Francesca's By The River

4.6
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2356 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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What 2356 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
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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c
chihappma
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
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 7 days ago
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
9 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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 7 days ago
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
9 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

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
85 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
19 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
3 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.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nothing is easy these days...but dining under the tent is. Granted, it’s a tent...in a parking lot- but the tables are spaced more than adequately, lovely lights and music.

As always, our group had incredible service. I think our server (who I have seen for years) suspected we were catching up and in no hurry. We had wine, salads, calamari - more wine! The entrees were hot and fresh! First time order the white fish - oooh so good with lemon wine sauce and capers! Still thinking about it.

We’ve been going to this location for almost 20 years! Consistency is key...service and food - always spot on.

P
Peggy
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2020
Overall5food3service5ambience4

The pizzas were very dry and crust was tasteless. Both pastas ordered were excellent. Suggest skipping the pastas.

I
vipItalianfoodie11
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Francescas is a great Italian restaurant. While there is a menu, if there is a favorite dish you can always request it even if not on menu. We had our favorite waitress Maryann who is very attentive and has great sense of humor. When I told her what I had a long time ago she recommended one of the appetizers but over linguini. It was fabulous. All four of us at the table ordered it. Amazing food. We loved it and will be back

AB
vipAnnB
Indiana
10 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience1

First of all we are regulars of this restaurant. When we arrived we had a reservation to sit outside. We were sat by a bus boy as nobody was at the host stand.. The waitress let us sit for at least 10 minutes then walked by to say " Ill be with you in a minute, then came by again and tried to say Ill be back in a minute. I politely said no we are ready to order. It took quite awhile to get a drink and my husband's app came before the drinks. My husband didn't even order a dinner, because at this point aggravated with the situation.. Mind you there was only a few tables still being served at 8 pm.. I simply got a Marg Pizza and my son Pasta. His pasta so hard we sent back.. She didn't charge for the pasta and the bill was 90$.. One app/ one pizza/ 2 drinks 2 beers and a Diet Coke.. Im sorry the experience the waitress and the bill.. Wont be back plenty of other Italian restaurants in the area.. Oh forgot bread was stale.

L
Love2eat
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Weeknight dinner out. Had tables set outdoors in a tent with actual table cloths and linen napkins. Appreciated that outdoor dining didn't need to mean a “cheaper” experience. Social distancing was in effect with measures taken to see that guests felt safe and respected. Food was delicious. Staff was attentive. I would gladly go back

C
vipCathy
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The service was absolutely wonderful and they even made a special crime brûlée dessert for me. However I woke up in the middle of the night with a belly ache. I think the dish I ordered was a bit too rich, as it had heavy cheese and a rich buttery sauce....that, combined with the dessert, was a bit too much for my sensitive stomach.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Awesome birthday dinner - great food, great service, great fun!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The manager was so accommodating. We didn’t ask for anything but he went above what he needed to. Would highly recommend Francesca’s to everyone I know. In fact I already have.

d
dianal
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Waite staff. Celebrated our anniversary and loved the treats they gave us!

WC
vipWilliamC
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great meal with a friendly knowledgeable staff

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 2356 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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