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Il Fornaio

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520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823 (Hamilton)
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Closed now
All hours
Sun - Thu 7:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
More Info
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196 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 183: English reviews
San Francisco
Level Contributor
286 reviews
154 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We love Il Fornaio for its wonderful variety of menus and regional Italian dishes throughout the year. The service is always good, the menu exciting, the ambiance quite nice, and the prices a bit high. Since we are trying new dishes, we often can't compare their quality. On our last trip, the restaurant was surprisingly empty for a week night;... More 

Thank OmarKhayyam
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
301 reviews
173 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I've been coming here for over 20 years and am always delighted by the quality of the food and the friendliness of the service. A Palo Alto institution.

Thank David011158
Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
57 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We have been here many times. So finally giving our feedback :) Two of our absolute favorite dishes are "Pizza Christina" and the "Grigliata Di Pesce Misto" (Mixed Seafood Platter). We love the wine collection and often just hang out with Alexej, the bar keeper and have some fried calamari. Great service and excellent feed.

Thank Axel S
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
40 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2016 via mobile

Tried it twice for Sunday brunch and had Eggs Bemedict with Crabmeat and Spinach in Lobster Cream sauce. It was good. Their bread is freshly baked and was exactly how it was in Italy. I tried their Linguini with Scallops, mussels, clams and prawns in Wine and their Grilled Seafood with Scallops, Squid and Prawns. My favorite was their dinner... More 

Thank TuttieG
Southampton, New York, USA
Level Contributor
54 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2016

Il Fornaio is always enjoyable and reasonably priced, never exceptional. Professional polite service.

Thank Robert G
Kauai, Hawaii
Level Contributor
73 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2016

I've been frequenting this remarkable place since it opened about 30 years ago and am still didscvoering how great it is. They now do a happy hour and have $6 glasses of Seghesio and $7 PIZZAS that is half price between 3 and 6PM Mon to Friday get there early as this is when local residents come. Great pasta, wonderful... More 

Thank Marybart
Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
119 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2016 via mobile

Strange, breakfast at an Italian restaurant. We had dinner there previously and a friend invited us for breakfast. What a pleasant surprise! Great coffee, wonderful service and a delicious veggie omelette which was different from others I have had. It was very good. Coffee cups and water glasses were kept full and the wait staff was always checking to see... More 

Thank Artieg419
Vacaville, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2016

Reasonable prices, nice quality dishes from a smaller but well produced menu. Nice wine list with reasonable prices for the quality of options by the glass or bottle. Staff were friendly and on task and it certainly seemed like a well oiled machine across the board. Relationship with the adjoining Garden Court Hotel.

Thank Jim B
Groveland, California
Level Contributor
201 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2016 via mobile

The salmon was cooked to Perfection I think the focaccia bread roll and the sauce that they put on it I was very very tasty and the greens I think some kind of arugula and spinach mix were absolutely great. the garlic frites that came with it were outstanding I would absolutely come back again

Thank frequent1
New Canaan, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2016

Used to be "IT". Chef needs to improve breakfast menu and spend some time managing cook staff. Too many wilted salads. Stingy with protein on pastas. Restaurant wait staff is excellent. Nighttime bar staff is superb. Still turning out nice pizzas. Management needs to invest in a facelift for this wonderfully located restaurant. At least a fresh coat of paint... More 

1 Thank Fairfielder-1

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
Average prices
$10 - $50
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks
Restaurant features
Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Parking Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Dining Style
Casual Dining
Good for
Business meetings, Families with children, Large groups
Open Hours
7:00 am - 10:00 pm
7:00 am - 10:00 pm
7:00 am - 10:00 pm
7:00 am - 10:00 pm
7:00 am - 10:00 pm
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823
  • Public Transportation: Cal Train
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  Palo Alto
  • Phone Number: 650-853-3888

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?