by way too much Worcestershire sauce that overpowered the otherwise bright flavors and made the beverage dark brown.

Service was attentive and the meals came out in a timely manner, which allowed us to dine without rushing before our opera event.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Almost always, when I visit Max's, I order and enjoy a Reuben and a beer. However, most recent visit, on Thanksgiving, was disappointing. I was OK with the reduced menu, and in fact expected it, although it was not mentioned on the website. We ordered turkey dinners: Lots of dark meat (not my favorite); broccoli under-cooked, if cooked at all; no gravy on the potatoes.
The bistro salad was full of good things and satisfying, so there's that.
We did not stay for dessert.
The drinks here are always generous.
Overall, this meal was so/so; next visit I'm back to my Reuben and a beer.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

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

Good solid deli food. (Pastrami heated a little too much -- dried it out, but otherwise delicious).
Excellent drinks.

Tags: Live Music
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Perfect place to go before the opera! Ten minute walk from BART and 5 minutes to War Memorial Opera House. We had a 5:45 reservation and were seated immediately. Service was prompt and helpful; no problem getting out in time for a 7:30 show. HUGE servings....probably only need an hors d'oevre which leaves some room for an amazing dessert. This time, we had stuffed mushrooms (yum!), meatloaf and mash potatoes (humongous!), the salmon salad (couldn't finish it all!) and double tier carrot cake (over the top!). Good thing we were walking to the Opera House!

Tags: Live Music, Happy Hour, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 20, 2017

This is an excellent restaurant for a pre-symphony or pre-opera meal.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

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

Excellent server, Brian, made sure my special requests were perfectly executed. My lunch looked beautiful and tasted great! He refilled my beverage without my asking.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

The service was very slow, even though there were few diners when we arrived. The chicken was VERY dry with little flavor and just looked like it had been defrosted and plopped on top of a few greens for a "salad" as the meat was barely warm. Other diners were also complaining about service and quality of their meals. By the time we had gotten our food the restaurant was quite full. We had to hound the staff for our check and then to get the bill taken care of. Will not return.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

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

Good old fashioned deli food. Very caloric but tasty. Good cocktails and live piano & singing.
Fun for groups.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Good for Groups
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food3
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 18, 2017

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
ambience1
service2
value1

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

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 on November 15, 2017

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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food2
ambience1
service2
value2

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
service3
value2

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
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (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
ambience4
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
ambience3
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

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