MacArthur Park - Palo Alto

4.1
1544 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Due to COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS MacArthur park Restaurant is offering Take Out and Curbside Pick Only, please call (650) 321-9990 for orders and more details. You can always check out our website as well www.macpark.com

MacArthur Park - An American Experience
For decades, MacArthur Park has been about bringing people together around outstanding California BBQ and comfort food in a casual yet elegant setting.
You’ll find us nestled in the heart of downtown Palo Alto, and walk back in time in to the simple elegance of a bygone era in a dining room designed by Julia Morgan in 1918.
We take traditional BBQ on a ride with the richness of California’s bounty, offering our signature Baby Back Ribs, fresh fish, meats and chicken, steak, unique salads and comfort food using local farm fresh produce. Portions are large, and there is something for every taste including vegan and vegetarian choices. Join us for cocktails and dining on our garden patio, nightly.

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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1544 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
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Noise · Moderate
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KO
vipelaineKOA
San Francisco
165 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Entrees are well prepared and very generous in portions. Most of the time we have to share a meal or take home half of it. The special memo features grilled kabobs of chicken or ground meat that are delicious and served with basmati rice and veggies. Some night they serve a fantastic tortilla soup and on the weekends a clam chowder, both delicious.

We have always loved the ambiance of the rafted dining room.

H
Hertas
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of those rare gems in the heart of Silicon Valley that takes you back in time. Located in a historic building designed by Julia Morgan, this gem is frequented by locals and features traditional American fare. We had the poblano peppers stuffed with a mix of cheeses, onions strings, baby back ribs with homemade marinade and a demi-glace porkchop all of which was delicious. The French 75 was to die for and the wine selection solid. We'll be back.

DC
DarylC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The patio was lovely, and we enjoyed the live music that was at the right volume so we could enjoy it as well as our dinner conversation. Our food was excellent!

HW
vipHenWeigh
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Overall very good. Great service. Nice, quiet, COVID safe indoor ambiance. Fried chicken and burger were excellent. French fries were soggy and disappointing which is why I didn’t give food 5 stars.

LC
vipLauraC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2021
Overall3food5service3ambience3

We reserved outdoor seating and were told it was unavailable when we arrived.
I don't understand the point of reserving, especially during a pandemic. The manager did not care at all.

The food was excellent and the server was excellent.

KF
KarinF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved eating on the patio!

KO
vipelaineKOA
San Francisco
165 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Lovely atmosphere whether dining inside or in the garden. The food is very good, the portions are extremely generous and the cost is surprising low for such quality. We will return again and again.

The Friday night clam chowder was served in a large bowel. We had an over sized wedge salad with blue cheese crumble large enough to share, and spinach and cheese raviolis (8 pockets) with a delicate sauce including tomato piece; we shared that as well. We met the chef/owner named Faz and congratulated him on the menu and the endurance to stay open in such difficult times. It was surprising to see s few people dinning there. Have they forgotten this wonderful place.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Horrendously bad service. We arrived on time for a 7:30 pm reservation. Although there were plenty of empty tables, it took them 10 minutes to seat us. We had to ask twice to get water. We each ordered an appetizer. Mine arrived, but my husband’s had still not arrived by 8:30 pm. Nor had they opened the bottle of wine that we brought. The “musician” was a joke and was both annoying and too loud. We will never go there again. We paid for what we did receive (2 mixed drinks and my appetizer) and left.

MM
MaryM
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice outdoor setting with friendly serving. Great for happy hour!

P
Peter
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2021
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Excellent service. Sitting in the back patio, it was quiet enough for conversations even with the live music going. The food is average. I had the full rack of baby back ribs, tasty, but a bit dry and does have the fall-off-the-bones feel.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
249 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience2

MacArthur Park has deteriorated since our last visit awhile ago.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! I had the ribs and my buddy had the shrimp pasta. We both started with the tortilla soup. Everything was amazing. The host was so gracious and kind, the serving staff was top notch and so friendly. It really was a great experience. I will be back!

M
vipMarshie
San Francisco
79 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Came as 2 couples for my BFFs birthday. We were here at 6:00 during happy hour so half price drinks on a small variety of them. Appetizers off the happy menu are cheaper too. The onion strings are delicious as is the calamari. For dinner, birthday girl had fried chicken which was a little dry but mashed potatoes were e cell eat. One gent had ribs which he loved (their specialty). My hubby and I had cheeseburgers with fries which were delicious. We ate in the open patio and it was lovely out there. Service was excellent. Come here often and will come again

DS
vipDinerSF
San Francisco
158 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Disappointing that they were out of their own branded wine; the number of times we had to call the server and remind him of what he was supposed to bring; all said, the food was nice. Really wanted to like it more, but between out of stock items, a wrong bottle brought to table that we had to send back since the server didn’t listen well, and server errors overall…they need to work out some issues.

WG
WG4Foodie
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience1

My wife and I have gone to MP many times over the years. Last night, we felt the experience was not worth the effort. The service was fine, but the food was very average and nothing special. We were celebrating my wife's belated birthday. I ended up telling her I still owed her a birthday dinner somewhere better. Very disappointed and will not be returning. There are much better restaurants closer to home.

S
vipStacey
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal, excellent setting, excellent all around. Happy to leave with left overs too!

P
Pokey
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Macarthur Park! The service (and our server) was wonderful, and the ambience is good (and quiet).

w
wgdm
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

It was a real find for us, with really good food and great service. The patio in back is very nice.

