Il Fornaio - San Jose

4.2
3529 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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Private Dining

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What 3529 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
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great. College graduation

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KC
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Our table was in area with a lot of foot traffic which was bit awkward. Service was also a bit slow.

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BP
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Business lunch with out of town clients was at 11:30 opening. Greeter and staff were always kind and enjoying their roles. Menus were great, setting and of course, the food was great. My client was impressed and closing a deal based on a great experience.

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BG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was excellent, everyone found something they really enjoyed, even a Vegan attendee. Wine was fairly expensive for a moderate quality by the glass. Must sit at the bar to get the specials. Will go back.

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MG
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We were short on time and needed to get in and out ( unfortunately) but was great that our server was on top of it and helped make it happen 👍🏼

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M
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food was good a d service very good. For the prices, I would prefer a few other restaurants.

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J
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went on a Friday night and the restaurant was not crowded. we had a seat in the back where there was little noise so we could chat comfortably. we split a beet salad from the main menu and had 3 of the Ligurian specialties that are offered in June. all were excellent and filling so we skipped dessert. the recommended Ligurian wines paired well with the food. Our waiter, Frank, was professional, informative, helpful, and non obtrusive. All in all a pleasant pretheater dinner.

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JW
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I appreciated that we could go as a family group, dressed decently but no ties on the men, and still enjoy very good food in a lively setting, with good service.

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o
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I was there for the Liguria regional menu. The pansotti with salsa di noci was quite good. With a Ligurian pigato wine, it transported me to Genoa. Even on a busy lively night, the noise level was very manageable.

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DD
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lou was excellent, attentive, personable. We would definitely go back and recommend the restaurant

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w
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

My Rosario wine was just bland. My husband who does not drink tried it and agreed it was like slightly flavored water.
The artichoke soup was bland.
The seafood pasta special was bland.
All of it was edible but was not as good as I expected. I even asked for pesto for the pasta
..that was bland too.
It was if everything was trying but not really making it.

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KI
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was great.

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TS
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

For vegeterians, options are less but they are all very good. My personal favourites are Butternut squash ravioli, and Sicilian pizza..their service could have been better - we asked for non-alcoholic drinks multiple times but seems like they had no interest to serve non-alcoholic stuff...we got the items told to us verbally but it was too late so we ended up taking nothing but water..One could argue that how many would ask for a non-alcoholic beverage in an Italian fine dining restaurant but I have been to many where they are open to a lot of good suggestions. We were in a family and shared the dishes and it worked out very well - food quality, taste, presentation was all very good but either it was too much rush or some other reason - we had to ask for seasonings (pepper), Parmesan cheese sprinkle etc explicitly..I thought some pro activeness there would have been a lot better experience..However, these are not that big deals for me - we will certainly visit again - probably at a more quieter time when we can enjoy both food quality and service..

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f
San Francisco
74 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

I have been here before, food was good, but service lacking. They were busy and not enough help on the on the floor.

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B
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stopped there for lunch, I ordered the sea bass lunch special, the food was amazing! The service was just a wee bit slow, but it's ok, I was not in a rush to go anywhere, the food came out quick, but to get a refill, that took some time, overall, would definitely come back again.

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M
New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our food and waitress were great! Portions were generous.

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P
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food and service as usual. And the location and valet parking makes for a great spot for dinner downtown.

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J
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

The restaurant needs a revamp. The food is mediocre and the menu tired. They lost our order. We had a much nicer meal at Zuni in SF the night before for the same price. Old restaurants can maintain their high quality. This one hasn’t.

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FD
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

My experience on this most recent occasion confirmed my earlier experiences with Il Fornaio. Although they position themselves as high end (and certainly priced as such), the reality is the food isn't much better than typical hotel fare. My pasta (according to the menu, hand-made on site) was edible but not terrific. My partner's chicken dinner was more than a normal human can eat (a full half chicken), and would have been better if it were tastier (and smaller). The server promised us "an amazing Tiramisu" for dessert, but it was not spectacular and not in the top 20 of Tiramisu's we have had at other regional Italian restaurants. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of good restaurant choices in downtown San Jose, but we were disappointed enough in this one not to put it high on our list for next time.

