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About Il Fornaio - Carmel

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

Ocean Avenue & Monte Verde St
Carmel, CA 93921
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 10:00am; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm; Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 9:00am - 2:00pm

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

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

Phone Number:
(831) 622-5100

Website:
http://www.ilfornaio.com/

Catering:
Catering services through our take-out retail area are available and include: • Boxed Lunch – sandwich, salad, Italian cookie and drink packaged individually. • Platters – pastries, sandwiches, salads or cookies. Perfect for any social or business meeting held at your location.
Larger off-site full service catering is also available by request. Please contact our on-site Event Coordinator for more details.

Executive Chef:
Gabriel Rodriguez

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Details

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Il Fornaio with a traditional turkey dinner or your favorite Italian dish! Large parties welcome upon reservation.

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Details

Start your Christmas celebration at Il Fornaio! Join us on Christmas Eve and enjoy the festive atmosphere and your favorite Italian dish.

Christmas Day Special Menus & Offers

Monday, December 25, 2017

Details

Start a new tradition with your family this Christmas! Indulge in delicious authentic Italian food with your friends and family.

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Details

Kick off 2018 in style! Join us New Year's Eve and toast to happiness and health in the new year. Salute!

Private Dining

Il Fornaio offers distinct dining options for large or small groups. We will assist in creating a special menu perfectly suited for the needs of your group.

Il Fornaio - Carmel Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.0

service

4.0

ambience

4.2

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

79% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (21)
Neighborhood Gem (19)
Good for Anniversaries (17)
See All
Casual (14)
Special Occasion (14)
Authentic (13)
Good for Birthdays (13)
Vibrant Bar Scene (12)
Fit for Foodies (11)
Fun (11)
Good for Groups (11)
Great for Lunch (10)
Kid-friendly (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Happy Hour (8)
People Watching (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Hot Spot (7)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Romantic (7)
Worth the Drive (7)
Great for Brunch (6)
Cozy (6)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Notable Wine List (6)
Business Meals (5)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Seasonal (4)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Healthy (4)
Afternoon Coffee (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Scenic View (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Late-night Find (1)
Organic (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Tapas (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
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1152 reviews
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vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 15, 2017

The veal scalloping was tasteless and tough

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food2
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 15, 2017

I love that you can order a smaller or larger size entree. Sharing a salad, then ordering the smaller sized entrees left just enough room for their fabulous cannolis for dessert. We loved our dinner and waiter/service as well.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Happy Hour, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cleveland)·Dined on November 14, 2017

We ordered a bottle of wine and it took about 25 minutes to get it. We had finished our salad course when we finally waived our waitress down to inquire. She fed us some line about the bar tender sending the manager down to the basement to get it. Then she came back and said that they were out. So we picked another bottle. Ten minutes later no wine so we waived her down again. Manager came to table with both bottles. Turned out they had it after all. Wine is opened and food arrives at same time. Had to ask for water refills, parm , and pepper for salad. Just not nearly an attentive enough waitress for the scale and price level of the restaurant. Food was just ok. Won’t return.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 12, 2017

We were staying at Lobos Lodge, which is right next door to this restaurant, so we walked over to try it. We would have been satisfied with the delicious warm Italian bread! The Ravioli alla Lucana was a spinach ravioli that was so light and creamy...perfect. My Pennoli alla vodka was rich with flavor and a generous amount of bacon. The wine selection was varied and we only ordered 2 glasses, instead of a bottle (had just taken a wine tour) The gelato desserts were not too sweet and they were a great finish to the night. Our server was very friendly and attentive without a rushed attitude. We had a relaxing, delightful evening and we walked back to our hotel...so easy!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Beyond disappointed w the service and food. 2 of us got sick after the meal.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful meal. We each had a pasta from the Regional Passport menu. I had the ravioli with truffle sauce, and she had the risotto. Both were delicious. Service was excellent as well.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Service was excellent, hostess friendly, food outstanding and the wine very good. Would definitely recommend this restaurant .

Tags: Worth the Drive, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Service was great. Enjoyed my potato leek soup and salad. From our table we were able to see a partial sunset too.

