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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 36 times today
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The Panama Hotel Restaurant

4.4
1592 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • 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

Specials

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Come celebrate Mother's Day with us!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

What 1592 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
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined a day ago

The baja salad (without meat) has undergone a revision. While still as tasty as ever, it now seems to be half the size of the baja salad I knew and loved. It used to be a meal. This time, it was an appetizer. I went home and ate eggs.

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

What a great experience! Although I'm a lifetime Marin resident, I somehow had never known about the Panama Hotel and Restaurant. We went to Sunday brunch for my mom's 70th birthday and had a wonderful experience. The food was delicious, the service was great, and the ambiance (outdoor seating under umbrellas with perfect weather and quiet conversations from our surrounding customers) was perfect. Thanks for a memorable experience. We'll be back!

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4.0Dined 3 days ago

I like this place. My service was ok
The scallop special could have had more scallops and less quinoa and greens. Still a healthy meal at a fair cost.

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4.0Dined 4 days ago

Wanted to sit outside in the garden. Wasn’t available although we were the first ones for lunch. I guess you have to request garden table. I didn’t know and was disappointed.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The staff is attentive and cordial and Linda, the hostess, is a gem!

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

We recently moved to San Rafael and several neighbors told us about The Panama Hotel Restaurant. We were there on a Wednesday night and by the time we left the place was packed. Reservation are advised. The staff and their service were exceptionally good.
We have been told the Sunday Brunch is very much worth a visit.

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2.0Dined on April 13, 2018

The dining room is attractive and the food is wonderful. All of this was utterly ruined by a trio of elderly men playing guitar and hand drum, and singing bad songs from the 60's and 70's (Wasted Away in Margaritaville, Stuck In The Middle etc.) It was extremely loud and intrusive. We were unprepared for this "entertainment" to ruin our meal--we obviously did not do enough research beforehand. Our reservation was for 7pm on a Thursday: be warned.

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2.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Very disappointing. The food was tasteless, huge portions were possibly meant to attract.
Even my calamari salad was tasteless and it used to be my favorite. I would go to the Panama for lunch just for the salad and Stuffed Pasillo Pepper....what has happened? Our friend had the Halibut evening special and it was overcooked, the veggies were overcooked and tasteless.
The Pasillo Pepper and sauce took up the entire plate, it looked like it came from a diner kitchen.

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

I hadn't been to the Panama Hotel in quite some time and was happy to find it freshened but essentially unchanged. I had veggie tacos, most delicious, and my companion had beet salad. My one and only complaint with the PH is that they put a rather undistinguished roll on the bread and butter plate. It tastes more like a Brown 'n Serve than anything. There is really no excuse for having mediocre bread in the Bay Area, especially with Bordenave's Bakery right in San Rafael. They should establish a relationship w/Bordenave's and get good crunchy French rolls from that source.
Otherwise, the meal was fine. The server kept our water glasses full, the temperature in the room was perfect, it all added up to a very enjoyable lunch experience.

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Reunion of long-time friends

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4.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Food was good. Server got one of the orders messed up. I find this place consistently good.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Lady D and the Tramps were fantastic- we hope you will have them back more often and in your Jazz week.

Noise level=irrelevant, so I did not rate it above. The trio played at perfect volume.

The food was terrific, especially the Baja seafood salad

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

I have been going there for over 20 years. The Baja Salad and Wild mushroom ravioli do not disappoint. Wait staff very attentive. Corkage is a bit steep

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

The server was really nice, but his service sucked. We wanted to sit on the patio, but they told us that it was reserved for"bigger parties" even though there was a table for two available our there the entire time we were there.

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3.0Dined on March 31, 2018

I've been here twice before, and have loved it. But the other night was a huge disappointment.
The tuna ceviche was outstanding, as was the tortilla soup. We should have stopped there.

For entrees, we ordered the pork chop and the swordfish which was their special. The pork chop was so dry and thick (way overcooked) that it was a challenge to cut, even with a steak knife. When the swordfish arrived, I was surprised to see it bathed in paprika and not seasoned as the waiter had described. I regret not asking the price, as i would not have paid the $30!! that was charged for the relatively small (and not so tasty) fish. Waiters should always give the price of the specials, and I'll make a point of asking if they don't.

