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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 12 times today

MacArthur Park - Palo Alto

4.1
1305 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Perfect For:
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Neighborhood Gem
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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Cuisines
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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Catering
Call the Banquets line for menus and more details for your event.
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Neighborhood
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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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Entertainment
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
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

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 1305 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
4.0
food
3.9
service
3.9
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 5 days ago

An out-of-town guest wanted to take us out to something nice. And McPark filled the bill nicely and tastefully.
Excellent menu/service. Recommend getting there early...because it can get noisy.
The outdoor area is also excellent--especially the Early Bird period

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4.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Always pleasant. Food is good. Very quiet early on a Monday evening which was just fine.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

This place has been on of the oldest and best reliable restaurant we've enjoyed many years.
Great service and menu.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Went for buffet Easter brunch. Really nice meal with good variety and tasty food. Had my 2 young children with me and host and waitstaff were very attentive and accommodating (had a stroller so couldn’t go down the steps to the back deck where our original reservation was for- they reseated us in the main dining room without delay!). Would definitely go back!

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Old family favorite from the 1980-90's. Loved that it's regained its attentive service and all 'round excellent quality. It's back on our list of go-to places with family and friends.

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4.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Sat at the bar and were thoroughly entertained by a very knowledgeable bartender. And the food was good, too

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2.0Dined on February 26, 2018

This restaurant has lost its' direction. The food was mediocre except seafood platter appetizer. I have never had such tough ribs. The waitress was a disaster on a very slow night at the restaurant. After spilling wine. Mixing up orders, completely forgetting to bring a bottle of wine, spilling a glass of champagne that I requested twice, she sort of gave up and the bartender waited on our table. I had to tell him he was buying us deserts. Even with that, it can't make up for such terrible experience. We were hungry and in the middle of important business conversation, but the three of us who all live in the area said never again. This huge restaurant had maybe eight tables during a 2.5 hour period.
This is sad. Stay away. We tipped well because none of this staff will have a job very soon, the restaurant management must have no clue.

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5.0Dined on February 26, 2018

Took my parents to this restaurant for the first time. They have been to the one in SF but not in Menlo Park. They loved it and can't wait to go back again.

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2.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Very disappointed in our experience. It's been 10+ years since we dined at McArthur Park, but was looking forward to the ribs. The main dining room was only about 1/3 full on a Saturday night at 7:15 PM. Had a lovely table next to the fireplace. The wine my husband ordered was not the year (menu = 2014, bottled delivered to table = 2015) advertised on the wine menu, and the waiter didn't even notice. The manager gave us a break on the price, saying the wine menu was in middle of changes. 3 of our party ordered the 8 oz filet, but there was only 1 available so 2 of our party settled for 6 oz filets. I ordered the ribs, which were always a treat in the past. This time they were chewy, tough to cut and tasteless. The BBQ sauce was very sweet, not tangy and sharp as a BBQ usually is. The desert was good. I won't be returning anytime soon.

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2.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Having loved MacArthur Park with my parents during my college years, and wanting to share it with my children while they were at school nearby, I took my family of 5 to dinner for our one night out. Although not crowded, our server seemed to forget that we were there. Our drink order didn't come and we had not even ordered our entrees before we had completely finished our appetizers. (Neither the calamari nor the onion strings were hot). Finally I waved down a busboy to get our waitress so we could order. Still no drinks. After waiting a bit for 2 salads, our entrees were served before we had finished our salads. Salmon was not particularly hot, bland, and needed a sauce or something of interest, but the filet was hot and quite good. Server still seemed not to care much that we existed. To top it off, we shared a few courses and ordered 2 to be split in the kitchen and expressly ordered a third to NOT to split, but to bring an extra plate. The kitchen split all three and, despite the fact that we pointed out the error, we were charged the $5 split charge. Normally not a big deal, but the server really didn't seem to care much. We didn't say anything.... just paid it and got out of there. Too bad! Sadly, we won't be going back. I now remember that I was less than impressed for similar reasons when I dined there last year. It doesn't appear to be an isolated bad evening, just a general trend of blase, mediocre experience. Too expensive and disappointing to do that again!

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4.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Food was quite good, service was okay...a lot of waiting.

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3.0Dined on February 16, 2018

Our main course arrived before our Starters. My friend asked for a wet towel which never came. Our coffee was just about warm and not hot! However they did not charge for the starters. Apart from that the food was OK.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Very good experience!! Good food. Conviennent parking! Very friendly parking. Convient.

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1.0Dined on February 14, 2018

The lighting was super bright, not fostering a romantic vibe for Valentine’s Day. The food was okay, not great. The staff working there seemed like amatures.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Salmon & rice had to be sent back twice to be heated. Never did get it warm enough. But, it was very good. Also the gravy for the filet was lukewarm and was sent back, but it came back hot!
But it was still a nice Valentine evening. It is a beautiful restaurant.

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2018

A little tough to find. Parking restricted but valet was very good. Food was very good. A bit noisy.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

The food was a bit overpriced. The vegetables were a little hard and rubbery. The chicken however, was perfect! The sourdough bread we were given was warm and incredible. It was worth the visit alone!

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3.0Dined on January 30, 2018

Overall pretty sad to see this place. Food is mediocre at best. Ribs were disappointing. Time for a reboot. Won’t be back.

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2018

Diner with friends. Everyone had a great time. We all ordered something different and each meal was great. Service was outstanding

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4.0Dined on January 19, 2018

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!

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3.0Dined on December 31, 2017

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!

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3.0Dined on December 25, 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!

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5.0Dined on December 25, 2017

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

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3.0Dined 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

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2.0Dined 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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5.0Dined 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.

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4.0Dined 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.

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4.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on December 25, 2017

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

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2017

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

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3.0Dined 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.

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4.0Dined on December 24, 2017

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

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5.0Dined 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!

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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined 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.

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1.0Dined 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.

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1.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on December 13, 2017

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

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5.0Dined 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.

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