Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

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4.3
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2297 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Il Fornaio means "The Baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique dining experience. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; housemade pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and housemade soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2018.
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Private Dining

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Specials

Father's Day Special Menus & Reservations

Treat the dad's 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, June 16, 2019

What 2297 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
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JC
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Consistently delicious food. This is one of our favorite local spots for a nice meal

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SF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

The server made a mistake on our drink order, forgot to take our order until many others had ordered, Never offered us more drinks when we would have ordered more. Poor service!!

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RO
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Our favorite Italian restaurant! We frequent Il Fornaio often, especially when we have out of town guests.
Unfortunately our most recent visit was very disappointing. The service we experienced was very bad! Our drink order was incorrect and we advised our waiter but accepted what was brought to our table. We then order an appetizer, two different salads and our entree. To our rude awakening, our entree were brought, and when we enquired about our appetizer and salads. Our waiter forgot to order it; we wanted it any way. When our appetizer was lately brought, there still was no salad. When the salad arrived, it was only one salad and had to request specifically for the other different salad. One of the entree we ordered was a cioppino, which required a soup spoon. We had to ask for one! We ordered de-cafe coffee and was concerned that it was definitely a de-cafe. It was! Unfortunately we had to ask for the milk/sugar etc. The waiter was very pleasant but it was an off night when it came to our experience.

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OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was great as usual. Would have loved to try the spinach ravioli. But with only 5, i figured it would not have been enough.

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OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice food, quick serife

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H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Was really looking forward to our experience with all the great reviews. Food was good, but it was all cold. Didn’t have the greatest service, not sure if it was because it was a busy night or if we were but in the back of the restaurant.

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VV
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been goi g to Il Fornaio for over 20 years. We have celebratory meals there and take guests there. We can always count on great food and enjoy talking with the friendly staff.

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S
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took a friend out on a bday dinner and the restaraunt exceeded its expectation on making it special for him :D

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OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

We have dined at multiple Il Fornaio restaurants, this one in particular numerous times. Each time we had a really nice time, however, this time was a bit of a turn off. Our server was an older man, and he greeted the table and took our drink order, which was fine. He started taking my husband's beverage order and I unthinkingly interrupted by asked my I'd I could have regular vodka instead of the vanilla vodka as I noticed it was in the cocktail I ordered. I also apologized for interrupting, but I think it bothered him? What really did it in for me was how he delivered my cocktail, which was served up in a martini glass. He did not use a tray and held the glass with two hands completely encasing the rim of the glass with his hands. My eyes bugged out as he dropped it off at the table, he then returned with my husband's lemonade. Needless to say I did not put my mouth anywhere near that glass, and almost asked for an extra glass, but instead took my husband's straw and drank my cocktail that way. It was just so unprofessional and a major turn off considering we've had really great experiences there. Being in the as sevice industry as well, I could not get over the way my drink was presented. It was kind of mind boggling. He was very short and casual in his continued service, and we did tip 18%, but it is something that may keep me from returning to that particular location in the future.

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V
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

I have always liked Il Fornaio. The table we got though was narrow, and tucked away in one far corner, to the point that even the waiter had trouble reaching out to the person seated at the other end of the table. I would never want that table again, but I like the place, for its food, the overall ambience (particularly when the patio is open, and it was not open that day), the friendly service, and such.

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L
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We came especially for the seafood stew/soup. It was outstanding.

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JG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a lovely anniversary dinner here. The service was great. They gave us a nice quiet table. They even surprised us with dessert and glasses of Prosecco. What a treat!

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CL
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great fish!

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AG
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 4

There were flies inside. Food was also very mediocre

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BM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Il Fornaio is always reliable, with exemplary service and always good food. Plus lots of convenient parking and a great location. It's unfortunate that they've apparently stopped baking a lot of the products they used to bake, especially given their name, but it is what it is.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Open Table reservation was confirmed and then cancelled. No reason given. Service was slow considering moderate volume of customers. Food was not as good as experienced in prior visits. Overall the experience was neutral to fair.

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S
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Extremely understaffed.
Service was very slow.
Waiter doing his best , but he had too many tables to serve.

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JR
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Good food but they ran out of lamb shanks! So had to have short ribs.

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C
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Once again, we had a great experience and lunch at Il Fornio. Their Mother’s Day menu was superb. Both breakfast and lunch items. Solid food. Exceptional service. Our go to restaurant for many many years. Thank you!!!!!

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OT
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 3

They were very nice to let so many people in - on Mother's Day - even though they were very crowded.
Open Table showed quite a few time slots - even though the restaurant was filled to the brim. It was very much appreciated.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we were given a quiet table as requested. A great might for a family of 6 adults.

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MF
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy Il Fornaio. Consistently good service and good food. Have never been disappointed.

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MF
Toronto
37 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice meal, wait staff were very attentive, great atmosphere, quite noisy! Would definitely go back anytime.

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C
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was excellent service was a little spotty. The waiter was either very busy or a little forgetful.

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JJ
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Allways a reliable venue. Good food and service ina pleasant environment

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PD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have many business breakfasts and lunches at Il Fornaio, and forgot about how good the dinner offering is. Great food, service and ambience.

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VT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food is always good here! Nice ambiance.
They sit us right away ( We're a few mins early). Our waiter just OK. The bush boy thou very friendly and helpful.

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SL
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful service, so polite and attentive. Our waiter was always there for us a party of six. Before we knew we needed a topping off drinks and food. Their steaks are out of this world, the sauce was something spectacular.

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NY
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific upscale Italian Food without a huge price tag. Their Pizza Margarita is always good. All their pies are good. Go have lunch or dinner, it's always a good time.

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a
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Great Service! Overall the restaurant was a great place to have lunch or dinner!

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T
San Francisco
93 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful visit on Easter Sunday for dinner. The special menu had nice choices, and the roasted lamb chops were very nicely done ✅. The house salad was also nicely dressed with a light olive oil and vinegar dressing! Don’t miss the fresh fruit Zabaglione!

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DM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 1

We were seated in front of the open kitchen and I was constantly bumped into by the wait staff and their food cart. We had the calamari, bruschetta and flat bread for appetizers and all were good. Salads were yummy. I do not recommend the pizzas, mine was soggy, or the pasta, lacked seasoning. Highlight of the meal for us was dessert - tiramisu and chocolate cake were both delicious. Don't think I'll come back.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All three of us loved our food. The service was excellent. We sat on the patio and the ambiance was delightful.

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c
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food,ambiance, and service. We had a large party for Easter, and everything was perfect!

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RP
San Francisco
74 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Costicine d'Agnello al Mirto menu was super! This was the best dinner I’ve had at Il Fornio, and we are regulars, even had my daughter’s wedding here.
Great lentil soup, the lamb rack, and chocolate cake with gelato - all great!

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CB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Their food is always fabulous! Staff is wonderful and love the ambience. Highly recommend Il Fornaio for an enjoyable evening.

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S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant the service and the food. A delightful evening.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ezra is the greatest server.

Calm, knowledgeable caring

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MN
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

Mediocre Italian food. The place has a nice feel but the food isn't worth writing home about.

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GE
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Poor experience overall from service to food. This will be the last time I've taken my family here.

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