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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Il Fornaio - Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
186 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (71)good for groups (67)great for lunch (66)special occasion (65)neighborhood gem (59)great for brunch (47)fit for foodies (44)romantic (36)kid-friendly (28)notable wine list (27)hot spot (16)late-night find (11)vibrant bar scene (9)scenic view (3)Show More
  • We enjoyed sitting in the
    Phil
    Dined on 3/23/2008
    We enjoyed sitting in the patio area which is very pleasant and a reminder of the old Lehr's Greenhouse in the City, The food was very well prepared and just enough leaving room for a shared dessert. We did not feel rushed making it a relaxing intimate dinner experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The two of us sat at a table
    Spence
    Dined on 3/23/2008
    The two of us sat at a table in the main room that would run paralell with University Avenue. The table was more rectangular than square and becasue the table was so long, it was hard to talk to one another. Not very intimate, you might say.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food quality price and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 3/23/2008
    Food quality price and service have stayed consistent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner for two was a wonderful
    JohnMartinVIP
    Dined on 3/22/2008
    Dinner for two was a wonderful experience from the maitre d greeting, friendly wait staff and very good selection of menu items.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had a great time at Il
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 3/22/2008
    We had a great time at Il Fornaio. It serves good food in a very nice atmosphere. It is well worth the price.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service was good and waiter
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/21/2008
    Service was good and waiter was extremely friendly and helpful. There is a full view of the kitchen which is always nice, but a little too noisy and bright to make a romantic night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was absolutely incredible.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/20/2008
    The food was absolutely incredible. The best way to describe it is: even if you go out with no intention of "splurging"/eating dessert, you can't help yourself, since all is so good from the beginning... you can't pass up the end.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It is always good ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/19/2008
    It is always good ambiance for business casual lunch. I hope their pasta dishes would be more al dente.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • There seemed to be a little
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/19/2008
    There seemed to be a little confusion about who is responsible for our table, and somehow my espresso got lost on the way. No big deal. The food was great - as always.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One dish was not prepared
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/17/2008
    One dish was not prepared well, but the waiter noticeed, and suggested another -- that was OK. We appreciated that he noticed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I always enjoy Il Fornaio
    HoiSumDee
    Dined on 3/16/2008
    I always enjoy Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. I particularly like the patio sitting outside. It was so warm and comfortable.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Waiter was disappointed when
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/15/2008
    Waiter was disappointed when noticed that we had complimentary $80 instead of the hard cash (and only had to pay portion of the total amount from out pocket). He couldn't resist to laugh which was very rude. Didn't even bother to hide his attitude. We were good customers and returned to Il Fornaio about once a month or every other month for special family outings, but this was our last time to Palo Alto location.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I've been going to this restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/15/2008
    I've been going to this restaurant since it opened in 1989. I think that about says it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good dining experience overall.
    helen
    Dined on 3/15/2008
    Good dining experience overall. They were very busy that night and the service was not up to their usual standard, a little bit slow on the follow ups. Food was very good and the staff friendly and accomodating.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We are enjoying the "visits"
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/11/2008
    We are enjoying the "visits" to regions of Italy and discovering new dishes each month. Kathleen is one of our favorite servers; she is always cheerful and prompt to meet our requests.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Last visit was very nice,
    PostsymphonydinerVIP
    Dined on 3/10/2008
    Last visit was very nice, but this visit the staff were rushing us, and there was a markedly dirty fork at my place setting.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My teenage kids love the desserts
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/9/2008
    My teenage kids love the desserts and pizza (the pizza is really good), my parents like it (and they live in Manhattan -- food central), and my wife and I like it too. You can't go wrong here. My one complaint is they don't change the menu very often except for one page of specials. We are vegetarians and the options are limited, but it is ok since we only eat there two or three times a year. We have been going there for years and plan to continue. The service is friendly.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • I have always been pleased
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/9/2008
    I have always been pleased with the food and service at Il Fornaio. And that is not just the Palo Alto location. Our server was very attentive to our needs, and listened to what we were asking and requesting. That is very important to me. We had a very lovely lunch seated outside looking into the courtyard. Since it was my birthday, I had the choice of where I wanted to eat. And after our lunch, I knew I had made the right choice.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We have been fans of Il Fornaio
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/9/2008
    We have been fans of Il Fornaio for years, usually going to the one at Levi Plaza in San Francisco. Although our Sunday brunch experience at the Palo Alto location was enjoyable, the service let a lot to be desired. We were seated in the outdoor patio and it appeared as if they only had one waitperson and one bus-person covering the entire room. Coffee cups and wine glasses remained empty while the entrees took a long time to appear. When they arrived, one needed to be sent back because it was cold. I would still recommend Il Fornaio due to many pleasant past experiences. However, if this was my fist time, it would be my last!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I enjoy the regional monthly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/8/2008
    I enjoy the regional monthly menus. Il Fornaio used to offer a fixed price "tasting" regional menu with either wine or dessert which was very good. I regret that they discontinued this menu selection. I have eaten here once a month for the past 8 years. The food has been consistently good, and ocassionally very good. The service depends on the night. They have many long time wait staff who are very good. Some nights they appear to be under staffed and that has significantly affected the service. I also enjoy lunch here about two times a month. I especially like their roasted chicken salad. My husband and I have breakfast in the bar on many Sundays. We love the eggs with the tomatoes on toasted bread.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waiter brought antipasto dish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 3/8/2008
    Waiter brought antipasto dish that was "on the house" since it was our first visit... but of course it appeared on the bill. I ordered a Coke that was never brought to me... and of course was still included on the bill. Makes me think some restaurants do this on purpose. I paid for the entire bill since I was too involved with my date to even notice the mistakes. $60+ for a $35 dinner. Grade: D-
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed in the service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 3/8/2008
    Disappointed in the service when dining for lunch. It was poor service. We were not offered ground pepper for our salads, we were given one small plate of vinegar and olive oil to dip the bread which had to be shared by three people and then it was never refilled. One of my guests finally got up and went and got the bottles and filled the plate. We asked for more bread and it was almost at the end of the meal when it was delivered to our table. We saw our waitress three times - when she took the order, when she brought the bill and when she picked up the bill. Because of the poor service I rate this experience as Fair/Mediocre, because no matter how enjoyable the food, it was not a pleasant dining experience because of poor service
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun lunch spot in Palo Alto.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 12/22/2007
    Fun lunch spot in Palo Alto. One of the better Il Fornaio's.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This is one my regular spots.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/13/2007
    This is one my regular spots. Food is dependably good, sometimes really good. Stick with the specials.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This is casual, somewhat noisy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/25/2006
    This is casual, somewhat noisy place for breakfast or brunch. Service is good, but it's not very private for business meetings
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noisy group dining a little
    fiftyishfoodie
    Dined on 1/13/2006
    Noisy group dining a little dressed up. Food acceptable for the price. No 'wow' factor, but tasty Italian fare. The bread is the best, and bar drinks were made with care.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic