Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.30mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.30mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.30mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.30mi
  3. Distance: 0.33mi
  4. Distance: 0.56mi

About 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.

2437 Birch Street
Palo Alto, CA 94306
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Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, Mediterranean

Hours of Operation:

Lunch: Mon-Fri. 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Fri. 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun. 5pm-9pm

Cross Street:
California Ave

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(650) 326-1626

Website:
http://cafeprobono.com/

Executive Chef:
Jose Rodrigez

Private Party Contact:
Akif Aydin: (650) 326-1626

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Liquor, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Cafe Pro Bono Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (26)
Special Occasion (20)
Good for Birthdays (19)
See All
Authentic (17)
Good for a Date (14)
Fit for Foodies (14)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Good for Groups (12)
Cozy (11)
Great for Lunch (11)
Casual (11)
Romantic (11)
Quiet Conversation (11)
Business Meals (10)
Bar Seating (8)
Notable Wine List (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Worth the Drive (6)
Fun (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Healthy (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Seasonal (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Great Beer (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
People Watching (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Vegan (1)
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648 reviews
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 (London)·Dined 3 days ago

We were there for ~5hrs. Thank you.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined 4 days ago

The food is consistently very good! It was quite noisy but once large group left, it was good!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Loved it~ We'll be back!! This is my Dad's favorite restaurant and we know why. Lived in Italy for 3 years and the food here is genuine.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We were pleasantly surprised by the enlarged dining area and ambiance.
Our Greek chicken was delicious. Service was very good. Would have liked more inexpensive wines available.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Cafe Pro Bono continues to be one of my favorite go-to restaurants on the Peninsula. The food is both outstanding and authentic. Something simple, like a warm, sliced chicken salad is delicious. Service is prompt and respectful (they “read the table” appropriately). Whether it’s an important business lunch or an important occasion like a birthday or anniversary, this place more than delivers.

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 8, 2017

We had a great evening out celebrating the birthday of my wife. Service was very attentive, meals were great and well sized, the panna cotta is an absolute dream!

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 5, 2017

The food was excellent. This was our second experience as we had previously attended a group business dinner here in a private room. On both occasions the food was great. Service was very timely.
The space is tight and thus not appropriate for an intimate or private conversation. Thus we probably will not invite another couple to dine with us. But we likely will return because the quality of the food is excellent. We eat out regularly and appreciate high quality food which is provided here.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

The service was a bit spotty (it's hard to find/train/keep good servers in Palo Alto due to unaffordable housing) but the food was fantastic. My wife enjoyed her cucumber-infused vodka and grapefruit cocktail and my Syrah from the well-curated by-the-glass menu was delicious. I had the wild boar sausage with flagolet bean appetizer and the absolutely wonderful risotto with smoked salmon and peas. My wife is gluten-sensitive and she had many selections to choose from including all of the pasta menu except ravioli and tortelini. Parking is also quite convenient -- there is a large City of Palo Alto lot just around the corner.

Tags: Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 30, 2017

Palo Alto has many great dining options, but we return again and again to Pro Bono because the food is always perfectly prepared and the service is professional but also very warm and welcoming. I love the salmon in particular. This is a gem of a restaurant just off of California Avenue with easy parking and a great wine list and full bar. An absolute favorite!

Tags: Good for Groups, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 27, 2017

This place never disappoints. Great locals kind of place, food is excellent, owner and service is great and personable. They know their clientele who keep coming back for more.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Cafe Pro Bono is better than OK but not that special and barely worth it. $40 a person (one cocktail and a glass of wine, three entrees, no desert or coffee) seems a bit steep. We wont hurry back

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Great choices on the menu, especially for our friend who avoids gluten. House wine was very good. Service just as we like it. Noisier than other times we have been there, but we could tell it was because people were enjoying themselves

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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 18, 2017

What a find! Always good food, service, and ambiance. At prices that won’t kill you and wine selections that will make you come back for more.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2017

We checked in for 4 persons to have a quiet dinner with friends. Usually we taste each others food to experience the varied menu. What was most disappointing was the small volume of food and the high price for very little. The choice was not that great and some of the higher valued offerings were still tiny. Listed wines by the glass were also much higher than other local restaurants.