S
vipStacey
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Al perfect meal in a perfect setting. Highly recommend.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great staff, great service, great food!

M
vipMarshie
San Francisco
79 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Here with girlfriends during happy hour outside in their beautiful patio! Drinks were fabulous thanks to the awesome Aurilillio (I’m sure I botched that, sorry). Food was very good, service was excellent. Will be back soon

S
Simpletastes
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

It was sad to see it almost empty, as the food was as good as it has been in the 20 years I have been going there. Each time I go, I get lost as it’s easy to miss the turn. For a party of 4, with entrees at $16-18 each, soft drinks, 2 margaritas, one coffee, two desserts, the tab was $145 before tips. A tad overpriced, but still worthwhile.

SR
StevenR
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

First time to MacArthur Park. Have always meant to go. Extra impetus was live music of Paolozzi Tango Trio. Generous portions of Poblano chile, calamari appetizers. String Onions were less appetizing, a bit dry. Cobb salad was huge, should have been shared. Wedge salad was right sized for an individual.

q
quietdining4us
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food, outstanding service.

G
Gaucho12
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

attention in making the reservation and at the meal was superb, as expected... friendly attentive and with results

in contrast to the hubub on university avenue, the patio was quiet and uncrowded on this 4th of July Friday evening. the crowds have not returned, or have gone on holiday.

delightful to have an uncrowded patio seating, with no hustle and bustle.

food was prepared correctly, with attention to detail, and with art and energy

only one item i would change, reduce the pepper in the linguini prawns, to less than a 1/4 teaspoon per serving. ( or tabasco sauce) it was unnecessary and detracted from the prawn flavoring , which went unperceived.

S
Smitti
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

It was extremely pleasant sitting outside on the back patio. Our waitress was very understanding when our teen-ager could not decide on what to order for dinner. She was very friendly and helpful on suggesting was was good to eat. We certainly enjoyed our dinner and will definitely go back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall2food4service2ambience5

Made a reservation for Father’s Day and upon arrival they were running 15 minutes behind. We were seated on the patio and didn’t know they had a special 3-course menu for the holiday. The website hasn’t been updated in months and the special menu wasn’t mentioned on the website or on open table, so we were locked into a $58 per person meal. It was stated on the menu kids under 5 eat free. When asked for the kids menu we were told the choices were Mac and cheese or chicken strips. We waited 20 minutes for our first course and over an hour for our second course. Had to flag down staff for the bill, and when it came we were charged for our ‘free’ kids meal. When I approached staff regarding the bill she said it wasn’t covered under the kids menu. After speaking to the manager he said it should’ve been comped. The manager did offer a bottle of wine for our troubles. Overall, cute restaurant but completely understaffed for a highly anticipated holiday lunch and there was no clarity on the menu, and the entire experience was 2.5 hours. Nobody checked on us during our meal, the bread basket never made it to the table and I have no reason to go back.

l
lofamily
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience3

Father’s Day prix fix menu. Appetizers and most of the entrees ordered by our group were tasty and attractively plated. All of that positivity was wasted when server left. Manager and kitchen confused about our status. We never got dessert.

KG
vipKeithG
San Francisco
56 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Excellent prime rib in a spacious setting

DM
DerekM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service and food…will return soon

BB
vipBunny8Bear
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The ribs weren’t fall off the bone tender but good. Overall okay. The wine we ordered was not available and the one suggested by the waiter was mediocre. The piano player was great.

B
Bella
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

We were only visited every 1/2 hour and only after we asked for our waitress several times...

FC
vipFremontCA
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had the Rack of Lamb and my husband had the King Salmon. Both were excellent and good sized portions too. We will return again I'm sure.

S
vipSmith
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a quiet evening so it was very nice for us - we could hear each other just fine! Everyone who helped us was so nice and efficient. It was a lovely experience for two older ladies who haven’t dined in restaurants for over a year! Thank you!

DM
DMSC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great service by our wait staff and food was excellent! Only thing to improve was we had a 7:30 reservation and we’re not seated until almost 8, despite several table being open. Other than that, a great night.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Worst experience in a restaurant I’ve ever had and we took our soon to be grad there since she finished her finals on Friday. I realize they were understaffed due to a Covid and the waitress was really trying but to wait 15 minutes for the first round the another 15 minutes for the app then another 15 minutes for next round of drinks And wait for it 2 full hours before the meal arrived is something I’ve never experienced ever. We had to chase down the staff who was very apologetic and they scrambled to get our food to us. The food was absolutely awful bland and underwhelming. They offered 50% off the tab which I paid but nothing less than a full comp would have prevented this review which is the first negative review I have ever written. I will never enter that restaurant again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall3food2service2ambience5

Mediocre.
Woefully understaffed.
Food took forever to arrive.

NS
NoraS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant is well ventilated inside, so we felt very safe. Plus all the food was excellent.

D
Debbie
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and excellent service made for a lovely evening out.

MG
MiaG
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A Palo Alto classic! Great food and wonderful service. Also a fantastic place to hold an event, as I did a few years ago on the back patio.

FAQs

MacArthur Park - Palo Alto does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates. MacArthur Park - Palo Alto also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (650) 321-9990.

MacArthur Park - Palo Alto is rated 4.1 stars by 1544 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

Tweets by MacArthur Park - Palo Alto