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“Favorite neighborhood Italian”
Review of Mia Francesca

Mia Francesca
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Ranked #140 of 10,827 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Lake View
Cross street: School Street
Transit: CTA Red Line Belmont station 2 blocks west - #22 Clark Street bus in front of restaurant - #8 Halsted, #36 Broadway and #77 Belmont bus lines are within walking distance.
Reviewed 1 October 2017 via mobile

Mia Francesca has been our favorite neighborhood Italian for decades. It never disappoints--always great food and service in a bustling trattoria atmosphere.

-The tables by the windows are sun-drenched at dusk and ideal.
-Bread is always warm and fresh, served with good extra virgin olive oil.
-Nice selection of Italian wines.
-Risotto specials are always interesting and perfectly executed.
-Delicious pizzas--our favorite is the quattro stagione--with prosciutto, artichoke, olives and egg on top.
-Pastas are always fantastic and a nice al dente--rigatoni with Italian sausage and fresh cheese is to die for.
-Fish specials are always fresh and well prepared.
-Veal is also always good.
-Homemade tiramisu is luscious and moist and an excellent way to complete an excellent meal.
-It does get crowded and loud--so be prepared for that--but it lends the environment an exciting energy.

We will continue coming for many more years to come!

Date of visit: October 2017
Thank Aaron G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 27 of 230 reviews

Reviewed 27 August 2017 via mobile

With there not be many options for a good sit down meal near Wrigley this was a great option belfry a Saturday concert. The place was packed due to the concert. We had a reservation at 5:15. We were running late and called and were told they could only hold the reservation for 15 minutes after the time. We made it at the buzzer about 14 minutes late. We were seated upstairs which you have to go outside to get to. We were at a high boy table which was fine considering the amount of people.

We split the mussels which were tasty but it seemed the sauce was hit but the mussels had cooked a bit before adding the sauce. The sauce though was great to dip bread in. I had the rigatoni alla butera which was a creamy tomato sauce with sliced sausage and peas. My wife had fettuccine bolognese. We both really enjoyed our meals. We shared a nice bottle of barbaresco as well. No room for dessert but had a lemoncello before walking to the concert which is only about a half mile away. Definitely a nice stop before an event at Wrigley.

Date of visit: August 2017
Thank gondekp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2017 via mobile

We were guests at a wedding rehearsal dinner on a Friday night. We were up in the second-floor separate dining area which you enter from a set of stairs to the left of the main entrance to the restaurant.

They served us lots of different pizzas which were good but in that Neapolitan style which is so popular - they were a little too doughy and not crispy enough for my liking.

The dinner was sparse. We feel bad for the parents of the groom. The caprese salad for a table of six came out with three tomatoes and three slices of mozzarella. Everyone had to cut a piece in half.

Next was the vegetable rigatoni. It came out on a super wide and long plate and basically had one layer of rigatoni and some dry sautéed vegetables. No sauce, no flavor.

Next came a delicious chicken limone with spinach. The spinach was perfectly cooked, not overly done as so many places do but not raw either. It had nice large slices of garlic and a good sauce of butter and lemon. The only problem was that here again it came out with four small chicken breasts (halves) already cut in half so pretty much everyone got only half of a small breast and had to fight for another piece if they wanted more.

Best dish of the night was the profiteroles. Crispy choux puff pastry filled with ice cream and a delicious dark chocolate sauce.

Not sure if the restaurant portions are like this or if it just happened because it was a party.

Date of visit: August 2017
Thank ouilv2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2017

The good news was the food, which is out of this world home cooked authentic Italian. We had the Francesca salad, the Rigatoni, Tortellini type dishes, Cesar salad - they brought home-baked bread with olive oil and parmesan right away - all DELICIOUS. No complaints about the food.

The drinks are a total rip-off - don't order any soft drink or mixed drink, cocktail - they are watered down to the point they are really just water for $5 - $10 -$15 - absolutely ridiculous. Took 3 tries to get my young son a 'ginger ale' - we got tonic water first and then the supposed ginger ale was basically water with a few bubbles on massive mountains of ice. Same thing for my $11 cocktail - had almost no liquor or juice in it - tasted like absolutely nothing - if you want a drink have water or wine because the bartender otherwise dilutes or waters down your soft drink or cocktail to the point that you're just burning money.

Our waiter was too busy to pay attention to us. I had to speak to him 3 times to bring what he promised, he forgot to put in my drink order but spent a lot of time and paid a great deal of attention to a young woman with a young daughter instead. That was disappointing. However, the other staff supporting our waiter were lovely - they were friendly and helpful and attentive, brought our food out in a timely way, checked on us and packed up our food after the downpour of rain forced us to pack up and leave as we were in the courtyard in the back.

I do suggest you make a reservation and ask for a table in the 'courtyard' - it is a very small seating area outside on a patio between indoor larger parts of the restaurant and it is very pretty.

Food is great - I would return for that and some of the staff being very friendly.

We were there after a Cubs win and the crowd were mostly Cubs fans - as the place is very close to Wrigley - they were drinking and rowdy and the place was packed but the atmosphere was largely jovial, if too crowded and a bit noisy inside. Would not have been relaxing with kids to sit inside in what ended up feeling like an upscale bar in that part of the restaurant.

Date of visit: August 2017
Thank pouchbaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2017

I first ate here back in 1996 when I first moved to the Lakeview neighborhood. It is one of my favorite restaurants and I always try to visit when I'm in town. It is worth taking the Red Line (to Belmont station) up from your downtown hotel to try this gem. Get away from all the tourists and see what real Chicago is like.

I love Italian food (coming from upstate NY) and I have never had a bad meal here. I arrived for an early dinner before the crowds since I was dining alone this time. I was seated promptly in a window seat and was well taken care of.

I had the rigatoni with spicy sausage and mushrooms (minus the peas) and it was fabulous. I even ate the leftovers COLD the next day in my hotel room for breakfast and it was still great! I also had the hearts of palm w/avocado salad. Nice and fresh and full of flavor.

Their menu is always changing so you can try new things all the time.
Great establishment in the neighborhood, wonderful servers, chefs and food! This is true Chicago to me - this is home!

Date of visit: August 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Lizzy205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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