Tags: Casual
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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on October 13, 2017

Came back after 15 years. Still an awesome experience

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

It's always nice to dine at Pro Bono. The quality of the food is great and consistent. The wait staff is wonderful and they are very attantive. One of my favorites in the area. Not pretentious. Just great Italian food.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 8, 2017

We had reservations for two and were seated promptly. The wait staff was friendly, helpful, and unobtrusive. My husband and I split the polenta appetizer-yum, and had salads for our second course. I had the mixed green house salad and he had the Caesar, nice presentation of crisp, fresh lettuce on a chilled plate. I had the seafood lasagna that was DELICIOUS and my husband had the special fish entree, which he described as "good", but it didn't knock his socks off like the lasagna did. Finished the meal with decaf cappuccinos and a shared vanilla creme brûlée. The split dessert was the right amount for the both of us, it was good, but nothing special. We would definitely go back again as there were several things on the menu that looked worth trying!

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Delicious food. Comfortable, home-like feel. Lovely!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 4, 2017

Booked a reservation at least 2 weeks in advance for dinner celebrating my friend’s birthday. Came in maybe 10 min. or a little less before our reservation time and when we went to check in at the front I was told that they only had outside seating or at the bar or I could wait at least 30 min. I was shocked that having reservation didn’t seem to matter much to the hostess based on her flippant demeanor. I said “wait, but we made a reservation” and she said “well we had an unexpected large party show up and some of these other tables just aren’t ready to leave.” Ummm not my problem, if you take reservations I would expect them to plan accordingly and reserve the table for their guests. Then we had no choice but to wait at the bar and hope a table would open up. Strangely, we didn’t see anyone leave but maybe 15 -20 min later they led us to a small empty table next to another small empty table. So wait were these tables here all along while they tried to convince us that they only had outside seating or at the bar? I only give this restaurant a higher rating based on the actual food and our decent but not so warm or friendly waitress. Would I go back or recommend?...there are better options around the area, so no.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

 
·Dined on October 4, 2017

I needed to book a reservation for an after hours office meeting and this place popped up on yelp. The next morning everyone commented how amazing the food was and properly named this place as the "hidden gem" of Palo Alto

Tags: Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 1, 2017

The food was fine but the restaurant claims to serve gluten free dishes, which is why we booked a table (both wife and I are GF). We both ordered a Gluten Free pasta dish. Mine was fine, my wife's we cooked with regular pasta. The waiter did notice it and took the plate away after another waiter brought it to our table. The kitchen did not throw away the whole dish: they removed (most of) the GF pasta and prepared another batch. Unfortunately the dish was full of gluten and that made my wife very uncomfortable. So they don't understand what serving GF dishes really mean. We won't go back.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 25, 2017

We've eaten here often over the years and have never been disappointed. The food is excellent, and the service is attentive but not intrusive. The staff are uniformly friendly and professional. More than most restaurants, Cafe Pro Bono's noise level allows conversations without shouting or straining to hear.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 18, 2017

Pro Bono never disappoints. Usually try their dinner specials, but this time, went with our "old standbys", which never disappoint. Some notables -- their "Susan's Downfall" is incredible as an appetizer. The Lamb Chops are alwasy terrific. Veal Marsala is a reliable treat. Pasta dishes are always fresh & tasty. Wine list isn't huge, but plenty of good choices, and a nice selection of Italian wines.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 17, 2017

They dinner couldn't have been better. Everyone was happy with their meals and service was great

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Gluten Free Options, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 16, 2017

I didn't like the taste of the food. Although, the service was very good.

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food1
ambience3
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 15, 2017

Always a good choice. There was a rambunctious group nearby which made it noisier than usual. Friends oldered grilled shrimp that was to die for. We had the warm goat cheese salad which was perfect. Susan's Downfall is a must. Everyone at the table swooned at the samples I shared.

Tags: Authentic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 9, 2017

The owner and staff are extremely gracious and friendly. They strike the perfect balance of professionalism

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on August 30, 2017

Wonderful place to celebrate our son's 22nd birthday. Varied and delicious menu options, off street parking, and pleasantly efficient service. Would highly recommend this restaurant.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 29, 2017

And, most importantly, parking is "super easy" - there are two public lots right next to the venue. You'll have a great meal, in an excellent setting and enjoy!!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Fun, Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 28, 2017

We have not eaten here before and we were very pleasantly surprised. We go to Italy a lot and love good Italian food. Pro Bono was excellent. I had the crusted Scottish Salmon and it was really good. My wife had home made ravioli with a gorgonzola source and that too was excellent. Their special wine of the day was a terrific buy. Overall it was excellent although I thought the prices were a little high.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on August 27, 2017

Four of us met for an early Saturday dinner at 6; reservations would probably be good. As it was quite warm outside, we were seated in a quiet corner inside. The woman serving our table was friendly and competent, and our bread basket and water was always filled. We ate fairly lightly because of the hot day, deciding on pasta dishes all around. All four different pastas were delicious and filling with salads added beforehand. We also liked the 2 desserts we shared, an apple torte and a coconut chocolate concoction. We just were so relaxed with good food and good company, making for a really nice evening - strongly recommended.

Tags: Cozy, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 26, 2017

First time, and had a wonderful experience. Service was great, food very good. We will definitely be returning.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Casual, Business Meals
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 26, 2017

We have dined at Cafe Pro Bono before but not since the remodel. The experience exceeded our expectations despite our positive experiences in the past. The food, service, and ambiance were all excellent, and our friend was delighted by the gluten free options available to her.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Lovely salad with beets and really good swordfish Good bread pudding, too, and I found a cabernet which was really good and that I could afford. Service is unobtrusive but it is clear the waitstaff keeps an eye on your dining. I wish Cafe {Pro Bono was not so noisy, but that is the price one pays for popularity, which is well deserved.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 13, 2017

This was our second visit in a couple years. We had an early dinner reservation last Saturday. The restaurant decor is elegant, clean and cozy. We were greeted by very friendly wait-staff. The food was excellent, prepared and presented with loving care. My wife, my mother-in-law and I absolutely adore Pro Bono!

Tags: Good for a Date, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Naples)·Dined on August 12, 2017

We were looking for an Italian restaurant during the first week of our business trip to Palo Alto, and we luckily found this cozy restaurant in Palo Alto. We ordered the Caesar salad for two and were somewhat disappointed because we could not taste the typical ingredients in a Caesar. However, the romaine was fresh and was garnished with shaved pecorino romano. Each ordered the veal piccata and agreed that the veal was very tender but lacked the typical lemon "tang". We also ordered the fettucini alfredo and it was very delicious. And the tiramisu is to write home about again and again. We'll be back soon to try other dishes.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, People Watching
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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 8, 2017

I thought the service was great ... My homemade sausage pasta was delicious with layers of flavor.. the wine list was a good range at various price points..my friend's trout dish was just ok ... the pistachio cake dessert with vanilla ice cream was quite good and to be comped with a dessert wine was nice touch ... There was not a lot of people so it was easy to converse... I would return ... parking is easy and ambiance is friendly

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Afternoon Coffee, Bar Seating, Quick Bite
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 27, 2017

Good food, good service, nice staff. Broad menu with some excellent daily specials. Full bar. Good wine list. We plan to return.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 26, 2017

Good location, off the frenzy of California st. Nice outside dining.

Tags: Authentic, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 25, 2017

This is one of the better places to eat near California Street good ambience, not too loud and food was really good

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Casual, Bar Seating, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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