Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.39mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.44mi
  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.39mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.44mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.39mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.44mi
  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.39mi
  3. Distance: 0.42mi
  4. Distance: 0.44mi

About Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

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.

520 Cowper Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

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

Cross Street:
Hamilton

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(650) 853-3888

Website:
http://ilfornaio.com/

Catering:
Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.

Parking Details:
Valet parking is available for $10. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.

Public Transit:
Cal Train

Executive Chef:
Michele Godina

Additional:
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.

Il Fornaio - Palo Alto Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.0

ambience

4.1

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

85% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (28)
Good for a Date (20)
Good for Anniversaries (19)
See All
Good for Birthdays (18)
Business Meals (18)
Good for Groups (17)
Great for Lunch (16)
Neighborhood Gem (16)
Authentic (15)
Sunday Lunch (14)
Casual (13)
Fit for Foodies (13)
Comfort Food (12)
Notable Wine List (12)
Great for Brunch (10)
Fun (10)
Romantic (10)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Healthy (8)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Seasonal (8)
Kid-friendly (7)
Gluten Free Options (7)
Disabled Access (7)
Bar Seating (6)
Cozy (6)
Worth the Drive (6)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Afternoon Coffee (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
People Watching (4)
Late-night Find (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Happy Hour (1)
Organic (1)
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1995 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined a day ago

Good food, good service, modest portion sizes.

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food3
ambience3
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

I was at Il Fornaio on 1/13/18 with 3 friends to celebrate a birthday. After enjoying our soup/ salad, we had to wait for more than one hour for our entrees. we expressed being unhappy with the long delay. our waitress and manager apologized for the delay giving us different reasons for the delay. In the end , we were generously compensated and walked out thanking the manager for taking care of us . we look forward to going back in the future for dinner.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Consistent food quality and service. Nice ambience and friendly staff.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

Soup and Pizza good the fish very bad , pasta ok the desert excellent

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined 6 days ago

We had a great team dinner for our organization at Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. The person who helped us set it up was very accommodating and even swapped out an appetizer last-minute for our vegan team member. The food was delicious, and we had our own small private room. I highly recommend the restaurant, and we will be back!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Gluten Free Options, Business Meals, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 9, 2018

Excellent choice for our business lunch meeting.

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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 8, 2018

Service was very good. Our waitress was very attentive. Though the grilled seafood combo I ordered was a bit over cooked and dry.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 7, 2018

The food was OK but not great. Attentive service. Nice ambiance and location

Tags: Romantic
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Good food but not much of it. Caprese salad OK, nothing special. It was served on a hot plate which I thought was weird. The venison was tasty. The spinach concoction, what little there was of it, was OK. At least it was all expensive. Service was very good.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

We used to frequent Il Fornaio several times a year but haven’t been in several months. Not sure I will go back. Our recent dinner was very disappointing due to horrible service and I mean horrible. The waiter was rude, you know the kind that makes it seem like an inconvenience out to serve you? My food was cold but we waited so long that I ate it anyway. I asked the manager to bring me an item but she never returned. Unfortunate as it used to be better.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 5, 2018

I have asked repeatedly for help in that my Iphone 10 cannot use your app to indicate that I had a passport dinner. I am thoroughly disappointed.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on January 1, 2018

One of the worse Italian restaurants we have ever been. The food is bland and the service mediocre and inattentive. We returned the crustini because it arrived soggy and the salmon was overcooked and without flavor. Pasta was generic and the pizza was Pillsbury doughy. The cocktails ere bitter and too strong. A total amateur job.

With all this, the prices were typical Palo Alto: too high but with poor quality food.

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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Il Fornaio is a very good restaurant that has been in business in Palo Alto for a long time. Dec. 24 was a special abbreviated menu so not the usual long list of many regional dishes. The staff are very pleasant and helpful and the service good. The food is much more authentic than in most American Italian restaurants so it is quite a bit more like being in Italy.

Tags: Fun, Comfort Food, Kid-friendly, Authentic
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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Christmas Eve dinner. The restaurant was packed and on a busy night like Christmas Eve, it will always take longer for dinner to come out from the kitchen. Service was attentive however and we all had a wonderful time.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2017

We attended Il Fornaio for Christmas Eve dinner. We were able to snag a back booth for 2. It was a lot quieter than most of the tables in the restaurant, it tends to be noisy there much of the time. The food was great, a good-sized meal, not too big, not too small, just right. Good salad. Overall service was great. We really enjoyed the ambiance and the food was really good. A bit on the pricey side, only for special occasions for us, but overall a great restaurant for holiday dining.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Late-night Find, Seasonal, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (London)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Great meal, wonderful service and very friendly staff

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Seasonal, Casual, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Sunday Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Fun, Afternoon Coffee, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Felt rushed by the kitchen staff, main course came along at the same time than the appetizers.

Waiter was good.

Oh, I was about to forget and this isn’t fair: really nice gesture from the manager, he sent us 2 glasses of champagne upon our arrival because we were celebrating our anniversary.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2017

We had a party of eight for dinner and we were seated in an area in the back, but it was nice because it was quieter back there. Service was excellent but the food was not hot. The bruschetta calda was garlicky and full of tomatoes and was very tasty as were the calamaretti Fritti. The beet salad was also flavorful and full of beets. I recommend the penne with vodka sauce, but not the butternut ravioli. The seafood risotto was good, but lacking in seafood. The steaks were also very good. We were given a complimentary homemade dessert which was like a bread with a cream sauce that was very light and tasty. Overall, it was a nice dinner, but the food needs to be hotter.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Overall good, consistent with what Il Fornaio chain is all about. Great for Pasta and wood fire Pizza always great.

