North Box Restaurant
We came to the North Box expecting a reasonably-priced, delicious dinner, close to Davies but were terribly disappointed. Maybe insiders and frequent guests knew but I certainly didn't know and didn't expect that our meal would be served at room temperature. I found the temperature of the food very unappetizing. Other guests seemed fine with it however.
The initial outing of my miniscule strip steak was served rare (and cold). I had asked for it med. well. The second offering was cooked more to my liking but still cold.
The hastily thrown-together beet salad was also rather diappointing and over-priced.
The service was good though.
Live and learn.
Nice ambience, but be prepared for food to be served cold. Surprised us when we ordered zucchini noodles with prawns and stuffed crepes.
The North Box is NOT the restaurant downstairs at the Opera House; it's upstairs on level 2 by the Box Seats. And they only serve room-temperature (cold) food. We had nice salads and a cheese plate, and everything was tasty. The best thing is that you get to keep your table through the intermissions, so we had dessert and coffee waiting for us at the table at the break.
Two things you should know :1 You must have a ticket to a perforlnce. Nearby to eat here. Not the ballet but some performance. We had tickets to SF Jazz and had to show our tickets to ne seated. 2 They have no hot food at all — omly salads. And it’s super expensive - two salads and one glass of wine was almost &80 without tip. And you’re sitting in a hallway literally. So few places now in civic center but I wouldn’t go back here
Perfect place to grab a light dinner before the ballet. We got a crab louie salad an charcuterie platter. Both were quite good. Mixed drinks (esp pirouette) were excellent. Service was superb. We came back during intermission for dessert (prearranged with waitress) and our cake and coffee were at the table waiting for us. This will be our new "go to" restaurant any time we go to the ballet. Takes the stress out of eating out prior to the ballet.
This is a nice Cafe for a relaxed bite before performances. I recommend it!
Plus, I enjoy having another quick bite at intermission.
We like the place a lot, but there are some odd little bothersome things. We don't like being charged $3 for rolls and if we're with a group of individuals, it would be nice if the restaurant could take the 3-4 credit cards to split the bill. Not have a limit of only two per CC. I understand if each person wants his/her own bill, but in the case of taking an entire bill and dividing it equally among 4-5 cards, that would make things easy on a group.
BTW, we are so happy that we can have the table for the evening if we don't finish dinner or want to come back for wine and dessert at the intermission. That's tremendous. We did not come last year since the plan to change "per session" to use the table was implemented. And the charge to sit at the table for each intermission was $20/ per person. Outrageous. So we are all very happy that it's gone back to the former way. Love dining there, it's so easy to meet friends there and the servers are delightful, especially Natalie.
SF Ballet - Cinderella with Granddaughters.
Thanks to Melissa for explaining your new policy. It is so much better than before. Our server Natalie was prompt, professional and courteous. She is a true asset to your staff. Thank you for making our visit to the North Box Restaurant a real pleasure. We can't wait for our next visit.
I can only recommend this place for the ambiance and the stellar servers who are so friendly and work really hard to deliver drinks and desserts in a manner that works for tight turnarounds at intermission at the ballet or opera. The desserts are decent but the meals are mediocre at best. Go for the drinks and dessert but eat dinner someplace else.
Food is was terrible, and very overpriced. Not worth it, even for the convenience.
A very convenient spot to dine pre-ballet or opera. Tasty and fresh items on the menu. I thought the waitstaff particularly attentive and professional.
Our sever was wonderful, very accommodating! Loved the convenience of it as well .
Online they never let you know they pretty much set up tables in a hallway
An OK place in a great location above the main lobby of the War Memorial. Crab Louie was not made with Dungeness (Spider crab perhaps). Childrens mac and cheese was a boil in the bag type for $14. However, grandson did eat it all.
Hi Stanley, Thank you for your comments. I can assure you that the Dungeness crab is definitely Dungeness. We cannot put "Dungeness" on the menu & serve something else. I can also assure you that we do not purchase anything boil-in-the-bag. Chef makes the Mac & Cheese from scratch, but I can see how you would think that as his cheese sauce is so perfectly creamy & smooth. We are happy to hear your grandson enjoyed it! We look forward to your next visit!
Some bumps on our last visit but all was fixed this time around. Lightning fast service of a pleasantly light supper.
Cold food as expected but the convenience of the restaurant while attending nutcracker ballet was extraordinary. Recommend it not for the food but for the experience
I would recommend it for the convenience and the specialness of it. The food and menu selections are “okay”. We didn’t know the salmon was served cold and it was a tiny piece of salmon. It took 25 minutes to have our order taken. Would lime to see more menu options, hot food options, and would live to not be required to order a second course as I couldn’t eat it. BUT the salad was good and the ambience is fabulous
North Box Restaurant is a find. I have been going to the Ballet 45 years and this is the 2nd time at North Box. It is easy, convenient, you can look over the rail at all the attendees, the food is good, the drinks delicious. What's not to love.
