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Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

4.2
4.2
2461 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian

Step inside Il Fornaio and take an award-winning culinary journey through Italy. Specialties include house made pastas, wood-fired pizza, grilled fish, authentic risotto, and rotisserie meats. Using the freshest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, Il Fornaio offers a wide variety of premium-quality Italian food paired with great cocktails and a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine list.

Make a reservation

2 people

June 2022
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7:30 PM


Booked 35 times today
Private dining

Private dining

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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Unspecified

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Wed 5:00 pm–8:30 pm Thu, Sun 12:00 pm–8:30 pm Fri, Sat 12:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (650) 853-3888

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Catering

    Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.

  • Private party facilities

    Celebrating 30 years in downtown Palo Alto, Il Fornaio offers 2 private dining rooms and a heated, covered, garden Piazza. Banquet menus for large parties features the best of Il Fornaio's authentic Italian cuisine and Chef Maurizio's signature dishes.

  • Private party contact

    Juli Calderon: (650) 853-3720

  • Neighborhood

    Palo Alto

  • Cross street

    University

  • Parking details

    Valet parking is available for $20. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.

  • Public transit

    Cal Train

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 2,461 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.2
4.2 based on recent ratings
  • 4.2Food
  • 4.2Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 3.9Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. A

    Adobecurly

    Sacramento

    16 reviews

    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5

    Always a great time. The caprese was a bit lacking compared to other venues; but the dessert and incredible staff made up for it

  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 16, 2022

    overall5food4service4ambience4

    Great food and service on the outdoor patio.

  3. h

    helen

    San Francisco

    54 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    54 reviews

    Dined on June 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    DIning at Il Fornaio, Palo Alto is always a wonderful experience. Food is delicious, presented in an appetizing way. The service is the best!! We always enjoy it.

  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 13, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    Graduation

  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    I had made reservations months ago to celebrate my daughter’s graduation from Stanford. The staff was sooo accommodating! Karen, our waitress was lovely, competent, and gave us exceptional service. We were seated outside and the ambience was exceptional and truly lent to the specialness of the occasion.

  6. RF

    RoseF

    Central Coast

    4 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience1

    Very hot, too noisy, very dated ambiance, extremely slow service and food was just ok. Such a bummer because this was suppose to be a special dinner for our daughter’s Stanford graduation.

  7. c

    csufsteve

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall2food5service2ambience3

    Food was delicious, but the service was slow and we had to ask for water and previously ordered drinks several times. And it was super hot inside the restaurant.

  8. G

    Gmom

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    College graduation

  9. KP

    KayP

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    The dishes are excellent, but disappointed with glasses of red wine which are little too warm to enjoy; maybe should try a bottle.

  10. m

    mcchm

    San Francisco

    16 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on June 8, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience4

    Food has gone down hill unfortunately. Pasta and fish still amazing, other dishes not fresh. Love Il Fornaio, could have been an off night.

  11. h

    helen

    San Francisco

    55 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    55 reviews

    Dined on May 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Always great food. The service was wonderful & the staff is very professional & friendly. We look forward to our dinner there

  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 27, 2022

    overall2food2service2ambience2

    Calamari was not good , Service is normal

  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4

    The pizza was soggy and loaded with arugula. Barely any toppings and some mushrooms that did not look or taste like mushrooms A real disappointment The service was great The cocktails were great too

  14. P

    Phil

    San Francisco

    32 reviews

    5.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    My wife and I shared Seafood Linguine and a Tiramasu for our 44th Anniversary in the patio area at lunchtime. The food was delicious, as usual with very caring service. We have come here for many years to celebrate special occasions and at other times as well. We have never been disappointed with the food or service.

  15. DJ

    DivaJVal

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience4

    We waited for 20 minutes after being seated before a waiter even approached us. The service all night was very slow despite the fact that it was not that crowded. We sent back a calamari appetizer because it tasted off - very dry and strangely fishy tasting. Definitely not fresh. They charge you $2 for bread that is pretty average. Not worth an extra charge. The entrees were good, although one member of our party ordered a margherita pizza and was disappointed that it was just a basic cheese pizza - no fresh mozzarella as he had expected in a place like this. All in all, it was a bad experience and we will not go back. I was surprised because I have heard good things about this restaurant. But we were very disappointed.

  16. m

    mashika

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 17, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5

    Tired food,. Soggy calamari. Time to update recipes. It is a tired menu. Ok pasta. Why is food in Palo Alto expensive and boring?

  17. KT

    KizzyT

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall2food4service3ambience1

    The food was ok and the waiter was very polite. The person who sat us down was not polite explaining why we could not sit down outside. I witnessed one of the waiters dropping some food on the floor and rearranging the plate with his own hands. He never got back to clean up the food on the floor and people kept smashing it till someone else cleaned it. I am never going back there with my family.

  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    28 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4

    Service was excellent and food and mixed drinks were good, but I took away a star because they have stopped serving gnocchi, which was a family favorite. That was a disappointment. Bring them back! The new outdoor area was nice but a bit chilly - the new heaters weren’t quite up to the task, being mounted sideways far above the diners. Hopefully they can improve this.

  19. FG

    FredericG

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 10, 2022

    overall4food3service3ambience3

    A good place for a diner but a bit expensive for the quality and the presentation of the plates. Service was also too slow and not really paying attention to us

  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 9, 2022

    overall3food5service2ambience5

    Mother’s Day dinner…. Sadly the service was slow…. The restaurant should not have had take out with in person dining on the a busy day. They were out of their famous pizza… out of specials…kitchen was over whelmed… managers were even helping serve… felt bad for the waitstaff… not enough staff… food was in general good… side veggies were not cooked enough. They did give us a credit on the bill because of delays but turned what was to be a nice dinner … stressful.

