Il Fornaio - San Jose

4.2
3193 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
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 2013.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Vegetarian / Vegan
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Hours of operation
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 10:30am, Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 2:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 4:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm, Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

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Phone number
(408) 271-3366
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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
Francesco Gazzana
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Catering
Il Fornaio offers full service off-site catering. Please contact the Il Fornaio catering department at (408)271-3350.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
San Carlos St.
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Parking details
Valet is available; the cost is $10 for the first 2 hours, and then posted rates thereafter. There is also complimentary validated parking in the convention center parking structure, then the city will charge for the third hour and then full price after three hours. There is also street parking available,
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Public transit
City bus stops are located nearby
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Special events & promotions
Mother's Day Brunch Buffet
Sunday, May 14th
10am - 2:30pm
Buffet only.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

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What 3193 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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D
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, extremely nice and attentive!
Happy that all plates, even desserts, had calories next to them.

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MU
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Clean, prompt and friendly service, pasta was very good and well seasoned. Will return when in San Jose again.

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CO
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience !!! Franccesca was our attendant that day and she made all the diference! Service was Top!! The pasta was amazing ! Definitely we will be back!

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G
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Really nice menu, kitchen accommodated substitutions. Food was very good and Francesca did a really nice job at our table.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Dinner for family get together
Great for sitting and talking
Skilled waiter
Nice selection on the menu for everyone
Nice setting
Returned for a second evening.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

I really wanted to like this place, and the food was pretty good. However, few notable things make me reluctant to return:

1) Water/bread took about 30 mins to arrive and came at odd timings. For example, the olive oil/balsamic vinegar came first and sat for 15 mins before the water arrived and another 5-10 mins later, the bread finally came. Waiting so long to get things, especially water, after being seated definitely puts a damper on the dining experience.

2) Had to explicitly request things like more olive oil/vinegar and water to drink. Are your oils / vinegars really that precious that they need to be safeguarded as such?

3) I saw other guests receive things like parmesan cheese on their dishes. This definitely adds to the experience as well as the flavors. Our table was never offered any parmesan cheese to top our dishes. We thought to ask for it explicitly, but decided it would not be worth the wait.

Other than those issues, the food was fairly good as was the ambience. If these type of problems are common, I cannot in good conscience justify the high prices to myself let alone others. If these simple-to-fix issues are addressed by management, I will most certainly return.

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d
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The entire staff was very friendly and attentive to our needs.From our waiter and his assistant to the chefs and the the awesome food they put out it was a complete positive evening

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TM
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our dinner very much! We were in a little bit of a hurry to get to an event. Service was quick and efficient and very friendly. Our server was very attentive to my dietary restrictions and knowledgeable about ingredients in all of the dishes and the food was delicious! It's a very pretty restaurant too.

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OT
Seattle
19 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

It seems the restaurant was short-staffed today. And lacked certain basics like cream for coffee. The server did her best, and the food was fine but it felt sub-par all around. We were disappointed on this occasion.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were promptly seated &, even though the restaurant was full, immediately received bread & water. Our server was right behind & asked if we wanted drinks & if we were ready to order. We were going to an event (as was the majority of diners) so our order was promptly taken & we were assured we had plenty of time to eat & get to our event. Everything was delicious & as good as the last time I was there. And, I will go again.

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g
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

OUR only complaint is the bar is very small and was packed.... our group was eight people arriving in several different cars; so the early birds were not able to enjoy a glass of wine at the bar while we waited for the others. Once seated at our table, the service was fabulous!

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KW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

Service was incredibly slow. Server was fine, but there clearly weren't enough people there. We couldn't get our bill and we were trying to get to a show, and when it did come, it was incorrect, making us late for our engagement.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

I ordered the veal and it didn’t tase fresh...very disappointing.

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OT
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Il Fornaio is a terrific restaurant in a great location. It is always my go-to place before seeing some type of performance in downtown San Jose. The food is consistently good, as is the service. The restaurant itself is open, brightly lit, and cheery. It is so big, that noise is never a problem. They feature food from different parts of Italy every week in a rotating menu. Their wine list is impressive too, for a chain restaurant.

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l
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food, nice atmosphere. Good service and valet for theater.

