Nearby points of interest

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  1. Distance: 0.10mi
  2. Distance: 0.12mi
  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

3.5

Noise

Moderate

71% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (30)
Comfort Food (29)
Casual (22)
See All
Great for Lunch (16)
Quick Bite (16)
Business Meals (10)
Live Music (10)
Bar Seating (9)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Good for a Date (7)
Fun (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Authentic (6)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Late-night Find (6)
People Watching (6)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Great for Brunch (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Kid-friendly (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Healthy (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (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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964 reviews
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 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on June 15, 2017

The food was great and I enjoyed the ambiance. However, the service was horrible. My server ignored me most of the night, even after I flagged her down. I asked for a dessert menu and then finally gave up on dessert. She also brought me the wrong bill.

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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on June 14, 2017

The food is good but it is very noisy and the service was haphazard.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Kid-friendly
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food4
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 14, 2017

Not my first for this revered SF gen. Always dependable food and service. We were going to the opera and the lecture before. Service timing was perfect

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on June 11, 2017

The service was terrible
Our waitress was very nice too bad she gave us the larges glasses of wine (never asked which size we wanted)
I;d like some of my money back

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food2
ambience2
service1
value1

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

Always reliable. Vast menu to suit everyone. Good bar. Probably the most reasonably priced cocktails in e Civic .center area.

Tags: Fun, Comfort Food, Late-night Find, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience4
service3
value5

vip
 (Orange County)·Dined on June 11, 2017

Max's always delivers a consistently good meal with good service. We like to go before a show when a fancy restaurant is just not called for.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Afternoon Tea, Live Music
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

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

Good food and good value. Great spot for per-performance at civic center. Not fancy but dependable and service good.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 11, 2017

I'll go back for the delicious lentil soup. A nice variety of salads but way too big. Should offer half plate.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on June 10, 2017

Our first time. I had the Honey Chicken. It was done to perfection. My Grands shared a single Nachos. It was huge! The Chicken Pot Pie was very large also. Good quality for the buck. Service was excellent.

Tags: Late-night Find, Business Meals, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on June 10, 2017

We used to go there all the time before the symphony or opera but it didn't live up to our memories. The bar tenders were OK but not overly friendly. We got seated 10 minutes late even though there were empty tables. We had to wait another 10 minutes before our waiter acknowledged us. The corned beef was a bit flavorless and the portion was not generous. I think they did not have enough staff and are cutting back on portions and quality, no doubt to save money.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food2
ambience3
service2
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 10, 2017

Great foods and service. They us save a table when we have problem finding a parking. Thank you.

Tags: Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 10, 2017

What is best about Max's is its proximity to the War Memorial Opera House, so having dinner at Max's prior to an evening performance has become the norm. Recently the food has improved greatly, and the portion sizes are ample. I had a salad--grilled salmon on mixed greens with onions, capers, and olives in a vinaigrette dressing. It was excellent, and the fish was high quality and grilled to perfection. Others in my party had sandwiches and those too were ample and excellent.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch, Casual, Live Music
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

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

A no-cost trip back to the 50s. Food overly sweetened (that is, savory dishes). Served us old, stale coffee when we ordered iced lattes.

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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 7, 2017

We chose Max when we were attending the show at the symphony hall just two blocks away. May not be as fancy as some of the restaurants around it but the food is always good. Wonderful sandwiches wonderful salads in the main dishes are also very very good . Max's is the perfect place to go for the symphony or the opera or for the new jazz venue across the street

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 2, 2017

Large portions and every bite is Devine. Always a hit.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 2, 2017

June 2, 1017 12 noon lunch SF Opera Cafe - Did not honor my reservation table request (my best location for conversation with my hearing problem). When I asked hostess if staff had reviewed special requests that morning before lunch, she said she'd check with manager, but never returned. Seated us at booth with sticky / greasy table surface.
We've been going to Max's for 30 years- this is so unlike them.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Gluten Free Options, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Business Meals
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food5
ambience2
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 31, 2017

The food is always great and the portions are clearly for sharing. Our party of four (pre theater - Hamilton) had a great table waiting. We had two cocktails (not per person) plus a bottle of Rosenblum Zinfandel $38. Two chicken pot pies, a chicken masala and a chicken parmesan. Would reorder anything other than the masala as the sauce was a little heavy. With coffee before tip $100. Great bargain. On Tuesday we had pastrami sandwiches at Max's Burlingame.

Tags: Fun, Happy Hour, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 20, 2017

Really good corned beef Reuben - piled high with good-tasting meat.
We eat here often. Never disappointed.

Tags: Disabled Access, Casual, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on May 20, 2017

Went there with family after graduation and had an amazing meal thanks in part to the wonderful service and recommendations by our server Gary! Big plates, lots of different options! Fresh and cooked to perfection!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 19, 2017

Good Jewish deli offerings and huge menu otherwise. Large enough to accommodate request for quiet spot or bar scene. Right in the center of theaters and concert halls.

