Max's Seafood Cafe

4.4
1439 Reviews
$30 and under
Seafood

Top Tags:

Afternoon Coffee
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 1439 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
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
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ED
EdwardD
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The muscles marinara and everything was delicious.

BD
vipBritneyD
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Bar service was a little slow but overall good service and great food!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Have not been there for a few years, the dining experience subpar. Hopefully they are just struggling getting running again after Covid and will improve.

M
Mtowngirl
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good food, great service! We’ve been coming to Max’s for years and always enjoy it.

KP
KeithP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Food was cold in middle. very bad soup ... They cant make lobster bisque? sat a couple with a child next to us out of control.. How about sitting them in the bar where its all ready loud... Fatty bacon on scallops come on Max"s get it together.

O
Oilman
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience5

Interesting menu, not expansive but specialized. Food tasted great however portion:price ratio could be better.

Better service could have greatly improved overall experience- staff was distracted/inattentive, although friendly when engaged. Could have moved more drinks if empty glasses weee noticed.

Have been here twice before in wintertime- service was better and was a better experience. Will give it another shot.

e
vipegsbert
Philadelphia
77 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, service and ambience. Local neighborhood restaurant for me. Most enjoyable

MA
vipMichaelA
Philadelphia
37 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always amazing with great service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great night out here. It was accessible to parking, not crowded, friendly staff, and the food was outstanding...right down to the vegetables, everything was delicious. My husband got the surf and turf and the steak was absolutely perfect (and ooh those mashed potatoes!). I got the Mixed Platter and was so glad I because everything on it was a treat. Cheesecake for dessert was also top-quality, plus they had a tap list that included local brews. I don't think our experience there could possibly have been any better. What a fantastic place!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great mussels!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was really good and our waitress Alicia was really nice and on point

RG
vipRoseG
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious food…served hot and lovely place!

c
cphopson4insurance
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We went to Max’s for seafood and we were not disappointed.
Oysters and fried octopus were great especially the octopus.
My grilled seafood entree with rice and vegetables
was very tasty.
My wife had the Chilean Sea Bass and she really enjoyed her meal.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
53 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This is such a rustic neighborhood eatery that oozes charm! The brickwork inside amidst the woodwork and layout of the restaurant was very eye pleasing.

The service was impressive and the staff very accommodating.

Our oysters were so fresh, the Roasted Clams, and soups were all well priced and portions were good.

Max’s can do it all. One had a Chilean Se Bass that was truly awesome, one enjoyed the Freshly Fried Platter and another had one of the best Chicken Parm dinners they’ve had (from a seafood restaurant)!

Deserts and coffee were just as good as the rest of our meals and we will definitely be back. Highly recommend!

J
Jake
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall1food5service1ambience4

My wife and I sat for over 20 minutes before we were ever addressed by anyone. No bread, no drinks, no introduction or “we’ll be with you shortly”. Nothing. The hostess must’ve seen our expressions and asked if any server had come over to our table. We were comped an appetizer as an apology. The hostess then took it upon herself to help us the entire meal while she sat tables and acted as bartender. She was kind and expressed they were understaffed but I did not see any other tables having issues with service like we did. As I said she was kind and apologetic but clearly overwhelmed and couldn’t give us the attention we deserved which is completely unacceptable for the price of this place. I was also given a dirty steak knife with my filet mignon which I had to send back for a clean one. We shouldn’t feel second rate when paying $40+ an entree. Food was delicious which was the only saving grace. We don’t get to go out very often and this was supposed to be a nice treat for our date night, extremely disappointing experience.

l
lisasasa
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Upon arrival, no one greeted us or even smiled an acknowledgement as we stood awkwardly wondering if we were in the right place to wait/confirm our reservation. Another couple was there too so we figured it was ok but it was at least 10 minutes before we were acknowledged with the question, “Do you have a reservation?” Our affirmative response was met with, “ I’m just waiting for some tables to be cleared.” She seemed annoyed, so we thought maybe they were short handed. It wasn’t mobbed but The bar was busy and the small dining room 3/4 full. The place is attractive but the lighting dim in the dining room and it would have been nice if the candles on the tables were lit. The menu didn’t wow but the positive reviews were encouraging. DH found the shrimp fra diavolo hot but not special and my steak with crabmeat was undercooked (red not pink) with the crabmeat barely noticeable and overwhelmed by the sauce and garlic mashed potatoes beneath (they were good.) The roasted Brussel sprouts tasted like every other slightly burnt oil roasted vegetable I ever had. The steak was perfect when they brought it back and improved by being removed from the overpowering spouts. Our waitress was agreeable but appeared stressed & over her head. In the 20 minutes we spent waiting for our table, 3 drinks sat on the bar. After 5-10, she grabbed 2 and delivered them to the dining room but it was almost 20 mins. before the flavored martini glass drink got taken to its owner. She was attentive at the barest acceptable minimum. A second waitress brought my plate back once with the uneaten sprouts and the second time with the corrected steak. She was very pleasant and attentive, she clearly seemed to know how to behave as a server! She seemed Totally underutilized and after we commented, she admitted it was her first day. Clearly they hired her for her skills, they should have let her work. No big deal but Our anniversary, cited in the reservation, wasn’t noticed. The tiramisu was ok.

OB
vipOtisB
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Atmosphere was good. Nice quaint place for dinner and chilling.