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B
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband & I had the Saturday date to see the Jersey Boys at the San Jose Performing Arts. I chose this restaurant because I hade the experience in the past dining at this restaurant in San Francisco & Carmel. I like the food, presentation, service & ambiance. We shall return.

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M
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary last Friday, and had a great time. Loved the food, cocktails and wine with friendly customer service. And the dessert was our highlight of the night. Truly amazing place to dine in. We are defiant going to come back for our next anniversary if not sooner for our next date night. Thank you II fornaio team

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FN
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Sad to say but the chef overcooked my Ravioli. That is a cardinal sin. You don't over cook pasta because it becomes mush. My wife and my companions food was fine. Next time when I order I will make it a point to inform the waiter "don't overcook the ravioli.

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JP
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We dined prior to theater, service excellent , they even held my dates food to go to be picked up after show

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GD
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

Our waiter must have been up all night or had pulled a double shift because the service was horrible. I took my friend out for her birthday. When our waiter finally showed up he apologized for making us wait. He brought us our wine but didn’t let us taste it. He never asked us how our food was. They were out of the dessert I wanted. There were lots of open tables at 8:45 when we arrived but they kept seating customers RIGHT NEXT TO US. The group to our right came after us and got served first. Good food anyway.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friends birthday

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BI
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 5

Server had an attitude & in a rush. Two of our dinners were not very tasty but quite pricey. One dinner was tasty but somewhat a small portion, yet it was very pricey. Its been awhile since I've been at Il Fornaio and this dinner was disappointing.

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and good courteous service. Would recommend this restaurant . Make reservations ahead as it gets busy on weekends.

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D
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I've eaten here several times and the food is always consistently good as is the service. Prompt service for those in a hurry to get to the symphony on time.

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EC
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy coming here. John our server was on top of it all! He gave us plenty of time but was right there if we needed something. He has great taste in food and wine as well! It is a good gem that we hope will be around for a very long time.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The server did not understand the concept of efficient service which is not acceptable for a restaurant of this alleged quality!

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FF
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food n service and wood pizza oven is important

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GL
San Francisco
63 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food... The grilled seafood is good

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DS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Food wasn't too bad. My wife had a problem in that she paired the wine with her meal after getting a reassurance from the waiter they could substitute the roasted potatoes with mashed (she's not a fan of roasted potatoes that night). They put the order in and then told her they couldn't make the change after she tasted the wine to see if it was going to be good with the meal. When she changed her mind about the plate and the wine, the waiter didn't want to change the order and called for a manager. To be honest, the waiter should have confirmed with her before putting the order in, especially when she said she was pairing the meal with the wine. I think the waiter was fairly new. We dine there fairly often. The manager fixed things and everything else was fine.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Too expensive and food was not great

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P
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I had returned to Il Fornaio after a rather unpleasant visit. This time was totally opposite! The server was so very attentive, and extremely helpful. The food was quite good. I had a wonderful time, and I was highly impressed with the change and look forward to my next meal there!

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OT
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 5

The wait staff and hosts were good. However, several dishes were cold. Many guests did not like their dishes at all. Sad to see that this place has gone down hill.

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

All the food was amazing as usual. The Ambiance was very quiet and relaxing.

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JN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We've been going to Il Fornaio for many years. The ambiance and service are great.
Lately, however, the entrees have been disappointing. My daughter's steak was excellent, as were the vegetables and potatoes.
However, the salads were overpriced and my wife's and my entree, both pasta dishes, were bland and boring, not to mention expensive!
Sorry, we'll be going to Maggiano’s Little Italy in Santana Row next time.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother’s day

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p
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The Mother’s Day brunch was excellent with a nice selection of Italian fare.

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SM
Salt Lake City
5 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Il Fornaio has a soft spot in the hearts of my husband and I as we got married at the Carmel location. We were celebrating our 1st Wedding anniversary (clear stated in our reservation) and their was not one mention of it throughout the meal. Was disappointed that the restaurant takes the time to ask if you are celebrating during the reservation process but then makes no effort to recognize those notes.

The food was great as always.

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G
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My meal was good, but my guests food was cold. Appetizers that we ordered weren’t very impressive.

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N
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 2

nice restaurant and good service, food wasn't that good, pizza too salty, very expensive for the quality of the food, it is ok for business meals but not an enjoyable place for food

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H
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good, no matter what the occasion might be.
Great food & service.

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