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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 36 times today

Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

2018 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Birthdays
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 2007.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Hours of operation
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 10:30am, Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00am; Lunch: Sunday - Saturday: 11:30am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10;00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(650) 853-3888
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Michele Godina
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Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.
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Cross street
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Parking details
Valet parking is available for $10. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.
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Public transit
Cal Train
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

Celebrating 20 years in downtown Palo Alto, Il Fornaio offers 2 private dining rooms and a heated, covered, garden Piazza. Banquet menus for large parties features the best of Il Fornaio's authentic Italian cuisine and Chef Michele's signature dishes.

View Private Dining Details
What 2018 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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LouA (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined 3 days ago

Food a service were fine. There were some nice additions to the menu since my group was there in December. We were disappointed that there was no longer a large/small option on the pasta dishes.

I had the risotto (chicken, asparagus, truffles) which was small I wanted.

2.0  Dined 6 days ago

The restaurant looks clean and
Service was OK.
But most importantly, food was not that impressive.

ClaG (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined 7 days ago

Il Fornaio used to be great, but it is really on the downhill....
Dusty, old fashionned, they really need to change everything and renew it.
Food was ok.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on February 18, 2018

Very disappointed. Seated outside in the cold and reseated in the corner. Waiter was great, managers poor.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 18, 2018

Belated Valentines Day celebration. The food was wonderful an the service attentive and pleasant. We have always enjoyed dining a IllFornio.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 17, 2018

We picked il fornaio because we wanted good food which could meet the diverse needs of our group and would accept a reservation. We did not want to wait in line! We found instead excellent salads, the best meatballs my 16 year old son says he ever had, table bread so fresh, flavorful and tender that I was hard pressed to only have a taste after the clamor arose about how good it was (and we had some French bread snobs in our group) great salmon, pizza, pasta and... the desserts! We are coming back soon! Seriously, I’m salivating as I type!

CurtT (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

This was for Valentines Day +1. Great service.The servers are well trained. I had the rack of lamb and it was delish. My wife had the special ravioli with butternut squash and it also was very tasty. We will return!

vipple2you (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

Consistently pleasant and enjoyable.

AlisonyogiD (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

We came here for Valentine's Day- the restaurant was fast and everything tasted really good! We even got a nice little bottle of olive oil to take home as a gift. Always a great place for special dinners- woudln't get the $19 calamari appetizer just on any night of the week.

vipjudic (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

Excellent food, service and atmosphere.

vipSSPa (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

Karen, our server was great. Food great as usual. The only issue we had was that we had a table near the door.. Every time the door was opened, there was a cold draft. So, all four of us were not really comfortable the whole dinner. Too bad, Il Fornaio (Palo Alto) doesn’t put up some type of curtain, or something, to block the inflow of a cold wind onto their diners

IseldaP (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on February 11, 2018

Waiter did not bring bread to the table. He rolled his eyes every time we asked a question. We've been coming here for years and this is the first time we had issues with the service.

vipwendee (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

This was a very "off night" for Il Fornaio Palo Alto. Usually, the food and service are remarkably consistent. Waiter was absent, took a long time between seating, ordering, dessert, bill service. Food was off. Disappointed that the tasting menu was gone. Salad (speciality--farro and greens) was under-seasoned with not enough acid. Small portions for main courses (speciality, salmon) and for the pasta course. I had from the regular menu (seafood grill), so portion was sufficient. I am not sure I would return even though we have been good customers for several years.

OpenTable Diner (Tahoe)
3.0  Dined on February 8, 2018

Quite noisy.

Fleece (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 30, 2018


LINDAM (Toronto)
3.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

There were only two of us so we couldn't sample a lot of the entrees. We ordered the butternut squash ravioli which was quite nicely made and tasty. The letdown was with the Margarita Pizza which was very soggy, cold and lacking in basil. The bread was average. We had to get up and go get our own balsamic vinegar to add to the olive oil because the waiter put so miniscule a dab. If I were to go again I believe I would stick with the pasta entrees.

vipNYQ1 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

It was a family oriented restaurant and definitely I am bringing my husband again here for a date night for the dinner. I wish they had gluten free pizza as I rally craved for a pizza but couldn’t enjoy it because they didn’t have gluten free pizza on the menu.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 24, 2018

We use to eat at Il Fornaio a lot however moved further away from Palo Alto therefore this was our first time back in a number of years. We've always be pleased with the restaurant and service. We were celebrating our relatives wedding anniversary

Since this was lunch time service was a little slow due to a lot of people. People were nice and polite.

The food was good and we most likely will be back.


Jerry (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

The entrees were simply terrible. One ravioli entrée was cold, overly sweet, and mushy. An expensive veal entrée had nice veal cutlets covered with shredded sour artichoke pieces. On the same plate were some greasy, garlic-leaden, cold roasted potatoes and nearly raw over-garlicked green beans and raw carrots. What a mess.
I won't be rushing back.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

We went for a birthday dinner with my grandparents, and the food and service were fine, but with the open kitchen it was so loud that my poor grandparents couldn't hear a word all night, which was a little upsetting. The restaurant and staff handled our group of 7 very well, so I would recommend this location for groups of people with great hearing!