Panama Hotel & Restaurant
Panama Hotel & Restaurant

Panama Hotel & Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.panamahotel.com/
  • Phone: (415) 457-3993
  • Hours of Operation:
    LUNCH Monday - Friday | 11:30am - 2:30pm
    BRUNCH Sunday | 10am - 2pm
    DINNER Tuesday - Saturday | 5:30 - 9:30pm
    DINNER Sunday | 5 - 9pm
    YAPPY HOUR {pets are optional} Tuesday - Friday | 4 - 5:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Mediterranean, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Dan Miller
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.
  • Private Party Facilities: Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.
  • Private Party Contact: Fabiola Saballos 415 457 3993x120
  • Entertainment: Dine with Music every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening. Sunday evenings during Fall and Winter. The best of jazz, R&B and contemporary sounds.
    MIDWEEK MUSIC 7 - 10pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
    SUNDAY MUSIC 6 - 9pm Sunday's during Fall and Winter seasons
  • Special Events: Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: B Street & Woodland Avenue
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Panama Hotel & Restaurant
The Panama Hotel and Restaurant is a historic bed & breakfast inn located in San Rafael, CA, midway between SF and California’s wine country. Our on-site restaurant offers food influenced by Latin America, the Mediterranean and California’s wine country. Featuring presentation that is simple, yet stylish—menus are prepared with the finest available organic products and highest quality ingredients from Bay Area purveyors. Beautiful surroundings offer an excellent venue for getaway weekends, weddings, receptions and private events.
The Panama is proud to present accomplished and versatile musicians as part of your dining experience. We feature local, Bay Area artists every Tues, Wed and Thurs evenings throughout the year from 7-10pm. Dinner reservations recommended.
Have Lunch, Brunch, Dinner or Yappy Hour with your "furry friend". Let us know you are coming by reserving a pet-friendly table.
If your desired time is not available, please call the Panama restaurant.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
Panama Hotel & Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
170 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (136)neighborhood gem (132)great for lunch (92)fit for foodies (64)great for brunch (57)romantic (50)special occasion (50)good for groups (46)notable wine list (10)kid-friendly (8)hot spot (5)vibrant bar scene (5)scenic view (4)late-night find (3)Show More
  • Carole
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Great ambiance and lighting. The live music is just too loud for the size of the room. We were in the far corner and we could not hear each other. Simple acoustical guitar music would be lovely and fitting for this room. The short ribs were the best item at our table. The ravioli skin was too thick for the delicate mushroom filling. The stuffed poblano chile needed some vegetables instead of just quinoa, it lacked texture and flavor.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Dinner
    Happy
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    I've always love coming here for a special meal. Our seating next to a group of women who were somewhat on the loud side was a bit off for me, but we endure their celebration. The service was slightly on the slow side. My guess, the server was new. I understood the situation. Our meal was excellent and the dining room was charming once more. I would come many times again and refer this place to many. It's a gem.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    Crabby
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    This is one of my favorite spots in Marin. I know I can count on good food every time. The relaxed yet upscale environment in a cozy neighborhood setting always enchants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    CT46VIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    This was our 2nd visit. This visit not so great. Ordered, mussels (luke warm), salmon (luke warm), rack of lamb, medium well (very well done and again luke warm). Waitstaff - where were they? Had to flag down for water, bread, wine, place order. The atmosphere is delightful. Enjoyed our summer visit better with outside dining and a much better experience with menu choices and service. We're from the East Bay, so don't think we will make the trip to try again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unexpected charm
    bpbwVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    This place is really a piece of San Rafael history. The space is filled with history and the the kitchen really delivers. My salmon and my husband's Angus burger with bacon and bleu cheese were excellent as were his french fries.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a Great Spot
    laurieP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Whenever I get the opportunity to have a quiet meal with a good friend I think of the Panama. The food is great, the ambience is relaxing yet it feels somehow special. I'm the first to recommend it and head there myself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fun spot in the neighborhood
    Crabby
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Live music complements great atmosphere and delicious food at this indoor/outdoor restaurant and hotel tucked into a downtown San Rafael residential neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup 'Hood' Haven
    MarindocVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    This place gets full most weekend nights, so it's best to make reservations. Salads (Caesar, Beet with goat cheese) are shareable, but the main highlight is their chicken tortilla soup. Just order a cup, unless you wish to make it your entree. Chock full of flavor, chicken, and a tad spicy- it's the best ever! Then leave room for ample sized beef short ribs, salmon, pork chop entrees. Their version of the Burger comes on a delicious artisanal roll with their shoestring fries and rivals the best in Marin. Several beers are on tap, including our local favorite-Lagunitas IPA or the 22 oz. bottled Anchor Steam. Leave room for the fruit crisp (we had apple) with vanilla bean ice cream on the side.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great spot
    Scarletbegonias77
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Went there for lunch and had a great experience. Food was very good and our waitress was fantastic! Had the Beet salad, fish tacos, and mushroom raviolis and everything was delicious. I've been there before and will definitely go back again and again.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Charming San Rafael Spot
    Jude
