Villa Francesca
Villa Francesca

Villa Francesca

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.ristorantevillafrancesca.com/
  • Phone: 6173672948
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:30pm
    Friday- Saturday: 12:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Italian, Contemporary European
  • Executive Chef: Guglielmo Ranauro
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We provide a catering menu, please visit our website or call us for more information.
  • Special Events: We provide a special event menu, please visit our website or call us for more information.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Hanover Street
  • Public Transit: Haymarket and Government Center--A quick walk up Hanover Street brings you to our step.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is available in the front of restaurant after 5:00 pm daily.
A word from Villa Francesca
Ristorante Villa Francesca, in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts, is the brain child of Guglielmo Ranauro. Through his desire for perfection and pure love of the Italian cuisine, Guglielmo created Villa Francesca over thirty years ago. He bestowed the name Francesca after his mother, never forgetting the love and wonderful food she always provided while growing up just across the street from the restaurant. Villa Francesca boasts over 160 wine selections, and has received the prestigious Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator awards since 2007. You've got to try the raw bar!
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Villa Francesca reviews from OpenTable diners
84 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4.1
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
82% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (36)special occasion (26)fit for foodies (25)romantic (22)good for groups (22)notable wine list (13)great for lunch (10)hot spot (9)scenic view (6)kid-friendly (6)late-night find (5)great for outdoor dining (3)vibrant bar scene (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Bad experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Bad from the start- rude doorman and poor management. I never write reviews but had to this time. My steak was served to me raw- I asked for Med/Rare. I sent it back and and they brought it back but decided not finish it for safety reasons- still raw in the middle after sending back. My wife's ravioli's were left unfinished as well- they were loaded with butter. I always finish my meal and usually hers so this was a first for me. I told the busboy it was bad when he asked me if I was done- nobody came over from management to apologize or offer to comp the steak I ate half of. Nobody asked if I wanted dessert- they just brought the bill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friendly neighborhood dining spot
    Medfordnative
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I met my daughter and her college friend here for dinner. The atmosphere was festive. The owner was happily watching over the dining room. Food and service were great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Boston first timer
    Italiano
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Olive oil was green tasting...cannoli was the best I ever had....cioponi was ok...the seafood in it was great but there was no sauce....the white fish was excellent.....the clam linguini was excellent ...service was ok, but not attentive.....
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful!
    Beantownvisitors
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    We really enjoyed our experience at Villa Francesca ! The food was wonderful, staff very attentive, they even offered to make things not on the menu to suit us. Lovely Boston neighborhood spot !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • rosieVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    delicious food. waiter could have cracked a smile.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Must
    Mark
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The North End has many nice Italian restaurants and this is one of them! Ask about the off menu italian dishes. The chicken pam is to die for!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Magnifico!
    ArtiedocVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Just a gem of a restaurant . If you want to feel like you are in Italy this is the place . The food was spectacular(order the portobello appetizer) and on a good night the front of the restaurant is open to the street giving a true Italian courtyard experience .
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    Babs10VIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Had walked by this restaurant many times but never had gone in. Had dinner during Dine Around Week. What an experience. Lovely setting on Richmond St. No heavy traffic like the places on Hanover Street. Food was incredible--lots of selections. Service was efficient but not intrusive. Will definitely put this place on my preferred North End restaurant
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • hair in entree..mediocre experience
    northendfoodie
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    my friends and i went here for restaurant week mostly because their menu was so extensive and we had vegetarians in our party. the service was pretty bad and our server messed up several of our drink and appetizer orders (there were only 4 of us total). all of this would have been tolerable, but unfortunately soon after i found several hairs in my pasta entree. to the restaurant's defense they removed the item right away, removed it from our bill without being asked, and even gave us a free desert. although they handled the situation as best as possible, there's just no going back from multiple hairs in your entree (especially after so much was already mediocre). definitely doesn't stand up to a typical north end experience-i won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Restaurant Week Visit 2014
    catspal60
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    This is the second year that thirteen of us travelled from the South Shore (45 miles) specifically to visit Villa Francesca for Restaurant Week 2014. The food was superb and very affordable. The wait staff made us feel so comfortable and they are very good at handling large groups. We also like the neighborhood feel to the restaurant. Villa Francesca is on our 2015 activities list!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner was fine
    jenistar
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    They had a small issue with our reservation, but the hostess resolved it while we sat at the bar. Tables are unsurprisingly close to each other. My mussels in white wine sauce appetizer was delicious, but two of the 10 mussels were empty. Antipasti was very tasty. Bread was offered as an afterthought once our app plates were cleared. Entrees were very flavorful, though I believe all courses were sized down for the Dine Out Boston menu. My husband's Frutti di Mare was spicy but not overwhelming. The Pesce Porto Fino was quite good, though the risotto side was disappointing, undercooked and crunchy. Tiramisu was perfect and a good size. Caramel custard had a nice texture and good flavor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Lunch!
