Taverna

4.6
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370 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Greek
For centuries, a taverna has been a neighborhood gathering place where friends can meet to eat, drink and enjoy life. Taverna co-founders Thanasis Pashalidis and Hakan Bala were raised with a shared ethical compass, which the Greeks call "philotimo" or "love of honor". Family and friends are their ingredients of life, and they believe that nutrition, happiness and health are all directly correlated. Both partners have been culturally influenced by the remedies of the old world and incorporate them into the lifestyle of Taverna. Both have an "ethos" that drives them and inspires others to live fully, which they consider the flavor of life's success. They understand that life is to be enjoyed and that time is of the essence. They are aware that every day is a gift.

Taverna has been created to make people happy and feel alive.
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What 370 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience as always and so personable! I took my mom here for her birthday, and it was such a memorable experience. I am never disappointed here, and the food is such high quality.

AK
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

All in all, Taverna was fine. The food was fine, ambiance was fine, price was fine. There was a pretty large gap in service between appetizers and entrees. We were even given"snacks" from the kitchen as an apology or pacifier for the lag, which was very thoughtful and a lovely gesture. But the restaurant didn't seem so busy that it should be so overwhelmed thereby creating reservations for us about giving it another try.

Bottom line, in an area where there are so many excellent restaurants to choose from, Taverna just didn't stand out enough for us to keep it on the list of places we will continue to dine at or for places we would recommend to friends. That said, it was not terrible by any means. And we had the nicest server. Wish I could remember his name but he really stood out despite the time lag and deserves high priase.

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Crazy expensive!

DL
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great people, great environment. A very welcome addition to the Palo Alto food scene.

PS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stelios is masterful. Service all around is top notch. Food was superb. Wine pairing perfect. Dessert divine.

w
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Disappointing food, poorly executed.

Really nothing to recommend this place -- we had the sesame bread with rendered lamb butter (kind of tasteless), Taramasalata (any New York Greek diner has better), Raw Fish (seemed to have been overly handled -- sliced irregularly, kind of warm, with tasteless accompaniments), greens (somehow not cooked yet overcooked, with an oily finish that was cut with vinegar but separate, not emulsified), and lamb chops (asked for rare, came out medium, and not as good as the chops from Bianchini's market). Wine was good.

Overall it was a forgettable (hopefully -- we'll see about the raw fish) experience.

And quite pricey. Makes me long for a greek diner, though.

Added below the next day:
On reflection, I feel I was too generous in my review, so I removed a star. The food was really bad. And really quite expensive.

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

The service was spectacular. The food varied from the usual Greek fare but the classic dishes were excellent!

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

Not worth the price. Quality of food and service was poor.

S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Favorite restaurant in Palo Alto! Amazing, fresh food with impeccable service. My go-to spot for business lunches as well as dinner dates with friends :)

m
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a fantastic lunch

FD
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We decided to try something different with friends and ate recently at this great Greek taverna. Very authentic dishes and atmosphere and great service. There are some very unusual dishes, so select carefully to make sure they match your tastes. Also some very pricey options but there are plenty at more modest prices.

LK
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great new space in Palo Alto. Service and food was wonderful. We'll be back!

b
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant! The food is wonderful and the servers are always so professional.

D
Seattle
11 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

It was incredibly loud on a Thursday evening. The food was way overpriced and only okay. And the service was very pushy. Would not recommend.

N
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

some wine options are overpriced but the food is fresh and great.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a lovely experience. Great service, food came quickly , beautifully presented and delicious!

VM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday dinner!! Really great!! Will go again!

SJ
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful charm and attentive wait staff without being overbearing. A real gem.

O
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

This was our second time at this neighborhood restaurant off the beaten path on Homer Ave, in Palo Alto. We love Greek food ala nearby Evvia.
All four of us enjoyed our appetizers and entrees (e.g. the fish special, the chicken, the tomato appetizer).
My concern is that for these (very high) prices, I'd expect a far more elegant experience. The feel was all very hussle-bussle. Tables were packed together, the noise level was high, and the service felt rushed and frenetic. The servers put our courses on the table, very quickly described them, and moved on to their next task. Even the saganaki, a dish meant to be served with some theatrics (with a flame) was lit near the kitchen (and not near the table) and quickly dropped off.

