Il Fornaio - San Jose

4.2
3394 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 2013.
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What 3394 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
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NP
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Overall the experience was "ok" but nothing to rave about. The food was average and the service was pleasant.

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BP
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great wine (Chianti) and appetizers
Loved the flat bread !!

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RM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent services, good food and great ambiance. Give it a try!

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OT
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great experience. Like the special menu for each month for a different area of Italy

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Z
Sacramento
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Food was just ok. The lamb was greasy and the potatoes were over cooked and bland. The seafood appetizer was really good though. Drinks were strong and made properly. Our server forgot to put our appetizer in so our main course was sitting while they fired it up. The ambience was modified for Valentines and it worked well

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OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Cosy side room had a great table for us.

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AP
Sacramento
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic - kudos to Chef Francesco. The service was great.

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BM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Eating at Il Fornaio is a must each time we come up to the Opera. Food, Service and Spumoni are always the best!

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

IL Fornaio used to be a premier Silicon Valley Italian restaurant. No more.

The food was so terribly bland. It tasted as though
my pasta sauce was microwaved - definitely not made fresh. The chicken was dry - and likely pre-cooked.

I later determined I was charged full-price for a pizza I was ordering off the child’s menu.

The prices are no longer justified by the quality.

I will never ever return.

An incredible disappointing lunch.

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OT
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Breakfast on my birthday!

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CC
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

We expected some delays in the service as it was Saturday evening and the restaurant was packed. However, the appetizer and drinks took more than 40 minutes to arrive. In addition, there was bread crumb on the table/in the oil vinegar plate and there was a hair in one of our entrees. Very disappointing experience.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 5

Disappointed.

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MD
Orange County
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was great. My only peeve was that it took about an hour to get our entrees after we ordered them. That is entirely too long to wait for food. We were almost late to the performance we were attending afterwards and we allowed ourselves almost 2 hours for dinner with a reservation.

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VS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Great food and ambiance, but the service was slow. I get that it was a busy evening as every table in town was booked, but it took forever for us to get our drinks. Our waiter was friendly and polite as was the rest of the staff.

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B
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Don’t care to say.

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RC
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good location for dinner if going to City National Theatre in San Jose for a concert or show.

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CB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

We’ve eaten here a few times before a concert, but this time food was TERRIBLE!!! Thin and watery Minestrone soup;Caesar salad was nothing but lettuce and a few shavings of cheese with dressing for 14.95...Really?
Sauce in spaghetti and meatballs was watery; it was obvious pasta had not been drained well! Service was fine but food was the worst for the prices!!! Our group will find another place to dine before a concert :(

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GF
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Most of the food was good, the meatballs looked and tasted like small frozen mama lucia meatballs from grocery store lol. The service was just meh, poor communication and charisma bypass waiter.

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OT
Sacramento
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Il Fornaio is a very good chain restaurant. You get what you pay for. Very good service, quality Italian food and pleasant lively, loud ambiance. It doesn’t disappoint.

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DB
Denver
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great atmosphere. I think for Italian food it was a bit pricey but well worth it!

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GS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

The service was slow, and the food was so-so. I've had better experiences at other Il Fornaios.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and drinks were excellent before taking in a play. Server was attentive. Very enjoyable meal.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Overall it was good but they had some problems with separate receipts. I suggested since we ordered to start printing the receipts then. Seemed like it was a lot of work for the manager and the waiter. Worked out fine in the end!

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KS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Most everything was better than usual. The meal was delicious, the waiter was great (although he seemed to be a little overworked), and we had a window table which we had asked for. The manager even checked on us twice to see if all was OK.

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C
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were dining. before going to a play. We arrived 5 minutes before our reservation time and were seated promptly. Waiter asked if we were going to the play. Service was timely and we were finished in plenty of time to make the show.
The food was tasty and the pasta was al dente.
We brought our favorite wine with us and also happened to on their wine list...
Have eaten here before when going to a play and will do it again in the future.

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PC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great small bites and samplers. Fresh, tasty and fast

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

They are kind. Thank you for everything!

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A
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We dined at Il Fornaio for a birthday celebration, we were a party of 4. The room, food and service were excellent. Two of us ordered the the FILETTO DI BUE, which was wonderful. My husband ordered the seabass special which we all thought was the pick of the night. My daughter ordered the SCALOPPINE AI CARCIOFI E LIMONE, she was disappointed. The sauce had too much citrus, making the artichokes sour and the meat tough. It was unfortunate, it was the first time my daughter had ever ordered it. We'll be back again, but not order the veal. It was also and introductory visit for the birthday guy, he said he'll be back.

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S
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food. The NHL All star game was being played so the restaurant wasn't packed as usual.

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CR
Orlando
10 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The hype and prices did not match the food. Nothing to really complain about but nothing to be excited about either. Juan our waiter was very attentive Convenient location for convention events and drinks are fine just don’t expect too much from the entrees

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KW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very friendly and efficient service. I ordered the butternut squash raviolis which were very good. Enough that I brought my leftovers back to the hotel.

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MG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

After driving around the block a few times and then parking in a pay lot, we arrived on a rainy night at Il Fornaio. The restaurant is attractive with an elegance of yesteryear that we enjoyed.
It was very difficult to understand the first person who approached us. He was asking if we wanted sparkling water or plain water. With a group of 6 we wanted both. I honestly could not understand the next thing he said but took it to mean he was going to bring bottles so we could refill our glasses, while someone else was sure he was going to bring a tray of meats. The bottle of sparkling water arrived and we had to flag someone down to get plain water. No meat tray arrived.

The food was good. Just good, nothing you crave to have again. The flavors need to be better developed and need more seasoning, but not salt. The dessert had a lot of whipped cream, very little of anything else, a tiny ball of ice cream almost forgotten in the center.

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h
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

excellent meal during a break from watching volleyball tournament!

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H
New England
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Service was spotty in terms of server consistency, as well as timeliness and follow-through of requests. We had two different primary servers, as well as two managers who occasionally stopped by. This meant that a request to one would not always be followed through by another. These were simple requests such as missing silverware, coffee, water refills. It was not communicated why our first server stopped serving us, and why we were switched to another. The most attentive member of the serving staff was a male busser (did not get his name). The food was fine; it was average breakfast fare that was straightforward, but did not have any unique or powerful flavor (potatoes and omelettes seemed a bit on the dry side). Ambiance was clean, upscale, and refined. It's a good location for groups.

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h
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

we had a lovely meal at Il Fornaio...great location and service

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GG
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Always enjoy eating here. Nice menu. Friendly staff. Service was a bit slow this last time and it wasn’t particularly crowded. Cocktails are a complaint- small glasses filled with ice - barely any liquid. Otherwise nice place to eat.

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GK
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We always eat here before every concert. We share an order of spaghetti which is enough for two people.
Food is great, and service is friendly and fast.
Convenient location to other downtown San Jose attractions, Convention Center, etc.

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SF
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

I had not been to Il Fornaio in forever. My friend and I decided to go before an event downtown. Both of us were pleasantly surprised. We remembered the food sitting in oil and butter, many years ago.
I had the branzino and it was delicious. The fish was topped with tomatoes, olives and capers, keeping the fish light. Only wish there was a option for the mashed potatoes. They were good but it made the light dish a little heavy.

My friend had the veal and said it was good and just what she was looking forward to.

If you have not been there in a long time it might be worth taking a second look at Il Fornaio again.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I go every month for the regional menu and passport promotion.

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r
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Il Fornaio never disappoints. Always an excellent experience!

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