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Healthy, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 30, 2017

definitely one of the top 20 meals I have ever had: pasta with pancetta, peas and parmesan with creamy sauce. So much flavor!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on October 29, 2017

We enjoyed once again a delightful Sunday brunch. Great food, service & mimosas!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Afternoon Tea, Special Occasion, Casual, Fun, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Salads were very good; the sandwiches not so much.

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food2
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Good food selection, fresh ingredients and awesome location in Carmel! Friendly and hard-working staff...

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Orange County)·Dined on October 27, 2017

We've been here any number of times and have never been let down. It's a must for us whenever we're in town.

Tags: Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching, Fun, Good for a Date, Casual, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 2017

They were awesome in accomodating a large party of 18, and made every effort to get the drinks served and then dinner served. Nice evening.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Pretentious server who didn't know enough to bring an extra plate for a split salad. Disappeared after serving the entree. Food had no taste. Italian food with no garlic or even a little red pepper just doesn't cut it.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value2

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Another delicious brunch in our favorite place. Il Fo's version of Eggs Benedict cannot be beat.....and the mimosas are so good.

Tags: Happy Hour, People Watching, Kid-friendly, Afternoon Coffee, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Definitely much better Italian food in Carmel. Food was very basic and lacking flavor. Service was OK. There was a wedding going on in a banquet room so lots of frantic back and forth with carts of food. Would not eat here again.

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food2
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on October 15, 2017

Our dining experience was a complete joke. 3 arrempts to order a certain bottle of red wine they were out. Looked at another, out of that, looked at another out of that. Picked one that was just ok. Manager came over and said they had a new wine list ....well where is it. She said not her fault she wasn’t the one that ordered the wine. What a joke. Waited 2o mins for our waiter to bring the wine. He was not good at all. Excuse upon excuse all night. Other diners were upset also that sat by us. Food was not that great. The Manager was running out of excuses and said “there are plenty of wines on that list you have”. Really! We will not recommend this restaurant to anyone ever. We did however have the best meal and service at another restaurant in Carmel. Napoli was fabulous and best Italian we have had in a long time. Great wine list and very terrific service. Felt like family. Not enough stars for this terrific restaurant.

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food2
ambience1
service1
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2017

We got lucky and were the first guest that night, that had not been to Il Fornaio before. We received a free bottle of water, a mixed appetizer, two delicious, fresh ravioli, and a zabaione (for dessert) on the house. Loved it. Attentive waiter, nice table for two, great food.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on October 13, 2017

Excellent food, with friendly, attentive service. Pleasant ambiance in a great location off Ocean Avenue in downtown Carmel. Highly recommended.

Tags: Casual, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on October 8, 2017

We spent 2 months in Carmel by the Sea every year, so we've gotten to know the restaurants quite well. Il Fornaio remains our favorite overall, and has THE best brunch. Their version of eggs benedict is different & delicious with their home-made bread instead of English muffins, the ham is lean & much nicer than Canadian bacon, and the hollandaise sauce is lighter with parmesan. They also make great mimosas with our preferred bubbly -- Prosecco.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Impersonal greeting staff, unapologetic delay for seating (in spite of a reservation), no offer of allowing an older member of our party a place to sit while waiting, finally seated in an incredibly noisy, crowded location where our table was adjacent to (and many times literally surrounded by) a very large party group as well as being next to the bar and on the path to the restrooms. Our waiter was very competent, but also very hurried. Food was solid, but the overall experience was that of eating in a busy airport.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 8, 2017

We enjoyed dining at Il Fornaio Carmel.
Our server was excellent, efficient, courteous, and very attentive. The bread brought to our table was warm and tasty as we dipped the bread in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. As suggested on the special menu. the wine from Fruilio paired magnificently with the pear gorgonzola salad, and the prawns and pasta. For dessert we chose the cannoli. It was the BEST cannoli we've eaten this side Sorrento, Italy.
We look forward to returning to Il Fornaio Carmel.

Tags: Good for Groups, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Healthy, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Happy Hour, Organic, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Business Meals, Bar Seating, People Watching
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on October 8, 2017

The service was outstanding but the food was, at best, mediocre. The dessert trio, however, was very good. Il Fornaio on Coronado Island was wonderful but this part of the chain had us apologizing to our friends for his 65th birthday dinner being a disappointment. The center divide wall right by us was absolutely dirty/dusty and that didn't help with the experience.

