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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 14 times today
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Il Fornaio - Del Mar

4.3
1401 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday 11:30am-9:00pm

Friday 11:30am-10:00pm

Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm

Sunday 11:00am-9:00pm
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Phone number
(858) 755-8876
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Nicola Calamar
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
15th Street
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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

Specials

Mother's Day Menus & Specials

Treat the mom in your family to a special day at Il Fornaio filled with authentic Italian elegance, a deliciously creative menu and memories for a lifetime!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

What 1401 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
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 3 days ago

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

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

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

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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!!!

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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!

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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.

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3.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Food was average. Pizza soggy.

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2.0Dined on April 8, 2018

We must have caught an off night for the restaurant (Saturday) as the service was slow, entrees were just ok, and we were anticipating the bill and then heading home. We opted to eat off the Sardinian special menu, starting with the octopus appetizer, then followed up with the lamb chops and fresh crab risotto. Nothing remarkable here, and it seemingly took the kitchen forever to produce these items. At this point, we will hold off on recommending the Del Mar Il Fornaio until we try another evening, and see if they are able to get it all back on track.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

The food is really nice, and service is great.
View is wonderful, and price is reasonable.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

The food and service were both exceptional. My wife and I shared the polipo (octopus) appetizer and it was cooked to perfection and was tender and delicious! For the main course we shared the penne pasta with boar ragu which we both enjoyed and reminded us of the same dish we had at a trattoria in Tuscany last summer. Delicious!

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Fantastic food and amazing service!

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday so restaurant was very busy. Always a pleasant experience with nice view, excellent service, and an excellent kitchen! Enjoy the free with validation 2 hr covered parking as well.
Our favorite Waite staff, Daniele and Mattia, always make our visit special. A special thank you to them! And and extra special acknowledgement to Daniele.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

always excellent

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Food mediocre. Lamb overdone, crab risotto tasteless. Waitress had too many tables to wait on, so was slow with service.
Moved to inside table, outside very noisy. Don’t know if anything can be done about that. As inside filled up, inside became noisy also.

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2.0Dined on March 26, 2018

They forgot to put in our order, the waiter was very nice about it. But we had to wait 45 minutes for pasta after our salads. I also felt like they dismissed us because I went with my three kids and I was the only adult. However, I go to restaurants all over the world and still expect a certain level of service even if I’m with my kids.

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2.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Hostesses were unfriendly and argumentative. Waiter-Giseppe was good. Food quality was surprisingly disappointing, especially compared to its sister place in Irvine.
Appetizers and main course were below par and lacked taste and freshness. Hostess and waiter argued about seating and then drinks (ie what I ordered was not what I got, instead was a margarita on the rocks with salt not the silver patron with shot of St.Germaine I ordered) but waiter insisted.
Food was a bomb. Salad seemed to not have any of the vinagarette dressing, bologonese was bland and meat tasted burnt, bruschetta was soggy and warm, not warm toast and cold tomato toppings, calamari was rubbery. Really really disappointed in quality and service for spending almost 300 dollars.

Cool oceanviews from patio seating.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

The service was great. Everything was great and enjoyable.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Great place to have dinner! Customer service is always amazing. Love the food and wine. It's our new favorite spot!

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Wonderful dinner , great service

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4.0Dined on March 9, 2018

Great location in Del Mar. We were in a hurry and our very attentive waiter served us quickly. There were many excellent menu choices. Highly recommend the Griliata di Pesche Misto and the Soffiato Al Cioccolato for dessert. Prices were reasonable for Del Mar. Only negative was the noise level was high.

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4.0Dined on March 7, 2018

went here with my boyfriend for dinner with my best friend and her husband, good food, good drinks, nice people. Thanks!

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2018

We have been going to Il Fornaio for years and partaking of their Festa Regionale dinners and point program. Very much disappointed that they changed the points program effective January 1 without telling us and they won't have a new program in place until July 1. They said they sent an email but neither I nor my friends received that email. Had we known about the change, we would have used our points in December. They are allowing us to use the points but not receiving the same value.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2018

The service was excellent. But the food, though very fresh was only okay.

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Arrived at 5:30 pm with a reservation, tons of staff mostly standing around visiting with each other, very few patrons, still took 10 minutes to prepare the table. With low patron levels, tons of staff visiting with each and a reservation, one would think they would have prepared the table prior to the reservation time.

Waiter was polite but not at all attentive and given they were not busy, no excuse to be MIA and when he did check, he took off prematurely.

The busboy should be fired! Snippy, rude, not at all customer service oriented and acted like he had a huge chip on his shoulder.

If the service staff can’t come to work willing to work with a customer service good attitude then just stay home.

Food was OK but uninspired especially the “specials”

Wine advertised as a “sale” normally priced at over $40.00 a bottle for $30.00, was found on a wine website for under $14.00. Admittedly restaurants keystone wine prices but don’t claim a discount sale price that is still more than a keystone price, especially when the waiter never refilled glasses, serve yourself was the rule.

