Il Fornaio - Del Mar

4.3
1436 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Italian
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
Step inside Il Fornaio and take a culinary journey through Italy. Early mornings bring rustic, crisp crusted bread hot from the oven accompanied by the scent of fresh brewed espresso. During lunch and dinner hours, pastas and flavorful sauces simmer while meats and vegetables roast over hot coals. Bottles of wine from small, regional wineries are uncorked to complement the dishes, which have been crafted in the custom of Italy's chefs, bakers and homemakers. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; house made pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and house made soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007.
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Italian
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday 11:30am-9:00pm

Friday 11:30am-10:00pm

Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm

Sunday 11:00am-9:00pm
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(858) 755-8876
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Nicola Calamar
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
15th Street
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Two hours of parking complimentary with validation.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Il Fornaio in Del Mar offers private dining for parties of 8-250. With spaces from our outdoor Enoteca Wine Bar to our Ocean View Main Piazza there is a fit for every need. Come celebrate with excellent service in warm and stylish surroundings serving extraordinary authentic Italian food and wine.

View Private Dining Details
What 1436 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
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
5.0Dined 5 days ago

Wonderful atmosphere. Beautiful patio and view of the ocean! Service was outstanding. Food was great!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined 7 days ago

The view is great, the food is average, the prices are high.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

it's being always one of my favorites restaurants, grate location , fun menu .
great wine , desserts , bread,. all fresh

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on June 16, 2018

We were seated next to a wait station, so every time they needed to get salt, cheese, etc. they had to reach around us. The wait station was on a window ledge directly next to the table. Dirty plates and dishes were placed next to our arms such that stretching our arms out would result in a handful of dirty plates or hitting a block of cheese with our elbows. At one point, dirty bread plates were taken from our table, and the waitress then went around us and placed them on the ledge less than a foot from our table.

It took about 30 minutes to get our appetizer and after over an hour of waiting for our main course, we left. We both ordered pasta dishes, so it should not have taken that long. No estimate of how much longer it would take was given. We were still charged for the flat bread appetizer and coke, totaling over $20. The flat bread was lukewarm and was just a few pieces of cheese, tomato, and onion thrown on a piece of bread for ~$15.

The waitress did come over often to let us know that things were taking awhile, but over an hour to get two pasta dishes is unacceptable.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on June 16, 2018

We experienced an amazing sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Food was delicious, as usual. We sat outside to enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean.
Il Fornaio is a favorite of ours.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on June 11, 2018

Chicken was bone dry, leather sole texture, tasteless
Fresh salad greens and ingredients
Gelato excellent

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on June 11, 2018

The food was delicious, I got a salmon, bass, and prawn dish, very flavorful, but small proportion and pricey! I am not a huge Italian food fan, so I am not sure if the value was good. They had a nice wine selection, and the servers were prompt, friendly and patient. I am an expensive eater, and I don't mind spending $100 on a meal, but this was not much food and drink for the price. I would visit this restaurant again, maybe at night because the view is fabulous, and the outdoor scene is romantic, yet relaxing.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Hi

We normally celebrate our Anniversary at this restaurant EVERY YEAR but the one in Coronado Island. We are regular customers. I had never been to the one in Del Mar. I wanted to enjoy the view for a change . My experience with the Server was HORRIBLE, bottom line he made us feel ignorant( I do not speak Italian, perhaps it's that). I always order Fettuccini Alfredo, the server did not like my selection as he made a face and SIGH . (The pasta was hard and uncooked and the chicken was hard to eat, I didn't want to complaint or return the plate because I saw my husband enjoying he's, I thought of HIM). I thought the server got mad because the plate it's not in the menu( he probably did). He never ask me if I wanted another glass of wine( which I did) . On my husband order he didn't realized the food had shrimp , so he ask for shrimp to be added. Well the server made a face and SIGHS AGAIN. We never complaint because we were too far from Coronado Location and celebrating our 5th Year Anniversary. At the end he brought the dessert , well done. Because I had previously ask in my reservation request. The boss boy was super nice and all smiles. I did look at the server reactions with other guest and he was not friendly at all( Fake Smiles most of the time), specially when a table with kids arrived ( he rolled he's eyes,( we have two little ones, FYI) . I honestly do not review much but I was waiting on this email for sure. I will still dine at Il Fornaio but NEVER at this location. I do want to point out the manager walk by but that's the norm. Everything else was good and the view amazing. I wish my experience would 've been better. As for parents it's hard to dine out , this is our case. I will NOT make this public , I do want this to be address and don't place it
unheeded.
Thanks , Fernanda☺

