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Il Fornaio

520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823
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Ranked #58 of 316 Restaurants in Palo Alto
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Price range: $10 - $50
Sun 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Mon - Thu 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sat 8:00 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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127 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
Palo Alto, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

Enjoyed the food. My waitress was awesome and super hot. The atmosphere was cool and nice. The wine selection was ok but not great.

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Bay Area, CA
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

Restaurant was less than half-full when we visited. Seated promptly, then, nothing. After 10 minutes, waiter arrives, asks if we've been helped. (They don't have assigned tables?). Takes drink order and food order all together. Then disappears. We never saw him again. EVER. Food arrives via runner. No one asks if we want pepper, grated cheese, etc. No one checks... More

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Palo Alto, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

This is by far one of the 'BEST' HaPpY Hours in Palo Alto. $5 drinks, cocktails, wine and beers. Selection of $5 appetizers like thin crust pizza, calamari you can easily make a meal from these!! Out door seating. Yummy cocktails!

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San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

We celebrated my husband's 60th birthday on a Friday evening (8/22/14). The place was crowded, and it had an energetic ambiance. It is a popular place. Make reservations if you're dining on a Friday and Saturday during prime dinner hour. I ordered the 3-course tasting menu, which focused on the cuisine of Sardinia. The tasting menu offered nice selections. I... More

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Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
263 reviews 263 reviews
157 restaurant reviews
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Recently had a business dinner with three colleuges at this downtown Italian restaurant. The food was very good, but not excellent. The atmosphere was extremely inviting with an outdoor courtyard setting that felt a bit like Italy, but with a cool, pleasant California evening. Coupled with some nice, but not overly expensive wine made for a enjoyable and relaxed evening.... More

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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

As I've worked in various office nearby I've become a regular for breakfast, coffee and lunch... And even takeout pizza etc for the office. Great spot with a lot of character. I'd call out the pizza, lasagna and appetizers (for example Bruschetta) as the best items here. Definitely recommended for business breakfast and lunch.

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Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

This is a great place to get a nice dinner for a business function, romantic night out or a get together. It's nice enough that you can come in a suit but casual enough that you can come in jeans and a tee shirt. The menu has something for everyone. The food is never a disappointment. I always enjoy my... More

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Steve B, Guest Relations Manager at Il Fornaio, responded to this review

Thanks for the kind words. I know that downtown Palo Alto is very competitive when it comes to restaurants and I'm glad you've been choosing us for 15 years. I'm looking forward to your next visit so I could say hello. Grazie! Nick More

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

As always I ate at the bar since I'm a business traveler. Alexei was very attentive and made excellent suggestions. I had the Saltimbocca Roma and enjoyed it. The wine list is excellent with something for every pallet and budget. I had forgotten about this pace but after sitting on 101 South from SFO in packed traffic I decided to... More

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Foster City, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

We recently enjoyed a Winemaker Dinner at Il Fornaio in Palo Alto, organized by Richard Bartoni, Il Fornaio manager. Richard is to be congratulated for providing such an excellent dining event. The food and service were superb and the four course dinner flowed smoothly, at a pace to allow full appreciation of the food and the appropriate wines being served... More

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Palo Alto, CA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Expansive menu of regional Italian dishes. Great wine selection. Reasonably priced. Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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