Osteria

4.5
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682 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
The Osteria Palo Alto is one of the oldest restaurants in Palo Alto serving authentic Italian dishes with a true flavor of Italy. Located in downtown Palo Alto at the corner of Hamilton and Ramona, Osteria has been open for over 32 years with its original kitchen staff still on premise since 1986.
What 682 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Birthday dinner. Great food and service. A favorite restaurant for many years.

a
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The food was too mediocre to be that expensive. It was our anniversary, and even though we told them this when booking, they sat us next to the bathroom (with MANY open tables available).

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

I LOVE Osteria! I’ve been living in Palo Alto my whole life and it’s the best Italian food in the Bay Area. The starters and salads are all delicious. The fresh warm bread and olive oil is to die for. And the pasta is the closest thing to tasting like Italy! The servers are all so attentive and kind. Great ambience for a date too. I can’t recommend this place more highly!!

NC
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every thing about our Dining experience at zoster is was spectacular. I can’t wait to go back and try other dishes.

PR
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food, atmosphere and service. Caylee is a fantastic and attentive server and kept us smiling all evening. Will definitely be back!!

MK
Sacramento
7 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Whenever I am near Palo Alto, I eat at Osteria, since 2000 or earlier! The food is always wonderful,and the staff is welcoming. The ambience is open and relaxing - love this place!

DW
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a fabulous meal at Osteria. The food, a pasta dish and the halibut special, were cooked to perfection, and the pistachio gelato for dessert was amazing! The service was very friendly but extremely slow - it seemed like they were short the evening we went. But the food was worth waiting for.

CS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This has been a go to place for me since 1987. The food is always the best and now with the association to The Grandview in San Jose, the farm fresh ingredients are much appreciated. As always have some delicious rotating specials.

The staff as always was great,

The wine menu has changed a lot over the past year and the wines per glass has narrowed and rotates. The wine by the bottle list has definitely expanded. $25.00 per bottle corkage if you bring your own bottle.

KG
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We were there early so it was uncrowded (usually packed when we walk by) and quiet. Food was good, not fabulous, but very nicely presented. Bread came out steaming with the usual olive-infused olive oil - a great way to start. What made it a great experience was the waitress - over 20 years experience, clearly loving her work and her customers.

RA
Seattle
44 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was outstanding. Restaurant was packed. So packed hrs to have private conversation. That being said great place.

DM
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a perfect rendition of Petrale Sole, with enough for a take home second meal. The minestrone soup at the start was $17.50, and on reflection, was value received. My wife’s spinach ricotta ravioli was tender yet with a good chew and not pasty. She gave me a taste and I wanted more. We had a lovely romantic time.

N
Hawaii
13 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful, local, good food, authentic, Italian restaurant.

c
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Lamb Marsala and beef carpaccio are always spot on.

OT
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great good and charming setting

CG
Birmingham
7 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was amazing! Cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. The noise level can get high.so a bit hard to hear sometimes but I can’t wait to go back.

VC
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Extremely expensive---our bill for 4 people was over $400 and we ordered only moderately-[riced entrees, no wine and no cocktails!

DM
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The overall feel of the restaurant is great. A friendly atmosphere. It was obvious many of the patrons were regulars.
The server was outstanding and very attentive.
The food was fabulous. While not inexpensive it was worth every penny - delicious.

TN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 1

I have been to Osteria many times for lunch and had a wonderful exsperience. This time awful waitress, rushed us through everything $200 without a tip is a very exspensive lunch to be treated so disrespectfully and such awful service! This really has to change it was horrific!

L
San Francisco
89 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is such a special place. Italian comfort food. It’s been a local institution for decades. Their Carbonara is wonderful.

P
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food - not a single entree disappointed.
Desserts were good, but the presentations could be kicked up a notch.
Little pricy, but worth it.

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

Delicious food as usual. One of my favorite places.

CZ
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Staff was friendly and we were seated a few mins after our reservation time. Our main entrees did take quite a while to finally reach our table as it was Saturday and the place was packed. We would likely come back and dine again here.

