Il Fornaio - Del Mar

4.5
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1711 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
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.
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What 1711 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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W
San Diego
76 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food4service1ambience3

We had a reservation but waited 10 minutes past our time. Then she walked us to a perfectly good table, then back to the hostess stand, then back to another table. Not sure why, no explanation offered. We should have expected the service to be so bad when we sat for 20 minutes without meeting our server. She took our drink order. Then as we waited 50 minutes for pasta, she never once thought to ask if we want another drink to fill both long empty glasses. The service was terrible enough where we won’t be back.

l
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience4

I was quite disappointed about the food. Quality was very low and very expensive!!
At the time of the reservation , I mentioned we were going to celebrate a birthday: ; when we reached the restaurants we were properly greeted but then they asked if we wanted to celebrate....we said yes and at the end of the meal, they completely forgot we were there to celebrate the birthday.
Not a good experience

G
San Antonio
49 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great location in Del Mar. The best bolognese sauce I can remember. Service is outstanding as well.

LD
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Wonderful food, good wine list excellent views. We will be back. We live in Encinitas.

NJ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Service was excellent. We had a very personable server. My food was perfect. My husband’s was good but not great. Overall we had a really nice time and plan to return. Our son enjoyed his pasta.

A
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As usual, I’ll Fornaio in Del Mar didn’t disappoint. We took advantage of the New Years Eve special dinner menu. The fixed price options offered my entire family the options they were looking for. The food was prepared perfectly and served piping hot. The wine options were varied and excellent. The service was impeccable. The wait staff was extremely attentive without being overbearing. We look forward to our next dining experience there.

MG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful, friendly service and amazing food. We will definitely be back!

V
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

My family truly enjoyed the experience. Food and service were both great.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Slow service getting first drinks - waiter very friendly but maybe too friendly. Christmas Eve so everyone was probably a little frazzled

j
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

christmas eve dinner

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Pre-Christmas dinner with family.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Business Christmas party

JK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and vibes. Our Waiter Diego was a charm..

RP
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Place was little noisier than our previous visits.
Waitress was distracted and was in hurry.
Veg dish was mediocre and my Salmon was just ok.

CC
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a great restaurant and the food was very good. We really enjoyed the deserts also.

KJ
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great as always!

JR
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were a party of 6 on Thanksgiving. The menu for the day included traditional Thanksgiving meals. We had pizza, roast turkey and pasta. The food was all very good and the service was too. Ocean view table. We have been to Il Fornaio before several times and expect good food and service and we were not disappointed. New Thanksgiving tradition for our family!!

MV
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We ordered the shrimp & lobster risotto, it was too salty. Then the bisteca instead of medium well we had it rare. I ‘ve come to this restaurant many times, but this one they got it all wrong. We like the bread and wine though.

OT
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was very attentive and lovely dinner experience! Have been going here for years always delivers the best food and service (:

JP
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

While the service was outstanding, the food is sub-par. A few points to be noted-
The bread was very dry and lifeless. While the olive oil was good, the balsamic vinegar was horrible. We had the truffle topped Salmon. While the salmon was ok, the truffles had absolutely no flavor or smell. This is totally deceptive as the advertisement I received via email (and the reason we came in) marketed it
as freshly shaven, not drenched with sauce. They looked more like canned truffles. Lastly, I would say that the pasta bolognese had little flavor. Compared to Cucina Enoteca or North Italia, it was just basic. Reminded me of Old Spaghetti factory. I rarely write reviews, but this needed to be said. For such a great location and great service, the Chef needs to either redo the menu or be replaced.

HG
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall2food1service1ambience4

The food is just terrible. The $27.50 chicken dish is was served luke warm and it was no different than a grocery store rotisserie. Matter of fact the other person in our party who ordered it said the same. The pasta was so salty and $19 portion tiny. Two of my guests did not even eat their dishes. Honestly, I did not expect “amazing” food from a chain but it was terrible. Service was non-existent. Fried calamari was just siting in grease, hardly any coating. Seasonal vegetables was a serving of wet spinach. One of my guests vegetables looked and tasted exactly like the frozen “Normandy Blend” from Costco. Please don’t waste your money here - you work way too hard to just throw it away.

