The Panama Hotel Restaurant

4.4
1724 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
The Panama Hotel 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.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Latin American, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
LUNCH Tuesday - 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
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Phone number
(415) 457-3993
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Private party facilities
Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.
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Private party contact
Kani Kido: (415) 457-3993 ext. 120
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Catering
Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
B Street & Woodland Avenue
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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
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 1724 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
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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SI
Palm Springs
7 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Hadn't been in years and was very happy to re-discover it.

Food, service and atmosphere are wonderful. So much character to the place.

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M
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Place is funky, a slight touch chilly but fine. The food I enjoyed very much and the service was great. All in all a very pleasant evening.

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot and service
Hidden gem

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L
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Have loved this place for years, it is a favorite with all my friends from all over. I laugh, as we made last minute reservations for 5 and they fit us in albeit inbetween the bathrooms, never again

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RC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There are not that many really good brunches in Marin County - this was perfect for a birthday brunch - Thank You !! And all the other lunches and dinner have been great too !

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PY
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent kitchen. Moderate prices. Friendly, attentive service. Lovely outdoor option. Long-time family favorite.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a multi-generational birthday party for 7, including my 18-month old granddaughter. Staff was incredibly accommodating and food was great. Burgers were the favorite of the table. We dined early but stayed for part of the music which started at 7. Very intimate venue and we all agreed we’d come again soon.

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LP
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Rolls were hard, salmon good but veggies around it were bad. Had no idea a band would be playing and it made it impossible to talk to my friends. We went there for dinner— not a concert.

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SM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A bit of disappointment because one of the patrons wanted the band turned down which we had come to hear. I totally understand however, people need to be told when they make a reservation and have the option of going outside.

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m
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

the food is always good and interesting and reasonably priced

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PR
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A great little funky place. Good food, great service. Wish they had a full bar but they have good options for wine/beer.

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NN
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There's just something special about Panama! I feel good as soon as I walk through the door. It's funky and elegant at the same time. It's great for a hearty meal but if I want a delicious entree salad they offer that too. Sometimes we sit inside if we want a white tablecloth experience. Sometimes we sit outside with heaters if needed. At Christmas time they light up the patio with little white lights which look enchanting. It's my favorite local restaurant.

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KM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Panama Hotel Restaurant is my favorite go to restaurant with their wonderful quirky ambience, delicious food, varied wine list, and accommodating service staff. The light jazz played in the evenings is the perfect compliment to their no rush atmosphere allowing cosy conversation. I've enjoyed meals here that have played host to large birthday parties, small dinner gatherings, business meetings, dinner for two, ladies lunches, and PH's sumptuous Sunday Brunch.

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G
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

First time there and all were very pleased. Our server made the day.

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n
San Francisco
65 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I've eaten at the Panama Hotel several times and this was my first disappointment. The salmon arrived overdone. When we sent it back (we seldom do this) the next one came back almost raw. My pasta dish, a homemade ravioli sounded good, but did not excite the taste buds. Good service and wine pairings, but the meal was sub par for this great place.

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PH
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We just loved it ‘n
Every thing!’
Food 🥘... ambience... waiter..
Value..
We will return with friends!!

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CF
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Very nice restaurant... Lovely garden area - but there were too many yellow jackets - we had to go inside - but staff was very accommodating... Atmosphere is lovely - Food was Salad with Prawns which was very nice - Service was good.
Just a problem outside with the yellow jackets...

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MB
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Excellent service. Great patio dining. Have been going to The Panama Hotel for years.

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f
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Disappointed to find 4 items already out on such a small menu

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BI
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Its always great food cant wait to return.

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R
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is an older, quirky spot in San Rafael. The food is good and the staff are friendly. Great for lunch or a Sunday brunch.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

My food was cold and our waitress disappeared.

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A
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food,service and company! Can’t wait to return!

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LM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

LOVE the Panama Hotel. Very comfortable with a great outdoor seating area. Food good. Highly recommend.