LC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

Loud bad bread mediocre chicken parmigiana

OT
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always greeted by a warm welcome at the door at this restaurant.
The Tagliarini Verde Con Gamberetti was a very flavorful and a creamy shrimp pasta dish. Our host suggested to add mushrooms, a fabulous suggestion. The scallops special was well executed with veggies and polenta, cooked to perfection. The chocolate hazelnut flan was an excellent recommendation by our host too. Tiramisu was never a disappointment.

c
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love it!

JS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious food from appetizer to dessert. Very noisy, tables are close together and it’s hard to have a conversation without shouting. A bit pricy but the food is amazing!

AS
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The grilled salmon and butter lettuce salad are always good bets. I've been having them here for years.

N
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Our first dining experience there was quite good as we really enjoy the gnocchi and scallops. The salad was too heavily dressed, but the tiramisu was very good - price was high for value of food. Our second experience was disappointing. The caesar salad was okay. However, the two veal dishes were quite disappointing. Tiramisu was quite good. We will not be back as the prices for the food and the quality of the dishes are not worth the price.

MA
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This was our first time dining at Osteria.

Food was marvelous ! I have a real dislike for restaurants that serve the food warm. Osteria served our pastas piping hot and I absolutely loved it.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Osteria for a wonderful Italian dining experience.

B
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Great food & great service. Close table seating so loud ambiance, particularly so if loud neighboring table. Not crazy about ambiance of seating by curtained off entrance to restrooms.

c
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Terrific service, tasty food. Prices have gone up a bit on the high side.

S
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

It has been many years since we’ve eaten at Osteria. It was always our favorite. There must have been a change in ownership. The place was nearly empty at lunchtime. Only one party of 8 was there when we 3 arrived and only 6 additional people came before we left. The entrees all were delicious, however, the vegetables were poor. They no longer serve those wonderful tender baby carrots. They still use the same spices, but they now cut large carrots into sticks which were hard and tough and difficult to eat along with the chewy green beans. The prices were ridiculous for lunchtime. We now assume they use the same menu for lunch and dinner. Entrees were $26.50 but dessert was even worse. The ‘special’ of the day was a fruit tart. The crust was so hard it could not be cut into and the custard filling under the fruit was all a runny liquid. In essence it was $14 for a 3” serving of berries. This is nothing like our previous experiences when the owner would often make a special dessert from his home country which was out of this world. I believe the decrease in food quality and the increase in food prices are the reasons for the lack of clientele. To drink we had water and also ordered one coke. Our bill for this lunch was $130. Also, we shared on our reservation we were celebrating an anniversary, but there was no recognition of any kind mentioned. We are sad to say we do not plan to return and we question how long they will stay in business.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The quality of the food has gone down over the years. It’s been a long time since we were last there and we didn’t enjoy the food as much. There were six people in our party, we were there for a birthday. I had the carpaccio and the scampi, two favorites, and they were awesome as usual. But the veal was ordered by two different people and two different types of veal dishes and neither meal was very good. Everyone said the food was just OK

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

As far as my opinion, Osteria has the best Pasta in town.

l
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The only negative issue I experienced is that I ordered the meatball appetizer, but didn't eat it since the salad I ordered was quite sizeable, so I asked if I could take it home. When I got home, the package contained some sort of a polenta lasagna dish, NOT my meatballs! I think you mixed up my take home with someone else's take home.

j
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Osteria is really the very best authentic Italian in Palo Alto. So reliably delicious and fresh.

O
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Marco, our server, was very accommodating and provided great suggestions and service. Food as excellent!

HH
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It felt like the waiters were overwhelmed with the crowd. We were not even asked if we want desert and the invoice was dropped at our table. When we left there were many empty tables. I could not understand why they were in such a hurry hurry.

P
Central Coast
6 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious Italian food—the best burrata ever, succulent lamb. The noise level, however, mitigated all that was so good.

EU
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem of a place. Located conveniently in Palo Alto's quaint center, Osteria is a warm and welcoming neighborhood-feeling place with a delicious selection of authentic, fresh Italian food. Definitely find the night for dinner at Osteria!

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