ML
MotherLYearth
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience5

The food was outstanding. It was the young servers' first time serving and she was trying very hard but awful. I would go back to try again but not on a Saturday night.

WB
WalterB
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

This is my second trip to Max's. The food is always very good although the portions are somewhat small. Tonight, they didn't have any tea or iced tea. Not exactly sure how it's possible not to have available tea bags to make tea but since tea is what I drink it was disappointing. The server was very young and clearly inexperienced. She was nice enough, but when she said "we don't have any tea the kitchen just told me", I asked what they had instead and she said "coke, sprite, um.. you know sodas". I asked her to find out exactly and she came back and told me the list which included lemonade which is what I ended up with. The glasses for water were a bit larger than shot glasses, and they filled them when we got there, but we had to go take a water pitcher from the station to refill our own water the rest of the night, and nobody including the server was a bit curious how we ended up with a water pitcher on our table. Mind you, the place was completely empty as we had 5pm reservations. It got much busier by 6pm, so this wasn't a case of the place being too busy. We watched the 3 female servers follow each other around most of the night while we were eating. Another somewhat annoying situation was while my wife was literally eating, the server asked if she could clear the plates. The same happened when my wife was away from the table, they wanted to clear her bread plate, that had buttered bread on it at the time. However, as I said, the appetizers and entree's were very good although the portions were small. We had cannoli's for dessert which were clearly made in house and very good, I was very impressed by this. I will be returning to Max's regularly because if you can look beyond the service, for the price.. it's good food, with very nice ambience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Deliscious food! Amazing muscles in red sauce and salmon. Yum!

l
ljs04955
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Not up to past standards, maybe because of long layoff.

j
vipjojogrub
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the atmosphere almost as much as the mouth watering food.

HH
vipHalH
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We have been going there’s for many years always a great meal especially the Thai mussels

SS
SSSsays
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bronzino and salmon entrees delicious. Scallop app soo good! Vodka and cranberry juice weak drink and cran juice was artificial tasting. That was the only negative. Ambiance nice, dark, quiet

B
Barb
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

This is my first negative review. I felt the need to write it because the situation I encountered was not handled well to say the least. I often dine at Max's because we always had good food and a wonderful experience. For my birthday we went there for dinner. Food was ok. Not what we were used to. Fish was overcooked and the rice was hard. I was not going to write a bad review about 1 bad meal though. The problem was the manager/owner. The waitress was very hurried and rushed everything (ordering/serving etc which is not normal for Max's) but due to the current employment situation I was very understanding and thought that she may be new.
So she served our meals and forgot a side of melted butter to go with lobster. As she quickly handed it over the table, she dropped it and it ended up all over me and in my pocketbook. There was butter everywhere. On my phone, keys and everywhere inside a designer bag. She was not sure what to do so I asked her for napkins. Then she disappeared so I ended up cleaning up the table and floor as the waitress was not around. The manager/owner (Tom I believe) did stop by and ask to pay to clean my purse. I declined because I was angry at the time. I was asked if there was anything I needed. I said sure a drink would be great. Well when the bill came, the drink was on the bill. I thought that they could have at least comp'd my drink considering I cleaned up the floor, my food became cold and I have a ruined pocketbook. We asked for Tom to return to discuss the bill and at 7:30 on a Friday night, I was told that he was gone for the night. So they took my phone number. I was told that he would definitely call the next day. It's been 6 days and, I'm still waiting. I have been treated much better for far less at other restaurants. Accidents happen, how you deal with them is what separates the good from the bad.

JV
JamesV
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Took a little long for service but gave my date and I plenty of time for conversation. Food was fabulous. A true gem of a place.

EG
ElizaG
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Nice atmosphere, beautiful building. We both got the lobster bisque which was a little too salty for our taste. Crab cakes were good and Seafood Pescatore was delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous! Service was slow this Mother’s Day, but out waitress kept checking on us. We loved it!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I love the food here. I had the mussels in red sauce with Linguini. I also had a cup of lobster bisque. Delicious. The only thing was that, in this age of covid, we were concerned with how close we were seated to other tables of guests. We questioned them about it. They just said it's mother's day and we're fully booked. Things that make you say hmmmm.

AF
ArtF
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

They did not honor the reservations even tho I received an email the day before confirming. Horrible way to treat people on mother’s day

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing, they were short staffed and still did such a good job making sure everything was perfect.

m
mcsad02
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We haven't been been and years and regret it. We are looking forward to going back.

JF
vipJustaFamilyGuy
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Seafood was just OK and this is supposed to be a seafood place. The restaurant is nice inside but tables are already on top of each other in areas. Wine list is reasonably priced

SF
SharonF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2021
Overall3food2service1ambience3

Service was slow and the portion size was pitiful. . . Over priced for what you got

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2021
Overall2food3service5ambience5

Out of fried shrimp, so

LA
vipLindaA
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was excellent

e
elizabethr
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was wonderful. Service was great. Food was delicious

N
vipNewjerseynana5
Philadelphia
60 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent !

Report
FM
FredM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Was disappointed i ordered what i was told was the new name for seafood combination.it came with 1 scallop 1 shrimp 1 small crabcake and half of a tiny mushy tail which i sent back to cook more . It should of been an appetizer sampler not my dinner. Guess I ordered the wrong thing my wife loved her dinner

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great place.

FAQs

Max's Seafood Cafe is rated 4.4 stars by 1439 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.