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

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Details

Come and make lasting memories with us at the Park.
Christmas Eve Buffet , Sunday, December 24th from 4pm to 8pm.
Adults $52.95, Children 6 - 12 $27.95 & Children Under 5 FREE.

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

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.3

ambience

4.2

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

82% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (14)
Good for Birthdays (12)
Quiet Conversation (11)
See All
Good for a Date (11)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Good for Groups (10)
Casual (9)
Comfort Food (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Business Meals (8)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Authentic (7)
Fun (6)
Cozy (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Romantic (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Seasonal (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Great Beer (1)
Live Sports (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Sort by
S
1267 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 14, 2017

I was not happy with my $35 Seabass it's too dry with no taste at all. It was served with mashed potatoes with no garnish to make it look appetizing at the very least.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service2
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Very busy for Valentine's dinner which may explain lapses. Entree was ready before appetizers were finished, then held back and cool. Ribs came without sauce. Halibut coating was gummy. Room was attractively decorated and noise level was not a problem. Overall, good but not great.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 13, 2017

Celebrated here the night before Valentine's Day and we were surprised how busy the bar was. We were still able to have a wonderful dinner and quiet conversation. Our server was wonderful and knowledgeable about food and wine.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Interesting building and nice waitress-- everything else was mediocre, including the food. Would not recommend this place. Plenty of other restaurants in the area.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 8, 2017

Surprise valley parking only, $6 surcharge. OK if you come for a dinner, unpleasant surprise if you come for a $20 happy hour.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2017

Our waiter was in training (his second day) and he was up to the task on a busy Friday night! MacArthur Park has been our 'go to' stop in Palo Alto since their opening and we will continue to come back. We also appreciated the manager stopping by our table to say 'hi'. Always a nice touch!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 1, 2017

We stopped at MacArthur Park on our way back from the Theatre Matinee in San Francisco. One of my favorite menu items is the baby back ribs. My wife and I both ordered a half slab which turned out to be plenty as the ribs are very meaty and also very tasty. I had the coleslaw with horseradish that comes with the ribs and loved it. It was too much horseradish for her so she had broccolini which she thought was cooked just right and was impressed because she was having trouble getting this one right when cooking at home. We also split a wedge salad...another favorite with BBQ ribs. We ordered beer to drink. I had a great Porter (I like dark beers) which was the only one on the menu. Yes, we will probably be back again for a dinner after the Theatre.

Tags: Great Beer, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Yosemite)·Dined on January 29, 2017

WAITRESS WAS EXCELLENT.
FOOD SERVICE A LITTLE SLOW FROM THE KITCHEN.

Tags: Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Very nice restaurant with great service, nice ambiance and creative cuisine

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 26, 2017

Outstanding!!

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

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 25, 2017

I had not been to this restaurant for over a year. My experience in the past had been less than sterling. The food has been and remains unfortunately very mediocre. Whoever is cooking just doesn't really grasp the art of cooking well. Add to that the ridiculous valet parking scheme and dining here is really bordering on the absurd.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 21, 2017

food came out incorrect. swordfish was mealy(frozenand thawed in microwave), took 12 minutes to get a drink, and they only had 85 guests for the night. very nice floor manager lady!

Tags: Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience5
service2
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Caesar dressing bland. kale salad boring. ribs lacked meat. fries were good.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Really enjoyed our dinner here, before a music concert at Bing on a rainy night. We got the shaved brussels sprouts salad, which was very pleasant, with light lemon poppy seed dressing, and spinach soup, which was tasty and warming. We split a half slab of the delicious pork ribs. Half slab is 6 ribs, which is enough to share. The accompanying cole slaw with horseradish dressing and french fries with ketchup were excellent. We were also given complimentary mocha ice cream pie for dessert and lots of whole wheat sourdough bread. Dinner for 2 was less than $50, which was a bargain for a large, tasty, and filling meal. Service was efficient and kind. Look forward to trying their chicken in the future. Room is beautiful and historic with high ceilings and old black and white framed photos of Palo Alto.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Spicy, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 21, 2017

The food was very good and the service was very attentive. Nice atmosphere for catching up with friends.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Not what it used to be, but still a nice meal and a great location. I wish MacArthur Park had the quality of what it was years ago, back then a regular haunt of mine. It's getting closer.... give it a chance.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 19, 2017

Wait staff was inexperienced and not supervised. weak OJT Nice young man way over his head

Tags: Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 6, 2017

I've been going here since I was a kid and even though I live about 600 miles away now I always make sure to eat here once a year. The food is amazing, especially the ribs. The cocktails are delicious and the staff is always friendly

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Kid-friendly, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Cozy, Romantic, Fun, Good for a Date, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2017

I was with a group of 8 for a friends dinner. The drinks and appetizer was good. It was hit and miss on how happy the group was with their meal. Three got the rib meal and were not impressed. Those of us who had steak were happy. The service was mediocre. I would go again but it would not be a first choice.

Tags: Good for Groups, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2017

Interesting new drinks, wonderful BBQ ribs, pleasant service.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Great place to go for a laid-back New Year's experience. Plus the meal and service was excellent. They celebrate a New York New Year's at 9 p.m. that even included a balloon drop. I realize this is NOT for your New Year's party animal but for someone who enjoys beautiful surroundings excellent food in a sophisticated atmosphere this is the place to go.

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

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

McArthur Park is always solid. The NYE menu was somewhat limited, but had excellent options for everyone. We were there on the early side - but it was a great option for our family. Looks like were going to ramp up for a party with a balloon drop later in the evening

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

As usual the food was excellent. The only negative was the parking. Wish there was valet service starting about 6

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 31, 2016

I try to make it to MacArthur Park twice a month. I love the food, the setting and the staff. The setting evokes the memories of Palo Alto I knew as a boy. During the holiday season, the decorations make me feel a part of the setting for great Hollywood Christmas movies such as
"Holiday Inn". Everyone is wonderful and go out of their way.

