The Panama Hotel Restaurant

4.4
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1909 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 1909 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
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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p
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great patio and food. Service was ok, perhaps a little stretched.

R
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant, nestled in a quiet San Rafael, neighborhood. We dined outside on a balmy Thursday evening. Assorted hats hung along the fence, giving it the Panama vibe. Excellent service and food!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love! Such a fabulous place for a date night.

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

Chicken and seafood was overcooked

PM
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent except for the table location. Terrific pork chop, tender and not dry! Wonderful service. I wanted to try this restaurant for a long time, and I’m really glad I finally did :-)

L
New England
4 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We sat outside. Might be noise problem inside when they have music

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outside feels so tropical like being on vacation in Hawaii . Salads are visually attractive and delicious. Chairs are comfortable which isn’t true of many restaurants.

LL
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

We enjoyed a family dinner al fresco on the inviting patio. Food and service we both good. I recommend the Panama Hotel!

J
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Really terrific for summer outside romantic dining. Grfeat music. Noisy if youre inside.

C
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Panama Hotel is my favorite Bay Area restaurant and I live an hour away from it. Lunch in the garden was delicious. Service was very fine, as always. Altogether, a delightful experience, as always.

BL
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed everything we had both starters and main course. I will say that the stuffed pepper seemed to be almost all grain this time. In prior times it seemed that we had more veg and cheese. That said it was still quite good.

WW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I’ve been coming to The Panama Hotel Restaurant for many, many years. I love to dine outdoors and the ambiance here is delightful. I’ve never had a poor meal, all items are consistently delicious. For this visit my party of three noticed how the restaurant was very understaffed. Our server had tables both inside and out which resulted in very long waits for beverages, food and even our bill.

VW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The patio provided a romantic inviting dining venue. The food is delicious, portions are more than adequate. The lone server did the best she could to meet and greet upon being seated. Overall, wonderful. Staying at the hotel made it very easy to stretch dinner out and enjoy the music.

BC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Panama Hotel Restaurant is wonderful. Such a great experience that I'd recommend it to anyone.

DJ
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pleasant, no pressure service. Unfortunately was too windy to sit outside.

SA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Lovely back patio with flowers and umbrellas. Live music a few days a week, nice easy to listen to. Prices were average for Marin. Brunch was delicious and I've also been for dinner and liked it as well. Service was attentive.

JR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

All was great except Dow an over cooked bone in pork chop. Look forward to another dinner I requested special accommodations when I placed the reservations (I am diabetic) but the server did not know anything about it. So I had to request it again in person.

SY
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Was happy to introduce Panama Hotel to friends who had never been there. They loved it.

JH
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Outside seating is great. Food was not as good as I had expected. Boring rolls, ceviche not so fresh. Salad was excellent. Desert yummy. Service was good. “Old” crowd.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Always fun and relaxed. Great place to meet up with friends. Love the outdoor seating area.

JJ
San Francisco
50 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The Panama Hotel is one of my favorite spots for lunch and Friday's lunch did not disappoint. I have 3 or 4 favorites that are hard to choose among (the goat cheese and quinoa stuffed pepper, the calamari fritti salad) but my friend and I shared the burger -- it was great! And plenty to share.
Sitting on the patio is so relaxing, the wait staff is friendly and lets you enjoy being there with no pressure. All good reasons for being my favorite lunch spot.

P
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we sat outside on the porch, so it was very quiet. Inside there was music which is also very nice!!

JJ
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brought my friend out to lunch for her birthday. The restaurant was up to her choosing, and, since I have not been here, she's a big fan and thought I would love it. She was right, I definitely did! Thank you!

OT
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love sitting outside on a warm evening. Everything was excellent.

CK
San Francisco
153 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We had a good dinner though it seems as the staff may have changed recently. Service was a little slow and the Caesar salad was forgotten. The items we did eat were very good. We have loved the Panama Hotel for years and hope that they get their current staffing challenges under control.

m
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the place! Eat here regularly. Staff is warm and friendly and food is excellent.

S
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Excellent choice summertime lunch
on their patio.
Plenty of shade ......relax with friends

LB
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were greeted promptly by the cheerful hostess and were seated on the patio as requested. Our waitress was very on top of things and tried to do her best to please everybody. Warm dinner what rolls came immediately along with ice water. We ordered some drinks and they let us mull over the menu but were there when we were ready to order. The food is always delicious. The beet salad was excellent as well as the wild mushroom ravioli - seriously great and rich. Someone ordered the burger that Was too big to finish in one sitting and cooked exactly how ordered. The salad was chocked with seafood and lots of other ingredients with a light dressing. We ordered two desserts - a lemon tart and a chocolate sundae that topped off the mail perfectly. Highly recommend this pleasant spot.

JB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I like the ambiance and convenient location as I can walk there. This is a review based on weekend brunch not dinner or lunch. The menu has not changed in eons and this is the second time I waited 10 minutes for a waiter to approach and at least another 20 minutes to receive food. Disappointing when the menu lacks creativity.

L
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service! The pork chop and the salmon dinners were excellent. We would return anytime we are in the area!

SB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent ambience, food, service, and overall enjoyable meal. Thank you.

GN
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Indoors dining was just right. Too hot for outside dining that day.

AD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sitting outdoors is lovely. Our server was excellent and got every order correct despite a large group and lots of customizing the food orders! Food is delicious. I highly recommend this “one of a kind” quaint restaurant.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food is delicious and creative. Live jazz, fantastic!

h
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was very nice and crowded as usual but the service was good and so is the food

JS
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner on the Patio - quite delightfu on a warm summerly afternoon! Lovely setting, food and service.

SD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

I have been going to Panama Hotel for years on special occasions. The food is very good, ambiance is so cozy and beautiful. Wonderful outdoor dining.
The service was lacking. Perhaps they were understaffed. Waitperson barely checked in.
Still going back! Great restsurant.

OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My high school friends try to meet up at least once a year and sitting on the patio for our latest gathering was the optimal experiance for catching up with long time friends.

DD
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Our server started out cute & friendly, she is Czech. We asked her to bring out our order, salad, mussels and salmon in order and NOT all at the same time. Of course, they brought everything out together! The waitress got a little less friendly as we asked her to correct it. She said that she couldn't do anything. We made it work but I can't believe that someone in the kitchen or management didn't catch this.

CM
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated my friend's 80th birthday and all had a terrific time. Thanks for the great hospitality.

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