Cafe Pro Bono

2437 Birch St, Palo Alto
(650) 326-1626

Recent Reviews

Chris Peterson

Outstanding quality, friendly service, good vibe. Try the susans downfall and the panna cota for sure.

Food: 5

Service: 5

Recommended dishes: Panna Cotta, Susan's Downfall


Wonderful meal, they were able to accommodate our party of 7 with only a moments notice. The service is excellent, highly recommend the pasta. My fish was perfection. Definitely will come again. We have dined at all the restaurants along California avenue over the years and find Cafe Pro Bono the most dependable. There is a reason they have such a loyal following of the locals.


I love Cafe Pro Bono ... the team always greets me with a warm welcome and treats me like I'm visiting their home as a guest for dinner. Susan's Downfall pasta is so good it's sinful.


I am a long time fan and diner at Cafe Pro Bono. I meet friends there regularly, and it is my go-to place to take visitors. The food is always excellent and the service is the best I have ever experienced. I always feel welcome. Most recently, the staff was extraordinarily patient with me and my guests as we lingered over and after our lunch. Great food, old fashioned hospitality, no hidden fees or similar annoyances. Highly recommend!

Warm atmosphere, very good entrée selections. We (3) had the veal piccata, veal marsala and chicken fettucine entrees, with a shared Caesar salad, shared dessert and a glass of 3 different house wines. $200 with tip. We enjoyed our dinners.


We are regulars at this Italian restaurant off California Avenue because it never disappoints. We love the welcoming atmosphere, and the tables are set far enough apart so that we can have a real conversation with our friends. We enjoyed a special sole [a huge piece of beautifully cooked fish] on black risotto [a special] and a duck confit with mushroom risotto, another special. One of our guests ordered the veal marsala from the regular menu. We shared an appetizer and our friends shared a salad - the kitchen split the dishes for us and they were presented beautifully. We asked for a wine recommendation and the manager suggested a local Pinot, Lloyd, that went beautifully with all our dishes. We didn't want dessert, but were surprised by complimentary limoncello. One can't count on that, but what a nice way to end a beautiful dinner. This quality is not cheap of course, but the experience is pleasant and the meals are well priced for what one gets. Highly recommend!

Wayne O

This is a special restaurant for us - the food, service and ambience is excellent and very classical Italian. My wife and I come here for special lunches and they never disappoint.

Atmosphere: 5

Food: 5

Service: 5


Excellent Italian cuisine, all items were delicious and well prepared, especially the appetizers (polenta, ravioli) and pastas. Desserts were very good. Only $25 corkage fee. Staff/service were exceptional, friendly and accommodating. Restaurant does service large parties, so be prepared for the accompanying loud noise if your table is next to theirs.


Always enjoy coming here; I usually get the salmon, which is excellent. This time we also tried the ravioli appetizer- Susan's Downfall- for the first time. I almost licked the sauce off the plate! Service is always excellent; never feel rushed. And it's quiet enough (at least when we've been there) that you can actually carry on a conversation.


Recent business/social lunch brought back memories for guest who hadn't been to the restaurant in years, remembering bringing new recruits to a lunch place where you could actually have a private conversation. I was impressed with the food and service--we shared the cheese and herb ravioli with gorgonzola sauce--amazingly rich and decadent--we ended up dipping the bread into the sauce. Although the duck confit salad presentation was a bit uninspired, the flavors were perfect ! Definitely will be back for a more extensive meal in the future.


Haven't been to this restaurant for dinner in years, but we are happy to return and will return often. It was a wonderful experience in a neighborhood restaurant that has been around for over 35 years. Well deserved.


I eat here often with friends. As always, a great experience — excellent food at a reasonable price, friendly staff, great service. Pasta dishes are favorites. Spumoni and tiramisu are especially good desserts.

Luis Miguel ordoñez

Good place.

Atmosphere: 5

Food: 5

Service: 5


We are faithful diners at this local neighborhood cafe . The owner is always so cordial in his greeting of us and the staff always are so courteous and have smiles despite the busy atmosphere of this Valentine's dinner . The dedicated menu for the evening was sufficient to please the diverse palates ( though our friend who received the duck breast choice was a bit displeased because the slices were very thin and small compared to what was usually served to others ) but taste wise he said it was very good . The seabass and the lamb choices were delicious ... no complaints there !! We love this cafe and look forward to returning and ordering from their usual menu ( esp. the squid ink pasta which is a FAVORITE ♥️) I highly recommend this cafe for a dining choice ??

Amy Rossignol

I had a private event here and it was excellent! Every dish was delicious, and the service was exceptional. The gnocchi was a huge hit, and everyone really liked the salmon option (don't remember what the full listing was) and the veal marsala. The goat cheese salad was also very popular. They made a nice simple spaghetti for the child in attendance. There were good, solid options for our attendees who needed allergy accomodations.

Atmosphere: 5

Food: 5

Service: 5

Recommended dishes: Gnocchi Homemade with Basil Pesto Sauce Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts, Panna Cotta, Chocolate Decadence, Veal Marsala

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