Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.24mi
  2. Distance: 0.56mi
  3. Distance: 0.71mi
  4. Distance: 0.83mi
  1. Distance: 0.24mi
  2. Distance: 0.56mi
  3. Distance: 0.71mi
  4. Distance: 0.83mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.24mi
  2. Distance: 0.56mi
  3. Distance: 0.71mi
  4. Distance: 0.83mi
  1. Distance: 0.24mi
  2. Distance: 0.56mi
  3. Distance: 0.71mi
  4. Distance: 0.83mi

About The Panama Hotel Restaurant

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.

4 Bayview Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Latin American, Mediterranean

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

Cross Street:
B Street & Woodland Avenue

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 457-3993

Website:
http://www.panamahotel.com/

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

Catering:
Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.

Executive Chef:
Dan Miller

Private Party Facilities:
Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.

Private Party Contact:
Kani Kido: (415) 457-3993 ext. 120

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Please contact the Panama Restaurant for further details, (415) 457-3993 or visit our website PanamaHotel.com.

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Details

Come celebrate Valentine's with your special one.

The Panama Hotel Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.5

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (48)
Casual (36)
Cozy (36)
See All
Great for Lunch (33)
Special Occasion (30)
Good for a Date (28)
Great for Outdoor Dining (25)
Good for Birthdays (24)
Quiet Conversation (23)
Fit for Foodies (22)
Sunday Lunch (22)
Live Music (21)
Authentic (19)
Comfort Food (18)
Creative Cuisine (17)
Fun (17)
Good for Groups (17)
Romantic (16)
Good for Anniversaries (15)
Business Meals (15)
Great for Brunch (14)
Good Vegetarian Options (14)
Healthy (9)
Local Ingredients (8)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Seasonal (7)
Bar Seating (6)
Afternoon Tea (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Organic (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Disabled Access (4)
Happy Hour (4)
People Watching (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Vegan (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Spicy (2)
Tapas (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
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1522 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Sadly I chose this place for my friends 30th birthday. We were seated in an ally way when you first walk in. That was the best part of our visit. I let the hostess know right away it was a birthday and she acknowledged asking the name. Waiter came on the scene and From there it was all down hill. Waiter basically forgot about us and we waited long periods to order food...dessert ..to get the bill...we waited for everything! My friend even had to get up to find the waiter after long extended wait. Last we ordered dessert for the birthday and The creme brulee was supposed to be the happy birthday treat. It came sloppy melted sides and cold in the middle. No happy birthday..no candle no nada. When mentioned to waiter..he said "oh..ya shoulda told me..i woulda brought a candle". WORSE..they close and lock the door around ten...and with an 8pm reservation we were still there. In that alleyway....people were still wanting to come in and out and because they lock the door..people would stare at us through the glass tapping to get us to open door. We played doorman twice while eating. $150 LATER...NO THANKS...There are better restaurants for your money.

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience5
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2018

We have been to the Panama Hotel restaurant many times over the years.
It has a funky ambiance which we like, and we love the food. It is an eclectic mix of cuisines.
I had the Pork Chop and my husband had the stuffed Poblano Chile, both delicious.
Although we enjoyed ourselves this time, we found our server to be rather surly. We talked to friends who ate there recently, and they had the same waiter who they also described as "surly".

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Server spoiled the meal-unattentive and unfriendly

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service2
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 10, 2018

Fantastic, colorful, great service and food!! Recommend to everyone!!

Tags: Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

I had forgotten about this hidden gem in San Rafael and wanted to take some friends to lunch who live in San Rafael. We all loved our food, our service and the price. It's just so unique and so delicious. We live in San Francisco, but always in Marin too and will bring more friends to this gem. Thanks for a great brunch, Christine P.

