Il Fornaio - Del Mar

4.4
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1734 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.
What 1734 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome date place

CM
ChrisM
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is a little pricey. Delicious though! Service was awesome and our waitress was super friendly and knowledgeable with the menu.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food3service2ambience4

Waiters are very slow and inattentive even though they didn’t have a half filled restaurant.

T
vipTravshopper
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Service was great and our server Chase was wonderful. He did a great job and acknowledged my birthday which was special...thank you!

P
Pelican
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always excellent and surprisingly authentic dishes....the best, most accurate version of bruschetta we have found since we lived in southern Italy. The setting and largely Italian staff are the icing on the cake! Even the affogatto is correct!

W
White
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

When we first sat down the table top was still sticky and wet. Asked server to come help take care of it and did nothing. Also, the calamari frittes was terrible. They must have changed recipes, not good.

MS
MeenalS
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I highly recommend this place. Family friendly, quick service and friendly staff.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Slow service. Mediocre food.

D
vipDoug
Louisville
41 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Good not great. Very loud

K
vipKaren
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We went there for my sons birthday. It is one of our favorite restaurants because of the ambience and the food is consistently very good.

KB
KelliB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our second time dining at II Fornaio. The food was AMAZING! We shared the antipasto platter, and the cheese and meat selection was divine! Fresh tomatoes that tasted like they had just been picked fresh, the mozzarella was out of this world delicious. My entree, the spinach ravioli stuffed with sausage and ricotta topped with fresh chopped tomatoes, was over the top delicious. It truly is a gem of a restaurant.

T
Terry57
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

service was great! food was good, but a BIG miss that they no longer make the butternut squash ravioli..... great atmosphere and view. my husband and I ended up at this restaurant almost 29 years ago on our first date.... only fitting that our daughter's boyfriend asked us for her hand in marriage this visit. so this place is doubly special to us now!!

JC
JosephC
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience4

I was very excited when I initially booked the reservation after reviewing the menu. The service was lovely, but unfortunately the food was not very good. I ended up sending back two dishes due to lack of flavor and poor execution. The pasta came with a brothy sauce and what tasted like frozen broccoli. The flatbread was very bland and coated with unseasoned toppings. It all just seemed very thrown together. The antipasto came with a tiny piece of cheese and too much meat. The ratio was confusing.

BG
BG2020
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Went there to celebrate anniversary and put it on open table, but they must have not seen it, or forgot. Everything else was great. Parking is now a small charge after 2 hours, when it used to be free with validation. I guess I will have less drinks to get out in under 2 hours.

w
vipwaterskius
Los Angeles
34 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best chicken alfredo I have had in my life! Love the bread that comes with every meal as an appetizer.

G
Gino826
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very very good

DH
DenaH
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Some confusion on what waiter was assigned our table. Very noisy - and we were inside. Grilled fish and shellfish was excellent. Linguine with seafood had a very heavy tomato sauce and the Linguine was a little over cooked.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Had a great time. Not the most extravagant service but the service matched the pricing. Would recommend!

h
vipharr
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

il fornaio is so uneven . sometimes a wonderful regional dinner and service, and sometimes either uninspired cooking or inattentive service. last night we got both bad service and meal. where is their old manager - or any manager? no one seemed in charge.

BN
BobbyN
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

One of our "go-to" restaurants. Can always count on a great meal. The bruschetta special was outstanding. Go with the fresh ravioli or gnocchi is you want pasta - can't go wrong.

MW
MargaritaW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was very good and wine prices were even better.

i
impiyush
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience2

This 1-star review is not for the service but for the quality of food. Our server was good and kept checking on us but the food itself was just super bad!!

First the appetizer bread was cold and felt a bit stale. Then the potato gnocchi just felt like eating boiled potato pieces. If not for the truffle sauce flavor, it would have been totally disgusting to eat. Now let's go to the pizza (or maybe not). That was one of the worst "Margherita Pizzas" ever. It was under-cooked, bland, no basil at all with little to no cheese on top. Literally felt like eating under-cooked bread with marinara sauce. Uhh!!

We were very disappointed by this location of the restaurant as we have been to the one in Coronado and it was just amazing there. Seriously, when you come for a Italian restaurant which has a good price tag on the menu items, you don't expect such bad food quality. Paying $20+ for each dish and still not getting a good meal just doesn't seem right.

I felt like apologizing to my wife for bringing her here for birthday dinner. I am a fan of Tiramisu and order it at every Italian restaurant we go to, but based on the food we had I was too scared to even order that here.

Definitely checkout the Coronado location, but stay away from the one in Del Mar!!!

C
vipChocolatelarry
San Diego
59 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

An upscale Italian restaurant that offers authentic Italian cuisine and an extensive menu. The wine list is also reasonably extensive with several good to excellent Italian wines available. The pasta dishes were outstanding and the service was impeccable. For a special Italian night out, this restaurant is a must for those visiting the Delmar, CA area.

W
vipWelldone
San Diego
78 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
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
lovecats
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
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
vipGregg
San Antonio
51 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
LaDolceVita
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

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

NJ
NellyJ
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
Arthur
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
MichelleG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

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

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

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
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
vipjeffreyd
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

christmas eve dinner

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

Pre-Christmas dinner with family.

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

Business Christmas party

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

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

RP
RayP
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
CherylC
Tahoe
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
KanaanJ
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great as always!

JR
JohnR
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!!