    Dave
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    My daughter and I had lunch at Villa Francesca on Friday, August 22. We arrived a little earlier than our reserved time, were promptly seated and served a delicious meal. Both the food and service surpassed our expectations.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • north end Lunch with friends
    Italianbella
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Enjoyed a lovely lunch at Villa Francesca and having dined here before , I was familiar with the open air windows , flowers, and delicious entrees. We sampled four appetizers, especially enjoying the mussels and the caprese salad. Our server was pleasant, food paced nicely,and water glasses filled subtly and as needed. All entrees were delicious! Particularly the eggplant and penne with sauce! One friend had a cannoli prepared at the table, filled with cream and topped with chocolate chips and nuts with a sprinkle of cinnamon. We will return to this neighborhood gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    We each had three course. All six were outstanding.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Meal was okay
    Love2eatout
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Our waiter Kevin, was terrific and the ambience is great, but our meals didn't quite match the service and ambience. Spaghetti and meatballs were good, but the sauce did not have much flavor. The linguine and shrimp-the sauce was very good, but the "four" shrimp were way overcooked. They were rubbery tasting. They ravioli wrapped in sage was very good, but as a whole meal got to be a bit rich, so would be good as a shared dish. Chicken Parmigiana was awesome.
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing Lunch
    JTMofHopk
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Lethargic wait staff annoyed to even be there & freezer-burned meatballs - enough said !
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice evening
    indytrim
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I took a group of 15 to dinner. They were ready when we arrived and we had excellent and attentive service all evening. The food was very good. Our only negative (and it did not spoil the dinner) is that we were in a corner of the basement at an L shaped table. It was crowded and hard to get in and out. Upstairs the restaurant screams ambiance, but downstairs it is bare brick walls. Don't misunderstand me. We had a great time and would go back, but I am one who likes to be in the middle of the "scene" and downstairs it was intimate and quiet, but no ambiance. Had I known that we would be sitting down there I would have taken the group elsewhere and come back with a smaller group later. Great place and highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Out of town guests
    kickVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We have relatives from Ireland in town. I think the waiter thought/knew he had tourists at the table and it showed. The food was very good. The service was mediocre. It angers me when this happens. Francesca's is a good, solid, not overly expensive place to take out-of-towners......especially those that are not from the US. Just wish the waiter could have shown a it more enthusiasm for the table. It is disappointing.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dining experience
    FoodieSue
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We enjoyed excellent food, service, wine and ambiance during our recent visit with friends from New York and Florida. We will definitely recommend Villa Francesca and plan to return again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Won't be back
    RamikeVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I made a reservation for 7:30 last Saturday night and had to wait about 45 minutes which is what people without reservations were quoted. So we sat at the bar and had a cocktail waiting for our table. When it was time to be seated we were given a table downstairs in a dungeon like atmosphere. There were lots of tables upstairs in an open and bright area but none were available which given we had reservations and waited 45 minutes we certainly expected we would get. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the service of the waiter who couldn't have rushed us more. One comical thing was the bread he tried to serve us which resembled Wonder bread, I asked if we could have the bread they were serving upstairs he said it was special. Hmmmm
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Subdharmabum
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I'm sorry but I don't provide honest reviews for restaurants that don't provide points for using OpenTable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for what it is
    JDouglas
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    It was a perfect place for what we needed. We met with friends we hadn't seen in a year, so visiting was most important. Atmosphere is nice. Location is great. Service was fine. Food only so so.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good experience
    KTandfamily
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This was our first time at Villa Francesca. We were a party of six including an 11yr old. We made reservations on Saturday afternoon for that night and were seated right away. Drinks, appies and entree were delivered each in a timely manner. Our waiter was very nice, too. The food was very fresh and delicious! Shrimp scampi and lobster ravioii appies were fantastic! KQTWe would definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Decent food awful service
    FiDiGirlVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The food was actually not bad but the service was awful. We can barely get his attention throughout dinner, messed up our drink order, didn't even offer the dessert menu, I actually had to ask for it. We were near a waiters workstation and it was really loud. They kept dropping things, breaking dishes. We were stuck downstairs too which is nothing like the upstairs with the open windows and the summer breeze coming through. Bottom line, if you go there, make sure to ask to be sitted upstairs and maybe with a better service experience, you would actually enjoy the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Classic North End dining!
