Il Fornaio - Carmel

4.3
1394 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Italian
Il Fornaio means "the Baker" in Italian. Located in downtown Carmel, Il Fornaio offers an authentic and unique Italian dining experience and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007 wine list. Enjoy wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; house made and imported pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and house made soups; antipasti and a wide variety of desserts made daily from scratch.
Reservation Confirmation Message: Thank you for choosing Il Fornaio - Carmel. Should your plans change, please let us know. We look forward to serving you Grazie e Ciao
avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details
What 1394 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Service was excellent. We had 2 young kids dining with us and they were entertained with the crayons and coloring place mat. Kids portion were generous. Calamari and pizza are always a must at Il Fornaio. Other dishes were ok.

Report
Helpful
OT
London
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 2

Service was slow and the food wasn’t very good. We had the seafood platter appetizer, seafood risotto, and chicken pasta. The appetizer was pretty good except for the under-salted tuna. The entrees were very underwhelming.

There were a lot of great reviews on open table so we wanted to try it out. Afterwards, I checked Yelp and average reviews were 3.5. That was more my experience.

Report
Helpful
NB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice spot for a romantic dinner in the center of downtown Carmel. Fast and attentive service, good wine list, great food, good bar.

Report
Helpful
NM
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super services and staff and delicious food. It is our weekly favorite dinner location.

Report
Helpful
NM
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, delicious cuisine and wonderful ambiance!

Report
Helpful
B
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Service and creative menu... the pricing is very competitive with Carmel prime restaurants and the food was memorable... Loved the Pasta...
Look forward to our return...

Report
Helpful
ZC
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great traditional Italian food. Il Fornaio always delivers and this time was no exception.
Outstanding meatballs and polenta as well as a mixed seafood with sauteed spinach. Portions are very generous.
A great place for a nice lunch especially mid-week!

Report
Helpful
NM
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great & professional and friendly service. And delicious Italian cuisine!

Report
Helpful
JM
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

We went for NYD lunch. Beautiful location and our window table was excellent. The server was initially very attentive but soon vanished and we never saw him after our entrees arrived. I had the tagliatelle, my wife the giant prawns special and my son the margarita pizza. We also had the calamari and the minestrone soup. Calamari was fantastic, soup was luke warm so not satisfying. Entrees were quite good. We also had gelato and tiramisu for dessert. Overall food quality was 4.5 stars but service was at best 3 stars. Friendly server who never came by unless called. At one point I had to flag down two separate bus boys to try and locate our server so we could get a dessert menu. Unlikely to return based on the pedestrian service.

Report
Helpful
D
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Capellini pomodoro lacked sufficient salt and the tomato sauce was bland. Veal scaloppini was served barely warm and not as flavorful as in the past. We have been to Il Forniao 3 times on New Year's Eve and the food this time was surprisingly poor.

Report
Helpful
C
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a lovely NYE dinner with my family.

Report
Helpful
OT
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Salads were very well done and tasty however the pastas and pizza were poor.

Report
Helpful
J
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Have enjoyed other il fornaio restaurants, but this location did not meet expectations. Meals came out cold after extraordinarily long wait. Particularly unacceptable since menu prices reflect a Carmel premium.

Report
Helpful
NM
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome service & delicious food!!

Report
Helpful
FC
San Francisco
90 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Nothing exciting to write about. Host had no personality and no one seemed to care we were patronizing the establishment. Service was a bit slow and it wasn’t busy. Food was nothing to write home about which makes the value poor for the price being paid. We would have been better off going to Islands in the outdoor mall off Munras.

Report
Helpful
JL
San Joaquin
6 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful!

Report
Helpful
DG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

good food, reasonable service, too expensive. good food, reasonable service, too expensive.

Report
Helpful
DD
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 4ambience 1

We held my mom's 83rd birthday there in the back room. We were not informed that the room had no heat and it was a very cold evening. Although, the food was excellent and our server did the best he could to solve our issue, it was freezing. Everyone was complaining and it felt like we had been locked into a meat freezer. There were 6 people over the age of 75 and they were extremely uncomfortable, but we tried to make the best of it.

