Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.21mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.29mi
  4. Distance: 0.32mi
  1. Distance: 0.21mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.29mi
  4. Distance: 0.32mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.21mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.29mi
  4. Distance: 0.32mi
  1. Distance: 0.21mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.29mi
  4. Distance: 0.32mi

About MacArthur Park - Palo Alto

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.
A good time had by all! That is the spirit of MacArthur Park.

27 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
American, Barbecue, Comfort Food

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Happy Hour: Monday - Friday: 4:30pm- 7:00pm
Friday Through Sunday Night Prime Rib Special

Cross Street:
El Camino; adjacent to Palo Alto Train Station

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(650) 321-9990

Website:
http://www.macarthurparkpaloalto.com/

Entertainment:
Happy Hour Menu from 4:30 to 7:00 Monday through Friday.

Catering:
Call the Banquets line for menus and more details for your event.

Parking Details:
We have ample public parking behind the restaurant

We also offer Valet parking for $6 at dinner .

Public Transit:
Located right next to the Cal Train Station and Bus Stop.

Executive Chef:
Faz Poursohi

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Wedding receptions and larger events are hosted at MacArthur Park which can easily hold 200+ guest. We host everything from a young childs birthday party to large corporate dinners. "We are pros at special events

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Details

Join us for a night of Love and Romance - Valentine's Day at the Park.
Special A La Carte Menu - 5pm til 10pm
Reservations Strongly Suggested.

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

Private Dining

MacArthur Parks private dining facilities were specially designed for parties, cocktail receptions, business meetings, anniversaries, weddings, rehearsal dinners and other celebrations. We offer distinctive rooms that can accommodate a variety of events.

MacArthur Park - Palo Alto Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.2

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.0

ambience

4.2

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

82% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (19)
Good for Birthdays (16)
Good for Groups (15)
See All
Business Meals (13)
Good for a Date (12)
Casual (11)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Quiet Conversation (10)
Good for Anniversaries (10)
Comfort Food (9)
Bar Seating (7)
Authentic (6)
Seasonal (6)
Fun (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Cozy (4)
Happy Hour (4)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Romantic (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Great Beer (1)
Live Sports (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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1286 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

As always the food and service were outstanding. Only problem tonight was the music and volume. They were playing rock...just not what you might have in mind on a Friday night. However, we love the restaurant —the ambiance (usually) food and service are always enticing you to come back!

Tags: Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

I love Mac Arthur Park! I’ve been going there over 3 decades and was so happy to know they weren’t closing up shop a couple years ago. We ate dinner there on NYE, and unfortunately they did not seem properly staffed. It took a very long time to get our food, but I must say it was delicious and worth the wait. Generally speaking, their food and service is awesome!

Tags: Happy Hour, Business Meals, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 26, 2017

Enjoyed Christmas Day dinner at MacArthur Park. They offered a buffet with plenty of options. The prime rib was very good, the prawns tasty, and there were several salads to choose from. Would like a few more vegetable options. There were plenty of deserts and all were good -especially the pecan pie. The service was excellent - all the staff were gracious and helpful despite the large number of diners there. Thank you MacArthur Park for making Christmas Dinner!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

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

Holiday buffet was awesome....so many delicious offerings, all hot and fresh. Restaurant looked pretty and festive! Ballgames on too!!

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

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

We were there at the end of the early Christmas Brunch. The food was pretty overcooked and somewhat dried out from being kept warm so long. We will not plan to go for Christmas Day again

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

My son is getting treatment at the Stanford Cancer Center for the next 10 weeks. He wanted to get away from the hospital food. We booked MacArthur Park for Christmas Day dinner for the family. It was nothing fantastic my son was able to eat mash potatoes and string beans. We were shocked when the bill came to over $230 for the 4 of us. When called the restaurant they informed us the meal was $27.95 per person for the buffet. When I get the bill it is $52.95 per person. Talk about being misinformed. It put a damper on the rest of our day as we are on a limited budget and the bill took most of our funds for the week. Needless to say we can not recommend this restaurant or ever come back.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

We enjoyed the Christmas Day buffet very much particularly the prime rib and the prawns. My wife is celiac and was very happy with the wide variety of gluten free choices including gluten free deserts. The food was all delicious and our server was very attentive. We also enjoyed the conviviality of the other guests. We will very likely be here again next Christmas.

Tags: Seasonal, Disabled Access, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

Excellent food and a great selection. Beautiful holiday decorations. Waiter checked in enough but not too much. We plan to return.

Tags: Seasonal
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

We went to McArthur Park for their ChristmasBrunch. The food was good and they had something for everyone. It was didplayed very well.
However, our server forgot to bring our water that we asked for with our cocktails. Bar service was slow.