Tags: Business Meals, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Quick Bite, Organic, Vegan, Afternoon Coffee, Spicy, Romantic, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Live Music, Great for Brunch, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Afternoon Tea, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Casual, Authentic, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Have been to Panama many times. Have had great food and service. Our waiter the time was not the best. There was no interaction and politeness as a waiter should be.
Sad....but I’ll be back again.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Always pleasant . Excellent food

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2018

I've been here several times, and always enjoy it. It's a quirky, comfortable, interesting place with great ambience and originality. Parking is easy and service was good - the sort of place where you are not constantly interrupted by the wait staff, and your plates are all removed when everyone is finished, not whisked away while you still have food in your mouth. Portions are very generous so go easy on the starters. Dessert is divine.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Good Location.
Great Menu.
Comfortable seating.
Easy parking.
However, food does not approach the exciting complexity of the menu. Kitchen is heavy handed in its food prep. Sadly disappointing. It’s time for the chef to retool and retrain.

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

Always lovely with delicious food and great service.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on January 5, 2018

Either go for a drink and listen to the music or have dinner on an evening when there is no music. Impossible to have any conversation when the music plays. We were not prepared for the noise level, although we enjoyed the music.

Great Caesar salad with salmon!

Tags: Bar Seating, Live Music, Cozy, Casual, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

After deciding not to go back to Panama Hotel several years ago because of the lackluster dining experience and pricey but ordinary food, my wife and I stopped in a few months ago and were very pleasantly surprised at the improvement all around. It's always been a charming spot, tucked into the Gerstle Park neighborhood of San Rafael with charming decor, lots of plants and an outdoor patio. But the new menu is really good, and now worth the prices - which are not unreasonable but a bit on the high side. We've been back a couple of times now, and the tortilla soup is quickly becoming a favorite, and the grilled artichoke appetizer is delicious. At a recent holiday dinner there the salmon was excellent, and the special of the day, a pan seared halibut, equally so.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Excellent all around. Service was fantastic. Great advice on food. We'll be back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We celebrated the night before New Years Eve. The Panama menu is sufficiently large to cover most choices. The waitress was prompt, most pleasant and quite capable. My wife had the Baja salad which was chock full of large shrimp, salmon and other seafood. I had the Halibut special which was a surprisingly large piece and perfectly cooked. We heartily recommend your dining here.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Panama Hotel is possibly the best overall restaurant in San Rafael. Its patios are delightful, the food - mexican inspired - is typically very good and the staff are friendly. Dishes include items like poblano chiles, which are very good. Panama relies a bit too heavily in my view on various types of creams and cheeses.

Service is sometimes spotty because of apparent staffing limitations but that does not ruin the meal as it is such a nice environment and staff is pleasant. The music can be a bit loud inside an already loud dining room.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Gluten Free Options, Good for a Date, Casual, Romantic, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 20, 2017

Music and art in a cozy environment. Food is tasty and the place has charm and character.

Tags: People Watching, Live Music, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 19, 2017

Love the old world ambience,service, location & food

Tags: Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2017

One of my favorite spots for friendly atmosphere, good food and relaxing out of the clamor location. Great brunch, salads, sandwiches and specials like Irish colcannon outdoor terrace, tented in winter, cheerful inside, music on some week nights and weekends.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2017

Great burgers. Delicious lemon tart for desert. Service was prompt and the ambiance was very nice. Overall very enjoyable dinner.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Our group meets quarterly, and the Panama is our go-to spot. It's conveniently situated for our members who come from the North Bay and the East Bay. Beyond that, we generally enjoy the food and dining on the patio. However, for our December lunch we didn't request the patio (thinking it would be too cold), and were seated in the dining room. The sound was deafening. The voices of the other diners created such a cacophony that we couldn't hear our own conversation. Now that we know the patio is enclosed for fall dining, we will insist on sitting there. I would not enjoy another meal inside. I remember now that the noise level has always been a problem inside. I'm surprised there has been no obvious attempt to dampen the sound. Too many hard surfaces . Please, Panama, do something about that!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 15, 2017

The Panama is a wonderful restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating on the patio. I've been going to the Panama for over five years, and their food is always delicious, and the service is first rate. I highly recommend the Panama!

Tags: Business Meals, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 11, 2017

Always a great place for lunch. Everyone in my group has the same thing every single time, which tells you something. Consistently good, distinct menu that you don't see anywhere else. You can't go wrong here, and service is excellent.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Very good food at a reasonable price. Service a little rushed

Tags: Fun, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Service amiable, setting comfortable & interesting. Brunch menu extremely limited/will avoid. Small Caesar salad with 4 small shrimp over-priced at $21.

