Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Mon-Fri. 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: Mon-Fri. 5pm-10pm, Sat-Sun. 5pm-9pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Party Contact:
Akif Aydin: (650) 326-1626
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
We've loved this restaurant for decades, but moved away from the area so weren't sure whether it would still be just as good. It was! On top of excellent food and a comfortable ambiance that made our get-together with friends even happier, we were given a wonderful welcome by the proprietor/manager who recognized us after a gap of many years! The place has only changed for the better, with a beautiful pink onyx bar counter now installed. We'll return here any time we visit Palo Alto in the future.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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