Cafe Pro Bono
Cafe Pro Bono

Cafe Pro Bono

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.cafeprobonorestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 6503261626
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Mon-Fri. 11:30am-2:30pm
    Dinner: Mon-Fri. 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun. 5pm-9pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Jose Rodrigez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Liquor, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Contact: Akif Aydin 6503261626

Getting there

  • Cross Street: California Ave
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Cafe Pro Bono
Cafe Pro Bono is a place for taste conscious people. We serve a wide variety of traditional Italian dishes at reasonable prices with a freshness you can see and taste. Our menus include delicious, attractively presented appetizers, fresh pastas, fresh fish, steaks, chicken, salads, sandwiches, homemade desserts and wines to complement your meal.
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Cafe Pro Bono reviews from OpenTable diners
99 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (60)fit for foodies (41)special occasion (36)good for groups (28)great for lunch (23)romantic (22)notable wine list (22)great for outdoor dining (14)kid-friendly (8)great for brunch (6)hot spot (4)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Great Italian Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We had a very good dinner. Each single dish was excellent. My favorite dessert is Zabaglione which is always a treat at Pro Bono.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovely
    shirlVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    i don't know what we will do after the cool evenings settle in. i choose to sit outdoors, since it is quiet and we can have a civilized conversation. the food never disappoints and the service just right.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • De-lish!
    Shaybabby
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I was a great choice! I had the prawns, husband had the duck, friend had the lamb kebob. We were all very happy! We also had the Susan's downfall as an appetizer and loved it!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always a pleasure
    chihuahua2
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Love the out door dining. Relaxing, quiet and peaceful.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good value for good mid-tier food
    SausalitoVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    A nice middle tier restaurant with friendly service and well-executed dishes. Not fancy but a solid place to go with co-workers and clients.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • PaloAltoEdVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Always a friendly staff and good exciting food. Great neighborhood find. Pro Bono has private rooms for quiet fun gathering.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • totally reliable food and service
    pianonoirVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    the menu is extensive mostly italian. they will modify dishes if you ask and they are able. i have come here for years...Am happy that they have been able to expand so have a lovely room for groups..and take very good care of those groups!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food. Friendly atmosphere
    Lzrman38VIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We go back and back. Wonderful European wait staff and excellent food. Can't miss this as a regular dining out spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Can't miss dining.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Pro Bono has consistently good food and service. It is my favorite lunch spot but is also good for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Excellent Restaurant
    WeldonVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    My wife and I love this place. We have yet to have a bad meal or substandard service there. Excellent wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Serivce a plus, food is average
    napadiner2
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Affordable prices and very friendly service, but not the best Italian dinner you can get in the California Ave neighborhood. Disappointed with pate - better than average taste, however the toast it was served on was hard as a rock. Carpacio was blah. Duck breast and flat iron steak were very tender and moist. 2 alfredo-based pasta dishes were tasty but not outstanding.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Restaurant!
    lstoneVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We loved it. Every entree was delicious! We had a fabulous evening dining with our family.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastico!!
    urmyfav
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I've eaten at Pro Bono many times for lunch, dinner and New Year's Eve. This place never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent lunch selections!
    LuxValueSeekerVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Had the fish that day, wonderfully cooked! Service was efficient if not a wee bit brusk...overlooked it because the food was really good.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mary
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    nice selection of pasta, salads, meat and fish dishes. Service was good and pleasant. Offered good wine selections -- white & red. Pleasant
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My favorite Palo Alto restaurant
    foodloverVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Cafe Pro Bono is my restaurant for taking friends for birthdays or just to treat them. I am never disappointed. The fish is always good and the salads as well. The few times they have served halibut it was delicious. My favorite dish is Susan's Downfall, a decadent pasta dish of ravioli covered by a delicate gorgonzola sauce. The service is professional and prompt. Outside is ultra-pleasant, if not too hot that day. Finally, they have lovely bathrooms.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Highly recommend!
    ChefrjVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Certainly one of the best Italian resturants in the Bay Area. We both dined on the pasta dishes which were uniquely different and wonderful. The best way to determine the quality of an Italian resturant is the complexity of their pasta dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lora
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We invited our friends to a party twice in a span of two weeks. The food was amazing, as well as the service. Probably the best food we had lately. we were served by extremely friendly and highly professional waiters. All our friends enjoyed it.Next time we will go there again, in spite of noise. Actually, both rooms were packed. It means that people like it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic and a discovery
    Foodlover57VIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    I randomly picked this restaurant to meet two colleagues for dinner at last week and the food was amazingly fresh and delicious, the host and hostess could not have been warmer and more accomodating. I am a bit of a foodie and very health conscious and the fish I ordered was among the most delicate, tasty and delicious without butter and sauces, that I can remember. The vegetables and salads were fantastic. The warm spinach salad is a gem. I drove down from SF for dinner at Cafe Pro Bono and will do it again!! Quiet enough to talk too! Even when busy and full!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, atmosphere and service
    JustinJ
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    I have dined at Café Pro Bono several times. I travel to Palo Alto on business and usually eat at least once at Café Pro Bono. It is a very friendly and welcoming restaurant and everyone seems happy to see you. I have not had a bad meal there. The waiters are always knowledgeable and helpful. It always feels like a meal with friends.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A Great Restaurant
    Salmonlover
