20 Best Restaurants in Palo Alto, CA

This article was written by local contributor Emilia Jordan & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Palo Alto, CA

Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley, is not only known for being a hub of innovation and technology but also for its amazing culinary scene.

I've had the pleasure of living here for quite some time and discovering the vast array of mouthwatering food options this city has to offer.

Whether you're a local or just visiting, you won't want to miss out on the culinary experience in this city.

So, without further ado, here are the best restaurants in Palo Alto, California!

Zadna Bowl

Zadna Bowl is a small Middle Eastern restaurant that quickly became my go-to spot for a delicious and filling meal.

The concept is simple: you create your own bowl of Middle Eastern goodness by choosing a protein, a base, and toppings.

I personally love the chicken kabobs, falafel over rice, Israeli salad, tabbouleh, eggplant, cauliflower, and tzatziki sauce, all sprinkled with sumac and parsley.

As someone who grew up eating fresh, homemade Middle Eastern dishes, Zadna Bowl takes me right back to my mom's kitchen with every bite.

What makes this place stand out, apart from its incredible food, is the friendly service and generous serving sizes.

And while there isn't much indoor seating, it's perfect for a quick "grab and go" meal or a casual lunch with friends.

One more tip: if you're ordering in person, you can get a half-half base!

I've tried half salad and half mujadarah, and it was absolutely delicious.

Zadna Bowl · 461 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★★ · Middle Eastern restaurant

MJ Sushi Palo Alto

I have been living in Palo Alto for quite some time, and I recently had the pleasure of dining at MJ Sushi.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience! I also loved their unique take on classic sushi dishes, like the mango tuna roll.

The fish in all the rolls was of very high quality, fresh, and very tasty.

My personal favorites from the night were the Crunchy Eel Roll and the T.S. Roll.

One of the things that caught my attention about this sushi place was its generous pricing, especially for the Bay Area.

The interior had a nice ambiance, and the restaurant was spacious and comfortable.

Another great feature of MJ Sushi is its flexible hours.

They're open until midnight, which is quite rare in the Bay Area.

MJ Sushi Palo Alto · 2305 El Camino Real suite a, Palo Alto, CA 94306, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Daigo Sushi Restaurant

Daigo Sushi is really a hidden gem in our neighborhood.

I've been to this sushi restaurant a few times now, and it never fails to impress me.

The sushi is so delicious and fresh that I can't help but keep ordering more.

I remember having their special mackerel and white fish, which were so well-prepared and flavorful.

One thing to keep in mind is that they don't take walk-ins.

Another thing that I cannot miss mentioning is their green tea ice cream, which is a must-try.

Daigo · 2363 Birch St #B, Palo Alto, CA 94306, United States
★★★★★ · Sushi restaurant


I can't even begin to express how much I love Protégé!

As someone who's been living here for quite some time now, I have to say that this upscale dinner destination has quickly become one of my go-to spots for special occasions.

The first time I dined here, I was blown away by their excellent 1 Michelin star menu.

Their take on classic dishes with bold and interesting new flavors truly hit the spot.

I've celebrated my birthday here, and I've also shared some amazing nights with friends who were equally impressed by the food and overall experience.

One of the things that really sets Protégé apart from other fine-dining establishments in the area is its incredible cocktail menu.

I've tried the Jolly Green Giant and the Old Fashioned, and both were refreshing takes on classic cocktails, perfectly balanced and simply delightful.

The black truffle noodle and the king crabs still remain my all-time favorites, and the banana ice cream dessert was truly something to behold!

Without a doubt, if you're looking for a night to remember, you can't go wrong with a visit to Protégé.

Protégé · 250 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, United States
★★★★★ · New American restaurant

HE&C Tea + Pot

Recently, I stumbled upon this gem of a Chinese restaurant called HE&C Tea + Pot.

It was a random find, but it turned out to be a fantastic dining experience.

I went there with a friend, and we were both impressed by the personal hotpot that came with a variety of veggies and other fixings.

The food was fresh and delicious, and the service was attentive and pleasant.

One of the highlights for me was the lamb skewers, which reminded me of home.

We're already planning to come back and try more dishes.

Besides the hotpot, we also tried their grape juice tea, coconut sago, and lamb skewers - all of which were equally delightful.

If you're looking for a warm, comforting meal on a cold day, I highly recommend giving HE&C Tea + Pot a try.

It was our first hot pot dining experience, and it won't be our last!

The pot arrived ready to boil, and we had a great time cooking our beef, vermicelli noodles, and veggies.