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

It was so noisy that we couldn’t have a conversation. Otherwise, we enjoy the Panama Hotel Restaurant.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Panama has a special ambiance; white table cloths, funky kitch on the shelves, romantic lighting, soft jazz mid-week. Wonderful for holidays and romantic dinners.

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4.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Good service but our table was placed too closely to two other tables. People had to bang into my husbands chair to sit down.

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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

We've been coming here for special occasions for 20 years.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

i took my 93 year old mom there for lunch. She was in a wheelchair, so we sat in the outer front area and it was perfect. I rolled her up to the table and didn’t have to transfer her at all.

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2.0Dined on March 18, 2018

I’ve had lunch here before which was great! Dinner was another story. Beet salad had very few beets and an overload of greens. Pork chop was chewy and had no taste. Entree arrived before appetizer was cleared. Disappointing.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Great restaurant and I would recommend it to anyone. The service was excellent, food and wine were perfect.

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5.0Dined on March 16, 2018

Wonderful food and great live music! The ambience is also most excellent. I would have my family stay there when they visit

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Always love the people, food and wine here. Wonderful ambience, neighborhood gem and one of my favorite restaurants in San Rafael.

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5.0Dined on March 13, 2018

Have driven by this gem for years without ever stepping inside.
Charming; warm, "homey" if it could be said

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

There was live music when we were there. The young lady had a lovely voice which went well with the great food. I love this place!

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

We try to hit this place at least once a week. Since we eat out 5 times a week, we have tried most of the places, but keep coming back here. The Baja Seafood salad is just great.

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1.0Dined on March 8, 2018

This was a girls' evening out to celebrate a friend's birthday. We were seated in the main room where I was advised in advance that there would be music, however, I was told the music would be quiet. It turned out we could not hear one another talk. The music was distracting, loud and not enjoyable. Most of our group of six women agreed that the food was below mediocre, yet, the tab was pricey. In addition, our server was inattentive. Overall, it was a negative experience, I do not intend to return to The Panama Hotel, nor will I recommend it to anyone. Note: My husband made this reservation on my behalf but he was not in attendance.

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4.0Dined on March 8, 2018

For years Panama has been our “go to” restaurant for girlfriend birthdays. It’s easy and the menu has something for everyone. Our recent visit was less inspired than previous visits. Two of us had the Baja seafood salad. It was small and bland. Our other two friends shared that salad and an order of mushroom ravioli which was totally dry. The $25 corkage fee is also excessive. However...service was excellent. There are new owners and time will tell. Hoping the Panama improves...it is an important neighborhood institution.

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2018

Panama Hotel is a local staple. Fresh ingredients, welcoming warm staff, and great food prepared a little differently with some usual favorites makes this place great.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Usually everything is fantastic. Thus time I had the polenta with poached eggs and it came in a bowl with enough polenta for six people! Aldo not salted or flavored. The result the eggs disappeared into the polenta and I kept trying to add salt & pepper to no avail. I'll keep going back though--the scones were FAB!

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4.0Dined on March 1, 2018

cozy atmosphere , attentive service, creative food

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4.0Dined on February 28, 2018

Charming, moderately priced and delicious. A lovely lunch.

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5.0Dined on February 28, 2018

Great food, eclectic atmosphere and GREAT music. Great food with music and a lively atmosphere, what more could you ask for. Panama Hotel is a gem.

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Food is consistently good and inventive at the Panama Hotel restaurant.

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5.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Perfect place to bring friends from out of town for good food, quaint atmosphere for a totally enjoyable evening. One of the great thing about the Panama Hotel is no worries about dress. You can be dressed to the 9's or casual al it's all good--very comfortable.
The staff is always friendly and attentive. I would recommend this place to all my friends.
Don't forget to save room for a bite of something sweet at the end. The three of us shared their Lemon Tart and the Sundee YUM!!

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4.0Dined on February 23, 2018

Cute place and quite popular. Our lunches were delicious and generous - tasty fish tacos and veggie filled enchiladas - yum! NOise level in the dining room was a bit high and made it difficult to carry on a conversation. Will return for sure and maybe try for dinner.

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5.0Dined on February 21, 2018

A local favorite of mine. Always a pleasure.

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5.0Dined on February 16, 2018

Vibrant ambience! A neighborhood gem! I'll be back for sure!

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5.0Dined on February 16, 2018

The Panama never disappoints, especially when the weather is nice and I can sit outside and enjoy a spectacular salad.

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