The general manager, Matt Whitney, had told me he would be there that evening, but was not. However, I did feel that he should be made aware of the situation. When I spoke to him he did NOT express any concern or regret over our experience. He immediately told me they had another party there the following evening and they had no issues and asked if I wanted them to send me some money. He was very unprofessional. As a business person I would have handled it differently. What I would have liked was to hear that they were sorry we had that experience. And no I did not want any money back, but if he had offered complimentary drinks or a small gift card that would have gone a long way in showing some goodwill.

If you are going to the restaurant you should have no issues, but if you are planning a party in that room beware that there is no heat and a major draft coming from the back door. The only reason I am actually spending the time writing this review is because of how unprofessional the general manager was when I spoke with him.

Report
Helpful
PZ
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

excellent service with a smile and class. Went above and beyond, we were all happy

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Salvador the waiter was very attentive and professional. When we needed him, he was nearby.
He made an already great dining experience even better!

Report
Helpful
KG
Dallas
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

We ordered several different dishes and food was served cold, definitely not at the temperature supposed to be. For the quality being served prices were very high. Bread was good. Our server was friendly, however the overall quality I have to say was poor since we all did not enjoy the food at all.

Report
Helpful
SM
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a rough start, being sat at a horrible table in the back of the bar by the service station. I'd made our reservations a month or more before and wanted a nice table for Christmas dinner with my parents. I suspect that the age of my folks made them think we'd take that depressing spot without complaint but, when they told us it was the only available table, we decided we'd rather leave and have room service at our hotel, where we at least had a beautiful view of Monterey Bay. At that point, a manager came and took over, and sat us at the loveliest table in a beautiful little room that was festively decorated and filled with happy diners. And the rest of the evening was absolutely perfect. Great wine, food, atmosphere and service. This is the prettiest Il Fornaio I've ever been to, and I would go back in a heartbeat, despite the initial seating glitch. Highly recommended.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 3

Christmas dinner nightmare!!! Our family tradition is to drive to town from 3 hours away and stay for a few days starting on Christmas. Last year our meal was amazing. This year it was horrible. We were seated quickly but waited ten minutes for someone to take our drink order. Another ten minutes for our waiter to arrive. Another five for drinks. The sodas had no carbonation and the lemon drop I ordered was bitter. When our waiter arrived he was clearly stoned. We placed our order as we had been there before and knew what we wanted. My son’s pizza was fine but my pasta was raw and cold, couldn’t even chew it. My husband’s dinner was not even what he ordered and the waiter just said “oh, I guess I heard you wrong”. You think? No offer to get him the right dish or anything. My daughter ordered a Caesar salad but received a plate of just lettuce, nothing else and no dressing. It wasn’t crowded which should have been my first clue that the place had changed since our last visit. We called over the manager for the second time as we had already spoken to him regarding the soda since the waiter told us no one could fix the carbonation as they were all too busy. The second time the manager came over I gave him my bowl and told him the pasta wasn’t cooked plus it was cold. He felt the bowl and said the bowl was warm. My husband had to ask him to actually feel the pasta for him to understand it was cold and raw. We also showed him the plate of lettuce and told him of the order being wrong. He proceeded to tell us they were short staffed due to it being Christmas. I reminded him it was our Christmas too and we had wanted a nice Christmas dinner which was why we had booked at his restaurant. He asked us what did we want him to do about it. We sent back the pasta and lettuce and asked it be removed from the bill. When the bill arrived it was wrong. Sent it back. Ended up eating potato chips for Christmas dinner
Stay away from this place!!

Report
Helpful
RB
San Francisco
118 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 2

It's unimaginable how Il Fornaio Carmel has managed to stay in business as long as it has other than it being located in a tourist town. What supposedly is an Italian restaurant serves the absolutely worse Bolognese sauce ever made. Everything is prepared with a heavy-handed approach, and I doubt if my sauce simmered more than 20 minutes. There is no indication that this Bolognese has ever seen any traditional wine or milk ingredients. I'd call it a dreadful imitation Bolognese. The other dishes we were served suffered from the same sloppy carelessness or just plain ignorance of real Italian cuisine. When reservations were made we had requested seating in a particular section. Sorry, all the tables in that section were already filled when we arrived at our appointed hour. We were seated in the morning coffee room with cold air blowing through the open door only protected by a hanging curtain. A parade of customers kept filing past us coming in through the back entrance. We've been here many times over the years and in the last few times we've been disappointed and always vow never to return. If it hadn't been Christmas Day with most other restaurants closed we'd have never been there. Was there a special Christmas Day menu or special? Not at Il Fornaio Carmel.

