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.
I have been eating at Max's for the past 20 years, and I have to say that the quality of the food and service have declined over the years. We recently ate there before a show and the restaurant was fairly full, but there is no excuse for the apparent understaffing both of the wait staff and in the kitchen. Our server took about 10-15 minutes to greet us, but as she had over 8 tables to serve (maybe more) she can't be faulted. What can be faulted is the 25 minute wait for our food to arrive, supposedly because the kitchen was backed up. When my sloppily made Philly Cheesesteak did arrive, it was only warm, not hot, which means that it had been sitting out for a while. Yes they were busy with the pre-show crowd, but because of their location near the performing arts centers, you would think that they would be able to deal with this.
The restaurant offers good food, extensive menu, large portions.
Fall back place for after show meal or snacks. Huge sandwiches
Repeat customer for years before concerts. Had reservations. Overbooked, understaffed, lukewarm overcooked food. Waiter was apologetic, but unable to get water & bread to table in under 40 minutes & meal within an hour. Doubtful we will return.
We booked a table an hour and a half before an opera matinee. Arriving on time, we were forced in a queue like a ride at Disneyland, right alongside open containers of coleslaw and potato salad, which seemed sort of a health hazard. Immediate mental note: don't order the coleslaw or potato salad. We waited in line for at least ten minutes just to get to the hostess, even though there were only two parties in front of us. All the while, we watched warm food put out by the kitchen --which is open to the line we were in -- sit there, unattended. I'm sure it was stone cold by the time it made it to its poor eaters. Finally at our table, no one ever came. For another twenty minutes. I got the attention of the waiter serving the table next to us, who then got a different waiter and they proceeded to argue over whose table we were, neither wanting ownership. They had to get the manager to sort it. The appetizer we ordered came with the entrees, which I so hate. Belongs in the why bother category. We chugged our food down in ten minutes so we'd make the opera on time. The nicest part of the meal was when a guest got up to play the piano - he was quite good. But the management asked him to stop after two songs.
I took my wife and family for our 31 st anniv and stated that in my reservation and ws never acknoledeged. to top it off there was am ouse that ran thru the restaurant and sacred my daughter while we were eating.
Menu is varied enough so everyone in party is happy. Ambience is SF fun for exurbanites in town for performances. Service is always good. The food is terrific and reasonably priced. My friends and I are always happy at Max's.
My husband enjoyed a delicious Reuben, loaded with corned beef and I had the ultimate grilled cheese. Nothing fancy, just delicious! Easy walk to the SF Jazz Center. Free parking in Sunday.
the opera singer was fantastic. The prime rib special was pretty good, not spectacular but fine. I will go back and try other dishes. Service was great!
A real San Francisco gem - with especially reasonable prices and really good food! Perfect spot for a meal after attending matinee symphony performance at Davies Hall.
I've been to Max's a million times since it opened. It was a great place to go before opera, symphony, ballet. But this time was a HUGE disappointment. Our table had no cloth and it was yucky sticky. The menu is far less than it used to be. The service was horrid. My lamb burger came with au jus rather than the tzatziki sauce, so they had to take it back, but the lamb burger was as thin as paper too. Very very disappointing, and I don't think I'll ever go back again. Not sure what happened, but they need to step it up.
Portions always generous. Food good. Service was good and all priced reasonably.
This is a great find. No matter what you feel like eating, you will find something on this menu. They have traditional deli food but also great appetizers. Watch out though - you better be hungry because the portions are large. Great to take home for another meal though. Very nice atmosphere - you can here your friends talk even though there is a pianist. The music is actually background music and does not overwhelm. A very delightful evening.
BUT, it seemed that the staff is overworked...that there is a long wait between courses. We arrived at 5:20PM and just made the opera, arriving there two hours later, not having time to finish our dinner.
I am a BIG fan of Max's. I tend to go before every opera or ballet performance I attend. Saturday was my first opera of the season so I booked a reservation for 5:45 for a 7:30 opera- wanted to take it slow since it was also an Anniversary dinner. We didn't get our food until 7:10. I was so annoyed that our dinner was rushed because of who knows what was happening in the kitchen....
The food was good but, my partner was so on edge he said he may never go back again. It took forever for everyone else to receive their food as well.
Additionally, when I called Saturday afternoon to confirm my OpenTable reservation, the General Manager gave me major attitude- "why are you calling, didn't they send you a confirmation??" Unbelievable.
It took about 30 minutes from the time we asked for water to receive any. And it took 75 minutes to get our food... and we had about 10 minutes to scarf it down before we had to run to the Opera. We barely made it in time. Our waitress was highly apologetic but only AT the time we received the food. It was nearly impossible to flag her down to request her assistance with tracking down our order.
Not sure what the food tasted like since we had to eat it so fast.
What a frustrating experience.
We made 5:30 reservations (party of 3) and were seated promptly upon arrival. We ordered an appetizer, entrees and wine, then waited over 15 minutes for a single, shared appetizer. My glass of wine was served about halfway through the appetizer. Our entrees (crab cakes and pasta dishes) took also took a while before we were served. We arrived at Davies Hall around in plenty of time for the concert, but we missed most of the pre-concert talk which we had hoped to attend. Overall, the food was good and the portions large enough to satisfy the teenaged boy in our party. I just wish the table service was more prompt.
10 mins before we met our server. Asked for burger medium.. It was well done. Grandmas chicken was dry also. Good mashed potatoes. Asked for check when food arrived, cause who knows when we would have seen waitress again. Close to opera house. Not worth $40+ price. Go to McDonald's across the street instead.
