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Il Fornaio

$$$
Italian, Cafe, Bakeries, Wine Bar
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520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823 (Hamilton)
Cal Train
650-853-3888
Website
Today
7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Drinks, Lunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 153 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 40
    Excellent
  • 62
    Very good
  • 36
    Average
  • 10
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Nice restaurant downtown Palo Alto

We went for breakfast at Il Fornaio - the food was very good; it was still quiet in the morning and the service was excellent - nice people there.

4 of 5 starsReviewed May 23, 2015
sjkeram
,
Palo Alto, California
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153 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Taormina, Italy
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2015 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We went for a wine dinner for Niner Vineyards. Spoke at length with the winemaker. Food was OK. The chef paired the food to the wines they were serving. I would have made other selections. They served too much food, but my dogs were pretty happy about that!

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Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015

We went for breakfast at Il Fornaio - the food was very good; it was still quiet in the morning and the service was excellent - nice people there.

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Copenhagen
Level Contributor
86 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015

We went for lunch. And what a lunch. If I had not known better, you could tell me, this was in Italy. The service is done with a deep Italian dialect and charm. The food was simply ex-cellent. What a great way of starting a visit to Palo Alto. Thank you.

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Healdsburg
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015

I had a good Italian meal here. I met friends and we ate well and the wine list was good. The service was very good. you can't go wrong

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Limestone, Tennessee
Level Contributor
89 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2015 via mobile

This is a higher priced Italian restaurant. The decor is an open kitchen. The menu is traditional Italian, the daily specials are almost as numerous as the permanent fare. While the service is attentive, it wasn't accurate. One dish was completely incorrect - it was freshly prepared and very good, so we kept it. Now the food... The portions are... More 

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Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015

I ate lunch at IL Fornaio. It was a solid performance of Italian food but with a little bit more effort it could have been so much better... They have freshly baked bread and serve olive oil and acetone with it. Nice. However I prefer only olive oil and was not even asked I have any preferences. The Minestrone was... More 

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Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
265 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 501 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

I recently dined here with colleagues while visiting Palo Alto for business. I was impressed with Il Fornaio from the moment I walked in, the restaurant is beautifully designed and has a great outdoor patio dining area. I met my colleagues at the bar before our reservation, moving around the bar was a bit tight but our servers were friendly... More 

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Level Contributor
82 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

The atmosphere at this large, flagship location continues to be charming -- not too stuffy and still trendy. While the entres are not stellar, they provide a solid, satisfying meal, ranging from fresh fishes, pastas, filets. The bread continues to be a highlight. I dined with a large group and the waitstaff did a great job of keeping it all... More 

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California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

We dine at Il Fornaio at least once a month. Love their Festa Regionale program, which lets the diner sample the food and wine of a different region each month. Most recently, the menu featured Liguria, and we especially liked the Beet Ravioli and the Seafood Risotto. Restaurant staff are friendly and service is exceptional.

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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
366 reviews
206 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015 via mobile

Couldn't stay long enough to finish my terrific arugula salad with raisins, couscous, avocado (could have been more ample), red onions with lots of grilled salmon on top in a light vinaigrette...very nice; my companion hd the butternut squash ravioli which disappeared within minutes and looked as lovely as they tasted; and my other companion had a caesar with shrimp,... More 

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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: Italian, Cafe, Bakeries, Wine Bar

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823
    (Hamilton)
  • Public Transportation: Cal Train
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Palo Alto
  • Phone Number: 650-853-3888

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 10 - 50
  • Price Range: $ $ $
  • Cuisine: Italian, Cafe, Bakeries, Wine Bar

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
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

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Il Fornaio staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?