Nutcracker ballet with family...wonderful start to the holiday season!
Ballet performance celebration - the perfect place for pre-performance celebrations!
Lovely setting, quiet, festive, wonderful to be right at the Opera House makes it much easier. The food was pretty disappointing, but, the convenience still made it worth it!
Hi there, I'm sorry to hear you felt the food was disappointing. We would love to hear more about your experience so we can improve. Please let us know what we can do to provide a better experience next time!
Waiter ignored us while lavishing attention on other customers. (Restaurant not at all busy so don’t know why we didn’t rate. Had to ask hostess to get order taken.) Servers brought wrong drink, had no clue who’d ordered what dish (we were a party of 3) seemed v. unfamiliar w/menu items, and it’s not a big menu. Have eaten here several times no problem so chalking it up to off night.
Great before opera matinee
Excellent service from Natalia, Jose and Linda
.Always kind, welcoming and efficient! The food is light and simple. We always look forward to our pre opera dinners at the North Box!
We had a good meal here. But note the food types are served at room temp or cold. So if you are looking for a hot meal, this is not the place. Had the crepes and they were yummy. There's a decent theme-based bar. Our server was super nice. The ambiance is okay...a good use of extra space at the entrance to the box suites. I didn't like the table they assigned us right at the top of the stairs (they should NOT put tables in a such an exposed location), but they kindly moved us to a table further away. Quick service.
We loved our server, Natalie. She was so kind, friendly and efficient. Great service!
We love being able to get to the Opera House early and being able to eat dinner; otherwise, travel to the event is during mealtime and therefore getting in a lunch or dinner would be a problem. Food is expensive but well prepared. Cocktails are fantastic. Service is friendly but a tiny bit slow; heightened by the urgency to get to our threatre seats on time.
The Duck Confit was delicious and nutritious! And of course, Natalie is the best, most attentive server!
The ambiance was wonderful, especially with the Opera House lobby all decorated for the holidays.
Tables are far enough apart that it's easy to converse. Service was friendly and fine.
The food, however, is mediocre and horrendously overpriced. A Crab Louis - with the smallest dollop of crab I've ever seen anywhere - is priced at $27. My companion ordered the house salad and for $11 extra, added a piece of salmon that was less than 2" square.
It was a nice touch that we could come back at intermission for dessert and coffee all set out on our same table.
Efficient way to dine before a show at the opera or the ballet. Portions very small for the price point, but the location is lovely and service is great.
A very pleasant way to start an Opera evening. I would do this again. The duck confit was excellent.
Lovely service from polite and friendly staff, simple but elegant menu of salads, cheese board, desserts and drinks. Well-organized. It's nice that you can keep your table service through the 20 minute intermissions. We ordered our dessert for intermission and it was there for us along with our hot drinks. Unfortunately our silverware had been cleared and there was no tea bag for my cup of hot water but my husband got everything easily from the bar.
We have been to the North Box many times while attending the SF Opera and have always had a nice experience. This time was unacceptable.
I had to ask twice for a waiter to come to take our order. When he finally came, we ordered a half bottle of champagne...he brought the wrong bottle in an ice bucket, dropped it on the table and never came back to open it. My husband opened It and we poured it ourselves. We had to ask again several times for the waiter to come back to take our dinner order for the first intermission. He finally came, took our dinner order and said it would be waiting for us when we came out at the first intermission. When we came out at the first intermission, our dinner was not there. We flagged down the waiter and he said he forgot what we ordered! We placed the order again, but it didn’t arrive. He said he submitted the order again and put a rush on it and it would be there momentarily. It wasn’t. When we flagged him down at the end of the intermission and told him we never got our food, he said “How can that be?”. It finally came at the second intermission, so we had our dinner at almost 10:00 o’clock.
I don’t know what happened to the usual staff. We didn’t see anyone we recognized. We have been coming here for years and have always enjoyed it, but the service this time was just terrible. I’m just glad that we didn’t bring a guest. It was the most unprofessional service I have ever had in a restaurant.
Don’t expect to get your food even if you show up 90 minutes before the opera starts. Or at the first intermission as promised after it doesn’t come the first time around. We had to go into a 3 hour opera having shared 2 dinner rolls the waiter grabbed off another table after it’s occupants went to their seats because our food never arrived and they couldn’t find a way to give us anything else.
Very nice way to have a light dinner prior to a performance. Nice service, tasty food.
Limited menu of salads.
Food that's worth more than your money with service that matches plus smiling bar tenders. Now, if the chairs were comfortable and the wall hangings more engaging, it would be a perfect experience.
The crab salad had an incredibly small amount of crop.
The menu is too limited. I enjoyed my salad , but my granddaughter (age 9) ate only a roll and cookies.
North Box Restaurant is rated 4 stars by 121 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.