Francesca's By The River

4.6
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2077 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 2077 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
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GK
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
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 7 days ago
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
1 review
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
19 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
1 review
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
26 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
26 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
67 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.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service is always top notch; this one of our favorite spots!

DG
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our families favorites. It is always such a treat for our family and friends to gather at Francesca's. Their food and presentation is always right on and the service is second to none. They welcome you when you walk in and treat you like family during your entire visit. We look forward to gathering there for not only special occasions, but just for that quiet one on one dinner. Always yummy and fun. Francesca's is a real star of St. Charles.

BA
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, reasonably priced, with excellent service and attention to detail.

RC
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I each had a wonderfully delicious meal - she had the Walleye and I had the scallop, shrimp and clam linguine. The staff was welcoming and friendly and all details of the service was covered at a comfortable pace. The desserts were particularly delicious. We will return again.

OT
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We love Francesca's and often go there for celebrations (this time it was for my husband's birthday). As always, the food was SO good - prosciutto-wrapped melon, Alaskan halibut on a superb little bed of veggies with a delicious sauce under it. It's just so noisy in there that conversation can be a bit difficult. But overall, it was an excellent meal.

TT
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Been to a number of the Francesca's franchise, but not for a long time. Now I remember why I haven't been back in so long...Don't get me wrong, the food is fine, nothing spectacular, but fine, and the service very good. My beef is with the menu. If the featured entrees happen to hit with you its good, but when the menu misses, it really misses and doesn't offer much in the way of alternatives.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

Food for the last couple of times has been...meh.

s
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terrific food and service! Will return for sure.

NW
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great way to celebrate my boyfriend and Is’ anniversary

M
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mary Beth, our server, is singularly the best in the business. Made our experience amazing.

AT
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, food and atmospher I would definitely recommend.

T
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and excellent food with changing menu. Half price wine on Wednesday is a big plus

JS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this restaurant. I NEVER get the quality of service at any other restaurant and the food is always delicious.

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