Come to Max's Opera Cafe for good food and sizable portions. Basic American food like burgers and sandwiches as well as steak, chicken and salmon will be found on the menu. Don't miss the dinner rolls with the raisins and be sure to have some dessert before you leave. My favorite is the hot fudge sundae. It is well sized for sharing. Enjoy!
Thought we would give it one more pre-Opera try - what a mistake! Service nonexistent, 40 minutes for 2 salads and one had the core of the lettuce included. Need I say more?
Max's is always reliable. They've changed their menu yet again but that didn't dissuade us from getting our usual wedge salad. The patty melt, medium rare, was divine and we finished off with our favorite macaroon crumble sundae. The service was a solid good. I tried two different red wines, both of which were undrinkable, but Max's may just not be the place for a nice glass of wine. This particular evening the noise level was high as the world series was on the tv. Always love the piano background music.
We have eaten here several times. For what they do, they do well. This was the slowest service we have ever had, but they were overwhelmed with a large crowd and some staff did not come to work. It is a good place, and a good value, pleasant staff, good sized portions of good food, and we will definitely return.
Their motto: "This is a bad place for a diet."
My first dining experience at Max's Opera Cafe was in 1991 when my husband and I first moved to San Francisco from Iowa. It was a special night. We love that many of the waiters and waitresses are students in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. My husband is a classical musician. Whenever we attend concerts at Davies Symphony Hall, the Palace of the Fine Arts, SF Jazz Center, or the War Memorial Opera Center, we always eat at Max's. My daughter and granddaughters also love Max's because we always eat at this restaurant after attending a SF Ballet event. October 17th was my 67th birthday, and, of course, we celebrated at Max's before attending a concert.
and falling further each visit. time for a redo of this long time "go-to" for pre-preformance light dinners
Max's has a new menu, much less interesting than before and omitting many favorites. Our waiter was hard to find and not good when he appeared. He brought a wine cooler with our champagne, but left the bottle sitting on the table. He never attempted to refill our wine glasses. The apparent manager didn't seem to understand English very well.
I ordered a Caesar salad with chicken. Though the dressing was good, the chicken was overly salted--it was more than merely salty; it was salty as hell. The romaine lettuce could have been fresher, as well. My companion ordered the Chinese chicken salad and found that there too the chicken was much too salty.
Close to the Opera, Davies Hall, and the Conservatory of Music, Max's is the perfect spot for pre performance dining. Good food. Good service. Reasonable prices.
I have never had a bad meal or service at Max's. This is a great place to meet friends for good food and consistently good service. Try your best to save room for one of the huge deserts to share with your party.
Would never eat there except for the connivence when going to the opera. Ala carte menu hasn't changed and is too limited- buffet is not worth the price. There is no applicable answer for question 2, but I was forced to randomly select one just to end review.
Serving staff were very helpful......................................................................................................................................................
This place use to be a special place. We went here before going to opera. All the good restaurants were booked. The place wasn't all that busy but it took several minutes (10+ minutes) to get service. I asked 3 times for water. When the food came the Salmon was over cooked, the potatos tasted bland (almost out of the box taste!), and vegetables were over cooked. The nats flying around the table (several of them not just one) were a nuisance. The overall atmosphere seemed dated and smell of the restaurant smelled of old grease. This place has seen it's better days.
Max's is our go-to restaurant when we don't feel like a fancy, expensive dinner before the opera or the symphony in San Francisco. It is conveniently located within walking distance of both Davies Symphony Hall and the War Memorial Opera House. The food and service are consistently good. Their salads are always outstanding, especially their shrimp louie. My husband loves the Rueben and fries. The wait staff is generally well-trained and friendly, although often short-handed because on weekends, the place is always very, very busy. I recommend making a reservation, which is possible, if one thinks about doing it well ahead of time (like at least a week). Then one avoids sitting in the waiting area worrying about being late for the concert.
My brunch experience left much to be desired. I ordered lox, onions and eggs, a favorite of mine in various Max's establishment. But the lox was watery and the eggs were dry. The peach cobbler, that had held such promise in the menu picture was tasteless. It was very noisy as well. The one bright spot was the service. The waitstaff was very attentive and couldn't do enough for us. Bring back the Max's I used to know.
Overall experience was good. Food was good and service excellent which was nice since we had a large group. Only drawback was the ambiance. The restaurant was very warm and everyone in the group took notice.
Always enjoy the great deli menu and good food. Usually service is very good, but not this time. It was still early, but they were overwhelmed, so we weren't even served by our designated server. However, the worst part was I know I left my credit card in the wallet with the check, but the next day they said they didn't have it. Caused me to have to cancel the card, which is more of a hassle than anything.
Years ago I loved Max's Opera Cafe. In more recent time, the food quality has been sliding badly. This last trip was my last. I will not go back, which I find sad because it has been such a great institution. However, our dinners were tasteless. An old standby, Guy's Chinese Chicken Salad is covered on top with sliced fried chicken that is more fry than chicken and very little flavor. I kept getting bites that were completely fried breading without chicken. The salad underneath had far too much dressing and was not nearly as robust as it has been in the past. Similarly, my dining companion's meal was also notably lacking. Adios, Max's. There are too many restaurants offering much better quality in the neighborhood.
I had a terrible week and my mother came into S.F. to cheer me up by taking me to brunch at Max's and I couldn't any happier. Love the food options and the fact that is an upscale diner makes it easy to bring casual to special occasions to the venue. Love Max's.
I ordered my old-time favorite, sausage & shrimp with peppers, and the sauce that it was in was pretty bad and not like I remember it. Also, it was served with rye bread toasts which I never would have paired it with. Unfortunately, I would not order it again, what a shame
The food and service were very good but we were so warm. There are bright lights that shine down on the tables in the first dining area near the kitchen.
Food is usually a pretty good portion and tastes decent.