OT
Sacramento
6 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server Irene D (42663) was fantastic! My guest and I wanted to do a food and wine pairing with a side-by-side comparison of two 2016 Pinot Noirs, one from the Russian River and the other from the Willamette Valley. Our server Irene D made recommendations from the regional menu that accentuated both the flavors of our food and wines. She turned what we had hoped would be a nice dinner into a phenomenal dining experience! Cheers to Vittorio and his team at Il Fornaio Del Mar!

FJ
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Have always enjoyed ail Fornaio. This time, they appeared to be under-staffed. Our waitress was very good—but service was very slow, because she had several other tables to cover.

t
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience5

Salads were great. Pizza looked good but the other meals weren’t served hot. I’ve had better meals here before. Wonderful setting of course

K
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is my first choice of restaurant for a celebration (birthday) or treating friends to a special meal. The food is consistently tasty, fresh and imaginative. The choices are across-the-board excellent. The service was very attentive without going overboard. I expect to return here often in the future. The view of the ocean is another attraction for me.

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

The outside dining area is beautiful, but it was so loud! We sat inside and had a great dinner and could hear each other.

A
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place with great food and views . Service was outstanding . Been to other restaurants in the chain and this is one of the best

R
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great! In every aspect.

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food!

a
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

The food is reliably very good here. The seafood is nice and fresh. The pasta is terrific. Salads are nice. Drinks are very good. Every time I go to this restaurant, I wonder why I don't go there more often. I always walk out happy, never disappointed.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Service was slow as they were ending the Sunday rush for Restaurant Week. It took awhile for the server to get to us even for our water!

JO
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

I loved Il Fornaio when it had it's original Festa Regionale and stopped going when they made those significant changes in that program without any prior communication. But since it was restaurant week, we decided to give it a try and I was disappointed with my pasta and seafood entree. Basically it was tasteless!

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Food subpar. Service was great and we had a wonderful bottle of wine.

l
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Fun for date night! Try the patio!

SD
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We had a party of 12 that took advantage of then San Diego Restaurant Week $20 lunch menu. Everyone enjoyed their food, the location on the outdoors patio and the views from there. My only complaint would be the excessive price for alcoholic drinks - for example $10 for a 6 oz glass of wine!
But overall it was a very pleasant experience!

LS
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

The staff was very nice, but the service was terrible. The food was okay, but not outstanding. We spent two and half hours just for lunch. The man at the next table refused to pay for his dessert because it came so late that he was already finished and just wanted to get out. We ate on the patio, but there was a loud party at the next table, which made it difficult to enjoy a nice conversation or our lunch. The restaurant did not seem that busy, so the delays seemed unjustified. We went for lunch instead of dinner to avoid the traffic, but ended up in the rush hour. A bad day all round.

JW
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We came in for a restaurant week lunch and were impressed by the generous deal. We were seated at a window table on the patio so had a great view although sadly it was a cloudy day so not at its best. We each had a different appetizer, bruchetta, carpaccio and caprese all nice portions. For second course 2 of the party had a chicken sandwich and one had a pizza which was diner plate size and we took half of it home. For dessert we all chose a gelato option because we were all full but there was still room for something sweet. All that for $20 per head. Well done Il Fornaio.

RS
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our table location and view of the ocean was excellent. Concierge was friendly and held our table since we got delayed in arriving at the restaurant. Food was excellent and our waiter was attentive to our needs .

C
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The spectacular view and ambiance feels like being in the Meditteranean. The warm homemade bread is excellent and the rest of the meal was just as delicious. We were able to see the sunset from our table which added to the beauty of the evening.

2
San Diego
23 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Love this place!