Il Fornaio - San Jose
Il Fornaio - San Jose

Il Fornaio - San Jose

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.ilfornaio.com/
  • Phone: 4082013366
  • Hours of Operation:
    Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 10:30am, Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 2:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm, Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian / Vegan, Italian
  • Executive Chef: Claudio Zorloni
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Il Fornaio offers full service off-site catering. Please contact the Il Fornaio catering department at (408)271-3350.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: San Carlos St.
  • Public Transit: City bus stops are located nearby
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet is available; the cost is $8 for the first 2 hours, and then posted rates thereafter. There is also complimentary validated parking in the convention center parking structure, then the city will charge for the third hour and then full price after three hours. There is also street parking available,
A word from Il Fornaio - San Jose
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 2013.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Il Fornaio - San Jose reviews from OpenTable diners
196 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (111)good for groups (89)fit for foodies (61)romantic (52)great for lunch (47)neighborhood gem (45)notable wine list (34)great for brunch (28)kid-friendly (24)late-night find (11)vibrant bar scene (7)hot spot (6)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Great for a Business Dinner
    FrankB
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Food was great, had the mixed seafood grill which I would heartily recommend. Service was very good. The place is looking a little run down.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • classic but out of date
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    the food was ok. for the price, not ok. very basic and somewhat poorly prepared, i.e. the pasta was overcooked, the lobster bisque didn't taste of lobster, and it had no lobster within and the truffle oil float was overwhelming. salads were overdressed. the prices were very high for the quality of the ingredients. the classic dishes weren't really classically prepared. sent a couple of things back and they were never credited to our over $400 bill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mixed Message
    Frustrated
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    This was a business dinner with new Japanese clients who were staying at the nearby Fairmont Hotel. The restaurant was very crowded but our table was ready. Service was good as was the bread and dessert, but the entrees were very disappointing. (My pasta tasted like it had just been unfrozen.)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not the best Il Fornaio experience
    Operadiner
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Always a problem here, the AC meant that we were sitting in a cool breeze, with the air cooling our food as well as ourselves. We were seated rapidly, despite being in the "after opera matinee" rush. Our choice of wine was not available (a dry white), and we were offered a substitute, without being given time to taste it. We decided that it was too sweet and perfume. Once we attacked the waiter's attention, it was immediately replaced by our second choice. This was better, but not chilled enough to our liking. The food was good, though we were put off by the green tinge to the mussels in the seafood pasta. In the UK this is a sign that they are "off". Apparently not so in CA. The waiter's advice on the food was spot on and excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nostalgic Dining Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    It was nice to see how Downtown SJ has grown and advance,and the St Claire Hotel and the restaurant within Il Fornaio makes it proud and elegant. Nice dinning experience for the elderly and young. Nice mix.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rushing
    ComfortZoneVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Unfortunately, we arrived late and had tickets to one of the last shows for Wicked. There were 7 of us, including 3 children and a 90+ senior. We all wished we had time to sit and enjoy the food and ambiance. But, the wait team was very respectful of our time constraints and service piping hot food in a jiffy that tasted very good. We'll have to return again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hostess and waiter were great
    hpycmpr
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The hostess was able to accommodate a party of 7 thirty minutes earlier than the scheduled reservation,which was appreciated as we were with our aging parents. She was pleasant even though the restaurant was busy and crowded. The waiter was also outstanding and helpful. Great personality and made good suggestions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sea bass
    CasualDiner
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I ordered sea bass and I doubt that it was sea bass. The staff admitted it was not Chilean sea bass. Nice preparation but poor quality of fish - barely edible. I have eaten at the Palo Alto and San Jose locations many times but I will never return to the San Jose location. I have zero tolerance for restaurants serving poor quality seafood.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bread and service were excellent
    NatiVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Pasta and salad came out quickly which was a pleasant surprise but they were both bland. So disappointed!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Molto Bene!
