Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://ilfornaio.com/
  • Phone: 6508533888
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 10:30am, Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00am; Lunch: Sunday - Saturday: 11:30am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10;00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Hamilton
  • Public Transit: Cal Train
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is available for $10. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.
A word from Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
Il Fornaio means "The Baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique dining experience. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; housemade pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and housemade soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
185 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (68)great for lunch (68)special occasion (61)good for groups (61)neighborhood gem (53)great for brunch (47)fit for foodies (42)romantic (34)kid-friendly (30)notable wine list (25)hot spot (14)late-night find (10)vibrant bar scene (9)scenic view (3)Show More
  • A disappointing Il Fornaio
    Lrbg
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Dined on Sunday evening and ordered from their special menu-- described as "ribbons of tagliatelle pasta with wild boar meatballs." Imagine our surprise when the waiter plopped down plates filled with seashell pasta that looked like a kids meal. When we pointed out the pasta problem he seemed bewildered--- he had no idea what we were talking about. He returned them to the kitchen with no apology offered and brought out our "ribbons" of pasta 10 minutes later, again with no apologies, after the rest of the table had finished their dinners. No offer to comp a dinner or offer a glass of wine. Amazing the kitchen doesn't know their pastas--- nor the waiters. Will not come again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bummer of a dinner
    Unhappy
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    My family of 5 went out to celebrate my husband's birthday. Our waiter was impatient and rude to us much of the time. When my daughter wanted to know what they had to drink, he rolled he eyes. When she took a moment to decide, he left! I saw him give the specials and be very engaging with other tables. It was really strange. He pretty much ruined our dinner. Our entire family felt his negativity. My husband had wanted wine with his meal but gave up on trying to engage with our waiter. Truly a sad night on what was supposed to be a fun outing.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always outstanding and predictable
    LoveToEat
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Haven't been there in years since we moved south to Los Gatos, so decided to go back to celebrate a very nice meal for our anniversary. We were not disappointed. Service and food outstanding, a real class act. We had the seafood on spinach and it was perfect - seafood with a slightly crispy savory outside and juicy inside and slightly spicy from chili flakes. Wow!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food
    LinS
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Service a little slow but the food was very good. Good place to go with friends.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice place, stay for dessert
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The food was average considering the restaurant. Our waiter didn't seem like he wanted to be there, the bus boys were way more helpful and friendlier. Luckily when the dessert came out, now that was worth waiting for!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never Disappoints
    Skkyup
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Went for an early rendezvous dinner with family from San Francisco and Campbell. As always, the food was excellent from the roasted beet salad, fresh baked table breads, capellini with fresh tomato basil and the pesce misto. Our service was a bit off that Thursday but not enough that a little wine and some affogato al caffè couldn't cure.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Have had better experiences
    EastmeetswestVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Our experience was totally based on our server. We arrived before 5pm and inquired about specials. Was told not available until 5pm which was understandable. But his service was so slow that we hadn't placed our order yet by 5pm. And when we asked again he basically ignored our request. Brought a bottle of wine we wanted with dinner, and told him as much. He didn't bother to offer us cocktails before dinner, we had to ask. He seemed hurried and distracted although the place was fairly empty. Am sure if we went back we would have a better experience but it was disappointing for our first visit to this Il Fornaio.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Old Reliable
    KensCuisine
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    We know we can always depend on Il Fornaio in Palo Alto for a delicious dinner in a comfortable setting. It is so nice to be recognized by the personnel there who are always welcoming and knowledgeable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Nice place - food good, although could have been hotter. Service was really great!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Jujuba
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    I went with my kid, and we loved the food. The service was also good.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Late Summer evening at Il Fornaio
    Rucky
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    It is a pleasure to visit Il Fornaio! Friendly but professional service. David is the best! Icy mugs of lemonade. Hot breads and rolls to tear and dip into olive oil. I ordered Culingiones, which is ravioli filled with cheese, mint and potatoes in a delicious tomato sauce with basil. It was so good that, I closed my eyes for each bite to savor it. My husband enjoyed his meal of meat and vegetables. He choose Affogato al Caffè which is hot coffee over vanilla ice cream in a fluted goblet and I chose Gelati e Sorbetti Gelati Misti, one scoop of Dark Chocolate and one scoop of Vanilla Gelato and one scoop of Raspberry Sorbet for our desserts. Every month we come back to enjoy our meals. We have come to Il Fornaio for over six years.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
