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“My husband and I pretend we are back in Italy every time we eat here!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio
302 S Market St, The Hotel Saint Claire, San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 271-3366
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Ranked #57 of 1,953 Restaurants in San Jose
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Italian, Bakeries
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: San Carlos St.
Transit: City bus stops are located nearby
Description: Il Fornaio means "The Baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique dining experience. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; housemade pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and housemade soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2013.
Bay Area, CA
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“My husband and I pretend we are back in Italy every time we eat here!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2011

We are "regulars." We dine here at least once a month. While the rest of the world waits for a seat at Original Joe's, we are escorted to a window table here. The Italian cuisine here is superb! Each month they like to vary the menu by adding choices that you may find in specific regions of Italy. Fantastic! BUONO! Bravissimo! Keep up the great work, Il Fornaio. We also like the G.M. here! Bravo, Mr. Pera!

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199 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    67
    68
    45
    15
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, CA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Basic upscale chain Italian restaurant”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

Better than your average chain restaurant, but still quite obviously a chain!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Breakfast at Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2011

Il Fornaio is in the hotel I stayed at in San Jose. We had breakfast there as a team. It was very good. The coffee was really good too, string but not bitter. Being a hotel restaurant it's not the cheapest place to eat breakfast but it was convenient and the service and food were good.

Visited December 2011
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Storrs, Connecticut
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Good Italian Food in a nice setting”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

I had the Italian Beef Dish. It was tasty. Portions were very good sized.

I would have liked to try one of the homade pasta dishes, but I did not have enough room.

  • Visited November 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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San Jose, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great food, but poor service.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2011

Il Fornaio has been a fixture in downtown San Jose for many years. I used to really enjoy going there, but think I have to find a new favorite downtown restaurant. The last three visits have been disappointing.

Most recently, I dined there one week ago. The food is always good, so the chef and kitchen staff are still upholding their classic standards. But the service my party received was lackluster and disappointing. Our waiter seemed annoyed by our requests and bored, probably eager to go home. We were dining late on a Saturday night, but if the restaurant is open and seating guests the service should still be focused on the customer. The hostess was not very friendly, either.

I wouldn't be writing this review if this experience only happened to me once, as I know any good restaurant can have an "off" night for whatever reason. But I had similarly disappointing service at Il Fornaio on two other occasions earlier this year. The restaurant management must be unaware or part of the problem. Too bad for the chef and the kitchen staff.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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