HE&C Tea + Pot · 544 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★★ · Chinese restaurant

Evvia Estiatorio

Evvia Estiatorio is a refined Greek restaurant serving up classic dishes in a lively atmosphere.

I remember celebrating my birthday there with my family, and it was one of the best dining experiences I've had in the area.

From the moment we walked in, the ambiance was inviting and bustling with energy.

I couldn't resist ordering the flank steak – it was enormous, well-seasoned, and packed with flavor.

My family enjoyed their dishes as well, including the perfectly spiced chicken with a generous serving of vegetables on the side and the delicious and colorful ravioli.

As a foodie, the highlight of the meal was undoubtedly the dessert.

The lamb chops were scrumptious, and the dessert was equally delightful.

Evvia Estiatorio · 420 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★★ · Greek restaurant

Taste Restaurant

I absolutely love visiting Taste Restaurant in Palo Alto for its delicious and authentic Chinese food.

As a regular customer, I have tried a variety of dishes on their menu, and I must say that their Bo Bo Chicken is always a winner with its spicy and mouthwatering flavors.

What sets Taste apart from other Chinese restaurants is the quality of ingredients they use and the option to customize the spice level according to your preference.

The Tea-smoked duck is another favorite of mine as it resembles Peking duck in taste and texture, with crispy skin and tender meat.

The Roasted Pork knuckles are also a must-try for their melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

One unique dish that I highly recommend is their Salted egg yolk Pumpkin, which is a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors.

Taste · 423 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★★ · Chinese restaurant

Sun of Wolf

Last week, my friends and I decided to try out Sun of Wolf, a Mexican restaurant in our town.

As we scanned through the menu, we decided to go for the healthy options and ordered a salad each.

I chose to add salmon to mine, while my friend opted for chicken. We were both pleasantly surprised by the generous portions and how well the flavors of the salad, dressing, and proteins blended together.

The leftovers even made for a great lunch the next day!

But what truly stood out were the beautifully presented and delicious cocktails.

I can't wait to go back and try more of their enticing entrees.

It's always a delight to support a family-owned and operated business like Sun of Wolf, especially when they are pet-friendly and serve such amazing food!

SUN of WOLF · 406 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Mexicaans restaurant

Kali Greek Kitchen

Kali Greek Kitchen satisfies my craving for Greek food in the most delicious and health-conscious way.

This stylish cafe has a beautiful patio with blue tables and chairs, and its indoor seating is elegantly decorated with subway tiles.

The menu offers an array of Greek dishes, including pita wraps, salads, and rotisserie meats like beef, chicken, and lamb.

One of the things I genuinely appreciate about Kali Greek Kitchen is the freshness of its ingredients.

The vegetables always taste like they were just picked from the garden, and the meats are not pumped with unnecessary preservatives.

Plus, the food never leaves me feeling overly stuffed or regretful.

To top it all off, the service at Kali Greek Kitchen is consistently exceptional.

It's also worth mentioning that they offer a variety of wines to pair with your meal.

Recently, I've been enjoying the gluten-free fish salad, which is incredibly flavorful and satisfying.

The citrus and olive flavors complement the perfectly cooked fish, and their lemonades are a must-try as well.

I usually prefer takeout, but Kali Greek Kitchen's indoor and streetside seating provides a lovely atmosphere if you choose to dine in.

Kali Greek Kitchen · 451 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, United States
★★★★★ · Greek restaurant

Telefèric Barcelona Palo Alto

As someone who lives in the area, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting places to dine.

I recently discovered Telefèric Barcelona in Palo Alto, and I cannot rave enough about this fantastic spot.

From the moment I walked in, the atmosphere was vibrant and infectious, with everyone around me enjoying themselves thoroughly.

Upon being seated, I was impressed by how attentive the staff was, promptly attending to all our needs and making sure our table was always cleared, and our water glasses were full.

The menu was filled with a tantalizing array of tapas, and my tablemates and I were eager to taste as many as we could.

Diving into the seafood options, I was blown away by the freshness of the ingredients and the incredible flavors packed into every bite.

One standout dish was the lobster paella.

The aroma of the seafood combined with the well-seasoned rice was simply divine, and the portion sizes were perfect for sharing among our group.

We also indulged in the grilled octopus, ham croquettes, empanadas, and a delightful cheese board.

But what is a night of Spanish tapas without some cocktails?

The drink menu at Telefèric Barcelona did not disappoint, with a variety of creative and delicious concoctions to choose from.

