Max's Seafood Cafe

4.4
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1375 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Max's Café was built in 1890 as a shoe store. In 1912, 34 North Burlington Street reopened as Leisinger's Saloon for the next 25 years even through prohibition (as a "soft drink establishment"). In 1937, Leisinger's Saloon passed through the family & was renamed Max's Cafe; it’s name for the next 65 years. In 1977, a new simply prepared fresh seafood menu transformed Max's Cafe into Max’s Seafood Café. The neighboring building was acquired to seat the growing number of patrons from both sides of the Delaware River, often forming lines around the corner, waiting to enjoy fresh flounder, shrimp, clams, & most of all, Steamed Mussels! Max's reputation grew for the next 22 years before age & neglect left it in a state of disrepair. The bar restaurant closed in July of 1998 & remained dormant for 2 ½ years. Refurbished in late 2000, Max's Seafood Cafe reopened on June 2, 2001 to continue its tradition of hospitality, impeccably fresh seafood, & most of all Steamed mussels.
What 1375 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience4

We came in early around 5pm and the place was pretty empty. It is very nice inside. Ordered drinks, but they did not have a lot of the beers listed. Ordered the mussels as appetizer, and they were really good, with a large portion. The dinner ordered Salmon and Lobster Ravioli. Food was bland with not really much flavor. Nothing really good, just average at best. Overall, for the price would expect better tasting food. We left kinda thinking not in a rush to get back here again, but maybe try again in future.

BB
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great tasting food. Good service. Nice environment.

K
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The appetizer and entrees were good as always. This time we ordered a dessert which we hardly ever do since it was our anniversary and unfortunately the blueberry cheese cake was dry. We ate it anyway. This was a rare misstep in our eyes. Maybe some people like drier cheesecake but we prefer the creamier kind.

L
Philadelphia
29 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Max’s is our go-to spot for a casual dinner. I really go there for their fabulous mussels and oysters, though their regular menu items have been delicious as well. The restaurant is welcoming and the service is always excellent. Also, it’s fun to sit at the bar and get a drink and appetizer. The bar itself is gorgeous and worth a look.

CB
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Awesome food. Only downside was a limited wine choice.

S
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our 2nd time here and a big improvement over the 1st time. Food was tasty and service was excellent. We never felt rushed.

BS
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Love this place, great atmosphere. Food and service are always great. Excellent selection of bourbons as well.

SR
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Max’s is a wonderful restaurant. You always feel welcomed when you enter. The food selection is well rounded. Appetizers are all good choices to me. A must is the mussels to start. Absolutely the best! Service is outstanding. We had the opportunity to hear a band on Friday night and they were great!

OT
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Max's was excellent! The food was great as was the service! We will be going back very soon!

OT
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and drinks were delicious! We had gnocchi and seafood and stuffed shrimp. Very tasty! Service was excellent!

R
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Very disappointed we have eaten there on a few occasions and have enjoyed it. This time the service was very slow, crab appetizer was not made the way they had explained on the menu very disappointing. We asked for grated cheese and was given shaved cheese they said they don’t grate cheese. The final disappointment for the evening was that they were out of decaf coffee\ and that was at 7:30.

JA
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

During Happy Happy 2 beers and 2 wines should not cost $24. The entree I got was very good. (Crab Fra Diablo) but should at least come with a salad for $26. The bread brought to the table could be better. Nothing special about the bread. Too soft, no hard outside crust. I have always liked your place, but the experience should be better.

Thank you, Jim

H
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was wonderful, our orders came to the table promptly and hot. We continue to Love this place. Along with great service and great food, its just a wonderfully located restaurant.

PH
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow! What a hidden gem! We have lived here for 30 years and never made it to Max's before last week. It's a neighborhood restaurant that's not pretentious, but with food that ranks with the big city places. We ordered some oysters as a starter but also had the mussels (of course) as well as salads, and calamari. Every dish was excellent, and with their Thursday special of $10 bottles of wine, but overall price was pretty easy on the budget. We'll be back, and next time we'll bring friends.

DD
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Good time.. we’ll be back

KL
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience3

Food was really good. I asked my waitress to tell the chef not to make mine soo spicy. I think the chef got it confused! My husband wasn't spicy at all and mine was.

CT
Orlando
18 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Bar staff was great...while we waited for our table and joining guests.
Wait staff in dinning room was great.
Food not as good as in the past.
Fried food over fried.
Shrimp Scampi had more lemon than garlic
stuffed shrimp just so so-
steak was great but not why most of us were there.
Not sure I would return in the near future.

S
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

To start off the young lady who was our server did really do her job correctly. Ordered a bottle of wine didn't open it in front of us and just poured it in the glasses and walked away. We got the mussels for appetizer and she just put the bowl on the table again just walked away leaving us to pull the hot bowl off the mussels.I got the shrimp with broccoli rabe with fresh garlic in a wine sauce. Not one piece of garlic or salt was in the dish. My husband got the crab mac and cheese and I can say that was delish.