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

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Reservations for a Friday evening at 8pm. Pretty much had one side of the restaurant to ourselves. But we were seated in front of the fireplace which we loved. Food was pretty good, no complaints. A little disappointed with our service as it was certainly not a busy night. Accidentally spilled my red wine on the white papers that cover the table cloth, that soaked through to the white table cloth. Our waiter thankfully refilled my glass at no charge, but did not even attempt to try to help us clean up the red mess. At least throw on some new paper and dispose the soaked paper. Nope, did it ourselves.
Overall, we enjoyed ourselves.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 29, 2016

We often dine at MacArthur Park! We know we can count on having a great meal and good service! Their filet mignon is always so delicious, cooked exactly the way you order it. And the sour dough bread is the best I've had anywhere! We enjoy taking friends there because we don't have to worry about the food being good.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 27, 2016

Had their classic ribs, substituted veggies for frys, all delicious. Had the best restaurant apple cobbler ever; spouse had pumpkin bread pudding with real pumpkin.
Menu greatly expanded since our last visit, everything served to others looked appetizing.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 26, 2016

Great place for a large party--plenty of space, warm atmosphere, good food and great service. Known for barbecue ribs and chicken, but the two vegan options were quite tasty!

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

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 25, 2016

We had a great time at MacArthur Park for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Our parents are elderly now and we needed something easy and fun for everyone. We used to cook at home but this became too stressful for my mother in law ( even tho she was not the one cooking!) so we tried this solution. The buffet caters to all different tastes and everyone was happy. The service was great.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Festive location for Christmas Day dinner. Lots of food options.

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

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2016

We came here on Xmas day and they offered a Xmas menu buffet style. While the food was very festive and Christmas-y, it really was just so-so. I'd still recommend it since not many other places are open on Xmas day offering such a festive vibe.

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2016

We enjoy going to MacArthur Park. Their setting, food, and ambience are always very good and it's usually a delight to go there. My family and I had gone there for dinner Christmas Day. I had no idea until the hostess called to verify our reservation that it would be a buffet dinner. We would've changed plans but considering it was a holiday, it was too late to do so. As far as buffets are concerned, MacArthur Park's is probably one of the best I've been to. There was prime rib, pork tenderloin, salmon, chicken and ribs, as well as an assortment of side dishes and salads. All very good for a buffet. There was an assortment of cakes and pastries for dessert, and even gluten-free items. Unfortunately, there wasn't anything that stood out dessert-wise. There was also a coffee and tea station included in the price. All other beverages were extra and served at your table per your request. Overall a decent dining experience but I would probably not come here again for holiday buffet. Too many people walking around, diners and staff, with food trying to avoid each other. We also noticed a lot of senior diners (a number of them with walkers), so definitely not a place to go for the holidays if you are looking for a more lively atmosphere. We will be back again, just not when it's a holiday and we can get a regulatory sit-down meal.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on December 25, 2016

I am a buffet person. I am food knowledgeable. I am vegetarian. I enjoyed the buffet, specially the dessert buffet. There was variety and delicious dishes. I only wished there was a little more for vegetarian, e.g. Omelet.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Always enjoyed celebrating special occasions at MacArthur Park but this is the first time we came for Christmas Eve dinner. The atmosphere was cozy but tastefully decorated. The food selection had everyone in mind with consideration for dietary restrictions without compromising the taste. Service was impeccable. We had the pleasure of being served by Laurie who was attentive and engaging. Looking forward to celebrating another special event there soon.

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

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Lovely Christmas eve evening, Very good buffet on all counts except desert. That selection was disappointing. Overall though very nice dinner.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Myself and several friends dined here for Christmas Eve dinner. It was a self-serve buffet that included something for everyone and then some! Excellent price for a wonderful array of foods. Buffet food tends to be over-salty, over buttered etc...that was not the case here! Really great tasting prime rib, turkey, salmon, salads and deserts. Corkage is $20 per bottle, standard. The rooms were beautifully decorated for the holiday and service for opening/pouring wine and clearing used plates was fast and courteous. We chose to sit in the more quiet room off the main room and were happy about that with the buffet tables and constant flow of people around them in main dining room. It was noisy making conversation more difficult. Would love to come back here for a regular dinner! Our Christmas Eve dinner was wonderful!!

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Food not nearly as good as we expected from MacArthur Park - over-rated

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Sacramento)·Dined on December 18, 2016

We had a quiet dinner on a Sunday night and the food and service was pretty good. But I have some real concerns about the way they process credit card charges. When I got home and compared the itemized bill with my credit card receipt I noticed the amounts were different. I called the restaurant and spoke with Trish and she was nice enough to research the bill. She said a soft drink was added afterwards and promptly refunded the difference. So today I printed my credit card statement and see the amount charged was another $2.00 more than my paper receipt total. Seems rather fishy to me. I recommend checking carefully if you use a credit card here. I've never experienced this any where else.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2016

We go there every year around Christmas. It has such a unique quality. We arrived promptly at 6 p.m. and were seated. However, I find that the food used to be better. I thought the ribs were dry, potato was overdone and there was entirely too much horseradish in the coleslaw. Too bad. I was somewhat disappointed for the price that was charged. Service was wonderful.

Tags: Special Occasion, Live Music
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 14, 2016

Everyone in our group had an all-around excellent experience; ambiance, service, food, wine list/prices, and private parking lot.

Tags: Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.