Il Fornaio - Palo Alto
Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://ilfornaio.com/
  • Phone: (650) 853-3888
  • 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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Il Fornaio - Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
159 reviews since July 28, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (60)great for outdoor dining (51)neighborhood gem (51)great for lunch (48)special occasion (48)fit for foodies (40)great for brunch (37)romantic (31)kid-friendly (26)notable wine list (22)hot spot (12)late-night find (9)vibrant bar scene (6)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Service great
    peirVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Our waiter (David W.) was cheerful and helpful, and very accommodating to our dietary restrictions.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent for a celebration.
    eastsider
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    We had a graduation party at the restaurant. The service for our group of 14 was exceptional and good delicious.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lovely outdoor seating
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    huge restaurant with different areas for groups, private parties, etc., but our group of 4 really enjoyed the outdoor area covered and under the heat lamps. the carpaccio and calamari appetizers were yummy. loved the calamari sauce! spaghetti with the maine lobster and mussels was good with a great tasting tomato sauce. the beet salad and caprese salad were fresh and delicious. the service was attentive but not intrusive. we hadn't been here in a long time and the experience was very pleasant -- we stayed for quite a few hours with a couple of bottles of wine and great conversation. no wonder it's such a busy spot!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently good
    Sgw1VIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Il Fornaio is our. Go-to spot for out-of-town visitors. Its consistently pleasant atmosphere, fine service and great food always please. You won't ever be sorry you chose Il Fornaio.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Il Fornaio in Early Summer
    Rucky
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    It was a lovely evening and the service is excellent! David is their best waiter. His trick with the bread crumbs is entertaining! The ice creams are wonderful! Deep, deep Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean and Raspberry! Like music!
    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
  • Quick, Delicious, Easy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    This place is always great for a nice date. The service is quick and friendly and the food is reliably delicious. I love their "taste of ---" menu's that provide a fixed price 3 course meal, and it always leaves me with leftovers.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Impressive
    NancyMc
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    I was so impressed. I think it's the most beautiful Il Fornaio restaurant I've ever been to. I love the outdoor patios with the fountains. I wanted pictures taken there. I feel like I'm in Italy or on vacation somewhere. The food was great and the service was fast.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nance
    Nance
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    I had the special which was Sea Bass and it was awful. I did not even finish it, It was soggy and no good at all. The salmon salads were average. The calamari appetizer was not very good. The bill was close to $100.00 for lunch. A bill I would not mind for Three if the food was outstanding. This was a speiclal occasion, and I was very disappointed. I would not recommend this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Enjoyable
    Bill
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    We have eaten at this establishment about a half dozen times. On each occasion the meal has been good and the service is consistently good. You can count on the food to be well prepared and to your liking. The restaurant is usually a bit noisey although you can carry on a conversation. The booths for two are really a bit small especially when food begins to arrive. Generally a nice place to eat.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great restaurant
    great
    Dined on 6/1/2014
    Great food, great service, great ambience, great place for brunch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The Palo Alto Il Fornaio has a great ambiance and the courtyard area is great - food is always consistently good, as is the service!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • energetic but disappointing
    CJSD
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Service was awkward but enthusiastic. Food was undercooked (and yes we know what pasta al dente is). Great location and vibrant scene.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Pretty Good Old Fave
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Took our stepmother out on her Birthday for early dinner. Service was very good, and the wait person was friendly and efficient. It wasn't the best food in the world but adequate, and the ambiance made it all worthwhile and elegantly fun.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Silver Lunch
    PalyCyclingPair
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    My husband and I had lunch at Il Fornaio to celebrate a special occasion. It is a neighborhood restaurant in a quaint hotel in Palo Alto. The menu was great and the food was delightful as always. We live nearby, and we are happy that there is still white table cloth formal dining available in our culture, as it is becoming more rare.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sunday supper
    Likesfood
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    As usual Il Forniao delivered a delicious Sunday supper to me and my family. The menu has enough variety to please all. The decor is comfortable and service is warm.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reliably Pleasant
    Muheli
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    I can count on Il Fornaio for the serene atmosphere I need for a business meeting where I can't afford to be distracted from a serious conversation. The food is beautifully presented and consistently good. The whole experience is upscale without flamboyance.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad bad food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    This was my first time at this restaurant. The decor was nice, specially loved the patio seating. The food though was something else. I have never had worse italian food so far! The bread was too salty, the ravioli's outer layer was so think/chewy, the pizza was bland! I don't think I will ever go back to this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mark Lufkin review
    lufkin43
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    Great menu and helpful staff. I didn't know what one of the items was on the description and the waiter was very thoughtful in his description.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ALWAYS GOOD
    Bill
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Il Fornaio is always a great restaurant experience. We happened to go to the restaurant in Palo Alto on both a Friday and Sunday night while visiting in this area. You can always count on the restaurant to be consistently good. Food is good, service is good and the restaurant is just a fun place to be. We have never found Il Fornaio to be lacking in any way no matter what city we find one in. Strongly recommend this restaurant chain to anyone looking for a good meal.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    jackie
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I often eat at the Walnut Creek branch of this restaurant so I expected the menu would be similar and the food equally good. Alas, my chicken was tasteless and the veggies meager and limp. The dish was not attractively plated. Perhaps as unsatisfactory was the floor which was littered with junk from previous diners. We arrived early for dinner and the kitchen was not yet busy so the lapse is surprising.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Server
    Giovanni
