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  • Francesca's Forno

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Francesca's Forno
Francesca's Forno

Francesca's Forno Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.miafrancesca.com
  • Phone: (773) 770-0184
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday – Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Thursday & Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
    Saturday 3:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
    Sunday 3:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
    Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Scott Harris - Chef de Cuisine: Javier Gomez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Live Music Every Thursday night!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Damen/Milwaukee/North
  • Public Transit: Located just steps from the Blue Line at the Damen Avenue Stop
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is available Thursday thru Saturday during dinner hours. Also, metered parking is available on surrounding streets.
A word from Francesca's Forno
Located in the Wicker Park neighborhood, home of Chicago’s edgy artistic community, Francesca’s Forno is surrounded by chic clothing boutiques, hip coffee houses and cafes, modish rock clubs and seedy taverns made infamous by local legend Nelson Algren’s novel, “Man with the Golden Arm”.
The dining room at Francesca’s Forno showcases a wood burning oven, glass encased antipasto bar, tin-paneled ceilings and intricate flooring. The uncluttered wooden table tops and mismatched chairs will seat 78 guests, with an additional 15 seats at the bar. Francesca’s Forno encourages the lively art of dining in an unpretentious atmosphere, with good, simple cooking, friendly service and fair prices.

Co-Owner, Terry Alexander, describes the new concept as “small plate dining, which encourages sampling and sharing of the zesty and earthy cuisine of Northern Italy”.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "This place is supposed to be a more authentic Italian dining experience than the other Francesca spots. We checked out the menu on the website prior to booking and it looked just right...ample offerings and courses (Italian style...primi, pasta, etc...). When we got there the menu was one page with about 12 offerings. We asked and were told they are changing their concept...or something. We all found something to order and it was overall sub par. The red wine was off temp (served way too warm), the pasta dishes were just OK, ditto the pizza, and the burger was just plain bad. Don't bother, there are way too many great (and truly authentic) Italian places in this city."
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "They had a wonderful and innovative menu for dinner, with a knowledgable staff who really wanted us to enjoy their place. This wouldn't be my first choice for a quiet romantic evening but it would be for a night out with friends. It's full of energy, with a lively crowd of locals and hipsters."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Francesca's Forno was a weekly go to place for our dinner meetings because we loved the food, the service and the bustling location. Unfortunately, the chef has changed, and we were told he is from The Purple Pig. The food which was once the star is now only mediocre at best. There are now small plate offerings, so creative and unique, right? The entrees were overly salted and greasy, and the fabulous bread is gone, replaced by a mundane offering. The service also used to be great when we had Martha, who was really wonderful. At our most recent visit, which will most likely be our last, we had Ryan, who was clearly harried and not up to par. Sad to say, this is not the Francesca's we knew and loved for so many years. RIP."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Great brunch spot with varied menu & signature cocktails. Try the doughnut trio!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "I made a reservation the night before thinking we'd have 6 in our party. We actually had an extra person show up, and they were very accommodating. In addition, our waiter was extremely patient with our group through many demands. He also provided great appetizer recommendations. Food was fabulous and drinks were strong!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We had a great time here. Sat by the open window on a perfect night. Had the salmon ...it was delicious. The waitstaff was friendly and attentive. Really convenient location Just Steps from a blue line station."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Menu choice variety good, food preparation and flavors swell, bar atmosphere but plates restaurant quality. Like the other diners on the block, very lively young and fun crowd, so not a place for the quiet shy types. Italian sauce great blend of taste, bruschetta refreshing. Prices moderate and the staff friendly and attentive. Enjoy this diner and the surrounding area. Open windows into the outdoor sidewalk, a nice summer touch."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "I've been to Francesca's Forno for lunch before and enjoyed it. We walked in and were greeted with head-banging, big hair, metal music, playing loud. I asked the waiter to turn it down and to his credit, he did without complaint. But the music was totally inappropriate for lunch in this restaurant. I ordered the arugula strawberry salad, and asked to hold the onions, and I chose the add-chicken option. The onions were held, but no chicken. So I had to wait for my chicken, while my companion finished half of her lunch. And the salad was absolutely tiny, more like a side salad with a dinner, than a lunch-entree size. In short, I touted this restaurant to my out-of-town friend, and this trip it was a pretty thorough disappointment."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "This was our second visit to Francesca's Forno for dinner. From the maitre'd to the waitstaff, the service was consistently excellent. The food is also always delicious. We had the risotto special, salmon, chicken and seafood pasta and everyone was very pleased. The homemade gelato for desert was a creamy delight. The food and wine are very reasonably priced for the quality, with drinks and desert about $40/ person. In this town where consistency is lacking in so many restsurants, Forno is a standout. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "I have been here about 5 times. Always something real cool about the menu. Always a vibe about the place. The food is always better then I expect."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "had a wonderful time, dinner was very good and the service was excellent !"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Went for an early Mother's Day dinner. Got seated right next to the kitchen and it was ridiculously loud. Cooks throwing pans into metal bins on the floor about 10 feet from our table. They brought out the kid's dinners and then 15 min later, the kids were done and our food hadn't arrived yet. So we asked to take our food to go and we ate it at home. The pastas are wonderful, we got the orrechiete and the rigatoni with eggplant. I got the salmon and it was good but pretty boring. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "This was a great place to eat! Everyone was friendly and helpful. The food was amazing! I was there to celebrate getting a new job with three other people, we had a rose which was yummy. Normally im not a fan of beets but we had gotten their beet starter, and lets just say my mind has changed! Also the chefs board with meats and cheeses! We all got our own pizzas.... mmmm I love these types of pizzas, I think Sicilian style. Just absolutly fantastic all around. It was clean and connected to glazed and infused which you would know unless you went to the bathroom where I had to stop my self from stealing a rack of doughnuts! I cant wait to go back, I've been a raving fan of this place ever since."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We go here a couple times a month. Ask for John to be your server. He does a great job at serving good food."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "This spot is another very well done Francesca's. It fits the neighborhood with a younger vibe. The food is excellent in keeping with the consistently of the Grancesca's name. We had the grilled chicken and salmon with lentils, and both were cooked perfectly and very flavorful. The housemade gelato is superb. I would recommend this for groups, families and couples, all of which were represented the evening we were there. "
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "We had an 8:15 reservation, and were seated right on time. Staff was very friendly and courteous. Menu was good, and different than we'd seen at other Francesca's restaurants. Food wa delivered quickly. We'll definitely return here next time we're in Wicker Park."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "Best bruschetta I've ever had in my life!!! The waiter was spot on and recommended the perfect wines. Then we had the fettuccine and the lobster stuffed ravioli. Both were incredible. Total came out to about $100.00. Definitely worth it!"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "great food . service and jazz !!! will come back again soon, had a great time !!!"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "I've been to many of the different Francesca restaurants for dinner, but this was the first time for breakfast. We arrived early before the restaurant opened. I had my 90 year old mother with me and asked if they would allow us in to sit until they were opened. They seated us immediately and got us some coffee! The food items were wonderful, too. Mom had oatmeal pancakes. My husband had bacon and eggs. I had the Eggs Sardou. The potatoes are outstanding. and we got some pastries to take home!"
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Our server could barely say hello and the experience was really lackluster. Not a great data place, ok for a family, but not even great for that. Go to Francesca's on Taylor -hands down a better experience and way better food."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We were four and we all had very good results with our varied menu choices. The food was delicious, the service friendly and efficient, the prices reasonable, helping size not overly large. The sound level was fairly high, which was our only minor quibble. We would recommend the restaurant."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Made same-day reservations for 830p on a saturday night. We only had to wait 10-15 minutes to be seated but the host gave us two free appetizers for our patience. Totally not necessary, but super nice! Food was good. Similar to all the Francesca's and other Italian restaurants that were spawned 20 years ago from the same owners/chefs. With a view of the 6-way intersection at North, Milwaukee and Damen it makes from good people watching too!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Food is fun and good, atmosphere is good, service is good - it's a great neighborhood establishment as a staple and worth it for people to come from out of town. The space is in a vibrant area so great people watching both inside and outside. A bit noisy so if you're not in the mood for lots of noise, not for you."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Had a great experience checking out their brunch. Our server was very attentive and the food was very good. The fried papas were a bit cold but otherwise everyone really enjoyed their selections."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Always, one of my favorites! Perfect spot for a dinner with friends!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "The good and ambience are outstanding; however we had a reservation for 8 and were not seated until 8:40."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Awesome brunch, we've been several times. I just tried dinner there and that was awesome too! Burrata salad, diavola pizza, and seasonal risotto were all delicious. The blueberry pancakes are delicious. We always get them for the table to share so everyone can have savory and a bit of sweet."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We had a great experience here on Valentine 'a Day! Great ambiance, fantastic and attentive service, and delicious food. We'll definitely be back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This place is an overlooked gem. Menu is great. Easy to get a reservation on a weekend. We enjoyed everything we ordered. What's not to like?"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "very good food, fun people watching with large glass windows looking out over north/division/ milwaukee"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Enjoyed the delicious "restaurant week" menu. Amazing ratatouille as an appetizer and delicious filet for the main entree. Love the view as well"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "I chose Forno because it was Date #2 with a guy I really liked & didn't want to shout over everyone, or feel like we were trapped in a dark corner. Forno worked out perfectly. I love the ambiance of busy Wicker Park strolling past the windows, especially in winter months when the entire restaurant is filled with a welcoming orange glow, due in part to the beautiful lamps overhead. Dinner was roasted Brussels Sprouts and the Tartufotto pizza. Both excellent, along with the bottle of Cannonball merlot. Service was ever present but never pushy. No one seemed to mind as we stayed at our table for a few hours. And you guys, WE'RE STILL DATING. I think we know the reason: Forno."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "We normally would get there early for brunch to have the trio of Glazed and Infused doughnuts but this Sunday we got there late. The Doughnuts were gone and the food was just okay. The service was also off. Normally it is good but this time she was very aloof and unconcerned with our needs. The coffee was cold even when she got me a new cup. We received our food and was about 3/4 of the way through it (10-15 min of eating) before she came over to ask how everything was. The best part is that she walked by us several times and said nothing. The only reason to go here for brunch is the trio of glazed and infused doughnuts. Next time I'll probably get those to go, grab a Starbucks and enjoy them both at home."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I had a great experience very nice place the inside is very warm and inviting. The way the kitchen setup is along the wall is very cool as you can see the cooks working. My server Claire recommended me to a great Original Sin hard cider that was amazing, she suggested some of her favorite dishes which I loved as well. I will definitely be back although I wish they had brunch weekdays because it looks great on the weekend menu."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "I thought we were going to just another Italian restaurant for dinner. We had calamari for appetizers, it was good but the dipping sauce was too hot for our taste. Though it was mentioned in the menu, calamari fritti with tomato chili or something like that, it was hot. We had to asked for a basic marinara sauce instead. I mix their chili sauce with marinara sauce...... It was perfect. My spouse orderEd Linguini +wild mushrooms +mascarpone +truffle oil +brandy veal sauce, and I had the Pappardelle +pork ragu +parmesan +ricotta. It was Delicious! The pork ragu was very good! I think they make their own pasta. Will definitely go back. The service was good as well. very attentive and always a smile on their face. truly made our evening!"
    Dined on 1/9/2014
  • "We had tickets to a show (Dutchman) at the theater across the street. And we had a tight timeline between dinner and the show. So Francesca's Forno was perfect for our situation... But the wine recommended by our server was perfect, the food was excellent and the atmosphere was lively but still romantic! So it was perfect for us!"
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Francesca's Forno is typically a reliable, neighborhood dining experience. This time was a bit sub-par, but definitley would return."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "Had1:30 brunch reservation for 2 for New Year's Day, were 15 min late and seated immediately. Crowed and loud music but fit our bill since we had stayed in night before. Had omelets, boyfriend liked his - mine was a tad undercooked. House hash browns were tasty. We drifted to bar afterwards and enjoyed jalapeno infused margaritas."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "Was looking for a place for New Years and came upon Francesca s via this website. Had a great experience and the food was incredible. Top notch service as well!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Forno is always a lovely experience. The food and service was awesome."
    Dined on 12/28/2013