    Disappointed
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I made a reservation for 7 people @ 5 pm on Sat. 8.9.2014. We were seated immediately in the beautiful patio area. Our waiter Max H., unfortunately, was abrupt to the point of almost being rude. Had he assumed we weren't going to be big spenders or big tippers? He provided no information about the special Aug. menu, rushed to take our orders & then strangely brought out 2 different flavor combinations when we ordered 2 of the same sorbet dessert item. My mom described her pasta & chicken dish as "just okay," & my sea bass was served semi cold. We were especially disappointed b/c we had dear family w/ us & had raved about this restaurant to them. We have always loved dining at this particular Il Fornaio. Our bill total was 235.22.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Horrible new menu, it has been reduced far too much. The salad and entree selections were pathetic. The Caesar salad was one of the worst that I've had.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    ccauction
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    The service was top notch, menu extensive and diverse with gluten free options for all noodles. Prices are reasonable, especially for the neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Monthly variety
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We go for the monthly regional specials and wine flights. The dinners have been well thought out with excellent flavor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My new favorite restaurant!
    LacisMom
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Il Fornaio is amazing. Walking in feels like entering your favorite neighborhood restaurant. You are greeted warmly and taken to your table where all around you are talking about their day and sipping wine or cocktail. Your waiter is right at your table to get you started with your evenings food adventure. I never order the same thing twice because I want to try it all. Desserts are in a word - heavenly! A nice cup of coffee, the evening is complete. LOVE Il Fornaio
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dining experience
    Capitoladiner2
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Really enjoyed the food the ambiance and excellent service, reception, bar and restaurant
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well Served
    CasualDiner
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Had a business dinner/meeting in the rear patio. Service was excellent, great Italian food and perfect ambience for quiet conversation.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu was good, now better ...
    MarkST
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Interesting new choices ... and the good old ones remain.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Beauty
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    the food is so so depends on the dish and the day. service was good we tend to go there with kids and for basics pizza pasta and salads. Sometimes the menu of the day can surprise with better choices the main menu is constant no changes gets boring. the wine list is limited but by the glass is ok and not too expensive. all and all on a day when you don't wish to cook go for it!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely brunch on the patio
    dinerinPAVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Consistently good food and service. Brunch is delightful out on the patio. Perfectly made lattes, attentive wait staff, well prepared food with generous portions.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ruben
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Great place in lovely Palo Alto, good for groups and great for outdoor dining Also good for special occasion, late-night find...love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best French Toast Ever!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Got to have the French Toast with mascapone cheese and a drizzle of maple syrup. OUTSTANDING!! Oh, and order a sausage with it and you're all set for the best breakfast ever.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • excellent as always
    brunch
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Service was very good as was the food. Manager came and spoke with us and found out it was our anniversary so one dessert was comped which was nice. The table next to us was pretty loud but thankfully they left half way through.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A delight on all fronts
    Khunkal
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Wonderful interior garden courtyard dinning space, impeccable service and flavors, tastes and textures that delight the palate. Definitely two thumbs up!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Habit
    KensCuisine
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Il Fornaio's passport tasting menus has made it a monthly habit for us. But unless the food and service was as excellent as it is the chance to win a trip to Italy would not keep us coming back.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great classics and new tastes!
    Marina
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We've been to the Seattle location and are pleased to see the same outstanding service, quality food, and interesting selections (ordered from regional menu, roasted pear ravioli was wonderful). As 1st timers to that location, the manager sent us a starter, personally welcomed us and checked in after our food came. Staff were all attentive and I overheard them graciously accommodating the diet restrictions of the table behind us. Food came out timely, not rushed. It is a chain and our expectations weren't a 5 star experience, we wanted a pleasant night out with predictable quality but something other than the usual. They more than met that with tasty food, SERVICE, and quiet table where we could easily talk. Only con- it was a little warm.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • GeoQ
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Selected Il Fornaio for dinner with another couple. Their comment "We enjoyed your selection of a great restaurant. We all had a good dinner".