  21. SC

    StephanieC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 9, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1

    Our waitress was not professional at all, maybe it was Mother’s Day , she was too busy to serve guests. Linguine were too soft, Lasagna didn’t taste good as at Burlingame location. When I told the waitress that I want to use gift cards to pay the bill, she said” omg, it will take long time to do it. “ I realized she did not know how to process the transaction on the computer. It took 30 minutes to pay the bill! My husband was mad of me because I bought the gift cards. I will never to go to this location any more.

  22. AJ

    AJTWOTREY

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience4

    Celebrating Mother’s Day, it was a nice visit, although we had a disgruntled waitress, whom didn’t appreciate working on a holiday and decided to vent to us about another table and also reacted negatively when we advised her she brought sprite instead of club soda to a diabetic . The food was excellent especially the desert. I wish they would put their best staff on to work during holidays like this.

  23. NF

    NFL1

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall3food2service2ambience4

    Mother’s Day. No brunch offering. Eggplant Parmesan (on the special menu) was like rubber. This used to be a tradition. No more.

  24. JL

    JaimeLo

    San Francisco

    15 reviews

    2.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3

    We have eaten here before and have had better and more attentive service. We waited a long time for our lunch meal which was hard since we had little ones in our group. The waiter was not very friendly or engaging. Our past experiences have been better. Maybe understaffed with the cooks and wait staff? We had hoped for breakfast/brunch menu being that it was Mother's Day. Very disappointing.

  25. S

    Segenthaler

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall2food2service3ambience3

    Menu has become greatly reduced compared to the restaurant I once knew. Service was adequate. Food was somewhat disappointing.

  26. LL

    LLBB

    San Francisco

    35 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    35 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience3

    Server had too many tables. Needed a helper/bus person. Preferred the butternut squash recipe that had been on the menu in recent months. The tortellini was a disappointment. Miss the olive bread. Miss green salad being on the menu. The restaurant usually does a better job.

  27. PG

    PoliticsGirl

    San Francisco

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The new outside patio is perfect for those of us that are cautious. Spaced for privacy and safety complete w built in heaters. The special sea bass was terrific and the house red and white were very good.

  28. d

    dougs

    San Francisco

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great Yukon potatoes!! Delicious salmon! Love love love outdoor atrium ambiance , seating

  29. a

    allanc

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 6, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience4

    Disappointing food considering the pricing but the outside dining are is a very good setting

  30. G

    Grandma

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3

    Il Fornaio has change a lot in these two years, we could not sit in the patio because of the noise coming from the hotel next door. In our inside table we were bothered by some little flies, little creatures, a lot of them, that came to our faces and food. Looks like the restaurant is dirty. The food was very poor and the service very slow, although there were lots of people serving and setting tables, the service was slow and the place looks dirty. What is going on with this that used to be a great place.

  31. LW

    LindaW

    San Francisco

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    As usual, fabulous food, attentive service. always reccomend

  32. PM

    PamMc

    Sacramento

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on April 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Wait service was very good. We all enjoyed our entrees.

  33. CC

    CatianaC

    Seattle

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 18, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5

    Good Italian food but I don’t think it’s the best !! Good service and nice time !

  34. RG

    RonG

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience4

    The food was good but the service was poor. It took 45 minutes to get our entrees. We did not order dessert because of that.

  35. J

    Judy

    San Francisco

    29 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on April 17, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    Very good pasta entrees Fun relaxed service

  36. a

    adad

    San Francisco

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience1

    Crowded seating and food was ok. The server was good.

  37. LL

    LLBB

    San Francisco

    36 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    36 reviews

    Dined on April 14, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5

    Still missing some old favorite menu items like the house salad and the chicken salad they used to serve at lunch. Pasta choices are still more limited also. The food we had was very good, and the service was, too.

  38. SS

    SSPa

    San Francisco

    171 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    171 reviews

    Dined on April 10, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience5

    Service was outstanding. Food noting special. One of the people in the party got sick from their food

  39. PG

    PoliticsGirl

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on April 10, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4

    The food was great, the service very good and the ambiance worked for catching up with an old friend.

  40. W

    Wombatant

    New England

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 10, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4

    The food was mediocre for the price. The grilled shrimp was dry and the salmon was overcooked. The seafood overall did not taste fresh except for the scallops.

FAQs

Il Fornaio - Palo Alto offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (650) 853-3888.

Il Fornaio - Palo Alto is rated 4.2 stars by 2461 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

June 2022
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
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7:30 PM


Booked 35 times today
Google Map for Il Fornaio - Palo Alto

520 Cowper Street Palo Alto, CA 94301

Additional information

  • Cross street

    University

  • Neighborhood

    Palo Alto

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Wed 5:00 pm–8:30 pm Thu, Sun 12:00 pm–8:30 pm Fri, Sat 12:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Unspecified

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Valet parking is available for $20. In addition, there is also the hotel parking lot, as well as a public lot available.

  • Public transit

    Cal Train

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (650) 853-3888

  • Catering

    Off-site catering available. Please contact Event Coordinator for more details.

  • Private party facilities

    Celebrating 30 years in downtown Palo Alto, Il Fornaio offers 2 private dining rooms and a heated, covered, garden Piazza. Banquet menus for large parties features the best of Il Fornaio's authentic Italian cuisine and Chef Maurizio's signature dishes.

  • Private party contact

    Juli Calderon: (650) 853-3720

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