Francesca's By The River

4.6
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2090 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 2090 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
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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r
Pittsburgh
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and wine. Authentic Italian.

OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mary Beth and Lisa are awesome!

OT
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

SH
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 4

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
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

Tables elbow to elbow Extremely loud Food good but overpriced

Service was excellent

SQ
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service is always great and consistent!

RB
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Closed another deal!

OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Risotto, the best we have ever had!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

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.

d
Chicago
55 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

While our waiter was adequate, it was the busboy who did an outstanding job.
We have previously visited Francesca's in Barrington, which we prefer.

GK
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

we shared a ceaser salad, crab cakes and the cod/calamari - just the perfect amount of food for the 2 of us

JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

ALWAYS a great dining experience with excellent food! A little extra special with complimentary Prosecco and Tiramisu for our 30th anniversary.

MA
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Good food! Good Service! Noise level too high that day making it hard to have a normal conversation. Maybe too many tables too close to each other! Still one of our favorite restaurants!

H
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place. The bar crew is amazing and the food is incredible.

RY
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My husband and I split a salad, an entree and a dessert. The food was excellent! Everything was perfect except the noise level — it’s way too loud in there. Otherwise we love it!

MP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food and a lovely atmosphere!

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Order the filet steak it’s outstanding This place is known for Italian food but don’t miss the steak and fish dishes Menu changes monthly so you never get bored if you eat there often as I do

JP
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We brought a relative who has some dietary restrictions as do es my wife and as usual the restaurant was able to assist and the food was just delicious

The service is outstanding and we had a very knowledgeable server. We will return for sure

p
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Francesca’s is always a good solid choice in the tricities. The food is always fresh and delicious. I’m not giving it a 5 because it’s not homemade pasta.

KA
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

They served us quite fast. We had a 6:00pm reservation and we had food on our table at 6:15pm.

MR
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience once again. Food is excellent as well as the service. Lisa the bartender is one of the best.

p
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Look it's Francesca's there is about a dozen of them in the Chicagoland area. Respectable Italian food at higher than average prices, after all you're paying for the name. The service was geared toward the amount of your bill. The table next to us ordering more drinks and food than we did received more attentive service than us. We were rushed through our meal with our busser picking up plates and utensils without asking us if we were finished. Therefore, if you want Italian food and good service here be prepared to spend lots of extra money.

S
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Scrumptious food. Great service. Had a delightful birthday dinner there! Only problem is noise level. This is common in many restaurants. The room is all hard surfaces with lots of people talking and laughing. A little acoustic treatment would go a long way.

KB
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The wait staff was very attentive and thoughtful. A really nice touch was the server did not charge us for our shared desert, I’m guessing because she knew it was our anniversary.

JB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice place. Good food. Good service.

J
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Our caprese wasn’t fresh so we sent it back, and the replacement was no better.

The calamari was under cooked and had a rubber texture.

Our pasta with salmon had nearly no salmon, very deceptive menu description and very unfulfilling.

We left hungry and disappointed.

JS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Menu has changed and we weren't too thrilled with the changes. Food was so-so. Noise level is always off the charts in there and I forget the acoustics are so bad it's hard to hear the person next to you speaking or your waitress talking to you. Order was incorrect but they ended up bringing out the right thing and crediting us the charge which was a nice service recovery.

s
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Treated out of town friends for dinner at Francesca’s but was disappointed in the service by our waitress. Didn’t bring any bread to our table; olive oil carafe on table was empty; had to ask for grated parmigiana cheese and a carafe of olive oil for the bread once we asked for it; had to ask for refills of water several times and for additional bread-all things that an attentive waiter or waitress should be on top of. It appeared that the waitress was not into her job this evening-at least not for our table of 4. We have had much better service previously from the male waiters at Francesca’s. Overall the food was very good but the service was very disappointing,

BG
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server David was attentive and offered great wine advice. This is definitely a great restaurant offering many fine entrees All are great

OT
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience and we will be back

RB
Chicago
27 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location for Happy Hour small plates and drink specials!

CG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service.

OT
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Melissa and Lisa are the best!!!

w
Chicago
68 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Our dining event coincided with Francesca’s lasagna special. Our lasagna entrees (Bolognese and mushroom) were fine, but we didn’t care too much for the creamy sauce.

HN
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The food was good, but the waiter seemed annoyed we were there. He would ask what we wanted and walk away while we were still talking.

MN
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Francesca's food was very, very good. Service was good too, once we got going. Noise levels were about what you would expect in a busy Italian restaurant. Food made up for it though. Wonderful PEI mussels, and risotto were amazing.

CJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place Great food.

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