Francesca's By The River

4.6
2366 Reviews
$30 and under
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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What 2366 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
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
Jjwiedem1
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Well it was a great as it always is, except for the energetic crowd. Service from Mary Beth was fabulous. They treat you like family when you there. Best fried calamari anywhere. The breading is so light and cooked perfect. Pasta was cooked perfect and the preparations are always creative.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Always a great meal Friendly staff that always recognizes you as a regular even the bus staff Delicate whitefish with brown butter sauce large portion always have take home for lunch the next day Only wish they had more steak on the menu

JO
vipJustOk4dinner
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another great experience! Hector and crew do a wonderful job while making sure the guests are satisfied and safe. Make sure you stop in soon and support your local restaurants!!

JS
JimS
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food is consistently good here...we have dined several times over the years...COVID has limited what’s on the menu...but they still know how to make it good

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great outside seating. Felt safe. Food was delicious.

DD
DiningDog
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Given the situation, they've done everything they could to create a safe environment. And, food / service, etc., was excellent!

a
vipannk
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always love eating here. The food and service is always great. They are doing a great job through this pandemic of making everyone feel safe. Will be back again.

RG
vipRiverGuy
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience2

Francesca’s make the best of the cold weather outdoor dining experience. Still great service and food! The heaters made the environment adequate yet the sparseness of the clientele makes for true social distancing. Can’t wait for this pandemic to be over!

JM
vipJessicaM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a perfect girls dinner the other night here. Food was amazing, service was awesome and we will definitely be back!

c
chihappma
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience3

The food was very good, however our waitress totally ignored us and we had to flag her down on many occasions even though they were not that busy. That is the reason for the poor rating.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience at Francesca’s! Due to COVID-19, we are always looking for outdoor dining. They had a large heated tent with the tables more than 6 feet apart. It was perfect. Even with the high winds, we were warm and didn’t need our coats. We were thankful for the excellent service, food and atmosphere.

RB
vipRonBrandt
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went here for a nice dinner with my family. The food was excellent and the service was exceptional. I am never disappointed in either food or service at this restaurant.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience2

Service was very good. Food was not. Fish was swimming in butter and calamari was extremely bland. Not worth the money at all.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and delicious food. Francesca’s NEVER disappoints! Well the one in Elmhurst does but most all of them are PERFECT!

CM
vipChrisM
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic! Serviced and food was impeccable. Definitely would recommend

1
vip1suburbandad
Chicago
43 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

My wife and I had dinner at this Francesca's By The River. We ate in their outside tent set-up due to COVID concerns and had a good experience. The tent was well ventilated and tables were appropriately "distanced" and staff used good precautions. Food was served nice and hot despite the challenges. Wait staff was attentive and helpful. Have dined at other Francesca's before and always enjoy their authentic menu choices and good imaginative cocktails and was happy to support this fine restaurant during these challenging times!

k
vipkimv
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was wonderful- food was exceptional and the service was outstanding ! Delightful dining experience over all

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love francescas

Report
JV
vipJayneV
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food and service!

b
bruceb
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is during these times where restaurants need to show their best. This was an outstanding night.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food! Kid friendly and great service.

G
Grandmajo
Dallas
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and service, with comfortable/safe seating arrangements during these limiting times.

H
kevinH
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Service! Ambience was perfect! Good bang for the Buck! Will recommend and
will go there again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary. We were treated wonderfully!!

DK
vipDawnK
Chicago
28 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The corn salad is so delicious...great service from all the staff. Still our favorite local restaurant. ☺️

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday dinner

MA
vipMikeA
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good distancing !
Big fan !
Tent was super comfy inside with good temp level

M
vipMichael
Naples
88 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We enjoyed our dinners at Francesca's. the food was excellent and the service (Brian) was even better.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Pure deliciousness. From my French martini to my burata and heirloom tomatoes to my white fish with capers to my tiramisu.

J
Jjwiedem1
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service from the staff. Calamari is the best anywhere. Pasta and pork chops were fantastic. Always a good experience. It’s like being at home.

MH
MaryH
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had an outstanding server. She let us know that there was a Happy Hour going on and reminded us to order drinks before it ended. She also brought out a dessert to our friend who had just retired. It was a very tasty, relaxing dinner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

nice italian cuisine close to downtown st. charles.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience4

Food was fantastic - recommend the pork chops. Wine was expensive ($24 for a 8 ounce glass) and the server was not very attentive for a slower night.

RC
vipRonColetta
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great job!! Mary Beth and the good were amazing!

LL
vipLindaL
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

I booked Francesca’s on open table however I called them because I was arranging for a special birthday dinner. I mentioned we were coming for a birthday and I was told by Dawn that our server would be notified so that I did not have to mention it during dinner. We had the chicken with the pasta and the pesto sauce. Best ever in the world! However, the temperature of the room was very, very cold. People were eating with their coats on. We did ask the server to alleviate that. There are many ducts overhead and the cold air was literally cooling the lovely dinner.
Our server Brian, was wonderful. He did bring the desert menus and looked at me knowingly as he laid them on the table. I winked at him as if to say -yes I know you know that it’s a Birthday. My husband chose a lovely ice cream sundae. However, when I got the bill we were charged for the Sunday. I did speak with a manager and he realized it was a mistake and was kind enough to take off both of our desserts. I really appreciated his cooperation but was disappointed in the lack of communication to begin with. Would we go back, probably not. Plenty of other delightful restaurants in the Fox Valley to enjoy.

n
nancy28
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience2

The food quality has gone down. We asked for a glass of house Chianti, and on our bill we were charged $19. That is quite expensive for a glass of Chianti. The wine was more expensive than our meal. The food has gone down in recent years. When you're in St. Charles, you'll get more bang for your buck at ZaZa's.

BH
BruceH
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Service was very good, almost excellent. The pizza was way over spices (chili flakes) and the wine is way too expensive ! Street noise can really be loud when hot rods and motorcycles go by !!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience3

We have been going to Francesca’s for twelve years. We had our daughter’s confirmation party there and we have been there many times for dinner. We have always thought of it as the best Italian meal in town. The service has always been excellent and still is. The food, however, seems to be lacking. We ordered takeout six weeks ago and it wasn’t great. We chalked it up to takeout so we tried again. This weekend we ate in the restaurant and, again, the food just wasn’t as good as we have enjoyed in the past. The calamari was undercooked and the pasta lacked flavor. It just feels like they are going through the motions in the kitchen. I hope they recommit to the quality of food they once served to match the excellent service that the staff provides.

c
chelsea
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Menu was limited.

FAQs

Francesca's By The River does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Francesca's By The River also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (630) 587-8221.

Francesca's By The River is rated 4.6 stars by 2366 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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