We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Get directions
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, Drinks, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 152 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 40
    Excellent
  • 62
    Very good
  • 35
    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
Add Photo Write a Review

152 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Palo Alto, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Copenhagen
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015 NEW

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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Healdsburg
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
Limestone, Tennessee
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Basel, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
253 reviews 253 reviews
144 restaurant reviews
498 helpful votes 498 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
24 helpful votes 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
306 reviews 306 reviews
176 restaurant reviews
159 helpful votes 159 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
richmond va.
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2015

Consistently good restaurant that we have enjoyed for both breakfast and dinner while staying at the garden court hotel. Breakfast is superb. Great service and food every time. Dinner is always surprisingly good with great service and food in a busy place. Somehow remains calm and quiet inside with professional waitstaff. Really no complaints on multiple visits and good value.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Il Fornaio also viewed

 

Been to Il Fornaio? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing
Improve this listing

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
  • Cuisine: Italian, Coffee Shop, 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?