About Francesca's al Lago

111 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
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Francesca's al Lago is the 21st addition to The Francesca's Restaurant Group. The Capital Square location offers guests “simple rustic cooking, friendly service and fair prices,” which has been the winning recipe at all Francesca’s locations since 1992. Our menu features the zesty, earthy cuisine of Rome and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. An expansive wine list, local beers and handcrafted martinis are the perfect accompaniment to an outstanding dining experience.

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 three concepts across 33 locations and four states. Based in Chicago, Francesca’s Restaurant Group currently owns and operates 23 Francesca’s Restaurants, five Davanti Enoteca, and five Glazed and Infused locations.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, Mediterranean, Wine Bar

Hours of Operation:
Lunch:
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Brunch:
Saturday: 10am-4pm

Dinner:
Sunday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Main Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(608) 255-6000

Website:
http://www.miafrancesca.com/locations/profile/wisconsin

Catering:
Francesca"s al Lago has a wide range of catering services available to suite your needs. From full-service to pick-up, Francesca's catering is an easy & reliable way to entertain guests in your home or workplace.

Parking Details:
We have validated parking at the Block 89 parking ramp located on Doty St. between Martin Luther King BLVD & Pinckney St.

Metered street parking available as well.

Public Transit:
From Milwaukee & EAST
I-94 West WI-30 West Left onto US-151 S/E (Washington Ave)
Right onto Wilson Right onto MLK Jr Blvd

From Chicago & SOUTH
I-90 West/1-94 West US 12-18 toward Madison John Nolen Dr Exit
Left onto Broom Right onto Wilson Left onto Hamilton
Right onto Doty Left onto MLK Jr Blvd

Executive Chef:
Sergio Lopez

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Restaurant Photos

Calamari Fritti
Ravioli
Pizza
Lasagna Bolognese
Ravioli Con Salsiccia E Broccolini
Gamberi Alla Diavola
Tiramisu
Cannoli
Chicken And Potatoes
Lemon Drop
Bruschetta With Prosciutto
Sautéed Spinach

Promotions

HAPPY HOUR

Mondays - Fridays from 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM

SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS for $9.99

Mondays from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

ITALIAN FISH FRY for $14.99

Fridays from 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM

BRUNCH with us!!!

Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

25% Off Entire Meal

Sundays from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Promotions

HAPPY HOUR

Mondays - Fridays from 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Details
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS for $9.99

Mondays from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Details
ITALIAN FISH FRY for $14.99

Fridays from 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Details
BRUNCH with us!!!

Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Details
25% Off Entire Meal

Sundays from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Details

Private Dining

Whether celebrating a special occasion with family and friends or hosting a corporate outing, Francesca's al Lago can accommodate all your special event needs.

Francesca's al Lago Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.2

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

good for groups (46)
fit for foodies (39)
special occasion (39)
See All
great for lunch (22)
romantic (21)
neighborhood gem (17)
kid-friendly (16)
notable wine list (11)
scenic view (11)
great for outdoor dining (10)
great for brunch (7)
late-night find (5)
vibrant bar scene (5)
hot spot (4)
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618 reviews
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The staff is very attentive, and there i ...

 
 (Atlanta)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

The staff is very attentive, and there is a gluten-free menu that encompasses all facets of the meal, including appetizers and desserts! :-) Most important, of course, is that the food is terrific and plated nicely.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We had a reservation for 6 people and we ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

We had a reservation for 6 people and we were accommodated very well when a 7th person joined our group. Great service, food and drinks were superb.

My only small complaint is you have flyers on the table advertising 1/2 price drinks and appetizers before 6:30. We arrived at 5:45. We were told it did not apply to us because we were at a table not in the bar. The flyers should not be on the dining room tables.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I have had great food there 2 times befo ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

I have had great food there 2 times before, but this evening the chicken was not very tasteful

Tags: good for groups
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food2
ambience3
service5
value2

The meals for the four of us were very g ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 3, 2016

The meals for the four of us were very good, the wait staff ok. One of the waiters poured water into an unfinished gin and tonic. There was a large loud party in a private room, but the door was open most of the time - wish we had been seated elsewhere .

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

One person in our party cannot eat glute ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

One person in our party cannot eat gluten and it was appreciated that there was a gluten-free menu available. Our waiter, David, was very pleasant and accommodating. Would definitely come back.

