Il Fornaio - San Jose

4.2
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3622 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian

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Pre/post Theatre
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

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Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Celebrate Thanksgiving at Il Fornaio with a traditional turkey dinner or your favorite Italian dish! Large parties welcome upon reservation.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Start your Christmas celebration at Il Fornaio! Join us on Christmas Eve and enjoy the festive atmosphere and your favorite Italian dish.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Kick off 2020 in style! Join us New Year's Eve and toast to happiness and health in the new year. Salute!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 3622 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
4.1
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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d
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We went for an Anniversary and had a wonderful time.

JL
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My guest who travels Italy regularly and is of Italian descent said this was the best food he has had outside of Italy in the South Bay. Great waiter, great experience.

AG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

For the amount you spend on a pasta entree, you get a small portion. The risotto that one of the people in my party had to be sent back because it was crunchy and didn't seem fully cooked. All in all, I would not go back again. Overpriced Italian food that was adequate at best.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

My waiter made the wrong order and I just accepted it instead of reoredering

BP
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

My BFF and I had a wonderful lunch. The ambiance is old school class to perfection. It is our regular spot for getting together.

GQ
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

kids' pizza came out burnt on the bottom and top of crust. :(

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints.

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PK
Minneapolis
43 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Somewhat disappointing visit. Was referred by a friend and it was just ok. High price, not reaching worth what paid for and service and food were a "C", not memorable. I will give it another try on my next trip as I am sure I didn't see it at it's best.

T
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great experience. The food is fresh and the service is always first class. This is one of my favorite San Jose restaurants. Love the ambiance, food and people.

J
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

As usual the service was excellent. We were going to an event and our waiter took that into consideration. The food was quite good. The one issue we had was that my vegetarian wife's favorite meal, butternut squash ravioli, has disappeared from the menu. Please bring it back.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

Took my daughter for a pre-ballet dinner. The service was mediocre, our server was moderately attentive but not particularly friendly and spent a lot of the earlier portion of our meal chatting with co-workers on the floor. She checked in with us the requisite number of times but did not seem particularly invested in our experience. The food, however, was really poorly prepared. My salmon was flavorless and way over cooked, and the veggies were flavorless and undercooked. My daughter’s macaroni was fine, but not particularly good. My wine was tasty, at least. We both had dessert, since it was a special night out. My tiramisu was okay, but not great, and my decaf cappuccino was undrinkable, the espresso was so over pulled. My daughter got gelato and enjoyed it. I used to come here all the time as a kid, before ballet with my parents, and as an adult when I worked in Downtown S.J. It was not at all how I remember it and I was deeply disappointed.

OT
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service & Food Excellent

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

My favorite dish has been taken off the menu - butternut filled ravioli type in a sage burnt butter - very very disappointed

TL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Went there for Wedding Anniversary, noted it in OpenTable reservation and they gave us a free desert :-)

AM
San Francisco
117 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We had an event in San Jose that evening and wanted to eat a nice meal ahead of it. We thought of Il Fornaio as a restaurant that might not be innovative but always delivers decent food. We were right. It was a bit pricey for what we got, but the food and cocktails were fine.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful anniversary dinner. A little pricey. We did get a free anniversary dessert. So nice.

CM
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The meal was great, the service was excellent but we were seated next to a large table full of noisy children. Next time I will ask for a different table.

A
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

The service was disappointing, server forgot to bring coffee ordered. When reminded served like warm coffee, bottom of the pot. We had to ask for fresh coffee. Seemed she is having a tough day.

J
Las Vegas
20 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

My cousin and I ate here during a recent visit to San Jose. My food was good. And the service was good—my water was never refilled. There was paid parking across the street.

F
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always enjoyable.

JE
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Food took 50 minutes from order time. My food was barely warm; not enjoyable.

CH
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. They were out of commission for a while, so glad they are back. They are right across from the convention center and the civic theater. They also handle food allergies seamlessly. You can take your mother there, nuff said.

S
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Yes, I would, but hope they don’t have the Sam server as us.