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Anniversary Spot!
    Damaru
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We celebrated our anniversary here and was not disappointed. Loved the Veneto Regional menu choices. Great food, wonderful atmosphere and fantastic Tiramisu!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice dinner spot
    DougB
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    A few of us from out of town had dinner here and were impressed by the variety of items on the menu. The butternut squash ravioli, while it may sound a little odd, is actually quite good. You can order the "small" portion and share it as an appetizer if you just want to give it a shot without committing to the full dinner. Three of us ordered three entrees and divided them up so that we could each sample different items: two ravioli dishes and the beef tenderloin, which was excellent. The service was very good and the drinks were well-made and tasty, if a little pricey. I would definitely go back for the food and service. Maybe I would have wine with dinner instead of mixed drinks from the bar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Joanie
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    This was the first time our party had brunch. Our party ate in the garden area which was just delightful. Everyone enjoyed their meals and our waiter was just perfect with his service.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Summer at Il Fornaio
    Rucky
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    My meal was delicious! Crisp, fresh, warm bread and rather good olive oil to dip into. Lemonade. "Caasoonzei Stracchino e Pere" which was ravioli with roasted pear. I closed my eyes to enjoy it and in a delicate 3 cheese sauce decorated with asparagus and toasted walnuts. My dessert of three wonderful flavors of "Vanilla Bean" and "Deep Dark Chocolate gelato" and fruity"Raspberry Sorbet." . My husband enjoyed his meal of "Pollo al Curry con Tortino di Riso al Salto" which was baked chicken in a curry cream sauce with mushroom and cheese risotto and his old favorite dessert of a delicious hot bitter coffee poured over vanilla gelato. All the tables were taken in front with people who were happy to be there and enjoying their meal.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service
    Catsladder
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Great service. Server extremely attentive and professional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointing....
    love2eatout
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Our dinner was very disappointing. The service was .... NOT attentive, I'm not asking for exceptional but if you order a pasta dish, one would expect to at least be asked if they'd like cheese or ground pepper. The waiter was not around. We had to wait a long time for any attention or for the food. He never came back to ask if we needed anything. Most of that could be forgiven IF the food tasted good, but it did NOT. We were a party of eight and no one had a dish that was good! One GOOD thing was that the hostess was very helpful in finding us a nice table. Thank you to her!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • solidly good, not very interesting
    rob3016
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    I cannot say anything particularly bad about the restaurant. The food was good, yet not interesting. The noise of the restaurant became enjoyable as soon as a patron from another table politely asked some parents at an adjoining table to lower their children's voices. Given that this is classy restaurant I would have expected the management to speak to the parents to reduce the loud yelling of their children. Sadly, the restaurant's management took no action. I would say this restaurant is solidly good, yet the menu is outdated. There are so many other inventive restaurants fit for foodies in the Peninsula that unless you are looking for a bland experience look elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrible. Bad food.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Many big tables available, yet they seated our party of six at a small table near the doorway, and brought an extra chair, making it very crowded. We detected racism for this, since everyone else (white) were sitting at the front of the restaurant at bigger tables than ours. The pasta sauce was bland. The calamari was chewy and not seasoned. The pizza was extremely soggy, when we pointed it out, instead of fixing it, the waiter (condescendingly) explained that it was supposed to be so! After I signed the credit card receipt, the waiter was quick to take it away! It doesn't happen in any restaurant. Overall very unpleasant experience, ruined my daughter's birthday! I will not recommend this restaurant to anyone!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food
    stolp
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Food was disappointing. The salad dressing was tasteless and short on oil, the cannellonis were cold inside even though the sauce was piping hot. We had much better experience on previous visits. This one was the opposite. The service was very professional.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    They have calories counts on the menu. Great for people that are health concious
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always fub
    Jojo
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I've been going to Il Fornaio for years now and I love the food there and how unfailingly pleasant it is to eat there. The service is attentive, friendly and unpretentious. I hope it stays there for years to come.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Totally outshines the others!
    nina
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    The ambience of this one is so very nice, each employee is happy to answer any questions & I just love the fresh flowers done in the european style. The food was very nice with ample portions, delicious, & elegantly plated. This was a great experience & a great memory that will always be special. Thank-you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic