Francesca's By The River
Francesca's By The River

Francesca's By The River

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.miafrancesca.com/static.asp?path=3115,3233
  • Phone: 6305878221x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch:
    Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm

    Dinner:
    Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
    Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
    Sunday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Wine Bar, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Blas Losoya
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please Call Our Event Coordinator Gabriela Barker at 1 888 937 9009 extension 153
  • Special Events: Please Call Our Event Coordinator Gabriela Barker at 1 888 937 9009 extension 153

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Illinois
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Francesca's By The River
A member of Francesca's Restaurant Group, Francesca's by the River features the zesty, earthy cuisine of Rome and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. The restaurant, located in beautiful downtown St. Charles, encourages the lively art of dining with a contemporary, casually sophisticated trattoria ambiance, good, simple cooking, friendly service and fair prices.

About The Francesca’s Restaurant Group: Founded in 1992 by Restaurateur Scott Harris, Francesca’s Restaurant Group has grown from a small, welcoming Italian restaurant on Chicago’s North Clark Street to a restaurant group of three concepts across 33 locations and four states. Based in Chicago, Francesca’s Restaurant Group currently owns and operates 23 Francesca’s Restaurants, five Davanti Enoteca, and five Glazed and Infused locations.
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Francesca's By The River reviews from OpenTable diners
94 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (44)neighborhood gem (39)fit for foodies (32)good for groups (24)romantic (23)notable wine list (22)great for lunch (18)kid-friendly (14)hot spot (9)vibrant bar scene (6)great for brunch (3)late-night find (2)Show More
  • Very Enjoyable
    Outnabout
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    It was an anniversary dinner for us. We had been to another Francesca's before... this was our first visit to this location. I made a reservation online. They had a table waiting and ready when we arrived. It was off to the side as I had requested. Dawn, our server was fantastic! Food was outstanding. Gave us a special anniversary dessert that really added a classy touch. We will be going back to Francesca's!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food
    stfo
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Love that the menu changes often. Mussels were excellent as was the pasta and dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Strangely Disappointed
    jenvy
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    This is the first time I have ever had a bad meal and a bad experience at Francesca's. My steak was overdone and tastless and our desserts were not what we ordered which caused an actual dispute between the waitress and the kitchen staff....right at our table! Service was slow. We finished our appetizer long before we had even ordered our main course. Must have been a bad day, because normally I love Francesca's.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We have been dinning at Francesca's for a long time and have never been disappointed! Menu is descriptive and complete. When making our reservation I asked for a "quiet" table if possible and was granted our request. Great! The restaurant is a bit on the loud side but typical for great Italian restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food and wonderful staff!
    Nofood2far
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The waiter was very kind and had many suggestions that were a huge help for a newcomer like me to this restaurant. The food was delicious and the nutella creme brulee was FANTASTIC!! I will definitely be going back here as often as possible.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ladies Lunch
    bobdod
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    We felt the portions were a bit skimpy for the price at this Francesca's. I had vegetable that was average, as they had no minestrone available which is what I usually order. The bowl was only half full. My friend had the chicken salad and there was not much chicken in the order. The price was !2.99 but did not satisfy her. Overall I usually love Francesca's but Francesca's by the River in St. Charles might make sure they have minestrone freshly made and add more chicken to lunch salads.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Dinner
    Mom3Boys
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Used to going to Francesca's in Dundee. Tried this one, loved it! Very lively crowd. Food was great! The blueberry bread pudding with the vanilla gelato was delish!! Service was outstanding (waitress and busboys). Host was extremely friendly! Will definitely go back to this location!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bluescruiser
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Great Italian food! Definitely would recommend to friends and family.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good
    GreggVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    I always enjoy the food and ambiance at Francesca's. Our waitress was Mary Beth and she was excellent. Portions are HUGE so if you have a smaller appetite, order the half portion or expect to have lots of leftovers. The Bruscetta here is one of the best I've ever had, mounds of mozzerella!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, excellent server, noisy
    Dwight