The meal was tasty but the service was slightly lacking. I would return to mcArthur Park for dinner and drinks but not necessarily the Christmas Buffet.

Tags: Special Occasion, Seasonal, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

We had a nice time. The food was excellent and the service was great!

Tags: Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

What a perfect spot to celebrate the holidays! It couldn’t have been better!

Tags: Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Wife and I went for dinner on Christmas Eve at 6:30. They had a special buffet dinner at a fixed price from 5 PM to 8 PM. We knew that it would be crowded. However they allowed reservations that far outstripped their table capacity. We arrived on time and had to wait about 20 minutes standing in a jammed mob by the front door. The crowd waiting for their tables remained large until about 7:30. I wished they would have taken fewer reservations so that we would not have had to stand uncomfortably for so long. Perhaps offering dinner till 9 instead of 8 would have allowed the same number of customers to enjoy their dinners even more.

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
·Dined on December 25, 2017

Christmas Eve so there was a buffet and not our ordinary experience.

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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

After living in Palo Alto for more than 20 years, we finally made it to MacArthur Park. It's a little trick to find, but once there, there's plenty of parking (and valet parking). Lovely, quaint, dining room in an historic Palo Alto building. We had an excellent dinner and ordered, steak, pasta, and seafood. The grilled artichoke is their speciality, try it if you like a grilled southwestern flavor (complete with napol cactus salsa). Desserts are solid: We tried the bread pudding, apple crisp, and mudpie. Excellent service!

Tags: Good for Groups, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Have only been here in recent years for catered events. Was very pleasantly surprised!! Atmosphere and service were excellent, formal but not stuffy. Had probably the best filet mignon I've had served in Palo Alto in quite a while, and at a better price than the big chain steak house in town. Would definitely recommend Macarthur Park over that experience.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 18, 2017

Been to MacArthur Park many many times. Not busy at all on a Sunday night. Our waitress was very slow to check on us. Had to ask for her several times. My Cobb salad not up to standards - my favorite menu item there - usually delicious. Maybe Sunday’s crew is not up to snuff. Will go again but not on Sunday. Love this place though.

Tags: Casual, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service3
value5

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

The food was less than average, the service was awful (I think we were the server’s only table too), but it’s a nice looking venue.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 17, 2017

It was an unfortunate night of returning to MacArthur park. My past experience has been good and food was tasty. My recent visit was not up to par with lukewarm soup and it was exchanged later. Wife ordered Berkshire pork chop and it was bland in flavor. My hamburger was cold again following my lukewarm soup. Our waitress offered to warm up but my appetite was ruined already. To top it off, the waitress forgot my wine order. I was really disappointed with the overall experience and hope others will have better experience than I did.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 15, 2017

Although there were a couple of preparation mess ups, the service and ambience made up for it. My only additional comment would be that the lighting is too bright, just a little darker would be perfect.

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 14, 2017

Loved our meal. I had the jumbo prawns, my husband had the ribs. We were both pleased.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quick Bite, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Authentic, Cozy, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 13, 2017

Had an excellent dinner by the fireplace. Food was great: rack of lamb, salmon. Service was very friendly. Great old building with a lot of character. Valet parking was only $6. Good menu.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation, Great Beer, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

Outstanding meal ...an outstanding Filet Mignon...well prepared. Service also great.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 9, 2017

Went there to celebrate our son's acceptance into graduate school. Waited for 25 minutes just to get our cocktail order. Restaurant was half full, although there was a private party in another room, I was told. Food came an hour and 15 minutes after we sat down at the table. My fish (the special for the evening, halibut) was good but dry.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 7, 2017

We haven't been to MacArthur Park in a while, so my husband and I thought we'd have dinner and see what they are doing now. We thought the food was more creative. He had the grilled prawns, which was done with a guajillo glaze, cilantro rice, grilled avocado and stone fruit. Interesting flavor combinations that worked well! I had the hamburger which, although a standard dish, was really delicious! And we started with the stack of thin onion rings, which is always fun to snack on with a glass on wine. The service was outstanding - Pattie took such good care of us that I would ask to sit in her section next time. And MacArthur Park does such a nice job of decorating for Christmas - huge tree - and it feels so festive at this time of year. Now that we've "rediscovered" this place, we plan to come back soon. I hope the kitchen continues to try new, innovative flavors and combinations.

Tags: Seasonal, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Disabled Access, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Great environment, very friendly service, birthday dinner success! I can't thank the staff enough for all there help in making my mother in law's birthday dinner extra special. We had a great time and the food was excellent. Thanks again to everyone at MacArthur Park! We will be back soon!

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Fun, Business Meals, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value3

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

Empty parking lot and no car in sight but valet parking guy waiting to collect $6. That’s funny.

Th restaurant is in a nice location, limited parking, but other than that it’s looks ok. We have been here few times for dinner and it is always so empty. I always wonder why and now I know...

Do not order wine by the glass. My wine was sour and my guess is that it stays open for too long and oxidizes.

The food is so horrible. The bbq chicken is super dry and obviously sitting there for a long long time. The shrimp is dry and super spicy. No wonder the place is so empty!

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food1
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Big family get together. They were very tolerant of the children!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 24, 2017

The food was OK, steak was very good and salad was great. However the service was bad. We had a reservation and we arrived on time. There were people ahead of us so we waited a couple of minutes to check in. The lady told us our table will be ready momentarily. We waited for about 10 minutes. I asked the lady at front desk and she said, it's not based on reservation time but they call ppl in order of the check in time. I confirmed with her that I did checked in 10 minutes ago. Later on, they seated everyone who was waiting, including those we arrived after us, I saw him checking in right after I asked the lady about the order. I went to ask again why everyone was seated before us though some of them arrived after us. Another lady said, oh they have earlier reservations like 5 or 6. So I asked, "And they arrive at 7:15 for a 6 pm reservation?" They finally got a seat for us. I was very disappointed.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Nice Thanksgiving buffet, excellent variety of main dishes and side dishes, but place was pretty chaotic w/people all over the place trying to get to the food. A few specific comments on the food: 1) the cranberry sauce was way too sour. If I go again next year I'll bring my own--for me it really took away from my turkey dinner, 2) the sweet potatoes were also a little blah and not sweet enough; would have liked candied sweet potatoes, and 3) the gravy was too thin, almost watery, and pretty much missed the mark for a good, robust turkey gravy.

Tags: Special Occasion, Casual, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We came for Thanksgiving dinner so our choices were limited. The place was super busy which was understandable. I am not a fan of a buffet and that is what this was. It wasn't made clear when I made the reservation. The food was mediocre at best. At least they had a full bar.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Went for Thanksgiving meal and was impressed by the well-executed flow of people, minimal wait time, and quality . Our waiter, Hector was friendly, competent, and helpful. There were plenty of options for my husband who avoids gluten, most meat, and dairy. Thank you for a lively holiday meal!!

Tags: Good for Groups, Seasonal, Good Vegetarian Options, Comfort Food
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 24, 2017

Buffet dining is not enjoyable for me. That overshadowed everything. Service was inconsistent at best. A confusing and disorganized atmosphere.
Getting the car was another fiasco

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving buffet. Good time. Coffee and tea were awful. Drink something else. Good selection of proteins and excellent salad. Smoked salmon was undercooked. Ribs were a bit lean but tasty. Staff was less than attentive. But responsive when called upon. Chive mashed potatoes had no chives. Liked the gluten free zucchini spaghetti. Like the Mac and cheese. Kale salad excellent. Desserts were good. But lacking whip cream. We asked for more and were given a plate of it. Gravies were not warm enough but tasty. Good chicken and turkey.

Pros:
Good quality food
Good atmosphere
Comfortable
Good variety.
Valet parking
Location
Responsive staff

Cons:
Crowded
Noise
Bland side dishes
Limited mertitage, Bordeaux style, blended wine selection.
Need more whip cream.
Awful coffee and iced tea. Coffee too strong and bitter. Iced tea too weak. Tasteless
Need more spice in food.

Tags: Good for Groups, Paleo Friendly, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Convivial place near Stanford. We had a nice meal before a football game and have gone there after games too. Great Ribs.

Tags: Comfort Food, Live Sports, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 7, 2017

There are many menu options, but the BBQ, especially pork ribs, are great. I selected included sides of horseradish cole slaw and potato skins. Service was perfect.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Food was delicious and surprised the restaurant was not very crowded for a Friday night ! This is a Palo Alto Icon..

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 23, 2017

The entrance was VERY dark, dangerously dark, once inside, it was okay, very ordinary.
Lamb chop and pork chop were excellent. Signature bbq ribs and chicken were good.
We loved the onion strings, it’s a must have for us.
Services were a bit understaffed, we didn’t feel neglected, just not as good as usual business lunches during the week.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 16, 2017

Our server had to be prompted about daily specials and failed to tell us of dessert specials. But food very good

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Nice place. Would go back bc if ambiance and proximity to Stanford. The rack of ribs wasn’t that great. Then again I’m from North Carolina and the bar is high. Good service.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 13, 2017

Local history interest! Story of WW1 building by Julia Morgan !

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Fun, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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