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Service was attentive. View of the ocean very nice. Food was very mediocre, for the price. I don’t mind paying the prices on the menu, but I do mind when the end product does not reflect the price. We ordered 5 adult entrees, one child’s meal, beverages (including two cocktails), and two salads. Every single item was palatable but none were impressive. In an area with so much dining competition, I would have to say that I won’t return. Another disappointment: the “birthday” dessert brought out was charged to our tab. Seriously? If a birthday dessert is going to be at a cost, then at least ask what dessert the birthday guest would prefer.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on June 4, 2018

used to love this place as i have been eating there since 1988...now it seems the service and food are just not there.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Il Fornaio locations are typically locations with good Italian food (as authentic as possible outside of Italy) and good service. The Del Mar location has a nice outside patio for cocktails and a separate patio for dining. The location has great ocean views from all outdoor seating. Usually this location is not to noisy and you can have a conversation while dining.
On our last visit, (Sat evening), the noise level was much higher than normal. Too many uncontrolled children, so much so, the waiter couldn't hear the guest at surrounding tables to take their orders. In my opinion the noise level should have been controlled by the management. To avoid the noise of children, I suggest you make a dinner reservation for after 7:00 PM.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Eat outside. Best calamari in Del Mar! Pick an interesting Italian wine. They have a good selection of affordable ones.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

We had a reservation for 5 and had asked for a view table as this was for a special occasion. We got a gorgeous table and we were there just in time for the sunset. The food was delicious and the service was exceptional. I highly recommend this restaurant for the location, service and great food!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Perfect! Celebrated birthday with family!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Authentic Italian food. Great wine, antipasti, soup and pizza!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Big party outside, made it loud and crowded. It ok thoooo

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on May 26, 2018

When we arrived the restaurant was hosting a private party that took the patio and the part of the restaurant that has the view of the ocean. Only the few booths near the open kitchen and no view, were available to the public. A fact that Open Table did not disclose at the time of reservation. Needless to say, we did not dine there. We blame Open Table for not advising that the restaurant would not be offering its usual amenities. We recommend that people call the restaurant and by-pass Open Table whenever possible to avoid this kind of situation.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 21, 2018

Awesome in every way. Corry was an exceptional waitress!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Food was very good. We felt very welcome by hosts and our waiter was excellent! My son has a food allergy and our waiter was very helpful in choosing the right dinner.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on May 19, 2018

This was a farewell meal of relatives returning to Germany after their first visit to SoCal in 18 years. Last Friday evening at 7:15 pm. So it was a special occasion for us.

Re: Noise - Rather than energetic, I would say noisy, especially at the tables in front of the kitchen. We had difficulty hearing each other across the booth with the clatter from the kitchen and servers and expediter at the window talking back and forth.

My Yukon gold potatoes were pre-cooked and warmed up prior to service. They were shriveled, overly browned, overdone and the waiter brought a replacement upon request. The replacement was just slightly better. There was nothing special about the seafood presentation that I had and there was a lot of melted butter on the plate. It made the dish seem greasy.

I asked for 9 ozs of wine and the waiter repeated that to make sure he heard, then still brought 6 ozs. We asked for the remainder, which he then brought.

My husband's meal could have been seasoned better and his mashed potatoes were lukewarm. Based on these issues, we didn't stay for dessert or second drinks, although they were offered.

We were brought the wrong check, which we noticed, not the server. He subsequently apologized for that oversight.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Everyone spoke w an accent.

Comment from a Jap

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Good food but wouldn't have booked reservation again. Went on Mother's Day and waited over an hour after placing our order before our food was brought out. At that point our kids were cranky (and so were we) so we took our food to go. Waiter was also avoiding us which made things worse instead of being apologetic for the extremely long wait. Again, food was good but don't know if we will be back anytime soon.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Sat outside with beautiful ocean view, warm sunshine, chilled chardonnay, delicious food, smiling attentive waitress. It was a great day!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

The food here is fresh and good and the bread? Oh, the bread! I love coming here. I have for about 29 years. The view is fantastico, the service is wonderful. The ambiance is perfect. It's romantic, the view is gorgeous and you can choose from indoor, outdoor, or covered patio seating. Great wine list. Make sure you go.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Went for brunch. All of the dishes we ordered were delicious and service was excellent

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

We come to Il Fornaio for every Mother’s’ Day but today was the best service we have ever had. Alan helped us on the patio. He was super attentive and very helpful. Food was delicious as always. Perfect meal for our mom!!