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Our food was great - swordfish and a special corn salad. Waiter did an excellent job. We were seated right by the bar and food prep area so ambience was just OK. Kind of noisy as expected with many Italian places. We'd go back again.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a hit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I love the unique options. The food is delicious, from salad to dessert. The drinks were generous and our server was charismatic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food close by
    FredVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Franchesca's is a nice local Italian place with a limited but creative menu. Pasta sauces are tasty but not overwhelming. There's always at least one steak and a fresh fish in the selections. Good perpetration and portions.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice time!
    j9Thack
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I came here with a group of 8 for a girls night out. The server was very attentive and even gave us separate checks, which I know is a pain... especially on a Friday night! Everything was great. A little on the noisy side and the tables are close together. ..so I wouldn't recommend for a romantic dining experience .
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Nice variety of italian food & wine along with great service. Has always made Francesca's a "go to" restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MAF
    MarcusVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Great food and service. Great for a quick lunch! Fantastic wine list. Fantastic waitress
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The food was amazing. The blueberry bread pudding was incredible!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • WONDERFULL NIGHT
    BUZZ
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    WE RECENTLY REDISCOVERED A VERY GOOD PLACE TO VISIT. THE STAFF AND SERVICE WAS MOST ENJOYABLE. WE TRIED THE BLOSSUM ZUCHINI WHICH WAS EXCELLENT. MY WIFE ORDERED THE YELLOW FIN TUNA WHICH WE SHARED WITH MY WINE REDUCTION SAUSE BEEF TENDERLINE[BOTH MEDIUM RARE OF COURSE]. WE FINISHED IT OFF WITH 2 GLASSES OF PERSECO, COURTESY OF THE RESTAURANT ON OUR 55TH W.A.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful
    Wonderfully
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    The setting is lovely, the staff very friendly, and the food, amazing. Our Waitress was Dawn and she was very helpful as this was our first time. the menu and specials were explained in detail and everything was expedited to our table in a timely manner. This is how I want my restaurant experiences. What made it better, is this was my Wife's birthday dinner, and they brought her a wonderfully decorated plate with a desert and a candle. The only down side to me, is I am a big guy, not fat, big. 6ft, 250lbs, long legs. I could not get the napkin on my lap under the short table where we sat. It was uncomfortable but i had to hold my napkin. We sat in a half-booth table.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Service
    JeffS
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Francesca's did a great job providing a special experience on a rare night out for two young parents. We were celebrating my wife's birthday and they provided us with an excellent table, great service and capped it off with a special birthday dessert and Champaign! Thank you to all who helped to make the night special!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pre-Cruise Lunch
    Dadsday
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    We had a reservation at 1:00 PM but our party of 6 arrived early at 12:45 PM. Our table was ready and the food and service were great I would highly recommend this restaurant. It was a super dining experience
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Limited menu
    Francois
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    What at first glance appeared to be a good menu turned out to be very limited. If you or your stomach does not like garlic you don't have much choice. If you want whole grain pasta, forget about it. So I ended up eating a piece of salmon, with some so so roasted potatoes(not hot) and a small bowl of vegetable soup in what is supposed to be an Italian restaurant. No olive oil with bread, no veal..very disappointed. Cappuccino was very average…Starbucks much better. Tuscan wine as highlight of meal…bu $60. Will not be back and I used to go regularly
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Met a friend for dinner. We both had a good meal. It was a nice place for us to sit and talk without being pushed out.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent italian tuscan cuisine
    ShyShark
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Fine Italian dining at best....Authentic Italian food served similar to food I had when I was in Asti and Barolo in Piemonte region last year.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful time.....!
    ToRemember60
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We have dined here several times and each time is as enjoyableor better! The staff didn't miss a beat with making sure we didn't want for anything. Promptly there to remove empty dishes, and I do mean empty, top off you water, or to your special request. Our wait person was wonderful! All wait staff sould be like this person. She knew the menu inside and out. She made very good sugestions when asked what she would recommend when we gave her several selections. She made our dinning very renjoyable and rememerable occasion. You can rest assured we will return....!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Freckles