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food3
ambience2
service5
value3

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

White wine was warm. Lobster tail was old and tough. It was not fresh and gave me bowel distress at 4am. Terrible meal. Never did get the wine chilled to the proper temperature. We've been coming to this El Fornaio for many many tears and this was the worst and very disappointing, it was a celebration of my 81st birthday.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

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

We've been to many restaurants in Carmel, but genuinely didn't get why this one has good rating. Food is meh, even not the most beautiful presentation. Disappointed.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Underwhelming food. Neither of us thought good was very good.

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food2
ambience3
service3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 23, 2017

The ambiance is nice. They can accommodate a large party and they are right on Ocean street so it's easy to stroll into. There is better food in Carmel. But if you are a tourist, the food here is consistant and accommodates individual dietary needs. The wine list has a lot of variety both California and European options. My husband and I got our own small portion entrees plus we split the soup and salad. His pasta dish was just ok. Mine was good. We decided against desert. We did appreciate they could host our large party with just 30 minutes notice. If it's your first time in Carmel you'll enjoy yourself.

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food3
ambience4
service3

 
 (Miami)·Dined on September 14, 2017

The food is great and the price is fair. Very good wine list.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 11, 2017

Just a good restaurant, period. Well prepared, well seasoned food. Petto di pollo was juicy and nicely grilled. We will return.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 9, 2017

My risotto was excellent. Too bad it's not part of the Festa tasting menu. My wife loved the arancuni but the melanzane was not quite warm enough.

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food4
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on September 8, 2017

It was a very good location from where we were staying (within walking distance). We were in no hurry and the pacing was right, with the waiter attentive and checking with us. Good place if you are looking for Italian food while in Carmel.

Tags: Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 5, 2017

We have dined here many times over the years. The ambience is great & the servers are pleasant. The food was not good. I ordered the Sardania special for the month of Sept. The food was cold and not well prepared. The half lobster tail was so overcooked it was like mush.
The bread is always delicious. I am hoping this was just a one time mistake.

It is disappointing to pay so much for an inferior dinner

Tags: Casual
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food1
ambience4
service4
value1

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on September 4, 2017

This was a hidden, romantic italian restaurant in downtown Carmel within the Pine Inn. The food was to die for, and only augmented by the restaurant surprising us with sparking water, two (!) amazing appetizers and a dessert - all on the house! We felt so lucky and like we were celebrity guests. The food was so delicious I left absolutely stuffed. Service was obviously incredible, I cannot say enough. We'll be back.

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Gluten Free Options, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 3, 2017

While we love our Il Fornaio experience generally, this last Saturday was quite a mess.
We know that the food is over stated (on the menu) and dinner is a bit over priced, the ambience is friendly, and the room is beautiful. And there are nice options.
Our last experience was well below par.
We had a 5:45 reservation and the restaurant was very sparsely seated when we arrived.
We quickly ordered drinks and the kids' food.
40 min later, we did have drinks, but still no food.
The manager said he was awaiting by the kitchen for the mac and cheese. Wow- I didn't realize it was tough to make or took so many people.
My main issue was with our server.
He never made eye contact, didn't ask if we'd like another drink- YES! - and when I finally waved him over to ask about the boys' food he said , yes, it's coming right out. 15 minutes later it came brought by the manger.
I wouldn't hold it against him when it was the kitchen fail or somewhere else but I did hold it against him for lack of good service.

Tags: Scenic View, Kid-friendly
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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on September 2, 2017

The service was very slow! Food good.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 1, 2017

Consistently delicious and something for everyone, great pizzas!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 29, 2017

A very friendly welcoming restaurant with good Italian food and wine we will certainly come back to.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Great for Brunch, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 24, 2017

We had a table for 8. Some of the dinners arrived cold. Service was very slow. The restaurant used to be very good. What happened!
Tom

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Naples)·Dined on August 21, 2017

Always lovely, we had a huge table and 4 of 12 were slightly late (fixing a car during concours week). Concours week is exhausting. We were all tired, sunburned and starving and they couldn't have been more gracious about seating and serving us. Our server was excellent, food is always fresh and delicious, it's always a pleasure.

Tags: Good for Groups
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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