Tags: Bar Seating, Casual, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Live Sports, Gluten Free Options, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 19, 2017

Max's has been around for years and is a local institution. The menu is updated from time to time and the food remains solid. Food is consistently good and well worth the money. Generous portions.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Disabled Access, Great for Brunch, Live Music, Late-night Find, Happy Hour, Fun, People Watching, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 17, 2017

We had tickets for Hamilton at 8:00 pm. Was able to a delightfully pleasant meal with music and make the play with plenty of time.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 14, 2017

My spouse and I have gone here many times over the years. It's a good place for delicatessen type food.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, People Watching, Tasting Menu, Live Music, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Cozy, Afternoon Tea, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 14, 2017

Service was terribly slow. Only one white person for several tables? Waited over 30 minutes to place order.

Tags: Quick Bite
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food5
ambience5
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 12, 2017

The waiter was horrible. We waited until after the symphony crowd before going so there were only a few active tables but the waiter never gave us bread nor refilled our water glasses. He asked how our meal was "so far " after we were done. I asked a busboy for bread which also never came. NEVER.
He ordered the salmon salad which was delicious. My Chinese chicken salad was way to spicy and off tasting dressing and fried chicken was more rightly named SALT chicken.
I have always loved Max's but this was horrible.
When we were leaving we walked past a lot of waitstaff and the manager and no one thanked us for coming.
Should I remind you it was Friday night at 8pm and no one was there. We should have had excellent customer service.
I should say that our food did come out very fast. Gold stars t the chefs. If the chicken hadn't been so salty I would have given more stars.
Summary. Waitstaff didn't care. Food was mixed reviews. Food came fast

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 8, 2017

We chose Max's because it was very close to where we were going (Davies' Hall) and parking. Everything else in the area seemed to be much more expensive and we didn't want to spend an arm and a leg. The ambiance is nothing special, but it's fine. The food was delicious however and the service was very good. I had an amazing watermelon margarita!

Tags: Fun, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Food was served cold and overcooked. Had to flag down waiters for service. Bathrooms dirty and baby changing table broken. Extremely disappointed in every aspect.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Chaotic and noisy. Second glass of wine arrived after dinner was over. Enormous servings (more than we wanted). BUT it is very handy for performances around the Civic Center.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Terrible experience .......waiter was awful, I've been to Max's in Burlingame & Redwood City....love them this one is awful. Fries super salty, poke all cucumber 2 pieces tuna, never got dessert. 12:30 arrival an easy lunch took over 90 min. Whole experience sucked!

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food1
ambience4
service1
value2

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

The hangar speak was awful. It came with Brussels sprouts which was poorly prepared, although the roasted potatoes were good.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food1
ambience3
service5
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 2, 2017

Service was outstanding. We had a party of five that straggled in one after another and stayed
longer than usual waiting for the last one to finish his meal. Our server was patient and tolerant!

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Disabled Access, Good for a Date, Kid-friendly, Casual, Cozy, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 1, 2017

Our waiter was so nice and attentive, sorry I do t remember his name (African American man). Salmon sandwich with fries and sparking wine were nice for an early dinner.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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

I had their signature hot pastrami sandwich and the meat was dry and seemed over cooked plus a lot of fatty meat; disappointing from what I expected. Other guest had their seasonal artichoke, veggie salad which looked better than it tasted. Other friend had chicken salad sandwich and the white bread they used was already limp and falling apart before she was halfway through. We thought it was a poor choice to use.

We were going to the ballet so the restaurant was in close proximity but we wouldn't go again.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on April 29, 2017

Max's is one of a kind. We have been eating there before the SF Ballet Saturday matinee for years. The food is always good - the desserts incredible. We learned to "share" a lunch so that there was room for dessert - which we don't ever share! Crabcakes Eggs Benedict - yum!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch, Creative Cuisine, Kid-friendly, Casual, People Watching, Disabled Access, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 28, 2017

Took a chance on Max's as I wanted a quick bite before the ballet. While the server was nice and location is good, the food was Denny's quality. Edible but tasted like re-heated leftovers from the microwave. Won't go again.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 28, 2017

Great food. Best Reuben in town. Very professional and friendly service. Thank you.

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 26, 2017

As always, Max's Opera Cafe provides friendly and professional service in a fun atmosphere with great food. I can't go there and not have their famous Reuben Sandwich, the best in town. And their homemade pink lemonade was a perfect compliment to the Reuben. Thank you Max''s!!!!

Tags: Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 26, 2017

Food was great. The menu options were great, especially for vegans. Service could have been better. I would go again and recommend to friends.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

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

There was a widespread power outage in San Francisco on April 21st. Max's had no power and was thus closed.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

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

How does this place pay rent? The food is below mediocre, the bar service is inept, the lounge singer/pianist is barely competent, and--not surprisingly--the space was less than 30% full at 8pm on a Wednesday. Does the owner of the restaurant also own the building? Is it some kind of tax dodge? What it isn't is a good place to eat or have a drink.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

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