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520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823
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Ranked #68 of 318 Restaurants in Palo Alto
Price range: $10 - $50
Sun - Thu 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Cuisines: Bakery, Italian, Café, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Hamilton
Transit: Cal Train
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140 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Benalmadena, Spain
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015 NEW

Same internals. Same kindness at the door but something's different and it's not the noise of a full room. Service was less personal and the food was less divine. Sauces were too rich and creamy for 'real Italian' - and I think it reflects the changes in Palo Alto - American overkill. (I've lived 30 years in Italy so I... More 

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Chico, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2014

I stayed at the Cowper Inn and ate at Il Fornaio, not once but three times. I really enjoyed the food and the service was fast. There is an excellent wine selection. And be sure, to leave room for desert. They are wonderful.

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Redwood City, California
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

Went here yesterday 12/2/14 for the happy hour menu and it was average. We ordered the meat pizza and also calamari. The thin crust pizza was very soggy in the middle and not very favorable.The calamari was lightly battered and good. They didn't have a really good selection of red wine to choose from the happy hour menu. They only... More 

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Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2014

Only for those addicted to chain restaurants. Unimaginative cuisine. Caprese salad had tasteless tomatoes and cheese, the latter a minuscule portion - at a big price. Veal was tough and slathered in a greasy sauce. Wine also overpriced. Avoid.

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Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We will order to-go at least once every two months. The food is very good and we like the convenience of take-out.

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West Chester, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014

We had a new waitress but she worked through everything well. Food was excellent. Veal tender, seafood pasta tasty....Caesar salad excellent. Dessert tray was impressive..too full to try it.

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Palo Alto, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2014

This is a popular restaurant in the heart of Palo Alto, with a busy, happy vibe & great service. I just wish the food were better! On several occasions the salads I ordered were wilted and/or overdressed, and the pasta dishes clumpy & starchy, rather than delicate & flavorful. If you do go, I would suggest ordering something like rotisserie... More 

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SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2014

One of several locations for this place, all basically good, albeit a bit too corporate in style, with excellent food and good service.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014

The food was great - and the waiter was a riot. Very busy, but the staff worked hard and the food was good, hot and served ina timely manner.

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Llucmajor, Spain
Top Contributor
251 reviews 251 reviews
173 restaurant reviews
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2014 via mobile

The terrace is possibly the best place in the restaurant on a sunny afternoon for a late lunch. Tables are nicely set but there is nothing special about it. Rather noisy and difficult to hold a conversation. The food: little choice, preparation ok, but nothing exciting. Wine selection is a average for what the restaurant wants to be.

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Additional Information about Il Fornaio

Address: 520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823
Phone Number: 650-853-3888
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Palo Alto
Open Hours:
Sunday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Monday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Average Prices: USD 10 - 50
Cuisine: Bakery, Italian, Café, Wine Bar

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Questions & Answers

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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?