Telefèric Barcelona Palo Alto · 855 El Camino Real #130, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant


When I first heard about Wildseed, I was a bit hesitant to try it out.

As someone who's not a vegan, I've always had this misconception that vegan food might not be as satisfying as the traditional meals I'm used to.

However, my perspective completely changed after tasting the delightful dishes this vegan restaurant had to offer.

Wildseed has an incredible menu that caters to all food lovers, vegan or not.

The vegan meat options they serve are so close to the real thing that I'm always left amazed.

The cauliflower dishes, burgers, and salads have proven to be some of my favorites.

I even brought a friend from Oklahoma who's an avid meat lover, and he couldn't stop raving about how satisfied he was with the meal.

The outdoor patio at Wildseed is another aspect I truly enjoy.

It has such a cozy and beautiful setting that makes the dining experience even more memorable.

Their San Francisco location is great as well, but there's just something about this particular spot that keeps drawing me back.

Wildseed · 855 El Camino Real Building 4, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★★ · Vegan restaurant

Oren's Hummus

As someone who lives in the area, I have had the pleasure of dining at Oren's Hummus countless times.

Their cozy Mediterranean atmosphere, delicious housemade hummus, and mouthwatering dishes keep me coming back for more.

One of my favorite things to order is their chicken skewers rice bowl, which boasts the juiciest, most flavorful chicken I've ever tasted.

In addition, their rice is seasoned to perfection, making for a satisfying and hearty meal.

I also appreciate their extensive menu, offering 11 different types of hummus to suit everyone's taste buds.

Being a vegetarian, I am always impressed by the variety of options available for people like me.

The outdoor seating is another feature I adore, providing a comfortable and relaxing environment for about 30 patrons.

I have learned to arrive early on weekends, around 11 am, to secure my preferred spot and avoid the noon rush.

Aside from its incredible food, Oren's Hummus also excels in customer service.

One of my guilty pleasures is their mint lemonade – even though I'm not usually a fan of lemonade, this one has me hooked.

And for dessert, their chocolate mousse is a must-try for any chocolate lover.

Oren’s Hummus · 261 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★★ · Israeli restaurant

Vina Enoteca

Whenever I'm in the mood for authentic Italian cuisine, I always head over to Vina Enoteca.

It's a stylish Italian restaurant in our area that uses garden-sourced ingredients, and it even has al fresco tables and private dining.

The ambiance, both outdoors and indoors, is simply fantastic – perfect for a great night out.

One thing I love about Vina Enoteca is the amazing and surprisingly quick service.

Trust me, the pasta and pizza here are to die for!

The pizza crust is one of the best I've ever had, and the pasta dishes are simply incredible.

The wine list at Vina Enoteca is also worth mentioning.

They have a fun-to-explore selection with lots of Italian varietals.

And if you plan to dine outside, they have plenty of seating with heat lamps, so you don't have to worry about getting cold.

Vina Enoteca · 700 Welch Rd #110, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant


As a resident of Palo Alto, I was eager to try out Bevri when it first opened, and I've become a regular since then.

The contemporary Georgian restaurant with outdoor seating has quickly become one of my favorite spots in the area.

What really left an impression on me was the unique and complex flavors of each dish.

I still remember the first time I tried their eggplant rolls in the appetizer sampler and how it blew my mind.

Their cheesy bread is another favorite of mine, always fresh and truly comforting.

While I did find the dumplings a bit thick and salty, they were still enjoyable due to the pleasant spice flavor.

One of the highlights of dining at Bevri is its dessert menu.

The layered pastry cake, also known as Napoleon cake, is simply amazing.

However, the portion size is quite huge, so be prepared to pack some for later or share it with friends.

Another great dessert option is the winter pear, which pairs beautifully with a glass of ice wine.

Bevri - Palo Alto · 530 Bryant St, Palo Alto, CA 94301, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Georgisch restaurant

Joanie's Cafe

One of my favorite places to grab breakfast in Palo Alto is Joanie's Cafe.

I've had the pleasure of dining there a few times, and every visit never disappoints.

The casual corner cafe serves lunch and dinner too, but I'm a huge fan of their all-day breakfast.

I cherish the moments when I catch up with friends in their outdoor dining area, enjoying the beautiful weather and tasty food.

It's easy to feel relaxed and not pressured in such a welcoming atmosphere.

The quality of their food is consistently excellent.

Though I didn't like the Brettone dish, my friends enjoyed their meals, and we all raved about the Hawaiian toast.

What's great about Joanie's Cafe is that they have a multi-level parking garage right across the street, so parking is never a problem.