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RH
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is very good. The service is, too. The prices are reasonable. AND it's very close to the California Theater in downtown San Jose, so it's the perfect place to have dinner before seeing a performance of Opera San Jose or hearing a concert at Symphony Silicon Valley. The brunch is also good, and great to go to on Sunday before performances of the abovementioned two art organizations.

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A
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our server was very attentive with our needs. He asked if we were going to the concert that evening, we were, and he assured us that our meals would be on time and not to worry about being late to the concert.

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G
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, SUPERB service! A perfect place to have a pre-performance meal.

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SP
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Service is very slow, took 30 minutes for anyone to approach us after we were seated. Took another 20 minutes for water and bread to be served. Food was pretty bland.

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SA
Portland
92 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always nice to enjoy high-quality, authentic Italian food just across the street from the San Jose convention center. Server roster seemed slightly understaffed this time, but the kitchen was their usual excellent selves. Will certainly back next time I'm in town.

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RF
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My husband and I always have a wonderful experience at Il Fornaio San Jose. The hospitality is outstanding. We always feel very welcomed and appreciated. The hostess Debbie is extremely gracious, and although we always request Patrick as our server, Lou took care of us on our last visit, and he did a fabulous job. Also, our compliments to the chef. The mixed seafood grill is simply scrumptious!

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MC
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You don't need a knife for the Lamb Shank, and the butter nut squash pasta was buttery and perfecto!

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O
San Francisco
334 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great atmosphere and, as always, the regular menu offerings and specials were wonderful. The pasta stuffed with butternut squash and walnuts was excellent as was the salmon. Nice selection of wines and dessert is always affogato!

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e
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Beautiful old building, neat atmosphere, very friendly waiter, good food (big portions, we had enough leftovers for almost another meal after ordering an appetizer and entrees). Only issue is parking. We paid $20 to park at convention center for the evening.

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KS
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always love having Eden as our waiter. Really like the convenience of using OT.

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PR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Fantastic food! Great ambience!! Had a wonderful celebration for graduation!

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T
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant especially if you happen to have food allergies. The staff is great, they know the menu and can recommend, the kitchen is spot on and presents beautiful, hot delicious food. We are dealing with multiple allergies and the staff had always taken excellent care of us. We absolutely recommend this Il Fornaio and return often.

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MA
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always excellent. And the service is great!! L9cation is perfect for going to Broadway San Jose shows.

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A
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Shame we had such a disappointing time. Has always been great in the past, but this time the service just a little off, the food just a little off, the timing just a little off.

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g
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Very low value for money. High prices for mediocre food

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The setting and the attentif staff made the experience most enjoyable. My compliments must go
to the chefs who executed our dishes brilliantly, my guests were pleasantly impressed with our visit to
San Jose's best restaurant.

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

I was visiting San Jose for work & stopped by Il Fornaio according to the reviews. The restaurant itself is beautiful.

My service was lackluster & it wasn't that busy so I'm not sure why it took a while to order, & I had to request refills on my drinks & bread.

Honestly I feel like I was forgotten about. The only things I enjoyed was the cannolis for my dessert & the bread basket. My entree was the spaghetti and my meatballs were a bit cold. I more than likely won't visit his restaurant again next time I'm in San Jose.

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AM
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 3

For the price, not worth it. Was on time for the reservation but had to wait for our table to be ready for another 15 minutes, even though there wasn’t a big crowd. Food was meh, and the Spumoni served for our birthday girl still had a piece of plastic wrapping it came with. Very very disappointed.

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KT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service is impeccable and the food is fantastic. The wine list is interesting and not outrageous in pricing. Very enjoyable.

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SP
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, wonderful service. Handled our group of 12 with ease. One of the best restaurant experiences ever!

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service for our group was prompt and attentive, special menu as requested and even accommodated a last minute veg request, and the food was wonderful.

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