The Panama Hotel Restaurant

4.3
1637 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch
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 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
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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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Executive chef
Dan Miller
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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
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Special events & promotions
Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
Reviews from verified diners
1,637 reviews
4.3 out of 5 Stars
Outstanding
48%
Very Good
38%
Good
10%
Fair
3%
Poor
1%
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

The Panama is the restaurant i go to each year on my birthday.
The food is very fresh and tasty.
I absolutely love the ambiance and the patio seating. I feel like I asm away on vacation. It never disappoints!

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KD
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite restaurant in Marin. I love that it's in a neighborhood and has that down home relaxed neighborhood vibe. ( I especially like the thoughtfulness of the sun hats out in the patio for those of us who need shade during lunch!) All of the staff is fabulous and really cares for you
( especially Kani, Josh and Linda!!!) and the live music at night has a wide range of the best musicians in Marin. A toast to the owners who consider that live music is important and because of that there is a fan base for people coming to hear the music and also having a great dinner. Along with the music I think the food is the highlight of this place - great varied menu and always delicious. I know I need to try the other items but the salmon dish is my favorite and I have it every time. If you are looking for a intimate, friendly, low key restaurant come to the Panama!

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D
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

LOVE The Panama! Great atmosphere. Delicious food. Attentive, kind, friendly and professional staff! It's a neighborhood favorite!

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JB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I have been to the Panama Hotel for both lunch and dinner many times. It is one of my favorite restaurants in Marin. The only drawback is the parking situation but it is worth having to sometimes walk a block or two.

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d
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

The Panama has never been amazing but used to feel more like they cared. Food is so so and the service is terrible. I think we are done giving it a try.

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G
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything tasted even better than usual! I love it when a good restaurant keeps striving to improve even more. The Panama is a great neighborhood restaurant!

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d
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

lovely ambience for friends to have dinner. Food good, service good, ambience lovely.
Local gem

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was wonderful. The outside patio is very charming and the food is very good

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SB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We drive over from Berkeley to eat at the Panama Hotel. Nice ambiance. Friendly staff. Great food. Music: Todos Santos perfect for the venue.

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MM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The place is cute, ambiance nice. Food was bland, nothing special.

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I
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Panama Hotel has been a go-to place for me for many years.

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CB
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The well prepared food was offset unsatisfactory service all around which was indifferent at best and at times unfriendly. The hostess was unwelcoming. Our original waiter took forever to appear and was then replaced by one who seemed almost resentful. He reached across our table several times instead of coming around. This was the first time I have encountered poor service in all the many times I’ve dined at the restaurant. Definitely, an “off” and off-putting night at The Panama Hotel! I was embarrassed as I was hosting a birthday dinner for a close friend.

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Server was not very attentive.

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H
Palm Springs
21 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We love LOVE visiting and dining at The Panama! Brought a girlfriend this time and she is certainly returning with husband and friends!!
Thank you again for a wonderful relaxing time and meal.

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SR
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful lunch. The hamburger is enough to feed 2 people it is so large. The patio is charming, but can be loud if seated next to loud people...tables are close.

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SC
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

The Panama is one of our favorite special occasion restaurants because of the lovely ambience, special but still casual. Perhaps because it was a live music night the service was a little slow & less attentive than usual but still okay. The live music indoors did make conversation a little difficult--not so much of an issue if you are sitting outdoors which is a lovely choice. the Panama is a real local gem with good food & not your average generic restaurant.

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CH
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

The setting is quaint and comfortable but our waiter seemed to have a how to say it, supercilious almost haughty attitude. Not friendly and very non communicative. Too bad as it was slightly pricey dinner and hard to justify the price.

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FL
San Francisco
56 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I've dined here many times and always enjoy the food and ambiance and unlike many other restaurants, they have kept their prices moderate. We were dining early so it was probably quiet because there were only a few other people around but I know it can get loud with it's fully seated. Just an overall great place to dine.

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DM
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There is a lovely outdoor dining area at this restaurant . The food and tasty wine lisonly add to the fun experience. We had a sweet dinner with friends. 4 stars!