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on May 13, 2018

What a disappointment! Our entrees were served a full hour after our appetizers! Not that we would have wanted to fill up on bread, but offering us more bread during our wait would have been the least they could have done. Instead of brown butter sauce on my butternut squash ravioli (as described on the menu), they used tomato sauce. Yuck. The swordfish one person ordered was dry and the filet was very thin. Two people ordered a simple pasta with bolognese that was very ho-hum. The waiter cheerily told us that they had a big banquet that night as if we should be understanding of the fact that our service was horrible, and explained that they always put tomato sauce on the ravioli and then drizzle it with brown butter sauce. (I f there was brown butter there it was undetectable.) On top of that, my our-of-town guest who was treating us to dinner did not receive his entree until five minutes after the rest of us at the table. Maybe that doesn't matter when dinner is an hour late anyway. At the end there was no apology, no offer of a a discount of free dessert or anything like that to make up for a terrible dining experience. I will never return to this Il Fornaio. It is an embarrassment to an otherwise consistent chain.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

I took my mom for an early Mother's Day dinner on Saturday (instead of Sunday). The service was excellent, the food wonderful, and the view of the ocean lovely. As the evening wore on, it became quite noisy as more diners were seated, so we left - but it was not the fault of Il Fornaio. We lingered as long as we wished and were ready to leave.

I liked securing our reservations through Open Table and receiving a confirmation on my phone via text - perfect! The parking was easy - peasy, which can be an issue in Del Mar. Thank you for making our Mother's Day dinner very special!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 8, 2018

Helen is a terrific bartender/server.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Patio dining was very pleasant. Beautiful ocean view

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 30, 2018

Beautiful view from outdoor area and good food and service

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on April 29, 2018

The meatball appetizer was decent. The pizza margherita was so awful it reminded us of Chuck E Cheese. Two of us ordered salmon which was so overcooked it was like jerky. My friend simply returned hers. I powered through but it was nearly inedible. Another of us ordered the Minestrone which was tepid and had to be sent back for reheating. I asked for a side of pasta as a substitute for potatoes and it later showed up on my bill as an $8 charge! Was hoping this restaurant would be the same standard as the Il Forniao we have in San Jose but not even in the same ballpark.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on April 24, 2018

Chicken was a little dry, I felt the waiter was not very attentive, he seemed a little disinterested. Once we paid the bill my better half asked me for a $1 to go along with her tip money. All the waiter saw was the $1 he made a snide remark to the water boy and they laugh. It made me a little disgruntled but I refused to entertain ignorance. Overall the restaurant was nice atmosphere and scenery.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on April 22, 2018

We enjoyed all our food options . Service was good, not exceptional but the place was very busy!!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 22, 2018

would also recommend this restaurant for the view. Really good service.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 18, 2018

We went on a Tuesday night and the restaurant was packed.
We had a great waiter and a delicious meal.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

The noise level on the patio was quite loud, but the food and the ambience made up for it.

Great gluten feee menu too!!!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on April 12, 2018

I’ve been coming for yeArs and the food is not nearly as good as it used to be. Used to love the lasagna but they don’t have it anymore. An Italian restaurant without lasagna? Go figure!

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Il Fornaio is in a beautiful location with a view of the ocean. Unfortunately, the noise level in the restaurant, which on a Tuesday evening not filled to capacity, was extremely loud, so much so that we had difficulty conversing. We were out on the porch area; the interior of the restaurant was empty and we should have moved there, in hindsight.

We started with a caesar salad which sadly didn't include anchovies. Our lobster w/spaghettini followed, the special dish from Sardinia. Being Italian, I must say that this was over sauced to a high degree. Getting the lobster out of the claws while they were covered in sauce was just a mess to work through. The body of the lobster was exposed and easy to eat.

Our guest had the butternut squash ravioli...a bit on the heavy side, not the usual "pillows" that typify raviolis.

The white wine from Sardinia was excellent; the service was very good. Crusty Italian bread was delicious as well, dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
36