Tags: good for groups
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

We had a wonderful dinner before the Con ...

vip
 (Hawaii)
·Dined on June 29, 2016

We had a wonderful dinner before the Concert on the Square. Great combination

Tags: special occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

I waited almost 45 minutes to get my mai ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on June 27, 2016

I waited almost 45 minutes to get my main course. When I ask for my meal I was told they had two big groups and the kitchen forgot my food. In the mean time other tables were getting their food

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

We went for Father's Day to take advanta ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on June 19, 2016

We went for Father's Day to take advantage of the free entree for dads. The service was excellent, and we enjoyed our time together. The food was good, but not great. There are better restaurants in Madison, particularly for the price.

Tags: kid-friendly, notable wine list
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

nice place for lunch. We are familiar wi ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

nice place for lunch. We are familiar with Francesca's as they have few restaurants around our town in IL. Always good experience. Familiar Italian dishes, I like the fact that the menu is not too confusing. Enough good choices.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

We had never been here but chose the res ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

We had never been here but chose the restaurant for location, type of food and based on online reviews. The food was excellent, they were able to cater to my gluten free needs. We came for our rehearsal/night before wedding dinner!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great food. Great service Noise level ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on June 12, 2016

Great food.

Great service

Noise level can go up.

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food4
ambience3
service4

Best Happy Hour deal in town

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 27, 2016

We have been to this restaurant many times. It provides the best deals for happy hour! Longer hours (until 6:30pm) and available on fridays. You get half price appetizers (and these are not fried from frozen type food). Half price glasses or wine and beer. You can't beat this deal. The appetizer menu has several selections and always risotto of the day (big portion enough to be a meal). My favorite was the spicy mussels.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

Great Pre-Show Dining

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 19, 2016

My family had tickets for the Lion King and was looking for a kid friendly place to get a good meal before the show. Francesca's fit the bill perfectly! The kids pizza was not your average kids pizza, and since they didn't have pepperoni, they added prosciutto instead. Delish! And the halibut was out of this world! Our servers got us out with ample time to walk to the show.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

We have eaten at Francesca's in the past ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

We have eaten at Francesca's in the past so we knew that we would be pleased with the food and atmosphere. Once again, Francesca's did not disappoint. The food and service were both wonderful.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delizioso!

 
 (Minneapolis)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

We went here for my son's graduation and the food was great quality - and beverages, too! The 4 of us each ordered something different and all of it was excellent. (Yes, I tried everyone's dish!) I have rarely found good gnocchi in the US and Francesca's was excellent. Service was good, too. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Have been here several times and the foo ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 12, 2016

Have been here several times and the food is always very good. Service seems to be a little slow, at least that has been our experience. Will go back whenever we are in Madison.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Disappointed in brunch...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

I know that I should have known, but on Mother's Day, my son and I went to Francesca's and they weren't serving any pasta or Italian. They were serving omelets and fratata's. Yes, it was still delicious, but we were just disappointing there was not a choice for their usual great Italian food.

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Hidden gem

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

Great staff and great service. Wonderful food without being overpriced. Nice view of the Capitol and downtown scene.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Exceptional service

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 7, 2016

I was with a group of young adults with disabilities for dinner on a busy Saturday night. Our waitress, Renee, was incredibly patient with us and extremely knowledgeable. She made great recommendations of food and drinks. She went out of her way to check on items not listed on the menu for one member of our party, and had the kitchen make her a dish that wasn't listed. I will definitely recommend Francesca's to others, and plan to return in the future.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

worth trying

vip
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on May 7, 2016

An excellent restaurant just off the Capitol Square with validated parking at an adjacent ramp.

We sat on the patio and had an idyllic evening with excellent entree's.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Warm atmosphere, excellent service

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 3, 2016

This was our first experience here. We came for their "Teacher Appreciation" special as we are both educators. Our server Davide, made the experience even better. From his warm smile to his recommendations to his attentiveness, we were very pleased. The calamari and the tiramisu were the best we have tried in town. Our salmon and scallop dishes were perfectly cooked and flavorful. The wine selection was also good. We will definitely return!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Always good! Never disappoints!

vip
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on May 2, 2016

Always good! Never disappoints!

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food4
ambience4
service3

Good for gluten-free.

