Nearby points of interest

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

3.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.5

service

3.6

ambience

3.6

value

3.6

Noise

Moderate

74% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (32)
Comfort Food (31)
Casual (24)
See All
Great for Lunch (21)
Quick Bite (18)
Business Meals (12)
Bar Seating (10)
Live Music (10)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Good for a Date (9)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Fun (7)
Good for Groups (7)
Late-night Find (7)
Authentic (7)
Great for Brunch (6)
Kid-friendly (6)
People Watching (6)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Fit for Foodies (5)
Happy Hour (5)
Healthy (5)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Special Occasion (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Cozy (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Creative Cuisine (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Romantic (1)
Scenic View (1)
Vegan (1)
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971 reviews
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 (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
ambience3
service3
value2

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service1
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 13, 2017

Max's is not what it used to be. Menu is so limited now, I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, and it came with no bacon. The decor is old and tired, above our table was taped a Christmas Season ribbon.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 21, 2017

Our server, Bryan, was very accommodating and pleasant. The food was great and the entertainment by the staff was lovely.

Tags: Fun, Comfort Food, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 19, 2017

We had brunch at Max's on a Saturday. The restaurant was very quiet with few people there and the service was good, but the food was mediocre at best. I guess brunch is not their best meal. We have enjoyed their food at dinner time.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

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

used to be quite a delight to eat here. the quality of the food has gone way down and the prices way up. floating on reputation from what it used to be.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 17, 2017

This is actually for another day. Went here with coworkers for lunch a week ago. We were at two tables. The first table got the food pretty quickly. The other food had to complain twice and got their food an hour later. After eating part of the meal people noticed the bread was MOLDY!!? How the heck can a restaurant serve spoiled food. The manager didn't really apologize and only took $20 off the bill. Does anyone think we should call the health department?

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food2
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 14, 2017

My family and I ate at Max's after attending an afternoon symphony performance. We were not greeted too friendly when we checked in (had made reservations) and there was some confusion on where exactly we should wait for a table. (The hostess eventually became friendly over the course of our meal. ) Once seated, the tables felt like they had not been properly washed in years. Sticky comes to mind. And the tables that we were seated at were wobbly-needed to be leveled better. The bathroom was pretty messy too. The service was just so-so and although the food descriptions sounded tasty, they were just ok. We picked this place to eat because we were a relatively large party (6 people) and due to its proximity to the concert hall, but I wouldn't eat here again-at least for awhile. Needs a good clean and the food needs a little more flavor.

Tags: Live Music
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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Horrible service - had to wait 20 min for someone to take our order. Another 30 min for food. Had to seek out our order, which was sitting on the counter. Soup luke warm. Two bread plates had to be returned because they were dirty. No bread ever brought to the table. Bathroom dirty, trash full. Tissue on floors of stalls. Awful experience. Food just edible, and presentation...meh. Used to be a fun place to go - what a pit!

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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined on August 12, 2017

Despite my reservation the restaurant was closed. Apparently Max did not update open table about his plan to close for the day.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Enjoyed the pianist and singing wait staff. This is the thing that sets the restaurant apart from others.

Tags: Fun, Casual, Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating, Live Music
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food2
ambience4
service3
value3

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

Sadly this once-impressive restaurant group has sunk to the level of below par truck stop. Table tops indeed are sticky. Food quality is mediocre, and the joy of the NY-style deli cafe is gone. Unfortunately the choice of pre-concert/opera/show food is Max's, frou frou, or Mc-level burgers or other fast food, but better to pick one level or the other and let Max sink into oblivion.

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food1
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 11, 2017

The food was all very for all of us, but one order was incorrect, and that person had quite a wait before her correct main course arrived. We came early and also had a reservation, in order to make a curtain time at Davies. That was fine. Three of four of us had food to take home. The other, more careful in his menu selection, had just enough. We had to have dessert of course.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Afternoon Coffee
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 6, 2017

Just fair but good before movies at Opera Plaza.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 6, 2017

The food was mediocre and overpriced. $75 for a rib eye served with a sad little baked potato and flavorless creamed spinach, a bowl of soup and a side salad and a root beer. The restaurant seems outdated and dirty. My table had a sticky film on it that comes from years of use. The booth "leather" was well worn. The clientele was an odd mix...it was a senior crowd mixed with what looked like homeless people and a couple families sprinkled in. The piano playing in the background was lovely, until the singing started. Overall, a terrible experience. With so many choices in the city, this one will not make the list again.

Tags: Comfort Food
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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 6, 2017

Very consistent food quality. Lots of variety and choices. Great place to go before or after an event at Davies or Opera House.
Very polite and efficient service. The entertainment is a nice bonus.
And they make a great martini!

Tags: Quick Bite, Pre/post Theatre, Late-night Find
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

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

I've eaten the Guy's Chinese Chicken Salad many times over the years. This was by far the worst.
Chicken was overcooked and very dry. Dressing was super salty, extra thick and not enough. Lettuce was mediocre. All topped by wilted, tasteless cilantro. If I were making that salad I would have been too embarrassed to top my salad with it. The only reason I didn't send it back was that we were in a hurry.

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food1
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Excellent chicken pot pie served piping hot and loaded with chicken - enough leftover for a snack. Server was great - CARLOS!

