Il Fornaio

Il Fornaio Palo Alto

Italian Restaurant · University South
520 Cowper St (at University), Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
Closed until 7:00 AM (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 131 votes

People like this place

  • Ranked #2 for Italian restaurants in Palo Alto
  • What you need to know
    Charles H.
    "$5 pizza and $5 wine will do that."(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)
    v f.
    "really good and for dessert try the Zabaglione!!"(3 Tips)
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  • Recent
  • Popular

42 tips and reviews.

  • Filter by taste:
  • all tips and reviews
  • Italian food
  • breakfast food
  • happy hour
  • pizza
  • outdoor seating
  • French toast
  • desserts
  • brunch food
  • 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
  • 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 · 3 days ago
  • Jesus V.

    Muy buena carne y ensalada 😊👍

    Jesus Vico · July 22

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