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I have eaten at the Cafe Pro Bono on various occasions and it has been delightful every time. Since I am not a professional restaurant reviewer or professional chef it is more difficult for me to quantify exactly why it is so good. Their salads are always very tasty with the freshest of ingredients, they are presented in a very artistic manner, and show creativity in selection of ingredients. My last meal there, I ordered salmon which was very fresh and cooked perfectly with a delicious sauce. They have an extensive wine list which appeals to every budget. I asked for a recommendation on wine and was pleased with the Pinot Noir which the server suggested. The dessert menu has a variety. I enjoyed the tiramisu. Location is also good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mendy
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Farro pasta was excellent. Swordfish was cooked perfectly.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect pre-event dining
    Hapstance
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We needed early seating for a party of four and chose Café Pro Bono based on proximity to Bing Concert Hall and 5:00 pm seating. The service was seamless, extremely efficient and the food did not disappoint. The wait staff was engaging and very responsive. Our table enjoyed several of the pasta dishes and one of the veal entrées. We also tried several of the house made desserts. The panna cotta was perfectly silky and nuanced. Look forward to our next visit!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Italian
    Lena
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    First of all, they should update the menu shown on their website. I had checked out what I wanted to order before going, but found to my dismay that many if the items were not on their menu. This was listed as Italian, but none if the dishes the 4 of us had had any relation to Italian food. The service was friendly but the place was noisy and stuffy. They have no air-conditioning so on a hot summer night, we couldn't wait to finish our meal and get some fresh air. We noticed there were tables outside so would definitely recommend sitting there if you go. We were quite disappointed with the quality of the food.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    We had a lovely dinner at Cafe Bono. There were four of us and we ate outside. We were probably 1/2 hr early, yet they were happy to accommodate us. Drinks were served, menus brought. The food was delicious! King salmon. veal piccata, and prawns. Not a single complaint! Tony our waiter was very attentive even tho we were outside. Will I tell my friends--yes. Will I go again---absolutely!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food excellent, service is prompt
    MDL95003
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Always have found this to be authentic Italian, fresh, house-made pastas, daily specials reflecting genuine touches of Italian heritage. Carpaccio appetizer was outstanding, spinach salad with bacon is always good, and veal marsala was tender with a light, flavourful sauce.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous flavors
    padiner
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Café Pro Bono has the best sauces! every dish has a flavorful sauce, whether robust in the Veal Marsala or delicate in the Seafood Fettucine. Its pasta dishes are superb (house-made pasta); seafood cooked to perfection; as for meats, our veal and a lamb kebob were both perfectly done. Very satisfying food, excellent wait staff. This restaurant runs a confident, professional operation; they are pros.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    Rocky35VIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    It was so long since I had been to Cafe Bro Bono, that I had forgotten how good the food is. The wild boar sausage was juciy and tasty, the rack of lamb was outstanding and the bread pudding was great. And the service was friendly and attentive. To top it off the prices are very reasonable for what you get.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Alwaysexcellent
    CleanairgalVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    My sister, friends, family, colleaguesand I have eaten here for more than 15 years. We all live elsewhere now but always come back here when any of us visit Palo Alto. The service, food and ambiance are very warm and inviting. It's like eating really good food with family :-)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • kudos to the chef
    diningout
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We've been going to Pro Bono on and off for years. Especially for the last couple of years, the food preparation has been very good - nicely prepared/spiced and good presentation. My mom even likes it, and she's a tough customer! :) And the cost is quite reasonable. The manager (owner?) is very cordial and often goes out of his way to make customers feel welcome and appreciated. Service is good and the staff are friendly (some of them don't know much about the wine list, so you might need to either trust your knowledge and judgement, or you might ask for assistance from the manager). We had a great time -- truly a very nice dining experience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently Great Dining
    2NCalifornians
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    We celebrated a birthday dinner and Cafe Pro Bono was as wonderful as always. The food is delicious and service was impeccable. Great selection and varied menu. We have dined here over a number of years and each experience was as good as the last. Cafe Pro Bono is a pleasurable and wonderful dining experience. Highly recommended if you're ever in Palo Alto.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    The staff is very attentive and courteous. We ordered the Susan's downfall appetizer, duck breast and osso buco special. The susan's downfall is definitely recommended especially if you have never had it before. The gorgonzola sauce is not overpowering if you are nervous about the cheese sauce. The ravioli were perfectly cooked topped with the toasted almonds rounded out the appetizer very well. I ordered the duck breast medium and turned out pretty good, though it did get a little tough towards when it got cold. The duck skin is crispy and reminded me of pork rinds. yum! The osso buco portion was very generous but I found it on a bland side. They also have a huge wine list to choose from for the connoisseur.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • albertVIP
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Great food and good service. It was our first time dining here. Good food with a casual and relaxed atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cafe Pro Bono is our go-to spot
    lobsterloverVIP
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    when we travel to the Palo Alto area twice a year. Good food, good service--a real gem
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    tj56
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    We have been dining at Cafe Pro Bono for years and the quality has remained excellent. Upon our last visit our group chose 5 very different main dishes; rabbit, lamb, duck, veal and pasta - all were amazing!!!! Service is friendly yet professional. A lovely experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great atmo, fair food
    Maxfoodie
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    Wonderful service and pleasant ambiance BUT the food is not as good as it used to be. For example, the spinach salad is short on spinach; the halibut portion is small and the mango salsa contained three tiny bits of mango!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently Good
    trainman
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Cafe Pro Bono consistently provides excellent food well served without being overpriced.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Menue was descriptive and excellent guide for ordering. Outstanding grilled salmon; scottish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Oliver
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Been coming for years. Always good food. Service excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 60 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 5, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 217 reviews are from the Cafe Pro Bono reviews archive.
  • Great Palo Alto local gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    The food quality and variety was top notch as always. I was very pleased to see the new specials on the menu. It can get a bit loud when the Resturant is full but with the table configurations you can still have a conversation with your dining partner. The Flowers 2011 Pino was amazing and the bolognese was top notch as always.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.