That's fine if they want to capture the energy and pace of a traditional Greek restaurant, but in that case, drop the prices by 50%. The fish special, albeit quite good, was $50. A mismatch.

LW
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful Mediterranean food! I would definitely come back.

D
San Francisco
163 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The restaurant is very subtle from the outside; cute on the inside. The server we had was somewhat gruff and came across as not very happy to be working. The food was good, not great. As we are going to Greece next month, we were excited to eat Greek food in anticipation of our trip. There are other restaurants we will try next.

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

Bday. Loved it start to finish

BC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was great and loved the selection on the menu, ambiance, and the wine selection. Our original waiter we had wasn’t experienced & after our questions we quickly were given a A+ server. Definitely recommending to as many people as I can. Total hidden gem in Palo Alto.

S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

Extremely overpriced. Service terrible. Way better high end Greek restaurants in the Bay Area.

PP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The dips and rilettes came with potato chips and bread biscuits that looked and tasted like they have come from the supermarket across the street days before. The service and food prepared in the kitchen were much, much better.

BA
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing food, interesting wine list. Some things we loved: the super fresh salad with an almost creamy feta (didn't think that was possible), the striped bass special - crispy skin, deliciously cooked. Go for a special occasion

DC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Went for anniversary dinner with the family. The service was really slow especially the first courses. The pita bread took the longest and I had to ask at least three times for it! (I mean It’s just pita bread). The entree course (service) was much better and I think that they had more help. For the price service needs to be commensurate. Food was great but unfortunately the service didn’t match. Bummer.

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

Ambiance is very nice. We really enjoyed the service. We went for a vegetarian dinner for 2: olives and feta, zucchini fritters, sesame bread, saganaki, the fasolada entree and the chocolate souffle. Food was excellent, but the grilled veggies in the fasolada had a too strong burnt taste while the beans were a bit bland. Everything else was great. Price was quite high. This is not a "value" eatery.

b
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We tried many small plates:
melon with scallops, calamari and prawns, pork on skewers,
tzatziki with home made pita,
octopus.
All these dishes were delicious! My husband enjoyed his trout entree. We were too full for dessert!

We sat in the new room now open on Emerson offering additional seating. If a party of two, asked to be seated near the window. We were seated with two other tables for two in a row. Therefore, we lacked privacy. There seems to be an abundance of tables for four.

All in all, we had a lovely meal.

SR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything great but the BATHROOM is the weirdest one I’ve ever been in.
It’s a cross between someone’s grandmother and a retirement home.
Just a complete disconnect from the restaurant.
Almost creepy—

VG
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was tasty. High quality. Every bite was delicious. Service was great. Everyone was so attentive.

CD
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem!!! One of Palo Alto's finest restaurants.

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

It was a lovely lunch. Food was terrific, but please turn down the music when the restaurant isn’t busy. I would go again.

AM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, the fish was fantastic -- both the bass and the trout. A new appetizer sounds quirky (shellfish on a tomato ring, on a fruit ring) but was extraordinary! I love Taverna. the new expansion/addition is gorgeous!!

AN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Everything was perfect, lamb was delicious and octopus small plate is amazing! But one thing. It was my birthday and I asked a waiter to take a photo of us. He said he will send another person But no one ever came and we couldn’t wait longer — food would have been cold, sigh. We were dining early so the restaurant was pretty empty.

DM
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place. It's one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area. Excellent food! I wish it was not so pricey :)

DB
San Francisco
81 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, Taverna did not disappoint! For summer they created a melon and seafood salad that was out of this world. The wagyu steak was melt in your mouth tender and the corn side dish oh so savory. If you can’t get into Evvia in Palo Alto, check out Taverna.

z
New England
19 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We very much enjoyed our dinner at Taverna. The portions are large; we shared bread and a plate of greens - both good but a little pricey for what they are. We also had zucchini fritters and lamb chops which were excellent. Great place, be prepared to spend some money ($125 including one glass wine each).

MF
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service as always. Every time we bring friends here to introduce them to Taverna, they walk away very impressed. Yes, it is expensive. But it's worth every penny!!

PA
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

On a lovely summer night one could have been in a European cafe. And as in Europe, wait staff did not try to turn over the tables. Food is very tasty>

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