KD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Please compliment the chef at IlFornaio San Jose. I frequently have dinner with clients and friends at the San Jose location and the menu and food is consistently excellent!. It's a great place to have dinner after an event in downtown San Jose. There is a big difference between the San Jose Il Fornaio and the Palo Alto Il Fornaio in menu and wine selection. The food preparation and presentation is much better in
San Jose. Most recently we enjoyed the Ceaser salad, Black Rock Cod, seafood risotto, Duckhorn by the glass and an amazing Barolo by the glass.

a
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 5

I didn’t taste good food here , pizza was too dry and old . I always use Sahara Clara location where the food have a great taste and value . Here ambience was better sitting options and looks more luxurious , but food taste and quality was very bad

M
San Francisco
54 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had reservations for an early dinner after a matinee at Center For Performing Art. We were greeted and seated right away. Our waiter was very engaging and fun. My husband had the roasted wild cod and vegetables off the Puglia Festa Regionale menu which he said tasted great. I chose the braised short ribs with a delicious sauce of Sangiovese, root vegetables and mushrooms. It had a wonderful flavor. For dessert, we had the warm chocolate almond cake with creme anglaise, rum chocolate sauce and salted caramel gelato. Really good, but very rich. Our waiter was terrific. Delicious food, great service and lots of ambiance. We will be back.

B
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was good, but pricey.

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

Experience was OK. Food was good. Attention to detail - Poor. Our waiter knew we had theatre tickets and had 1.5 hours for dinner. He took our order but NEVER checked on us for anything during the meal. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. If you wanted a second glass of wine, additional olive oil for bread dipping or even a working pepper mill our waiter never noticed so it was a bad thing. We even placed the olive oil dish at the end of the table as a huge HINT. At one point we had to flag down any passing server for additional water. The restaurant was not crowded so I have to assume that the establishment isn't noticing or training employees to be aware of these small details. FYI to management - if you are going to have salt and pepper shakers on the table please make sure they are in working order. These small details are what makes an OK experience a good one and a good experience a great one.

KE
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

One of my favorite restaurants to go on a date on.

BR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Service was great. Only down side was a cut of veal was tough and pasta was warm not hot. We still loved it. Nice night

MC
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

It's been a while since I last ate at an Il Fornio so I was really looking forward to a wonderful lunch prior to seeing Wicked. I ordered Gnocchi with Pesto and my friend ordered Gnocchi with Bolognese sauce. My gnocchi was overly sauced with the pesto and lacked flavor; and my friend's gnocchi was also not very flavorful. In addition, the food was just warm, not hot. The cheese didn't even melt. Very disappointing.

CJ
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I ordered an heirloom tomato salad with rotisserie chicken and the tomatoes were hideous, not even close to "heirloom". Also ordered "fresh salmon" that was mediocre.

H
Vancouver
38 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Simply put, the food was the highlight and that was average at best.

MV
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

Food was lacking flavor

Not many choices on the menu

Our pasta order arrived so fast but I can’t imagine that it was actually cooked fresh but I could be wrong

J
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Beautiful place. Food is outstanding. Quite expensive, but worth it for a special occasion

OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Gnocchi with Bolognese was delicious!

3
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The Caesar salad was dry,almost no dressing. Raviolis were delish.

TH
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Been going to this Il Fornaio and and its sister restaurants for many years.
Service was attentive and good. Menu selection pretty good.
On the food, the chicken was rather dry and the veggies overcooked and over salted.
The pesto gnocchi was very good, but a quite small portion. Other pastas were good, with better portions.

B
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Pre theater dinner and they can't find my reservation. The hostess said I must have booked in their other location. I show her my Open Table confirmation on my phone, she says it is for the next day. Um no, it says it is for 8/18 (today!). She finally finds my name & says she gave my reservation to someone else who had a similar name?!? Seriously? My name is not a common. After about 15 minutes she was able to find us a table. The waiter made sure we got our food & check promptly in order to make the show. He also took the kids meal off the check because they ran out of french fries.

p
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Our experience was OK. Wasn’t told the item I wanted on the menu wasn’t available and wasn’t offered an alternative. Nice place if you’re downtown but in my opinion not worth going out of your way for.

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