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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Cafe Pro Bono reviews from OpenTable diners
113 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (74)fit for foodies (48)special occasion (33)good for groups (31)great for lunch (28)romantic (24)great for outdoor dining (22)notable wine list (21)kid-friendly (9)great for brunch (6)hot spot (6)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Delightful place, right next to a public parking lot, with a few tables outside for those who have to have carbon monoxide with their cocktails (the tables are on the sidewalk literally right next to a busy Birch street). However, that aside the place is one of the better finds in the California Avenue section of Palo Alto. Very vibrant area with lots of dining choices, this is one of the better ones. The food is not cheap, but is very good with some excellent choices rarely found (like rabbit) on the usual menu. We will go back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Didi
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We always enjoy Pro Bono! Our server was terrific!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First Yelp Miss...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Five of us went there as a "four stars" choice to celebrate a 21st b'day. Overall, it ended up an expensive $200 for a nothing more then a mediocre experience. More specifically: - Ambiance and restaurant condition - no central A/C on a warm evening with a small local unit instead was a pity. The light bulbs located above ceiling fans created a weird feeling making some of us dizzy. - Service - waiters were really nice and tried hard. However, they were pretty clueless about the dishes... - Food - while all dishes were promptly served, timely and warm, none were any special. - The restaurant did nicely offering a b'day cake on the house. Nice touch!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was bad...
    ForTheLoveOfFoodVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Starting from the hostess/owner, almost upset to have a sold out night and continuing to the "side room" where we were seated, with wires/pipes running along the walls. And of course their food... Italian??? Really??? Overcooked, over dressed pasta with big chunks of "dead" tomatoes, ravioli floating in cream, tasteless meat. And all for outrageous prices. Do you want honest Italian dishes and enthusiastic owners? Walk to Terun on California.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Italian
    foodlover
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The food was totally delicious and the staff was very friendly and fun.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice surprise
    TLC27
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    There were 5 of us for a family dinner. Sat outside on a Friday night. It was a beautiful night, the food was overall very good... The Branzino was excellent!! They took great care of us. Will be back for more...😊
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great for a business lunch
    SVCF
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Met a colleague to go over a presentation before a client meeting and had a delicious lunch and excellent service. The noise level was perfect for being able to hear each other but not having others hear us. I had the salmon with champagne sauce and my colleague had the sand dabs. Both were excellent. Service was perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Needs an update
    LimeyVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Pro bono is an old-school Italian place, in terms of decor and menu. It could definitely use an interior refresh, but everything is clean, just dated. I went for a business lunch and it was challenging to get out of there in less than an hour. I had the sand dabs, which were fresh and perfectly cooked over a good-but-not-great fettucini. My friend had the "downfall" ravioli (that's what it's called) and it was drowned in cheese -- menu needs to be more modern. It was hard to get the wait staff's attention and we were both late getting back to the office, which is a problem for lunch service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Hidden treasure
    Rsegura
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    This is a resturant hidden off the main track that has great food! It was my first time and definately not my last . The service was excellent and food was suberb.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful again!
    RedGTO
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    We love Pro Bono and have been going there for the last 15 years. Try it! we promise you will like it. Suzanne’s Downfall is a must as an appetizer.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cafe Pro Bono.... for lawyers lunch
    bbmath
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Lovely food, attentive waiters.. outdoors eating on sidewalk. The gazpacho was good and they nicely split it for us. My Duck Confit salad was nice. My mom seemed to enjoy the gorgonzola toasted ravioli. (not my thing) The only weak spot was the custard which had an unattractive layer on the bottom of it... perhaps over cooked, perhaps sitting around too long, at first I thought it might be paper, but it wasn't. Slow to refill our drinks. Lots of lawyer talk all around us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A favorite
    Larry
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Our middle school daughter has requested dinner at CPB as her special birthday dinner spot for the last three years at least, and we are never disappointed. The food is consistently fresh, beautiful, and delicious. The service is friendly and professional, always on point, and it seems the staff does not age. We always come with a party of 8 people, and its never a problem to get served all at the right time. Some restaurants are flashy and they come and go. This one is solid, steady, they have their thing and they stick to it, and its wonderful to come back time and time again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As Always - Wonderful
    tj56
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We have been dining at Cafe Pro Bono for years and is is consistently excellent. Food and service never disappoint!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fabulous food w/out downtown mob
    MarkVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    I have eaten here 3 times over the years - it is a home run - the ambiance and the service are as good as the food - the prices are reasonable, although the portions are not huge - I will be back again... and again
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, nice dining room
    elaineKOAVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We had not been to Cafe Pro Bono for several years and our recent dining experience left us feeling that we had really missed out on a great local restaurant. We were greeted warmly, the tables were well spaced, the lighting was good and we could actually talk to one another throughout dinner without getting hoarse....as happens in other places. The restaurant filled up quickly before 7 PM, many seemed like regular guests. The food was great. We shared two entrees to try out the menu.. the crab filled ravioli in a cream sauce and the veal scallopini with capers were delicious, as was the beet and arugula salad lightly dressed. Spumoni ice cream and the special bread pudding with ice cream finished the meal. An outstanding wine list.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding Food
    SGVMoon
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    My wife and I enjoyed both of our meals. I had pasta and my wife had a meat dish. We sampled each others dishes and they were both very tasty.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 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!
    ShaybabbyVIP
    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
    napadiner2VIP
    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