Francesca's By The River

4.6
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2119 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
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 5 concepts across 25 locations in 3 states. Based in Chicago, Francesca’s Restaurant Group currently owns and operates 18 Francesca’s Restaurants, 4 Davanti Enoteca's, Disotto, Fat Rosie’s and Hillgrove Tap.
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Sun 3:00PM - 5:30PM
Mon - Fri 3:00PM - 3:45PM 4:00PM - 5:30PM

What 2119 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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A
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Food was good but service was great! The waitress, food delivery personnel, and busboy were all top shelf and deserve recognition. These people did a fantastic job catering to our special requests.

c
Chicago
38 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jacob our waiter was very competent, attentive and made sure that the six of us enjoyed our dining experience.

OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was outstanding

B
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Francesca's by the River on a Saturday night was a riot of people and delicious smells. It took about 15 minutes after our reservation to be seated, but once we were, we were handled efficiently, warmly and pleasantly. The food was delicious. The restaurant is a well -oiled machine. Give it a try!

EK
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food3service2ambience1

Place was packed they clearly over booked as everyone seemed to have reservations. People could not get in the door. Seated after waiting about 10 minutes then waited 20 minutes for water. Pizza starter was awful, tap beer was flat. Staff was running ragged, so complaining was pointless. Entrees were good but could barely hear each other so I wouldn’t recommend if you want to talk to your guests. We were there the week prior @ same time but sat in the back which was much less chaotic. Do not recommend if you can’t sit in the back. They should remove some tables from front room. It’s too crowded, too loud, too hard for their staff to function.

JH
Tampa
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service were very good. We have been here before and always enjoy our meal. A little noisy but it was very crowded and they had a private party in the back dining room so that is to be expected on a Saturday night. Overall we highly recommend.

A
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food and service were excellent, but definitely too loud/noisy! It was very loud making it a bit difficult for conversation. And the tables were so closed together that at one point the lady at the next table hit one of us in the arm trying to get her jacket. Waiters couldn't get through between our two tables. Not sure I would go back, or recommend for this reason.

Thanks.

M
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice place on the small side and a little bit noisy. Prices are a little pricey but the portions and quality were very nice. We will be back.

C
Chicago
43 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We eat here often, neighborhood gem as far as we’re concerned. Tonight was a special get together with our friends and we were not disappointed. Our server, Mary Beth was fabulous as always. Not rushed, great food and special service. Tito was great and so attentive.

DB
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious mess as l - fast service and great waiter!!

JK
Des Moines
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For a Sunday early evening dinner after attending a music concert, I selected the Insalata all Francesca (Romaine, endive and radicchio with blue cheese, fresh vegetables, lemon & balsamic salad) and the Costoletta di Maiale alla Valdostana entrée (pork chops with wild mushrooms, spinach, fontina cheese sauce and white truffle oil). Both selections were delicious and very generous portions. Service was attentive and efficient. I enjoyed the dining experience.

EA
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Haven't been to Francesca's in awhile. Had the squash pasta and rigatoni with vegetables. Both were wonderful. Portion sizes are generous. Service was great. Will definitely be back again soon.

W
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent, as usual! Our favorite restaurant! Definitely will go back again and again!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and service! Highly recommended.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I always enjoy dinner before heading to a show.
The food was very good, it’s a hit with all of our friends.

W
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, great drinks. You will not be disappointed

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy our dinner, our wait staff, and overall experience here. A Favorite!!

A
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

One of our favorite Italian restaurants in the burbs. Good food, nice atmosphere and excellent service. Very accommodating to our requests for a quiet table.

v
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Francesca's was nice and cozy on a rainy evening. The warm bread was a great start to our girls-night-out meal. The waitress and staff was very attentive and friendly.

MA
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Francesca's was absolutely terrific on Saturday evening for dinner. Food was fantastic. Had the spinach tortellini with cream sauce and my wife had chicken linguine with a cream sauce. Had the risotto appetizer and a wedge salad. Requested Mary Beth as our server. She's the best and will continue to request her.

L
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Good food great service
Good for family or date night

RH
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Feels too crowded, not a very relaxing experience unless you can get a few certain table.
Remove a few tables and spread people out some

j
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

They had on the special menu for that evening a crab cake as an appetizer but when I order it they said they were out of it. The nouse level is very loud which I think is just the building they are in. Otherwise all in all we enjoyed it.

PB
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Obviously, a mixed review of the restaurant. The fish entrees were uniformly good. But, risotto and polenta entrees were too salty. Salads had too much Parmesan shaved onto them. Likewise, too much prosciutto was added to a number of dishes contributing to the salty issue. The waitress did a good, but not great job, as she did not bring a soft drink for one member of the party until being reminded twice. The table was crowded in spite of having only 5 seated at a table for 6. The rest of the wait staff was not very good. They did not clear the table in a timely manner, and they served entrees while the table was still covered with appetizer and salad dishes. I was drinking water for dinner, and my glass was empty most of the time.

SM
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was great. The service was àwesome. We didn't wait long for our food. It was exceptional. I can't wait to go back again.

OT
Chicago
136 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Once again an excellent experience.

CC
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

It has always been one of my favorite restaurants and we've gone there for years. Recently, I am now needing to be on a gluten free and dairy free diet for medical reasons, and the modifications to the dishes or what is offered for GF/DF wasn't good. I've been to other restaurants that modify the menu and the meals have been delicious. My chicken was over cooked and plain, without any inventiveness on the part of the chef to accommodate people with allergies.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely loved the food and the service. I really like that they have a separate Gluten Free menu!

r
Pittsburgh
8 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food and wine. Authentic Italian.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mary Beth and Lisa are awesome!

OT
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We have been visiting Francesca’s for 20 years. It’s amazing that after all this time, they still have it.

Great food, service is always amazing. No complaints - only accolades!

CH
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Great food & good service on a quiet Monday night! usually Francesca's is so loud!! for a change it was really pleasant a nice slow weeknight to enjoy their great food & service

RM
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tremendous Italian food. Authentic. Great atmosphere. Fantastic wine list.

SH
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service1ambience4

Everything was pretty good. Except for our waitress. I'm pretty sure she never even introduced herself. I waited over 30 minutes just for a soda refil. Never can to check on us while eating. Never offered dessert had to ask. And had to stop her to get our check. Come on. I will be back. But to another location. This left a bad taste

DL
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience2

Tables elbow to elbow Extremely loud Food good but overpriced

Service was excellent

SQ
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service is always great and consistent!

RB
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, Francescas was excellent! Food and atmosphere was fantastic. But the real Wow factor is the service. Melisa is a treasure and is always “on”.
Always a pleasure

t
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Closed another deal!

OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Risotto, the best we have ever had!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible service, over priced, food so so, loud, felt like a sports bar and many families. NOT the Francescas I used to like. Won’t reserve again.

Tweets by Francesca's By The River