Tags: Quick Bite, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 29, 2017

I've been going to Max's Opera Plaza since it opened. For an X New Yorker, it fills the need for the old fashioned Jewish deli a la Manhattan. The sandwiches and salads are the right size (enormous), the presentation is deli-traditional, the price is about right and being able to make a reservation, especially when there are performances at the Opera House or Davies, makes it perfect for me. The service can be a little "iffy" as it sometimes appears that they are understaffed. I understand that this is a problem with many restaurants in SF lately due to the high cost of housing.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Fun, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Sunday Lunch, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 27, 2017

Excellent server, Miguel, brought my lunch in record time just the way I ordered it. My hot turkey sandwich was hot and delicious. Nice plating.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Live Music, Comfort Food, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 20, 2017

Always a good experience at Max's. Good food, service and ambiance.

The only downside is finding parking at certain times.

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 17, 2017

We come here often, and usually it is a great experience, but this time we went, the service was very slow, the food was not cooked properly and we were disappointed. The Manage did take off the cost to the lamb that wasn't cooked but would have rather ate a good meal.

But we will go bad as everyone has a bad day!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Live Music, Quick Bite, Comfort Food
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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
·Dined on July 17, 2017

Just wanted to tell you how aweful and disappointing it was to have dinner at the SF location Sunday evening. HOT, NO waiter service,NO singing waiters. It was like being in a old age home dinning room without service. Only one waiter in our section. He was jogging from table to kitchen and you needed to waive a flag to get his attention. And the singing, I have heard better singing in a retirement home versus patron singers. This was the biggest waste of Sunday evening dinner with my daughter and nieces. The only fun about this place was taking bet on which patron was going to go out feet first at the ambulance friendly exit. The temperature was set to retirement home friendly that everyone under 50 were taking off clothes to keep cool. In a word, what a waste. This use to be a great place. But any restaurant in SF would be better than Max's.

Tags: Bar Seating
1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 16, 2017

Huge menu with loads of options and many items are delicious comfort foods. Generous portions, friendly wait staff, who also sometimes double as entertainment, are friendly and fun.
If you want a booth, better reserve far in advance or come in early (4:45PM).

Tags: Live Music, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 15, 2017

The food was delicious and plentiful, and we were seated right away and according to our preferences.

Tags: Comfort Food, Authentic
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 9, 2017

This restaurant used to be competent at basic fare, but they have lost their way. I suspect most of the food isn't cooked to order there anymore. The chicken in my chicken melt sandwich wasn't edible. I think it was cooked the day before and microwaved, and it was barely warm. The cheese wasn't melted (a grilled sandwich is supposed to be a least warm). The chicken was hard, dry, stringy and rubbery. When we told the manager, his only response was, "it's from the same supplier." Huh? Clearly he didn't care. We did not ask for the sandwich to be taken off the bill, but he did anyway. We appreciate that, but we'd rather be heard so others have a good experience, and so this restaurant survives. I fear this will not happen.

My husband did enjoy his sliders and salad. I might have enjoyed my salad if it had not been delivered after the sandwich. It was difficult to get the server's, or anyone's attention. The ambiance is pleasant, though, and piano-playing singer was enjoyable.

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food1
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 8, 2017

very slow service. took 45 minutes to get sandwich and a salad

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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

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

Max's is a comfortable walk from the Opera House and Davies Hall. I had the Skirt Steak Cobb and it was very good. There service was fine. Prices are typical of the City. There was a pianist/singer which I enjoyed, but my friend thought was too loud.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 6, 2017

Food was kind of bland tasting. And expensive so not good value. I'd rather have smaller portions that are more tasty.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 3, 2017

I have going to this restaurant since it has opened, but it feels that has outlived it's time and should close it's doors as the other locations have

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 3, 2017

I was really happy with the food because I wanted something healthy and flavor is important to me. I was going to the movie at Opera Plaza and the location was right next door. The wait staff was very helpful and prompt and the drinks were mixed perfectly. I recommend Max's.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Great for Brunch, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on July 1, 2017

We had reservations for a party of 9 on a Saturday Night pre-theatre. We were immediately seated and our server Gary was awesome - personable, professional and engaged with us on a VERY busy night. We had a great dinner and made it to the play on time! Max's ROCKS!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

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

Our waitress seemed disorganized, and slow. She had to come back to the table to double-check what we'd ordered. There was a long interval between getting the dessert menu and being able to place the order. If we hadn't had opera tickets it wouldn't have mattered, but then if we hadn't had opera tickets we wouldn't have been in the Civic Center area at that time.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value4

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on June 30, 2017

This place has gone down hill. Service was marginal, food was so-so. They only get business due to the location. Otherwise I don't know why anyone would bother coming here to eat.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 29, 2017

I've been here several times. They are very consistent food wise, and we've always enjoyed our meal. The service was a little slower than normal this time; we were almost late for our opera.

Tags: Live Music, Casual, People Watching, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 29, 2017

The food and service were fine. But the reservation system needs
Improvement. I orginally reserved for 4.45pm and changed it
to 5.45 pm. When we got to the restaurant, they could not find
the reservation but seated us anyway. Now
I receive a nasty note that we did not keep our original
4.45 reservation! I trust I will not received some
errant billing for that. Please check this for me.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 27, 2017

The location is great for dinner before the Opera. My friends liked their dinners, but my pasta was very bland.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value4

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

The location at the Stanford Mall is much, much cleaner and a better place for lunch, at least.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

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