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The server was slow so when I asked about our lunch, he went directly to it. It was just sitting there....we were forgotten. We ordered gelato for dessert and it took another lengthy time. When the cups arrived the gelato was melted . I was never asked if I wanted coffee but my partner was asked. After he took that order the two ladies were overlooked so we did not get my cafe Latte. Not a good experience for myself and guest and we drove all the way from Santa Cruz County and it was not worth it. I am handicapped and the two spots . A while later a young woman drove up in a yellow lamborghini and she was told to park in front. I was also driving a luxury car and I am 75 yrs old and handicapped. e
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice evening
    1glutenfree1not
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    gluten free menu is best in northern calif . super salads and pastas.deserts a must. lovely lovely house wines
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    A disappointing experience. Two in the party, one ordered an omelet that had asparagus in it & ordered it to be without asparagus but it arrived with the asparagus. The other ordered a breakfast turnover, to us turnover is a flaky pastry, it was more like a calzone and that was the first disappointment, the second was that the dough was really tough. The waiter had to be summoned to the table a couple of times - we received good bread but no butter, the credit card sat on the table, we had to point out to the waiter it was there and then the waiter filled one refilled one persons cup of coffee but not the others. This was meant to be an anniversary treat but instead was just an average brunch. Brunch a year ago was much better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A wonderful dinner
    PrincessVIP
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    We had the delicious ministrone soup as a starter. It's filled with fresh vegetables and a flavorful broth. Of course I must not forget the basket of yummy bread and rolls, served with butter and or olive oil. Next we had the rotesseri chicken, which was done to perfection. The vegetables were al dente and perfect. Our waiter was very attentive and charming. We'll be back for sure.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • lunch w/o stress
    stars4locate
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    The restaurant has a nice location,mid-town of Palo Alto, accessible from the freeway. We get together occasionally with friends from different bay area locations. The food is normally good, the service is quick and friendly. Nice terrace during spring time.I recommend it for small and larger groups.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    The quality of food is not the same as it was. Our waiter was so distracted with another big group that he forgets the following throughout dinner - 1) wine for one of our guests, 2) refill my iced tea 3) didn't provide a dessert menu (we had to ask) 4) forgot about the espresso our guest ordered.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not what it used to be
    Samantha
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    I have been going to this Il Fornaio for years. Unfortunately, it is not what it used to be. The service is adequate, but nothing to rave about and the food is about the same. The ambience is fine, but it seems to have lost its appeal. This is not the only occasion I have felt this way, but maybe I've just hit it on off days.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Special Days
    HappyCustomer
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    We have been coming to Il Fornaio for special occasions for many years now and always look forward to our meal and the service we receive. Your employees are friendly and helpful with questions about the menu. We will continue to come to Il Fornaio for our special occasions until we no longer can make it. Great food, nice ambiance, terrific service!!!!!
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tabassum
    Tabassum
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    OK, no reason to be more expensive than Cheasecake factory
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Palo Alto dining
    findinganicknameisapain
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Il Fornio just seems to always get it right. The food is great, the service is fine and atmosphere is interesting. It can be a little loud but we knew it before we made the selection.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Il Fornaio Palo Alto
    stevedVIP
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    Great restaurant, friendly staff, tasty food, lively ambience! Hostess very flexible on re-seating request. Waiter (Chris) very accommodating on a feisty group!! Overall, very enjoyable experience.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One of my favorites
    breadloverVIP
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    On this occasion the service was a bit slow due to big parties there for breakfast. Was disappointed in the amount of berries in the assorted berries we ordered for 8.79. Love Il Fornaio for their wonderful raisin bread and all their breads. Also they make an amazing strong cup of coffee like my Grandmother use to.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This restaurant has always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    This restaurant has always been dependable and a favorite. Our experience on Saturday was disappointing to say the least.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hat's off to the Manager, food..
    BigNightVIP
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    No ego. No attitude. All smiles. All about being in service. Knowledgable. Gave samples of wine. Gave advice about how to cook. Came by to see if we were happy. Yes, even comped us desert (they said it was my shirt, but I think it was because they liked serving us). The experience was superb (been there other times over the years and this was the best yet) and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to be given such courtesy by Nick and the other wait staff. I think the restaurant's presentation of lamb chops with artichokes and potatoes was first quality. And now I know how to make a demi glaze sauce!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The chicken peperocini was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    The chicken peperocini was not very good. Not cooked well enough and bland tasting. Not like other times I have had it. Waiter not very considerate of our conversation and rushed us.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicioso!
    juanakat
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    My experience at Il Fornaio is always excellent. I love the bar and sitting near the wonderful smells from the kitchen/pizza oven. I have been going to Il Fornaio since it first opened years ago when I worked at Stanford. It's always excellent in food and service and I do a lot of client and colleague dinner meetings there.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Just right
    Cornell
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    There is a reason this is a favorite meeting restaurant. From the warm bread to the spot on service, I can count on Il Fornaio. This time I had simple pasta, but often I will order exclusively from the regional special menu. For business, it is a favorite and my kids love to come here too. Winner.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dependable high quality restaurant
    flowercrown
    Dined on 3/31/2014
    Il Fornaio has dependable high quality. I have been here many times. The food is always good, service is good and ambiance works. They used to be known for their wonderful bread but they changed bakers. Bread is still good, but not the "aaaaaaah" that it once was. I will go here again.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • mizD
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    Came for an afternoon lunch. Staff was friendly & grilled chicken salad was tastey with house dressing.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We enjoyed a casual dinner,
    MCR1
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    We enjoyed a casual dinner, my boyfriend ordered a salmon dish and I ordered the pizza special. Both were very good and so were our drinks from the specialty menu. Our server was definitely a plus.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.