Report
Helpful
KK
Sacramento
5 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pleasurable dinner
Since it was one of the few restaurants open on Christmas Day in Carmel, it was over taxed. Many of the specials were already sold out by 5:00 pm. Our server handled it all very well. IL Fornaio
is always a reliable choice for good food and a nice atmosphere.
I’d recommend it for Christmas dinner.

Report
Helpful
DG
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our group of 4 adults had a lovely Christmas Day dinner here. Everything was tasty and fresh. The service was great even though it was very busy. I liked the holiday menu and really enjoyed the Giant Shrimp and spaghetti. The spaghetti was perfect al dente, My friend loved the turkey dinner. We will come again.

Report
Helpful
C
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Christmas Day with dear friends- overall wonderful event!

Report
Helpful
CH
Phoenix
10 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We ate at Il Fornaio last year, Christmas Day, had a good experience and decided to make reservations again this year. I know it was Christmas and anything can happen in a restaurant but this was a total fail. We, along with 2 other tables, were sat in a section where the waiter had not yet arrived for his shift. After a long time with no greet, my husband went to the host stand and asked for some service. Waiter finally shows and we ordered right away. 45 minutes into our experience, appetizers arrived, a caesar salad and what was described as lobster bisque soup, both items were horrible. Soup was all runny water and the lettuce did not seem fresh. After speaking with manager, he apologized and said he would take soup/salad off the bill. Now we are an hour into the meal, no entree arrived and at this point, we did not feel confident that we were going to get something edible. We talked to the manager again, and he said we were free to leave. I used to be in the restaurant business and it can be hard. I get there are bad days, and I didn't want to make a big deal of the experience, since it was Christmas day, however, this was over the top bad and unfortunately, we will not be eating at Il Fornaio in Carmel again.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spend Christmas Day every year there! Fabulous time! Food is good Great ambiance!

Report
Helpful
m
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Went to Il Fornaio for lunch on Xmas Eve. Great location and service. Food was light and nicely prepared and presented. Tagliatelle al ragú were by far the best meal, the bread was good as well. The waiters and waitresses were very nice and attentive.

Report
Helpful
VD
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Sea bass was awful. It was great last time I was here a year ago. My dinner guests agreed that the quality of the food was poor. The service was excellent.

Report
Helpful
JA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was especially good, in that staff was more than happy to modify ingredients per our preferences. Unusual flexibility, and very pleasant. We also loved the ambience...NO recorded music and easy to relax and converse, even with a nearly full house.

Report
Helpful
NM
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time, delicious Italian cuisine and services..Mille Grazie!

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Il Fornaio is all around great place for any occasion. I appreciate the calm sophisticated atmosphere with out playing any music.

Report
Helpful
NM
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

Last Sunday, we went to celebrate our anniversary. I indicated this on my note!.
Anyway, I know the host/he saw the note, but said nothing!
He was not nice nor friendly, which is unusual given the previous hosts who were always very nice.
When I asked for the Monthly gift, he made it sound like an obligation he is doing for us!!
I was disappointed by his attitude, given that we go there for dinner, almost weekly!

The serving staff were great, as always! And the food was delicious as always!

Report
Helpful
CC
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend this restaurant for great food, observant wait staff and nice wine list.

Report
Helpful
RP
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First and foremost excellent service, delicious food always consistent. Always such treat. This Carmel location with exceptional and worth putting into your favorite dining experiences when in town.

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
27 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Food usually is pretty consistent but not very fresh this time. Our lunch pasta seemed micro waved.
outside of the pasta dishes luke warm and inside very hot, like you would get using a microwave.
Service fabulous as usual.
Fun bar scene if your 50. And HH still a place to go to.

Report
Helpful
M
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for company. There is something for everyone. The food is good and reasonably priced. We like the atmosphere in Carmel's oldest hotel (tin ceilings and lovely, paned windows).

Report
Helpful
MR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Good food and excellent service- we’ll be back again for breakfast, lunch , happy hour and dinner!

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
35