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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 1, 2017

My husband & I were celebrating his good news on a medical report but had been invited to come to the Panama Hotel by my friend whose band was playing that night as well. The food was very good & the ambiance great with the music very easy to listen to. A very relaxing evening.

Tags: Casual, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Reliably good food and service; favorites like the calamari salad stay on the menu, while seasonal salads and an entree or two change. The ambiance is always good. We enjoyed dinner and the women in our party had often lunched there with groups. It remains an excellent choice for lunch as well as for the occasional dinner.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2017

Good place. Good service. Good food. We'll be back. Soon.

Tags: Seasonal, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good for Groups, Cozy, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2017

The food was fine and the service attentive. We chose this evening to t as we wanted to hear the live music. We were placed in the patio that had been enclosed by plastic curtains and had a propane heater that could not be regulated so we were either too cold or too hot all evening. We never heard any of the live music from that location.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience2
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 26, 2017

Felt the quality of the food was off from our prior experiences.

Tags: Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 22, 2017

Our son was in town from New York He is a food and he loved it as well. It's hard to impress a New Yorker !

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 21, 2017

This place was excellent. Food was fantastic and different from other restaurants. Wait and bus persons were pleasant, nice and had a quiet manner. Environment was charming and warm. Even though they were almost full, it seemed quiet and quaint. No problems at all which is a rarity. Also, great selection of vegetarian foods. Thanks Panama Hotel!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Healthy, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

The Panama Hotel has become our “go-to” spot for a special meal in San Rafael. We ordered the scallop mini tostadas to start, an intriguing combination with avocado and a tiny bite of spicinesd to round out the palate.

My girlfriend had the pasta with vegetables, which was a delight of the season, while I had the roast chicken, a perfectly cooked chicken breast, moist and tasty.

And we finished with a lemon tart to round out our meal. We’ll be back soon!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Paleo Friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Authentic, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2017

We loved the dining atmosphere at the Panama Hotel. It's cozy, nicely decorated and has a flare of local history. The service was great and the food was wonderful with many interesting choices on the menu. We will definitely be returning - maybe even for our wedding!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Live Music, Good for Anniversaries, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, Bar Seating, Cozy, Good for a Date, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 16, 2017

I usually love the Panama Hotel for lunch or dinner, winter or summer but this most recent visit was just not that great. They generally have one of the best hamburgers around and this was pretty awful. It must have been sitting in the service window for awhile, it was barely hot, the cheese was not melted and it was kind of dry- barely any sauce on the bun. My friend had the ravioli and I was jealous. I was starving so I ate about half of it. Service was practically non existent. Had to wait a really long time for the requested serving of aioli and grated parm for her pasta.
The outdoor heating is either full tilt or not enough. Inside was really noisy so we elected to sit in the covered atrium. Just not a great showing for a place that I frequent pretty often.

Tags: Business Meals, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 15, 2017

The food was delicious and the Jack Prendergast Jazz Band offered the perfect compliment to at great evening!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Really enjoyed our meal, I would recommend Panama Hotel to all! Great selection, great portions, great service!

Tags: Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Live Music, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Authentic, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Charming, quaint hotel/restaurant tucked away in a non-descript area of San Rafael. We had a 7:30 p.m. reservation of a Saturday night. We arrived on time and were seated immediately. The menu wasn't large but had a good selection. I had the chicken tortilla soup as an appetizer, a signature dish for them. It was excellent! Full of flavor, just a hint of spice. Though, it could been served hotter, temperature-wise. My entree was the Painted Hills Grilled New York steak (medium rare) with baby potatoes and sauteed spinach. The steak had a chimichurri sauce that was a delicious accompaniment. Steak was cooked perfectly. Potatoes were a bit garlicky, a bit buttery. And the spinach was excellent. A fabulous creme brulee rounded out our lovely evening. They also do lunch and weekend brunch. We'll be back!!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

As always, a great meal at Panama Hotel! Would suggest to anyone wanting good food.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Always a great experience here!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on November 7, 2017

Very consistent quality and excellent service. Love this wonderful little gem!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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