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K
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Love the atmosphere and the food. Six of us went for our 27th anniversary. The service was terrific, the table outside was so pleasant, we could hear ourselves talk, and everyone was very happy with all the food. Always a favorite in our book!

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SJ
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant never disappoints! Food was wonderful, and we had a long pleasant sit on the patio.

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JO
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

we were late. . . they were still friendly . . .this is a great little place . . .food is creative and delicious . . .staff very nice and friendly . . .just don't tell too many of your friends or Michael Bauer of S.F. Chronicle . . .a little gem tucked away in Marin . . . we just may become 'regulars' here

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RM
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The place was hoppin', the employees were friendly and the food was delicious (the Baja salad, the chicken, the calamari salad, the Panama sundae). The music (Wanda Stafford and band with special guest Bob Switzer) was FABULOUS! We're looking forward to returning and staying in Mimi's Bungalow again.

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OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Very good food, as usual. Horrendous service from waiter (named Guy): sullen, inattentive, and slow at every point of the interface. If he was my server again, I’d get up and leave.

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LG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We had trouble with the server who first came to our table. When we weren't quite ready to order drinks he left and didn't come back. Finally after 30 mins. we go another waiter to take our order and eventually got drinks and food all at the same time after waiting another 30 mons. or so. We were there for 2 hours due to the difficulty getting a waiter and the kitchen was slow as well, even though the restaurant was not full. The food is fine for casual dining and I have eaten here many times but for some reason this time the service was very slow.

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e
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Nice place & food quite good, tho we felt music was too loud for small dining room.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reconnection with lifelong friend who’s grandma was Maria’s Pueblo so she grew up at the facility. Wonderful memories for her as she saw old family photos still on the walls She was very proud and stays in hotel once a year feeling the energy and love of her family

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LC
San Francisco
86 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

A lackluster beet salad (with 4 small pieces of beet), wine that tasted like it'd been opened a week ago, and a baja salad that is passed its glory days all combined to create a general sense that the Panama is not what it once was. The atmosphere is still funky and fun, the service was actually quite good - but the food has gone down hill. A reliably good meal in San Rafael is no longer, at least as of this writing.

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Z
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 5ambience 1

Should have Panamanian food andPanamanian atmoaphere.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant! The ambiance is charming, unique, and delightful. Always an enjoyable experience!!

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LG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Panama has always been my absolute favorite place for lunch. The food is delicious, the servers are pleasant and thoughtful, and the atmosphere is beautiful and relaxing. Try it - you'll love it!

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SK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Have been a customer for many years. Like the cozy feel of dining at Panama and glad to see it reopen for the summer. Looking forward to dining on the patio during the warmer months.

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T
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Panama Hotel is a great local place. Comfy, interesting decor. Great outdoor dining, and delicious food.

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c
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Good ambiance; okay food; nice waitress; grouchy and brusque hostess.

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c
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

lovely, small place with excellent, unpretentious food and cheerful locale. On a warm day or evening the outdoor tables are really pleasant and quiet. Just a special quiet place to enjoy a meal.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 2

Plenty of seats outside but hostess wouldn’t let us sit out there. No one sat in them the whole time we were there. More opened up actually

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m
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always reliable great food in a quiet outdoor or indoor setting. Umbrellas for shade protection. Dogs okay outside. Worth it!

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LJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Panama is my go to restaurant in San Rafael!

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

This is one of our favorite restaurants. Great food, service and wine list.

I was a bit taken aback at the skimpy baja seafood salad.
The plate used to be overflowing with greens, interspersed with seafood, avocado, beans, corn and tortilla chips.
This time, there was a discreet mound of lettuce in the center of the plate with two each of shrimp, scallops and small pieces of salmon. For $21!
There used to be an entire piece of salmon!

When leaving we were invited to a reopening reception by the “ new ownership”.
I guess that explains the changes.

We’ll still go there - but I hope the new owner(s) realize that great food and decent portions at reasonable prices is the best
formula for success.

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LB
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Food is relatively tasteless and the ingredients appear to be second-rate. The service was extremely poor the day we went.

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