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LU
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch on the patio at The Panama, what could be better? The setting is so charming. They shield you from the sun with big umbrellas. Our waiter was terrific, made recommendations which turned out to be wonderful. He was friendly and attentive. The food was delicious. It's always hard to make a choice because there are so many tempting options. I had Rosie's Scramble--eggs, portobello mushrooms, spinach, sautéed onions, garlic and jack cheese, a delicious combination. My friend had the polenta which was topped with poached eggs, roasted pepper, tomato and basil salsa, with italian sausage placed like a big smiley face on the plate. As fun to look at as it was to eat. And, oh, did I mention the mimosas made with fresh squeezed orange juice? Can't wait to go back to this favorite neighborhood place.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brunch personal business meeting

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b
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

While the ambiance here is nice, the food and the service are less than optimal. Our waitress had too many tables and felt rushed and pre-occupied. After being seated, it took almost 10 minutes before she came to the table - about twice as long as it should be, given the food prices. Then, about half-way through our meal, my wife discovers a six inch human hair in her food which was obviously disgusting. And while we were not charged for that, my wife lost her appetite quickly. Lastly, the food was acceptable but nothing to write home about. I had the poblano chile stuffed with quinoa which was very average. I would give this place a grade of C overall.

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s
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

quaint restaurant,casual and cozy.good service. loved the scallop tostada and the fried calamari was crisp and flavourful. the salmon was over cooked even though we asked for medium. the mushroom ravioli was to die for!! i would go again. dishes are hit or miss but its a neigborhood gem.

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JJ
San Francisco
61 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The music was a little too loud for our foursome to converse

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KD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I usually enjoy live music but during our dinner the electric guitar was quite loud.

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JO
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed an incredible afternoon snack of scallops and a side guacamole dish. Our dinners were just wonderful and the staff was friendly and efficient.
The morning spread was put out by a true gentleman...Juan. Scones, home made granola, fresh strawberries, great, great coffee and much more all displayed in an eye pleasing manner.

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OT
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Noise Level: I chose energetic only because of the table behind me. There was a couple, and luckily they ate and left before our lunch was done. The woman was SO loud, and my friend and I could barely hear our own conversation. There was a table for 8 next to us who were great, no problem with their volume.
Our lunch was very good.

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m
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant for over 35 years! I was concerned about the new ownership but no need to worry. Just as good as ever.

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KM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

A local, almost unknown, gem that I'm almost glad that IS unknown.

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A
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

I am a frequent guest at Panama and was very disappointed at the recent experience. Service was slow/ we were not asked if everything was ok, one guest said her chicken dish was “disgusting”- it did look very unappetizing. /it was floating in a pool of brown liquid and she was comped for this as appropriate. We didn’t have the opportunity to get second rolls which are delicious. Fries were cold. We asked for a heat lamp - it was not put up until the end of the meal. it took way to long to get desserts..
I love the Panama and will come back - hoping this was an off night. It was crowded and it appeared the kitchen was overwhelmed...

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NB
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

An unexpected find for me as I learned the restaurant has been here for a long time. They were very accommodating to our need to eat and run. Everything was delicious and I can’t wait to return.

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DP
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

I always have loved this place but Thursday with the music was not a good choice for visiting and having a conversation. ☹

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l
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Have been coming to Panama restaurant for years, love the ambience and love the food and the servers. But something happened on my visit this past week. First the restaurant which is normally bustling with customers, was dead empty. Which is odd because we were told that we couldn’t reserve a table in the place where we wanted, but when we got there they said sure. We ordered the special of the day which turned out to be very tasteless, was a fajita dish but came with tiny little tortillas, very odd. Our server Tim was great, but that’s all I can say about this visit to the Panama. I hope things improve, as it all seems very strange to be eating in an empty restaurant with a meal that didn’t match up to my past experience.

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KB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food in a cozy atmosphere. We sat in the garden which felt a million miles away from downtown. Great service as well. My companion is very picky and made several change requests, the waiter was very acomodating and my friend got exactly what she was hoping for.

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OT
Detroit
12 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Have always enjoyed the Panama, for lunchtime, cocktails, and also for dinners. This visit was no exception, and all three of us really enjoyed our lunches - delicious food! Only negative was that for a business lunch crowd it seemed they were understaffed, which slowed service. Perhaps it was the day, or an unexpected rush, but it's imperative that local business people be able to get in and out in approximately an hour or we'll have to choose another destination and miss this fine food!

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