Tags: Cozy, Sunday Lunch, Disabled Access, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Casual
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Food was ok. Place needs a redesign as it is very dated.

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food3
ambience1
service3
value3

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 22, 2017

Minestrone and Caprece made a great lunch. Host was gracious to let me wait at the table, while waiting for my biz lunch counterpart.

Tags: Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 22, 2017

Food was bad. Not what I ordered. Usually they are awesome.

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food1
ambience2
service4
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 20, 2017

The food at Il Fornaio is always wonderful tasting and beautifully presented. One never feels rushed to make a decision, finish a course or leave the table which is refreshing in an area where so many restaurants seem to want to turn over tables as quickly as possible.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

Six of us gathered for brunch/lunch. We were all familiar with Il Fornaio so we were expecting a lovely meal. My friend that sat next to me ordered the same omelette as I did. It was barely warm & very dry. The waiter was terrible. He never brought one person’s tea and wasn’t even apologetic when this was brought to his attention. He wasn’t at all attentive to our table & didn’t check back with us until he came for the bill. Very disappointing! I hope you pass this on to the restaurant.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value2

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

Poor service, wrong food items brought, over cooked omelette and hard toast. Very disappointing

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food1
ambience2
service1
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 16, 2017

We had a dinner with the usual great service and timing-I've been to this restaurant several times in the past few years. The one thing I would say is it was very crowded in the back seating area, we were squeezed in with servers having not enough room to move and people getting blocked from entering and exiting-very noticed.

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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 16, 2017

Beyond dreadful. Spectacularly incompetent service and mediocre food. Never ever again.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on December 15, 2017

We had nine people fir a holiday lunch. Everyone felt the food was very good and the wine outstanding.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 14, 2017

Typical Il Fornaio menu with varied delicacies from Italy, on this occasion from many regions. The food was good, the service prompt. I rated the food down because the recommended wine was mis-represented and not a good choice (very harsh and bitter). Other than that, we enjoy our monthly visits to the restaurant with its ever-changing menu.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on December 11, 2017

Have been a frequent visitor for over twenty years, although havent been in over a year. Returned to have a business lunch but had forgotten how small the two-top tables are here. Best scenario is a table for 3 since you will get a larger table and still have room for papers, etc.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 10, 2017

The reservation was not honored and they promised to call back in 15 mins while we waited outside for the table. Never got the call back. More detailed review on Yelp.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 9, 2017

Il Fornaio (Palo Alto) is the restaurant I picked to take my mother-in-law out for her birthday party. She wanted Italian food and she was not disappointed. I think everyone loved the food, except my husband who got a chicken sandwich instead of an entree. His sandwich was huge and that was one of the things he didn't like. I ordered a chicken and vegetable pasta dish with a wine sauce. It was very, very good. My mother-n-law got spaghetti and meatballs, which she loved, and took home half of it for lunch the next day. The rest of our party were very happy with the dishes they ordered. Best of all, the Tiramisu was fabulous. I have spent my life collecting Tiramisu experiences, and this was right up there on the top!

Tags: Late-night Find, Good for a Date, Cozy, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Disabled Access, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service3
value3

 
·Dined on December 8, 2017

The experience was very nice. I didn't finish my tortellini and asked for a container. The waiter took my plate to put it in a to-go container and was disappointed when I opened it later because he didn't put very much of the sauce. I had the butternut squash pasta so my take home container was very dry, and I had made sure I left enough sauce to eat later.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Seasonal, Good for Groups, Disabled Access, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Server responded to request for a quick meal before flight out. Food was excellent. Wine was fine. Been here many times and will continue to bring visitors.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

It’s a staple for us. We can always depend on a great dining experience: food, ambiance and friendly people who work there. Thank u!

Tags: Bar Seating, Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch, Disabled Access
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on December 3, 2017

The food was good but the service was horrible. We sat with empty cocktail and water glasses and had to ask several times for a brottle of wine. We were seated on the patio where the heaters were either way too hot or had to be turned off and then it was freezing cold. This restaurant might be better in the summer but they definitely need to improve on their staff.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value3

 
·Dined on December 2, 2017

It was early Saturday Morning after our Christmas party.
There was no almond milk for lattes
Waiter was excellent but surprised that everything had jusy gone ala carte. We were surprised by the limited breakfast choice.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 27, 2017

Even tho Il Fornaio is a chain, it excels at Italian cuisine. We dined at various locations, and they havcen't dropped the ball on any of these visits. We met old friends on a Monday night, so the place wasn't jammed as it is on week-ends. Our server was delightful, a gal from Mexico (although we first thought Italian). The seafood mixed grill was a REALLY good, and I would recommend it when it is on the menu. Everyone was quite pleased with their entrée. A winner!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Nice place for dinner in an elegant ambient. The service was great and friendly.The best thing are wonderful deserts .My friend ordered tiramisu and it was really perfect. We enjoyed the wine too
The place is maybe a little bit too noisy. I would recommend this restaurant always. The complete experience is worth the price. We will come again

Tags: Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Fun, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 24, 2017

Great food. Great job on Thanksgiving dinner.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

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