    Jill
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    The food and ambiance were terrific as were the waistaff- very attentive - the windows open all the way so if felt like we were dining outside with the comfort of being in the restaurant! Divine!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Reservations mean little
    NonameVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Made a reservation for a party of 4 the day prior. arrived a few minutes early. had to wait over twenty minutes to be seated. food was slightly above average. service was slow and impersonal. wine was overpriced. all in all, very disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food is outstanding
    In2HotSpotsROYGBIVVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We live in California and visit Boston a few times a year. We always take one day to have a meal at Villa Francesca. It is a favorite and a continued part of our time when we visit Boston. It is a great find and easy to get to from any part of the city. Enjoy this true to life Italian restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Villa Francesca, Saturday Night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Our party of five was able to get a reservation on relatively short notice. We were seated downstairs in the very back, near a kitchen clean-up area, but it was quieter because we weren't surrounded by other tables. Our waiter was quite friendly and attentive but it did take the food ages to come. Meanwhile, the wine was excellent, and when the food did arrive it was wonderful. Would go again, as long as I wasn't in a rush.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Staff was pleasant, accommodating. Food, very good. A nice dinning experience. Definitely a place to visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • just ok....
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    This was a very nice little restaurant. The staff was friendly however we were asked if we wanted bread for the table, and we were charged for it! Food was very good but overly expensive. Almost $20 for a pasta dish, and $30 for a chicken or veal dish that doesn't even come with pasta.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food & service were wonderful.
    ELS1776
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Our cosmos were sublime. BUT, because I had made a reservation in advance, I assumed our table location would be excellent. I was very disappointed with our seating - in the lower level at the very back, next to where the waiters stood. I thought making a reservation would ensure a better table location. I will still return because everything else was fantastic.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We live in the suburbs and almost always go to Villa Francescas when we dine at the North End. The food is excellent and service is great as well.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply Outstanding
    TravelEnthusiast
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We booked an OpenTable reservation for this restaurant at the recommendation of the concierge at the Omni Parker House. It was a huge hit with the family (including my two teenage daughters). The small restaurant was lively and people were waiting to get in (great that we had OpenTable reservation). The cannoli's and caramel custard (flan) were simply outstanding. When we are back visiting Boston we will dine here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jimmy
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Service and food were great ! Waiter was especially attentive. Pasta dishes and dessert were truly memorable. The only thing that kept it from being an 'outstanding' experience was the attitude of hostesses who seemingly could care less that we chose Villa Francesca...unfortunately this attitude now seems to be very prevalent in restaurants throughout the North End.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    organizing
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. The food was presented very well but the substance for what was on the plate did not match the presentation or the price. There were 6 of us and my fish was just a regular small amount of fish (sole) with some tomatoes sauce on top. the person who had the Fruta de Mare had a few clam shells and said she couldn't find the actual clams ($32.95). The pesto, the swordfish and other white fish were OK but nothing that you will remember to come back. The pork shop (only one at $28.95) was very good according to the person who had it. The tiramisu although good, ($6.99)was still frozen. Side salads good and plenty. The waiter (Fabian) was very pleasant and attentive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • North End at its best
    Wasabi
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    VF is a fantastic family owned restaurant in the heart of the North End. If you like seafood prepared in the old Italian tradition then VF is a must.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible food!
    titusmom
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    I should have guessed by the fact that we could get a reservation for 7:30 on a saturday night with no problem calling saturday afternoon. The waitress was fine but the food was terrible. The pasta with pesto I couldn't even eat it. It was so oily and I keep chewing on something hard like sand. So after a few bites I gave up. ugh! The tomatoes in the tomato salad were hard. The antipasto was small for $19 or $20. I wouldn't go here again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 47 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 517 reviews are from the Villa Francesca reviews archive.
  • skitac
    NSguest
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    The food, service and were all good, but I can't say great. If or when we get back to Boston, we will seek out another North Side restaurant rather than return to Villa Francesca. If the food had measured up to the presentation, especially the china, the dinner would really have been special.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JAN1
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    If it is going to be known as an Italian Restaurant, it may want to consider serving REAL Italian bread from a bakery. Also, when it serves its bread in the basket it should also serve some fresh butter along with it and a side of olive oil, with chopped olives. I tried the seafood medley and the only pasta choice i was given was spaghetti - any Fra-Diavlo dish should be served with Linguini or at least given a choice WITHOUT the extra $8-10 charge. The server was not so interested in serving at all and was annoyed anytime we wanted something. So disappointed in our first meal in Boston.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not bad, but not great
    BCD31
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    In Boston for Memorial Day weekend, and friends recommended Villa Francesca based on our location in the north end. We sat in the basement, which was not ideal. Upstairs seating looked much nicer. The service was fine, food came out in a timely manner. Server was attentive and checked in a few times. The food though, was just average. It wasn't bad, just average. We had three different pasta dishes, and they were ok. My wife felt the same, not bad but certainly not great. With lots of other Italian places to check out in the north end, I wouldn't be rushing back here.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate