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Party Size
For 2
Wed, 2/21
7:00 PM
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MacArthur Park - Palo Alto

1296 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion (20)
  • Good for Birthdays (15)
  • Good for Groups (13)
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.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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American, Barbecue, Comfort Food
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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
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Phone number
(650) 321-9990
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Faz Poursohi
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Call the Banquets line for menus and more details for your event.
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Cross street
El Camino; adjacent to Palo Alto Train Station
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Parking details
We have ample public parking behind the restaurant

We also offer Valet parking for $6 at dinner .
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Public transit
Located right next to the Cal Train Station and Bus Stop.
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Happy Hour Menu from 4:30 to 7:00 Monday through Friday.
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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
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Gift Card
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

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.

View Private Dining Details
What 1296 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipMarcie (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 24, 2017

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

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 24, 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.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 24, 2017

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

vipwendee (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 23, 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!

vipfoodclan (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 21, 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.

BCFSanJose (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 17, 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.

JJSS (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on December 16, 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.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on December 16, 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.

vipLaWonnaC (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 14, 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.

alimc (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 13, 2017

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

Peter (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 12, 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.

PatM (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 9, 2017

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

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 8, 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.

vipKnowsHowtoTravel (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 6, 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.

EricaV (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 1, 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!

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on November 25, 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!

vipnydiner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on November 24, 2017

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

OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on November 23, 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.

FoodAddict (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 23, 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.

vipBeckyF (Hawaii)
3.0  Dined on November 23, 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.