K
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you are looking for great food & service at a charming and historic venue look no further. Do yourself a favor and go to Max's.

BD
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and the waiter was excellent!

KL
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I took a friend for birthday lunch. We each ordered a cup of seafood chowder and their signature mussels. It was all DELISH!!

LN
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We always enjoy eating at Max's. Food was good, but portions were small. A noisy party at another table caused lots of noise until they left. Brittany was a wonderful server. Don't get to Gloucester often, but will visit Max's again when we can.

c
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Once and done. Made reservation on open table and were seated near the ladies room. There were plenty of available tables nearby. The bread was very soft and cheap. Brussel sprouts were above average but the crabs cakes had a sour flavor. My husband had the jumbo scallops which he said were just ok. We spent more than we did last week at Sapori for a less memorable dinner. Outstanding server - Brianna!

D
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Went during South Jersey restaurant week, which just cannot be beat. Cool atmosphere and awesome food. Will definitely be back to try to full menu!

SM
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

We had been wanting to try Max's Seafood Cafe after hearing several friends rave about it, we saw they were featured during Farm to Fork Restaurant Week and thought this would be a fun time to try it. The food was wonderful, but our issue was that for a party of 3 on a Wednesday night in a mostly empty restaurant we were there over two and a half hours. It took 40 minutes for our first course to come out, and then there was another long wait between the first course and our salads. When it came time to place our dessert orders we asked if we could have them to go because it was getting so late and were told that we were not allowed to take the dessert to go during Restaurant Week. We asked if they would make an exception since we had been there so long and all had work early the next morning, and the answer was still no. We had a 730pm reservation and ended up walking out about 940pm. We loved the food but did not expect to be there all evening. If we do return we would prefer to do appetizers, drinks and raw bar items at the bar.

OT
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great mussles

H
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food choices. We chose Mussels, Scallops and Bronzino. All were fantastic. (Scallops were probably the best I've ever had). Great Ambiance and attentive (but not bothersome) staff. Great for Date Night. Top Quality Center City PHL meal without crossing the bridge.

DS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was delicious, the staff was friendly, the small bar is charming, and the live entertainment (Smith & Butler) kept us there all evening. This place is a gem!

OT
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Mussels are very good and the reason to dine here. I had crab cakes, were very good My dining partners scallops were excellent.
We felt rushed as the entrees were served while we were in the middle of our appetizers, really bad timing.

VI
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, fresh delicious food, local atmosphere.

BM
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

On the baked seafood platter the flounder was too moist for me. It didn’t seem baked through .

OT
Philadelphia
106 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The food at Max's Seafood Cafe is delicious with one glaring exception ... they really do need to get better bread!!!! Their mussels are SO delicious and a good crusty bread is the best way to sop up all of that yummy sauce. And by the way, ALL of the mussel sauces are delicious. The bread that is served is too soft for dipping purposes. Service is always friendly and helpful. Prices are fair.

DN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

We were a party of four - had the mussels, crab cakes and a tuna burger. We arrived for lunch right at opening time and the wait staff didn’t seem to be ready but were friendly and apologetic. Food was excellent! We would definitely return and highly recommend it to friends and family.

C
Philadelphia
39 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall5food5service1ambience4

Three of us arrived at 5;00. It took almost 20 minutes for our drinks to arrive and twenty minutes more for our appetizers. Dinners finally came out around 6:10. We had 8:00 concert tickets in Philly and had to hurry our meals. We had asked for separate checks and got a single check but we were so late by the time it came we didn't care.
If you have plenty of time Max's has excellent food and an unusual selection of great beers on tap. Highly recommend. Just don't expect to get in and out in a hurry.

BA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful quiet meal on a Sunday. The food was outstanding. I will go back .... very soon!!

r
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Always good food. I have been going to Max's since I was a kid and it's always been a favorite. We took my mother for her birthday on a Saturday night. We got there around 7 and during the meal, a band began in the bar area which made it a little loud (hard for my mother in her late 70's to hear) so just a thought if you are booking and want to chat with a group.

TS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Had a GREAT experience! Our waitress, Briana was over the top! She was courteous, friendly and very knowledgeable of the choices on the menu. She suggested the soft shell crabs and they were EXCELLENT! We will definately be going back again. Overall a GREAT night, service and food!

BG
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Heard that the exec chef was from an old favorite in Cape May that closed. Thought we would give it a try and were really glad we did. It is out of the way in a tiny town in New Jersey but well worth the trip! The seafood was cooked perfectly! The cocktails were inventive and tasty. Service was on point. We went on a whim and are very glad that we did! We will plan to go back!

LB
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We always enjoy our dining experience at Max's -- food delicious, wine pairings compliment entrees well, and the atmosphere can be cozy if preferred, or for larger groups a space to be louder. : ) Fun to visit with older folks who remember it from "back in the day!"

OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took my 85-yr old father and 82-yr old mother who were visiting from out of town.
Everything was wonderful. I plan to return in the near future.