    foodfriendly
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    I love Il Fornaio. The menu is interesting and the wait staff helpful and efficient. The restaurant is beautiful and lively. I especially enjoyed the sea bass asparagus saffron risotto. The fish was perfectly cooked, and tender asparagus and grape tomatoes were a lovely contrast to the saffron rice. Great place for a lingering meal or before a show. Wait staff asked if we were headed to a performance and made sure we were served, without feeling rushed, with time to spare. Great dining experience all around.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor Service-Food sent back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Came here for brunch before a performance of Wicked downtown, service was poor, eggs had to be sent back to get corrected and generally a bad experience. Dissapointing since we have been to other locations many times with no issuse. Must have been a bad day.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    The service was good and fast (almost too fast) but at least we had time to enjoy our meal and finish leisurely before going to the opera. Last time we were here we waited and waited and wondered if we would finish in time. So the chef and service has improved. The lobster bisque was not tasty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent as always
    CynthiaC
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Our server asked right away if we were there prior to a show (we were) so she could make sure we were out on time. She gave us excellent suggestions for food, and the new dishes were EXCELLENT. Our only complaint was the Butternut Squash Ravioli was only warm while the pesto pasta was piping hot - but all were still delicious including wine, coffee and dessert. Server was attentive, food was brought quickly, we never felt rushed, and were were out in time for opening night at the opera.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FootLooseVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Service was outstanding. Be sure to sit in Rumi's section.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food Poor
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Service great! Food was horrible. This restaurant has gone down hill. Sorry to right this review but we all were not happy with the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waited way too long for our food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We waited a while for our food. There was a show going on downtown and i think people attending the show were given preference. I said "I think," can't confirm that. I ordered the sea bass and it was raw in the middle. My order wasn't comp'd but we were offered free dessert. A little disappointing. Our server did a good job.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Location works
    docvic
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    Definitely this restaurant capitalizes on its location...not a keeper.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • So disappointing!
    FoodLoverVIP
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    We have eaten at Il Fornaio in Seattle many times, and consider it one of our favorite go to spots for a consistently delicious and enjoyable meal. We now live in San Jose, but expected to be equally as pleased in choosing the location here. While the service was fine (only mixed up one dish and immediately fixed it), the food was incredibly disappointing. One of the things that has always impressed me is that while Il Fornaio is considered a 'chain', it never felt like one...until this experience. Pasta was overcooked, vodka sauce (usually, my favorite), was watery, steak, while tender and perfectly cooked, lacked flavor. The salad was the best part of my meal. Considering we 'splurged' for this special occasion...unfortunate experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always great
    512damonVIP
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    My wife and I decided we like Il Fornaio over Original Joe's. Joe's may have the cooler brand, but Il Fornaio has a fresher menu, better service, and equally if not better food. Joe's get stale with the exact same menu for years and years.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    While the food and atmosphere were excellent, the service was practically non-existent. The servers were courteous and professional, but nowhere to be found, seemed to always be waiting for them to return to the table.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    GeorgeVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We dined here (again), this time an early dinner after a matinee performance of Wicked. Food and service were excellent as usual. The restaurant was nearly full by the time we left, which is always a good sign.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Formerly great, now bland food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Great setting and the food used to be phenomenal. My wife and I took my college-aged son for his birthday. All 3 of us had different dishes, 2 from the specials and one from their normal menu. All of us agreed that our food was well prepared, beautifully plated, and very bland. The red sauce on the pasta tasted like just plain tomato; the fish was well cooked but tasteless with no flavor to the sauce, and the meat dish was the same. The breads are great and we used to love this place, but we won't be back. Too many other great options to choose from.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Even tho it's a chain, Il Fornaio is still a very good Italian eatery....and each location is different. We've dined at most of their Bay Area restaurants and haveen disappointed. Our most recent pre-theater dinner in San Jose was no exception. And it's close to CPA.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always excellent ...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    You simply can't go wrong here ... the venue is lovely, the service attentive, the menu varied and expertly prepared, the wine list is thoughtful, and the overall attention to detail and willingness to "go the extra mile" is palpable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining at the St. Claire
    iolavolaVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We had a very good meal. The service was wonderful, the ambiance lovely and we were asked if we needed to be somewhere at a specific time so that they could accommocate us in a timely manner. I have been to this restaurant numerous times and have never been disappointed in their food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Had a great time but........
    Billybassoon
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Had a marvelous dinner celebrating daughters birthday. Great wine, great food and tiramasu to die for. Great ambience. Only disappointment is that a number of guests dress like they are going out to McDonalds. Il Fornaio Is a classy place but seeing an overweight guy sitting in the waiting area dressed in a wife beater tee shirt was not appetizing. How about "no sleeves on shirt, no service."