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    There's something nostalgic and nice about lunch at Panama Hotel & Restaurant. Food and character put together. Recommend it!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • consistently good
    swwoman
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Panama Hotel is always really good for lunch, I appreciate the consistency in the food and food quality. The chicken tortilla soup is particularly excellent. Great spot for lunch!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for outdoor dining
    Leigh
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    I find sitting inside much too noisy, but sitting outside with the heat lamps was quiet, warm and comfortable. Our party of four could actually carry on a conversation without raising our voices!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sunday brunch
    mac1075
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    First visit to the Panama for Sunday brunch. We were seated on time outside on the patio. Our server was prompt and informative. He also showed plenty of patience as we chatted over mimosas before even really looking at the menu. He was very attentive without being at all intrusive. We finally ordered eggs Benedict and eggs San Francisco (like a Benedict but with crab cakes). Both meals were good, with a heaping side of some fried potatoes. While the restaurant was not overly busy, we were not at all rushed while we lingered at the table long after our plates were taken away. I very much enjoyed the entire experience, look forward to a return trip soon!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • charming
    debbieVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    A very nice surprise located in San Rafael The atmosphere is charming and the food is delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still the best
    Dipsea99VIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Still the best hamburger around and the short ribs were outstanding comfort food as well! We had an enjoyable meal here, fine service by Josh and all of the crew, and the jazz group played some mellow sounds, just right for the room! By the way, the ravioli small plate appetizer was tasty!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Quesadilla was great. Veggie enchiladas OK. Entrees brought 1 minute after appetizer, need to work on pacing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gerstle Park gem
    Marinmary
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Panama Cafe presents an unexpected delight in an older, charming area of San Rafael. The menu is a mix of eclectic Panamanian, Mexican and American dishes with the flair, presentation and flavors of Californian cuisine. About halfway through our dinner a small band with a singer started playing. Quite lovely though it did make conversation difficult. Highly recommend especially if you are anywhere near San Rafael.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    I had lunch on the delightful patio. I ordered the Greek salad with salmon (and the dressing was exceptionally well-seasoned and tasty--I am fussy about dressing). I liked the lunch so much I asked a friend to meet me there for dinner the next week. We had the petrale sole special and it was divine (really!) and I loved the Chardonnay from Carneros (Cuchaine?) Service was excellent and I will go back--maybe even rent one of the hotel rooms just for a fun getaway! I live in the East Bay, so it's only 25 minutes over to San Rafael. The place is quiet and cozy, and the ambience really makes you feel like you are away on a vacation. Carol
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely patio, good food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Our group enjoyed brunch on their lovely patio. With the variety of options on the brunch menu, we each found what we were looking for. From egg dishes to hamburgers we were happy with our food when it finally arrived. The two down sides of the meal were the spotty service and the 40 minute delay from when we ordered until the food was finally delivered. If you have the patience for the pace of the service, it is a good spot for an outdoor meal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Great food, great wine and great service. The menu was not overwhelming and the waiter helped with our selections. He did great job. My wife had the pork chop and I had the seafood salad. Both were excellent as well as the wine pairing. WE highly recommend the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tropical paradise
    CaptainVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Going to the Panama Hotel & Restaurant is like going to a Caribbean island. The restaurant just has that tropical feel and you feel laid back and relaxed. The food has always been great and the service excellent. Highly recommend the restaurant as a quick getaway
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • ran out of the special
    sanrafaellocal
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    at a recent business lunch i ordered soup and also crab cakes, one of the day's specials. the soup was great, but the crab cakes never came. eventually someone (not the waitress) came by with a plate of fish tacos. i said i had ordered crab cakes, not tacos, and was told "oh, sorry, i think we're out of crab cakes."
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food great, server needed help!
    Thewholeenchilada
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I have been here many times and always had consistently great food and service, but today was an off day it seems. Our server was very busy and looked like he needed help. We waited often for attention even for just a busser, which felt awkward since we recommended this place to our dining companions. He was really nice and did well, just seemed like another server was needed for the dining room, as he had to go to the outdoor patio frequently. Three of us had the Panama burger, which did not disappoint. Kitchen split for us with each plate receiving their own little metal fry basket and accompaniments. Very nice touch. Two had the Baja Seafood salad (w/scallops, salmon and prawn), delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • birthday celebration
    Chance4meVIP
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We celebrated a birthday here. Sat out on the side patio after having a bottle of wine at the bar. Devoured our beet salad and chile relleno. Love the atmosphere with all the vibrant colors and assorted plants.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DinerVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Loved dining al fresco on a warm Friday evening in October. Everything was perfect!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • host needs some flexibility...