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Great service. Food very good - Alfredo sauce was delicious as was the bruschetta.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • luv2dineVIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    A great restaurant but on July 4th in the afternoon me and my guest were the only people there having lunch. Food was great but the restaurant has kinda a limited menu as such.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Date-night favorite!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    My husband and I have chosen Francesca's for "date-night" for over 10 years, and it never disappoints!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jillie123
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    A bit on the pricey side....large pasta portion, but hardly could locate the chicken that was part of the delicious dish. Appreciate the gluten free items on the menu for those who require it. Thanks so much for the special desert for our birthdays!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pete
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    My family has Celiac disease, and we eat strictly gluten-free. This was our second visit to this Francesca's, and we've had a great experience both times. Good GF menu, courteous service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice experience
    dontgetoutmuch
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    I had asked for a good table as it was my husband's birthday. We were given a prime spot and they brought a little birthday dessert at the end of our meal. Nice!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, too loud to talk
    GenevaDiner
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Very good food, but don't go here on a Weekend if you want a quiet place to enjoy someone's company and have a conversation. The service was average, good wine list :-), but a bit pricey for what the have in the cellar.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    First, the parking lot is small and was full, so I had to park a little bit away in the parking deck. When I walked in the hostess sat the three people in front of me and then came back and ignored me completely. She started working on something else and talking to another employee and finally the other employee noticed me and apologized for ignoring me. They sat me and I told them that I was waiting for one person. They said no worries let's get you a cocktail as you wait. I then proceeded to sit at the table with no water or cocktail. No waiter came by until my friend arrived about 10 minutes later. Finally we ordered drinks and they mixed them up and gave me his. The food ended up being pretty good but I don't think I will return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • St. Charles delightful Italian
    NiceWVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    We went for Father's Day about 6:00. The restaurant was pretty crowded, but the staff was on top of things and everything went smoothly. We had the fennel salad which was delicious and the salmon--outstanding, perfectly cooked on a bed of ratatouille-like veggies. We also enjoyed the fine bread, which was served with olive oil and butter. Nice to have a choice. The special dessert, an enhanced lemon tart, was very festive and delectable. We would recommend Francesca's as worth a trip to St. Charles. Do make reservations and note that the place is west of the river, on 2nd Street, not 2nd avenue. It is not actually on the river. Go early and walk around this delightful town, especially the walk by the river.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent all around
    Barry
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Great service! Very good food. A fine dinner experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Italian, family owned
    Love2supportlocal
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    We were recommended this restaurant over the other iltalian places by a St. Charles local. Very good food, unique menu that changes daily/weekly so there is always a reason to come back and try something new! Service was quick, not overly bothersome but very attentive at the same time. I recommend! We spent around $60 for two entrees and two glasses of Avalon Cab Sauv, but we had spent that much on lesser quality food down the street the night before so it was worth the price for sure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • quiet back room
    Trudie
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Our guests requested seating in the quiet back room. It was nice for conversation and dining.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mia Francesca
    JimDVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    Great food and good service and ambiance. Parking can be an issue.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Roger
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Food not as good as other Francesca's. Not enough parking. Lot of noise.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great neighborhood gem
    SullyVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Always enjoy our time at Francesca's. Whether a quiet evening out as a couple or with family and friends, we always have a memorable experience. It's also the place where we celebrate special occasions; birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or just family time together. The food is great, the featured wines are always a treat, and the service is excellent. The staff is so welcoming, it feels like going home. A great neighborhood gem. Thanks to the Francesca staff for making our visits so special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh okay
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    People rave about this place. I wasn't very impressed with the food, nor was my date. I was able to convince the bartender to make me a mint julep which was the best I've had since being in New Orleans. The food did come out extremely fast, which was kinda of concerning as well. I was also told that it was a better place for lunch than dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic