North Box Restaurant

4
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98 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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Pre/post Theatre
Located on the north mezzanine level of the historic War Memorial Opera House overlooking the magnificent main lobby, North Box Restaurant offers California cuisine with global influences, created using locally-sourced ingredients and serves as an ideal destination for pre-performance or intermission dining for any Ballet and Opera goer.
What 98 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Quiet
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AP
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great before opera matinee

f
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

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!

J
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

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.

J
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We loved our server, Natalie. She was so kind, friendly and efficient. Great service!

R
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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.

SS
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Duck Confit was delicious and nutritious! And of course, Natalie is the best, most attentive server!

M
San Francisco
161 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

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.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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
San Francisco
59 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

A very pleasant way to start an Opera evening. I would do this again. The duck confit was excellent.

KM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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.

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience3

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.

AH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

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.

PJ
Sacramento
8 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Very nice way to have a light dinner prior to a performance. Nice service, tasty food.

M
San Francisco
149 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall2food3service5ambience5

Limited menu of salads.

JG
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

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.

KP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience4

The crab salad had an incredibly small amount of crop.

TS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

The menu is too limited. I enjoyed my salad , but my granddaughter (age 9) ate only a roll and cookies.

SF
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We've eaten here both with the previous Opera catering provider and the current. While the current quality of the food is good, we do miss the wider variety that was offered before. The menu is now limited to salads and appetizers. Our experience with the service has been spotty, sometimes more responsive that others. We will likely continue to come here for the convenience of a pre-performance meal onsite, but I would love to see improvement in menu variety and service level.

R
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely setting pretty-opera... no need to rush to the theater as we were already there. More important, the food was excellent and the server and service were 5 star. Will definitely eat there again.

A
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Very convenient for a light dinner before the opera, and much better ambience than the big loud dining room downstairs. Service was top notch, Natalie answered questions and adjusted orders with genial and welcoming care. Limited menu, but sufficient for our needs.

f
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Liked the small intimate atmosphere, so convenient. We would like more secletions on the menu, and higher quality wine by the glass.

AR
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The North Box is a great way to begin a night at the San Francisco Opera. Great food, excellent service and ambience!

CP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It is a stripped down version of the Prelude at the Opera House--Lower Level so don't expect too much choice or variety. The price doesn't reflect this as it isn't significantly less money than the Lower Level. That is what you get when you forget to get reservations early but still want the convenience of eating at the Opera House. On the plus side, you get much less food so that is kind of a good thing kinda sorta maybe. I'll remember to book early next time. Overall, the food is good but limited.

AN
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Loved being able to hold our table for intermission and have coffee and dessert waiting!

HN
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good for a light meal before the opera. Convenient and a time saver .

f
San Francisco
184 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Having ti to the Symphony, we wanted an easy place to eat & talk beforehand. The food is solid although not imaginative but well priced & healthy. They only have about 6 items, mostly salads because they don't cook. The food is from a caterer & plated. This is a great place to have the lookout over the lobby of the Opera House & be able to have a conversation. Nice people take care waiting also. Very professional.

HL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was well prepared and presented. Prices given that we were dining inside the opera house weren't unreasonable but not inexpensive by any measure. Our server made a huge difference in the quality of our meal. He was attentive and responsive without being intrusive. Hope we get him next time as we plan to return. And don't miss having dessert during intermission - they will save your table, have it waiting for you when you arrive and you can settle everything when you finish your meal prior to the performance. Overall, highly recommend!

HK
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Everyone can enjoy a time for lunch, dinner or tea/coffee before the opera. the service is noteworthy.

CR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The reservation system (book for pre-performance dining with Open Table, but phone in, including the orders for all patrons??? for intermission service) is unnecessarily cumbersome, in comparison to my experience over many decades with previous dining contractors in the Opera House. Global Gourmet, the new corporate provider at the Opera House, has instituted a system which no doubt serves the bottom line, but ruins the accustomed ambience of the cafes and bars at the Opera House -- no more ad hoc inviting a friend you see by chance to pull up a chair and have a drink. That said, the North Box is especially convenient for pre-performance dining for those seated in the Grand Tier. The fare is light -- those who want a fuller meal should reserve at Prelude, the large downstairs cafe with buffet -- but it was tasty and nicely served. The service was efficient and pleasant.

It is not inexpensive -- but it is a service that enhances the entire experience of attending a performance at the War Memorial Opera House

PW
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It's handy for the opera. A bit overpriced but about what you'd expect and the service is good and pleasant. I recommend booking...

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall1food2service4ambience1

Misrepresented on the website. Full menu not available. All food is pre-prepared and cold.

EW
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We very much liked being able to overlook the opera house lobby from our perch on the mezzanine. The food was light and very good--portions adequate with excellent presentation. Great service from waiters and hosts. The wine list is tops because this is the bar catering to the box and grand tier sections during intermissions. Highly recommend if you are wanting to have a light, no rushed supper before a performance.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Ahi tuna salad. Cheese plate. Wow. Dinner and then they hold the table so you can come up at intermission and your preordered dessert is hot and waiting. Great service.

T
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

The North Box Restaurant menu really didn't have much "food" on it. Its basically meant for snacks and appetizers now. There really wasn't anything to eat for a real dinner. We had been waiting to eat dinner there, and there were just a few appetizers/salads and desserts and tons of alcohol as choices. Nothing filling or a real meal. This is different than in past years. It would probably be fine if I had just wanted a little snack, but was not really a good choice for dinner. Our server was great.

OT
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Prior to Opera. So poor, we will never come there again.

M
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The service was rude. The salad was awful. It was very expensive. I was put at the worst table alone. I was very uncomfortable and totally ignored. When I arrived I was ignored, rudely answered after standing in line forever to find out if I could be seated. Reservation made Friday. I will NEVER do that again and this was a planned treat, not something I can do often. AWFUL. Every person was rude and impatient. I am very kind and considerate especially when people clearly are very busy. However, each person involved in this North Box Restaurant needs to be retrained.
I tried to dine in the downstairs only to find it is not available on Saturday and is on Sunday and I would have chosen Sunday to attend the ballet and have a lovely experience downstairs.

N
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Natalie is a great server. We miss the truffles though. And the cheese plate no longer has dried fruit; a change for the worse.

m
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friends and I had a wonderful time last Sunday at The Little Mermaid. Our box bar experience couldn't have been better. Joe Matte was so courteous and attentive that our desires were met without even having to ask. Thank you Joe!

A
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Service, location and convenience are great if you are attending a matinee performance; however, the food selection lis minimal.

BE
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall4food3service2ambience5

Love going to North Box. Convenient, nice service, in a splendid building, fun to people-watch. Prices of food up; variety down. Fairly expensive for what you get and quality is fine but not outstanding.