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My Favorite Il Fornio Site
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Delicious Italian food, wonderful service, and old world atmosphere matching St. Claire. Have tried the Il Fornio chain at most of their Bay Area locations and Las Vegas. The team, food, and service always is above a notch from the other locations.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect pre-show dinner
    JenLD
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The restaurant is located inside the historic and beautiful Hotel St. Claire. The bread, pasta and pizza were terrific and the service very considerate of our wish to make an 8pm show.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • disappointed in one of our old favs
    mjhy2k
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This has always been a good place to eat. Our last visit was not. Pasta was cold! Even after being told the plate is hot it just came out of our pizza oven. The plate wasn't hot. Water tasted like chlorine even after the second glass that the waiter brought. He finally brought me bottled water (complimentary) The service was ok, but we could tell the servers were stretched with no bus help. Our table was on a very busy, narrow isle. We probably won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • After Theater Dinner
    OutAndAbout
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Il Fornaio was the perfect restaurant choice after a California Theater matinee. The table selection was honored and reservation made flexible due to the show's end. Despite a long line, we were immediately seated and then enjoyed a pre-arranged Proseco toast. Our waiter was gracious and well informed about the menu, even describing the peperocino sauce made for the Petto Di Pollo dish. The food arrived hot and delicious. Only the service by the staff assistants was sorely lacking. Orders for lemon and iced tea were forgotten despite numerous reminders and waiter apologies. At the end of our dinner a complimentary 90th birthday dessert complete with candles arrived. It was a perfect ending for a special celebration.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Slow service & overcooked appetizer
    Just4dinner
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We were shown to a nice table, but we were confused over who our waiter was. The waiter we ended up with was not very attentive and we had long waits between items served. We started with calamari, which seemed to take a long time in coming. It was overcooked and the tubes and tentacles were quite small and slightly burnt, not what I expected. While strolling to the restroom, I noticed two ladies seated at a table with a plate of calamari, large pieces cooked to a light golden brown, the way I am used to seeing. I noticed other tables who had arrived after us being served, but we continued to wait. The entree was fine, decent portions. We never had dessert, it took 15 min for the waiter to bring dessert menus and we ran out of time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    It's a little expensive, but the food and service were very good. The menu, however is limited and could be expanded to include some ordinary Italian dishes.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OurClubVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Il Fornaio was wonderful on Thursday. The regional menu was fresh and served beautifully. The best part of Il Fornaio, San Jose is the staff. From the moment you are greeted at the door to the wait staff and manager, Cole it could not be better. We will be back go back very soon.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Made special occasion even better!
    DubtowngalVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We had an impromptu dinner at Il Fornaio when our daughter got engaged to her girlfriend. The server was so attentive and offered them complimentary bubbly. The food was excellent -- two of us had the tasting menue for the night -- and the wine list also was good. We have had lunch there before and it is always a nice dining experience, but the service this visit made the special evening even better.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday dinner
    auntie
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Always enjoy our meal at this restaurant. However, this time less than perfect and manager took 1/2 off my dinner as veal was tough! and not tender at all! Suggest you allow diners to enjoy happy hour prices at their dinner table. We could only partake of happy hour by sitting in the bar area and then going to our table for dinner!!! Crazy thing to do as we had made dinner reservations in advance, not just dropped in.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food but poor service
    JJK7VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Great dining experience is not just delicious food, but service has to be great. We had dinner reservation @ 6:00 PM and it wasn't too busy from what we can see. We had to ask for butter, salt & pepper and water several times. Perhaps they were under staffed but it really was annoying to keep asking for things. As for the food, they never disappoint.. We all got pasta and they were all delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2nd Visit Slow Service
    VIP1000dinesVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We had breakfast the day before and it was very good. Food still very good, however service was slow. Everyone pitched in and worked it out in the end.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Monthly Regional Menu is great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    My friend and I go to this restaurant as part of our mini-vacay weekend for the summer jazz fest. This is our second time in 3 years and we were happy to see that they had the monthly regional prix-fixe tasting menu available again. For the month of August, the selected region was Sardegna. We really enjoyed the food and the wine pairings. And, of course, Il Fornaio (if I remember correctly) was originally known for its bread!! I will say that, by the time the 3rd course came, we had pretty much reached our limit. We took one look at it when it was served and asked them to please bring some 'to-go' boxes for us. And we each had a GREAT lunch to take to work after the weekend!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Breakfast here
    VIP1000dinesVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Amazing fresh bread and breakfast items that won't disappoint.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Birthday Dinner!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Five of us dined to celebrate a birthday. It was delicious food as usual, nice wine from the regional list, and the special birthday dessert was a surprise to the guest (I noted it was a birthday on the open table reservation form) so her name was spelled right.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.