    OpenTable Diner Since 1999VIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    while the food and service were excellent, the host was cranky and unresponsive. when asked about the availability of empty tables, he replied that only a few were available--apparently, he had decided where reservations would be seated and was not ready to modify his plans to accommodate our request for a table other than the one he had earlier assigned... some flexibility is needed in his role, please!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Problems in Paradise
    JackVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    We are long time customers of Panama Hotel. Always have had a great experience. However on Wednesday, they fell apart. They were very short staffed and had two large parties. We sat for 20 mins. before someone talked to us. Then it was 30 mins. before we received our lunch. My wife's was wrong and mine was cold. After 15 more mins. a bus person brought us back the exact same meals we had returned to the kitchen. At this point a waiter (Max) stepped in for our over burdened waitress and corrected the problem which took another 20 minutes. At the end, the hostess Katie apologized and took care of the check. A bad day, but well handled by Max and Katie. We will return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • special occasion birthday
    regalreview6
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    We brought our son's family here for a birthday celebration and the entire party was most impressed with our choice. The children found a favorite on the child's menu, and all the adults were pleased with the unique dishes they chose. This is not your typical restaurant, but a very pleasant place to enjoy a nice meal in a lovely quaint outdoor setting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Consistent Dining
    IvansVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    When you go to the Panama Hotel you can expect and will get good quality food, prepared well, in a comfortable neighborhood location.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    My absolute favorite place in the Bay Area when it comes to outdoor dining. Whether its a Sunday Brunch or an early dinner, their garden is an oasis.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pana Mommy Like
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Great food, great service (very accommodating) wait staff is very knowledgeable on menu items. I have food allergies and need wait staff to understand what I can't have on my plate or hidden in my food. The atmosphere is very unexpected - a quaint little hotel and restaurant tucked way in a residential neighborhood. I have been there twice and sad to say I have not found a good wine yet (my bad), but I'll keep trying. Next time I'm going to ask the wait staff for wine recommendations.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • In My Hood - Lucky Me!!
    2NiteTheyCook94901
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    The Panama rocks on so many levels! I've been there hundreds of times (had lunch there a day ago)! I've stayed there (cute rooms and affordable) , I put people up there when visiting and it's perfect for a special meal out! The food is consistently great, the atmosphere is almost homey, good wines, the owner is community minded,(cute dog) they even have Yappy Hour to bring your dog to! It can get loud, it can get busy, so plan on hanging for a bit and leaving totally satisfied! Note: the Tuscan Toast Platter is almost orgasmic, if you like cloves of garlic oozing out of a perfectly roasted head, yummy tapenade, goat cheese, olives and the perfect crostini to shmear it all over! I'm just sayin'!! Oh and the burgers rock! Ya gotta go!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good but-
    elew2
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Food not quite up to prior levels. We have been many times but I always manage to forget how slow the kitchen is until we sit waiting for dinner. That said still one of the better choices in Marin.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never disappoints!
    LouisaVIP
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    One of my favorite Marin restaurants! Always friendly, courteous, helpful, speedy service and delicious, delectable, fresh food. Love this place. Lunch and dinner are both excellent. I've never felt rushed and that makes my day when I'm meeting a friend for a meal. Fried Calamari salad, fish tacos, Colcannon, stuffed poblano chile....I could list most everything on the menu; all delicious and beautifully prepared. Thank you, Panama Hotel, for your consistency.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great outdooor dining in Marin
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great outdoor dining spot. The food was pretty good. Nothing super spectacular about it, but it was good and what the food lacked, the service and ambience made up for. I'd still absolutely recommend this place to someone looking for somewhere to go four outdoor dining, good cheap wine, pretty good food and music. Overall I'd have to say this is a solid three out of five restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FredandGinnyNovato
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Excellent food and service. Great for outdoor dining on the patio. Baja Seafood salad was GREAT. As was the Crab stuffed 1/2 Avocado with the sweet orange vinegarette. Street parking only.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I love this place
    smudgeVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Brunch was nice. Good selection of meal choices and nicely executed eggs. Service there is often sketchy and a bit slow. I'd have had a glass of wine if there'd been a server around sometime before I'd completey finished both my pre meal order champagne and then my food. Nonetheless, I remain a fan of the ambience, the garden and find the food to be quite nice.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely evening
    srsebia
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    My family took me to the Panama for my birthday. We sat outside and had great service and wonderful food. The crab avocado salad is my favorite! I love how they are prepared for the change in weather with heaters etc. and the music floating outside from Bob Gordon and the UFOs was a fun touch.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too noisy
    Deborah
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Lucky we were able to sit outside because it was a beautiful night. I guess on certain nights they have a 'jazz' band play inside. You couldn't even hear what the waiter was saying. Good food but might want to reconsider the noisy band during dinner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Panama Hotel-worth the experience
    mcgals
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We really enjoy this restaurant. The prices are fine for all the wonderful amenities. Wait Staff very friendly and food presentation well done.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.