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on April 16, 2016

They handled gluten-free very well for those of us with Celiac disease. I do wish some of their other menu items were on the gluten-free menu. I don't really care if they have to use the GF penne for all the entrees as long as it's GF. I guess I will ask the waitress next time if they could make something on the regular menu GF. My husband said his rosemary chicken dish (not GF) was the best he had ever had.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Excellent waitstaff

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on April 15, 2016

Our waiter was from Italy doing an exchange program. It was great to have someone so knowledgeable. His recommendation of the Tiramisu which I usually don't like was fantastic.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We brought out-of-town friends here and ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on April 12, 2016

We brought out-of-town friends here and had a really lovely evening, great food, and good service.

Tags: special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Dinner with a friend

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on March 13, 2016

Beautiful interior, Amazing service - our waitress was very attentive and worked with me to accommodate my GF allergy to create a delicious meal.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Solid Italian near the Capital

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on February 27, 2016

Exploring Madison for the first time for a college tour with our daughter and in the mood for Italian. This fit the bill perfectly. Very cool ambiance and a tremendous menu.

Tags: good for groups
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great scenic view of capital

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on February 21, 2016

Our waitress was very attentive and had many suggestions to offer regarding menu. The mussels were delicious and she even gave us extra sauce to take back with us because we enjoyed it so much. I would highly recommend. One of the best Italian restaurants in Madison

Tags: good for groups, scenic view
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Good meal. Reasonable prices. Great ser ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on February 19, 2016

Good meal. Reasonable prices. Great service. Nice location.

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food5
ambience4
service5

The pasta portion was small and some of ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on February 15, 2016

The pasta portion was small and some of the noodles were burnt but after mentioning it to the waitress, the management took it off the bill immediately. The roasted half chicken meal was drowning in a watery "sauce" along with the potatoes which became soggy. The dessert was great though! And the server was very attentive and friendly!

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food2
ambience2
service4

Great atmosphere

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on February 13, 2016

trendy up beat restaurant. Great for date night or just hanging out.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Get the calamari and don't overlook the pizza

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on February 13, 2016

They have the best prepared calamari you'll find anywhere. It melts in your mouth... no chewiness. I have never had it better anywhere else.

I had the pizza for the first time... and that's an incredible deal for the quality and quantity of pizza you get. I normally stray from pizza on a menu like Francesca's has, since they have so many more unique flavors to offer. But their pizza is an incredible deal! Such fresh ingredients and the dough is delicious and even any leftover pizza reheats so well, unlike most day-old pizza.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Very friendly service

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on January 31, 2016

There was 10 of us and we came early. But they set us up and got us seated quickly. The waitress was very attentive and there was something for everyone on the menu. The waitress even gave us all individual checks when someone asked.

Tags: good for groups
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

For the lack of people in the restaurant ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on January 27, 2016

For the lack of people in the restaurant the service was very very slow.

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food5
ambience5
service2

Great Time

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on January 23, 2016

Really enjoyed the restaurant week menu! A little loud, but lovely otherwise. Outstanding food and very friendly service. Great affordable wines.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, late-night find, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Way above expectations!

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on January 23, 2016

Our first visit ti Francesca al Lago, and with the steep competition in Italian food, we kept expections reasonable. Our waitress was timely, not intrusive and patient with our questions.

Food was all excellent- we will certainly go back and take friends!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

consistently good food and atmosphere

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on January 21, 2016

Went to Francesca's al Lago during restaurant week for group lunch of co-workers. As always, a great meal, friendly and knowledgeable waitress and wonderful atmosphere. This place has never let me let down as it is the best atmosphere and most reasonably priced place to go on the Square, with nice selection on its menu, during my busy work week. The chef does magic with soup and salad selections and one of the best burgers in town (go figure, when it doesn't even advertisement it).

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Buono Mangiati

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on January 21, 2016

The food and service, as usual, were absolutely outstanding. The restaurant was very busy, but we were seated promptly. The delicious bread came out right away, which is a real pleasure when everyone at the table is hungry.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Delicious

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on January 20, 2016

The calamari was the best I've ever had--light and tender. The chicken dish included delicious vegetables in a flavorful sauce. The service was excellent without being intrusive.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Ah, the calamari

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on January 20, 2016

We first had the calamari on a visit to Madison eight years ago. We didn't seek out Francesca's; it was a beautiful early fall evening and we saw an outside table with a view of the state Capitol. Now that we live here, we went back to see if the calamari that night was luck or a consistently good product. Again, the best calamari we've had away from a coast.

(On value: we were there for restaurant week; a value everywhere (although less of a 'cents off' than at other venues for restaurant week.)

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining
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food5
ambience3
service4
value5

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