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Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio Palo Alto

Italian Restaurant · University South
520 Cowper St (at University), Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
Open until 11:00 PM (Show more)
  • Mon–Thu
    • 7:00 AM–10:00 PM
  • Fri
    • 7:00 AM–11:00 PM
  • Sat
    • 8:00 AM–11:00 PM
  • Sun
    • 8:00 AM–10:00 PM
$ $ $ $
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Happy Hour
Beer, Wine, Cocktails
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. Discover & Visa)
Outdoor Seating:

At Il Fornaio, our mission is to provide our guests with the most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy.


Based on 143 votes

People like this place

  • Ranked #4 for Italian restaurants in Palo Alto
  • What you need to know
    Tariq I.
    "$5 pizzas during happy hour"(2 Tips)
    Catherine C.
    "Best happy hour in Palo Alto."(5 Tips)
    Frank R.
    "Excellent atmosphere, an the power breakfast spot in downtown PA."(10 Tips)
    Steven F.
    "The patio is a great setting for a nice lunch."(2 Tips)
Log in to leave tips at this venue!
  • Recent
  • Popular

42 tips and reviews.

  • Filter by taste:
  • all tips and reviews
  • breakfast food
  • Italian food
  • happy hour
  • pizza
  • outdoor seating
  • French toast
  • brunch food
  • desserts
  • ravioli
  • poached eggs
  • spinach salad
  • good service
  • shrimp risotto
  • wine
  • coffee
  • good for groups
  • family-friendly
  • dinner
  • bacon
  • chicken
  • Renee T.

    They have delicious pizza.

    Renee Teefive · April 30, 2015
  • Renee B.

    Great pizza

    Renee Budak · October 15, 2014
  • Renee B.

    Delicious pizzas

    Renee Budak · October 15, 2014
  • Jon

    Great Italian in town!

    Jon · September 27, 2014
  • Catherine C.

    Best happy hour in Palo Alto. Pizzas are a great at $6. Brunch is also fabulous. Get the French toast

    Catherine Cohen · September 3, 2014
  • Nicky K.

    It's just not that good. Coming from nyc I can be a snob with italian food in California. It's never as good.

    Nicky K. · August 19, 2014
  • Yesi O.

    Monopoly guy is the chef here

    Yesi Orihuela · August 17, 2014
  • Yesi O.

    Try the Conchiglie Al Pollo w/ sun dried tomatoes, delish

    Yesi Orihuela · August 17, 2014
  • Andrew C.

    The cafe is a good place to work. Couple plugs, WiFi, good coffee.

    Andrew Chen · August 10, 2014
  • Devans00 ..

    Look for the little Italian cookies in glass jars near the bar. Dolce.

    Devans00 . · August 8, 2014
  • Robin S.

    Excellent bar. Excellent food.

    Robin Sam · July 18, 2014
  • Sarah J.

    Classic Palo Alto Italian restaurant

    Sarah Joe · July 14, 2014
  • Xina L.

    Cappellacci di Zucca, ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts -- splendid! Highly recommended!

    Xina Lo · January 8, 2014
  • Ilya G.

    We've been waiting for pancakes for 45 minutes. Think before you order them in case you're in a hurry

    Ilya Gorenburg · March 23, 2013
  • Eddy C.

    Food and service were horrendous

    Eddy C · December 24, 2012
  • Frank R.

    Good Italian, but by great. Excellent atmosphere, an the power breakfast spot in downtown PA. Try the crespelle at breakfast. (3 of 4 petals via Fondu) Read more

    Frank Rimalovski · May 26, 2012
  • Daniel S.

    Good place to go for happy hour. 4-6:30PM. $5 for food and drinks. $3 beers.

    Daniel Shi · May 18, 2012
  • Emmy S.

    Good gnocchi

    Emmy Southworth · March 22, 2012
  • Daniel S.

    Lots of VCs come here for breakfast.

    Daniel Shi · February 26, 2012
  • Ray K.

    Superb breakfast vegetables and poached egg

    Ray Kasbarian · December 30, 2011
  • Jeffrey S.

    Best place to meet the power players!

    Jeffrey Swanson · November 20, 2011
  • Jordan S.

    Stay away from the lobster bisque. It's not a bisque at all, and it has shrimp. The minestrone is quite good though.

    Jordan Silverthorne · November 6, 2011
  • Karla

    French toast at breakfast is fantastic.

    Karla · October 9, 2011
  • Karla

    Share a pizza at the bar seats. It's a lot of fun to watch the cooks prepare meals.

    Karla · October 9, 2011
  • Julia Y.

    Otherwise, normally awesome service and food. One of our favorite Italian places downtown.

    Julia Y · August 26, 2011
  • Julia Y.

    Ooh, avoid bald waiter if you have kids. Seemed pissed off at serving us even though it was early and kids were well behaved. Otherwise,

    Julia Y · August 26, 2011
  • Ekaterina O.

    Stupid to eat Italian food here, go to tamarin in a conner from here.

    Ekaterina Obukhova · February 21, 2011
  • Bo S.

    Try the Shrimp Risotto - Outstanding with parmesan, fresh pepper and a twist of lemon

    Bo Stern · January 20, 2011
  • Foodspotting

    Try the Tiramisu

    Foodspotting · December 26, 2010
  • Charles H.

    If you want to take advantage of the happy hour, show up early. It gets packed. $5 pizza and $5 wine will do that.

    Charles Hudson · October 16, 2010
  • Charles H.

    They have a crazy newish happy hour. Five dollar wine, five dollar pizza. Can't beat it.

    Charles Hudson · October 2, 2010
  • Amy B.

    Great location for a business luncheon and rent the patio out for an outstanding dinner party - they have two private event spaces! Read more

    Amy Baggott · September 24, 2010
  • Tariq I.

    $5 pizzas during happy hour

    Tariq Ismael · September 23, 2010
  • Philippe T.

    Great food, service and setting

    Philippe Tregon · July 15, 2010
  • Anna R.

    Watch out for dueling specials. We went for the campania special and even called first to check. Turns out they only had the brunch special at 2 pm.

    Anna Ravenscroft · May 9, 2010
  • v f.

    The Leonardo (strawberry Bellini) is deelish! The spinach salad is really good and for dessert try the Zabaglione!! Mmmmm!!!

    v f · April 24, 2010
  • Axel S.

    Say hi to Alexey - the master behind the bar. He is awesome.

    Axel Schultze · April 1, 2010
  • Steven F.

    The patio is a great setting for a nice lunch.

    Steven Fan · March 20, 2010
  • Adam R.

    Thanks for the tip to introduce myself to strangers Brett. They were amused.

    Adam Rifkin · March 1, 2010
  • Kevin M.

    Come for breakfast - delicious fresh-baked toast + smoked bacon

    Kevin Marks · October 31, 2009
  • Julius T.

    Pizza! Pasta eh

    Julius Tarng · November 22, 2015
  • Jesus V.

    Muy buena carne y ensalada 😊👍

    Jesus Vico · July 22, 2015

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