Overall the restaurant exhibits malaise and extremely ineffective supervision and overall poor management. This just costs the restaurant lost sales.

Where is executive management?? MIAs!

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4.0Dined on February 23, 2018

Very good to excellent in all categories. Only issue was noise, but it was tolerable.

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3.0Dined on February 20, 2018

i when there on a date with my girlfriend of 3 years for a late v-day gift everything went well just that my sever was kinda stuck up and not very friendly but the food was good and still had a good time even tho the service wasn't the best

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1.0Dined on February 18, 2018

On February 17, 2018 we had a very bad experience. We ordered an appetizer, salads and entrees but our warm appetizer & salads were brought to our table at the same time. So we asked that the salads come later. Then at the very beginning of eating our salads the manager brought the entrees. We requested that the entrees be brought later. When the entrees came out about 15 minuets later, you could tell they had been under heating lamps & not fresh or hot.
Shame on the manager. The food & service are usually outstanding.

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3.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Way too loud-couldn’t even hear spouse across from my table. Seated quickly, service good. Pasta delicious -pizza cold.

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5.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Even though the restaurant was busy for Valentines dinner, service was excellent, food was great, drinks were made well and timely, and ambience was comfortable and romantic- main course arrival time following the appetizer was appropriate and too quick, one of my pet peeves when dinning out. Tried adding pix of the cute heart-shaped pasta but OpenTable site wont take 'em.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Italian cuisine has hundreds of different dishes from the meny regions of Italy. I was surprised that they only had about 6-8 pasta dishes. in the menú. The food was good but scarce, at lest the dish I ordered. I had the butternut squash ravioli: all 5 of them. My wife’s was a bit better: linguini with frutti de mare. The ambiance is very nice but don’t come hungry. Or fill up in the wonderful bread with olive oil.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

We love the views from this place. The service and ambiance are second to none. Our wine was reasonably priced and very good. We split the Pollo alla Cacciatorri. It's sauce was pale and lacked flavor. Also, the chicken was chewy. The fennel salad was delightful. Full of flavor and dressed perfectly. We would go back yet again but, order a different entree.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Valentine’s Day

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Our lunch was perfect for the ocsssion.
A little spendy for 4 with no alcohol.
The service was very good.

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3.0Dined on February 13, 2018

We had our wedding reception dinner there back in 2011 do restaurant close to my heart however seems to have gone down hill

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5.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Excellent Italian food, well prepared and served well. I have been to this restaurant a couple of times and have not been disappointed. Real Italian food in a pleasant atmosphere. Make sure that the waiter stamps your parking ticket if you park in the restaurant building. Our waiter took our ticket but it wasn't stamped when we got to the gate so we had to pay extra for the parking.

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2.0Dined on February 10, 2018

I have been going to Il Fornaio for over 20 years. I usually go to the one in Coronado but the people we were taking to dinner for their birthdays live in Del Mar. Now I don't know if it is the difference between the 2 restaurants or not but the quality and the value and the noise was horrible. We have always gone for the Festa Regionale and enjoyed the tasting menu. Not only was that not available anymore but the prices seem to have skyrocketed. It seems like we are living in a time where we pay more for less but I thought Il Fornaio was above that. We were taking my sister and brother in law to dinner for their birthdays and they are Italian food aficionados. They spend months in Italia every year and their favorite restaurant is Positano in Solana Beach which is a small, authentic, family owned establishment. Il Fornaio used to be able to stand up to those kinds of restaurants. So I thought I'd take them to one of my favorite places. I was embarrassed! I spent a great deal of money (over $500.00) and the meal and the venue was a total disappointment. I think the era of Il Fornaio for me and my husband is over. It has been a favorite for many of my friends but I think I will have to advise them to stay away also. It Is Unfortunate. It was one of the best restaurants in SD in my opinion but no more. Go to Positano! Or Buona Forchetta in South Park or Liberty Station. You'll be happier.

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3.0Dined on February 9, 2018

Food and service were good but not exceptional. Decor is nice. Noise level is very high.

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5.0Dined on February 4, 2018

Lovely quiet evening on the patio as the Super Bowl was attracting other visitors to the bar area. Danielle was a terrific waiter....attentive, knowledgeable and interesting.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

WONDERFUL EVENING- WATCHED THE SUN SINK INTO THE PACIFIC AS WE SIPPED OUR PINOT NOIR PRIOR TO ENJOYING A DELICIOUS DINNER FOR MY WIFE'S BIRTHDAY. THE SERVER WAS GREAT... ATTENTIVE WHILE ALLOWING US TIME TOGETHER.
CHEERS!

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5.0Dined on January 28, 2018

Nice dining and love the ambience. Salad is amazing! Peonni ala vodka pasta was delicious! Had to end with Gelato of course!

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4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Enjoyed Italian dinner with friends. Liked menu choices and wine list. Will likely return again. Do think that request for review is much too specific about the number of words. Would like to participate in review, but not if this requirement is not lifted in the future.

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