The Panama Hotel Restaurant

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4.4
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1857 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.
What 1857 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
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AC
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the calimari appetizer and the vegetarian enchilada.. Always a great place to eat outside.

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FB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Unfortunately Panama Hotel is not the same since new ownership. We waited for over an hour and a half for our dinner on Father’s Day. The chicken was coated in garlic, salmon and pork chop dry. I’m sad to say we won’t be returning.

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N
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Service help too busy to be thoughtful snd detail-oriented. We had to ask repeatedly for ice, did refills on. Cocktails. Entrees were very good but a bit expensive given the lunch hour snd the skimpy portion size.

Setting is Wuxi crowded old fashioned charm. The best lace is very popular with small town regulars who don’t mind that the service is slow and the coffee undrinkable .

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RE
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Charming unique restaurant on the edge of downtown San Rafael. Beautiful outdoor patio, great for lunch. Fin-de-siecle ambience. Wonderful salads.

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e
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Had a pleasant brunch with friends. Their outdoor patio is very colorful. It allows you to forget you are in an urban environment. The food is good not great, but fairly consistent.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Food was great, (Baja seafood salad and calamari) although because of the deafening noise level, we rushed through our meal and left. The outside patio and sun room in front are the only places where you can have a conversation. Skip the main dining room. Even when there is no music.

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S
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Panama Hotel is one of our favorite restaurants in Marin and we will continue frequenting it.

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f
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We brought our neighbors to the Panama Hotel for dinner. The restaurant was new to 2 people in our party. Everyone enjoyed their meal, and we had a pleasant evening.

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GY
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

So glad you are open for lunch.
Tacos were delicious!
Thank you for the nice afternoon.

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j
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Ordered the butter lettuce salad with prawns. They were very spicy & not that pleasant to eat. There was hardly any feta in the salad. Disappointing meal, not nearly as good as it has been in the past. Waitress was busy & not very attentive.

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CT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

It was lovely to have a live musician however he was not the best musician we’ve heard.

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M
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While we were there two unique occurrences happened. A table of women sang accapella not one but twice. While it was a huge imposition it did startle me and got us to stopp talking.
The other incident is an elderly patron was confused and almost lost his balance and fell if it was not for me catching him. His table guests just froze and watched but did not offer to help until I finally asked them if he sat at their table. They did not get out of their seat. The oddest behavior.

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k
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Our server Rose was expert, kind and graceful, everything you want in a server. We had a large party with lots of requests and she handled us with grace, patience and big smiles.

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 2ambience 4

While you love this place, site of our first date, my fiancee and I were not thrilled with this trip.
Service was noticeably slower. Our food wasn't up to the normal high standards either. Her steak was cooked perfectly but served in a pool of watered down sauce, while the sauce on my chicken was more like a raw garlic salad.
Sure this was a fluke, or at least hope so...

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z
San Francisco
68 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

As always, a delight! We started with the Ahi Tartare, which whets the appetite without overwhelming. I had the special pasta with shrimp and mushroom sauce, while my partner had the pasta and vegetables. We were both smiling all the way through the meal.

And, since it was Thursday, there was some nice music to add to the ambiance without drowning out other sounds. We will be back!

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S
San Francisco
70 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

It was OK. Food was average - had expected more. Took the SMART TRAIN to San Rafael. The restaurant is a fairly long walk from the station.

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b
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Love this spot for dinner. We live in San Rafael and come here often. The female server was abrupt and seemed to be in a hurry to serve the three of us at 6pm with only a half full dining room. My salmon was under seasoned and bland with canned beats served on the side- it was described much more delish than it tasted. White wine Eco Terra Chard was great but food menu limited. We will probably not choose for special occasion again.

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JW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food is really good and reasonably priced. we had excellent service amd we enjoy the setting. it's casual with plenty of space between tables.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service and very accommodating to changes in menu selections. Nice friendly atmosphere and lovely outdoor dining area.

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SG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service, great setting. A favorite!

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SM
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

While staff is friendly and accommodating, the quality of the food has gone downhill. The best on the menu are some of the desserts.

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l
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely outside seating, quaint and cosy with good food and service

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M
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Such a cute restaurant! We had the huevos rancheros and the potatoes and fruit were wonderful, the salsa on the entree could have had a little more flavor but overall wonderful!

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BA
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This is a hidden gem in Marin county. You will not be disappoinetd

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LJ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

service was very, very slow, perhaps due to night before mothers day.
fries with hamburger were not good. hamburger was very good.
appetizers were good.

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CK
San Francisco
148 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A delicious lunch for my mom’s birthday. We had the mushroom ravioli and the stuffed pepper. Both were excellent and the apple and frangipani tart was a perfect dessert. We’ll be back!

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JZ
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service, food and overall ambience -- latter particularly enhanced the evening we were there with the acoustic duet of Kurt Huget and Peter Penhallow -- was at high standard. It was our first time back since the ownership change and we were delighted with the continuity, etc. Thank You!

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S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything I had was delicious. I’d recommend this restaurant & plan to return when I visit from out of town.

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GA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Panama Hotel Restaurant has been a go-to favorite for years. My husband and I have had everything from brunch to happy hour to dinner. It's been great for meeting up with friends or just having a relaxing meal outside. Panama is a true gem in our community.

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JR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Very limited menu. Not many options. Probably will not return.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

My first time enjoying a meal after several recommendations. Beautiful little gem of San Rafael. Will be going back

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G
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a treat to meet friends there. Food and Service is always superb.

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MA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food, great music. Too long a wait to get seated with a reservation.

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SB
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our party of 4 sat outside, away from the music because we wanted to talk, and it was quiet enough to do so. All of us enjoyed our dinners and split dessert. Our servers were great as was the hostess. It was a lovely evening and we will be returning!

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ML
1 review
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed the music very much. The dinner was very good, except for my pork chop, which was somewhat dry and not adequately seasoned. But otherwise, we had a good time. We have been to the Panama Hotel several times before and will certainly return, especially on a night when they provide live entertainment.

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CW
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat in the garden under an umbrella. Was divine. Met a girl friend whom I had not seen in several years and they let us visit and chat for hours. I love the Panama Hotel restaurant!

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Lovely Easter Brunch on patio. The server was pleasant just didn’t check back much. We come here quite often and always appreciate the charming atmosphere and yummy food.

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MB
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love the Panama Hotel. Dependable service and great food!

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MD
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good good, good service and nice setting. One our favorites. Usually good for conversation but not this time. When the small jazz combo added a singer we were shouting to hear each. Good singer BUT WAY TO LOUD. NO SINGER OR TURN DOWN THE VOLUME. IT IS NOT A BIG ROOM.

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SC
4 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday dinner in a warm, inviting corner of San Rafael. Delicious food and jazz music in the background! What could be better?

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