Recently, they expanded their outdoor dining space, making it even more pleasant.

On weekends, the farmers' market is right outside the cafe, adding to the charming ambiance.

Joanie’s Cafe · 405 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, United States
★★★★★ · Breakfast restaurant

Zareen's Palo Alto

I absolutely love Zareen's Palo Alto! As a fan of Pakistani and Indian cuisine, I am always on the lookout for authentic, delicious food.

Zareen's never disappoints, and it has become one of my go-to spots in the area.

Whenever I visit, I'm impressed by the contemporary takes on classic dishes they serve in their cozy, colorful kitchen setting.

One thing that always stands out to me is their amazing naan bread.

It is, without a doubt, the softest and best naan I've ever had.

The samosas are always perfectly crispy and flavorful, while the lamb dishes are tender and bursting with spices.

My personal favorite has to be the Chicken Sizzler – trust me, it's a must-try!

As for the service, it's always been courteous and prompt.

Zareen’s Palo Alto · 365 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, United States
★★★★★ · Pakistani restaurant


Zola is a French restaurant that just has a certain charm to it.

The atmosphere is a perfect blend of comfort and upscale, making it ideal for a date night or even a casual dinner with friends.

The sidewalk seating adds a cool and intimate touch to the overall experience.

When it comes to the food, you can tell that they use honest ingredients and prepare the dishes with love.

I've tried their baguette, cheese plate, and burrata, and they were all incredibly tasty.

My go-to entree here has to be the halibut, which is cooked to perfection and garnished with capers.

I must warn you, though, the portions might seem a bit on the smaller side, so be prepared to savor each bite.

Also, don't forget to save room for dessert – the pistachio cake is to die for!

Zola + BarZola · 565 +, 585 Bryant St, Palo Alto, CA 94301, Verenigde Staten
★★★★★ · Frans restaurant


Thyme is a warm and easygoing restaurant that offers an amazing seasonal and locally-sourced menu of American plates and wine pairings.

Every time I dine here, I'm blown away by the quality of the food, the relaxed atmosphere, and the friendly service.

The menu may be small, but that's simply because each and every dish is prepared to perfection.

I still remember the first time I tried their tender lamb dish - it was one of the best I've ever tasted.

Their dessert options, like the warm apple tart with delicious custard, never disappoint either.

And let's not forget the wine pairings, which truly elevate each meal to another level.

Some of the standout dishes I've enjoyed include the seared scallops with caviar, roasted beets, and goat cheese with dried apricot.

Thyme · 496 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★☆ · Restaurant

Sweet Maple Palo Alto

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Sweet Maple Palo Alto for brunch, and I must say it's become one of my favorite spots in town.

They have an extensive menu catering to all tastes, ensuring there's something for everyone.

I can't stop thinking about their special bacon platter, which I highly recommend giving a try.

The fried chicken with waffles was also a delightful surprise, and their noodles had that unique flavor from the spices used.

To top it all off, their drinks were fantastic, so much so that we ordered multiple for the table.

Sweet Maple Palo Alto · 150 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★☆ · Brunch restaurant

New York Pizza Palo Alto

I've been living in the neighborhood for quite some time now, and I must say that New York Pizza Palo Alto is one of my favorite go-to spots for Italian food.

Their menu offers a wide variety of options, from pizza and subs to baked pasta and other Italian favorites.

The atmosphere is casual, and the staff is always friendly, making it a perfect place for a quick and tasty meal.

I recently had a birthday party to plan, so I decided to place a large order at New York Pizza Palo Alto.

To my delight, everything was ready and on time the next day and the food quality was excellent as always.

The wings stood out in particular; they were huge in size compared to most places, and they were able to accommodate my request for the sauce on the side.

One of my personal favorites is the baby greens salad with chicken, which I order quite often.

I find it to be a delicious and healthy option, with a generous portion size at an affordable price.

I've also heard great things about their BBQ calzone and sandwiches, so I am excited to try those in the future.

New York Pizza Palo Alto · 325 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301, United States
★★★★☆ · Pizza restaurant

Final Thoughts

I cannot emphasize enough how much I personally adore the diverse food scene here in Palo Alto.

The variety of top-notch restaurants spanning different cuisines and ambiances has made me an enthusiastic foodie in my own city.

Whether it's catching up with friends over a meal at Evvia Estiatorio or celebrating a special occasion at Protégé, the memories I have made at these establishments continue to enrich my life in Palo Alto.

I sincerely hope that you also get to experience these culinary gems and savor the mouth-watering flavors that our beautiful city has to offer.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.